“Where are you from?”
As a Eurasian I am often asked this question. I do not believe it is because I am for any reason particularly noteworthy in either my looks, habits or actions. I’ve tended to be one for blending in to a crowd. I do not stand tall, model-like, proclaiming my desirability with a toothy smile and tight jeans. So it pains me to admit it’s unlikely to be a chat up line.
And the question where I am from is often followed by a guess.
At Times Square in Causeway Bay there are two long flights of escalators. The first carries people from street level up in to the atrium. The second carries shoppers further up and on to the first of several shopping levels.
I got to know Times Square and the surrounding neighbourhood twenty years ago when, as a secondary school student, I made some extra pocket money running errands for a company whose offices were in Tower 1. Each day that summer I would take the escalators.
The first flight of escalators brought me to the office lifts. It was a Times Square that I slowly discovered – a place of drab cubicles, laminated desks and hissing photocopiers; and a place of work. The second escalator brought me to the Times Square I knew. It was a more familiar and welcoming place. My mother would buy tennis shoes for the family here, and a few storeys up was the games arcade where I would meet friends. I never particularly liked the mall, but it was still an environment I recognised, and a place I could understand within the context of living in Hong Kong.
Evan writes that it was likely the British government knowingly signed the Joint Declaration with no expectation of the treaty being honoured. He argues that whilst Britain may seem powerless, it has a legal and moral obligation to call out a wrong. Doing so would not only likely earn Britain greater respect in Beijing, but also represent the values of the British people.
After pro-independence posters appeared at the Chinese University of Hong Kong last week, Joseph J.Y. Sung, acting in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor, sent an open letter to all students, staff and alumni of the university.
In this extraordinary – and therefore one must presume significant – letter that was sent whilst he was “attending an academic conference overseas,” he writes:
The idea of an independent Hong Kong is not only in breach of the Basic Law of Hong Kong but also contrary to what I personally believe. Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China; this is beyond dispute.
In this essay, the comments of Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen and other high profile commentators are given as examples of a more general attitude within the establishment to be dismissive of criticism and negativity, rather than to address relevant points. Evan suggests a more patient, conciliatory and respectful approach would do more to heal divisions than to constantly play to the fringe.
湯漢樞機以及天主教會以不容忍的態度與偏見，宣揚他們對同性戀關係和婚姻的理解，方禮倫認為，他們代表本性的腐敗。他敦促香港天主教社群，應更加高尚、更人性化地宣揚愛的訊息，這才是信仰的真義。接著原文的中譯文由 Alan Chiu 提供。
By promoting an understanding of homosexual relationships and marriage based on intolerance and bigotry, Evan argues that it is Cardinal John Tong Hon and the Catholic Church who represent a corruption of nature. He urges the Catholic community in Hong Kong to find relevance in their faith through a more noble, and humane, message of love. The Chinese translation is provided by Alan Chiu.
Through his childhood relationship with his amahs, Nina and Rosie, Evan reflects on the relationship between a country and its people. Given what some Hong Kong people are today prepared to do to leave, he asks us to consider what type of home and relationship Hong Kong has become for some of her people. The Chinese translation is provided by Sally.
從童年時代照顧他的菲律賓家傭出發，方禮倫反思了一個國家和她的人民之間的關係。今天，不少香港人正打算離開家園，令他不禁思索這些年來，香港和她的人民之間的關係已起了微妙變化。譯文由 Sally 提供。
As costs and societal expectations rise, Evan explores through his personal situation the roots of a rising sense of hopelessness among a generation at once tied to traditional concepts of family and dignity, yet forced to survive in a more individualistic environment. The Chinese translation is provided by Sally.
在生活成本和社會期望的上升下，很多人都被迫繼續單身生活。方禮倫透過他的個人情況，探討在傳統家庭觀念中長大的這一代，何以這種無望感會越來越強。譯文由 Sally 提供。
在這文章裡，方禮倫想我們反思將西人標籤，會對香港成為真正的國際化社會，會帶來甚麼影響。「香港身份計劃 (HKIDP) 」由方禮倫創辦，是私人資助項目，旨在記錄、歸檔和探討各種關於香港身份的活動。譯文由 Sally 提供，英文原文在譯文之下。
In this extract from a longer essay, Evan asks us to consider the way our own “Western” stereotype shapes Hong Kong’s international community. Evan Fowler is the founder of the Hong Kong Identity Project (HKIDP), a privately funded initiative to document, archive and explore the Hong Kong identity. The Chinese translation is provided by Sally.
方禮倫寫道，香港的郵筒不僅標誌著我們過去的殖民歷史，更是我們香港身份的一部分。任何「去殖化」的行為不應被強加於香港人身上，而須由他們自己來決定和執行。譯文由 Sally 提供，英文原文在譯文之下。
Evan writes that Hong Kong’s postboxes are more than markers of our colonial past, but of our Hong Kong identity; and that any process of decolonisation can not be imposed, and must be defined and enacted by the people themselves. The Chinese translation is provided by Sally.