Posted by: Sam Olsen | July 30, 2011

Mainland vs Islanders

One thing that is very evident so far is that not all Chinese are alike. In terms of looks, this is an obvious statement, but we have heard an awful lot about the lack of similarity between groups of Chinese. For instance, further to the point made by the immigration woman about mainland Chinese, even in just a few days but have already heard of plenty of differences between the local Hong Kongers and the Mainlanders. These have been put forward not by us but by the taxi driver, immigration woman and estate agent who have all felt it necessary to tell us about the variances between the two – who, to Western eyes, are all lumped together as one homogeneous bunch. As we get to know the place better, and talk to more people, we will be able to understand more the similarities or not of the various groups and backgrounds of the peoples of China, but here are some early comments that we have recorded.

Manners. Mainlanders “don’t know how to queue”, are “always spitting”, and are apparently rather uncouth all in all. The Shanghai couple at breakfast this morning didn’t seem too bad, although now we have been warned we shall look out for them eating with their mouths open, blowing noses on napkins etc etc

Smoking. “If you see a Chinese smoking, they from Mainland”. I hope Philip Morris know this otherwise they could be marketing the wrong people.

Freedom. “Mainland Chinese come to Hong Kong because they have more freedom here. They buy flat and then after some years they get Hong Kong I.D card. This better for them as they can then say what they want to say.” Certainly, there seems to be no hesitation in demonstrating or speaking out. The photo below shows some witty protest against Citi who are apparently refusing to compensate people who lost out around the Lehman Brothers explosion event, even though most (every?) other banks have done so. But if the depth of feeling here is anything to go by – and this banner seems to back this up – Citi could end up losing a lot more than they would have had to pay if the compensation story is accurate.

Protest Hong Kong style

 

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