Existing Member?

Eo Ire Itum

Demonstrations and Religion

HONG KONG | Sunday, 23 November 2008 | Views [708] | Comments [4]

One of the noticeable differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, is religious freedom. The laws here remain very different to those in China.
I have seen Hare Khishnas, Toaists, Hinduis and even Mormans out on the streets. These are all religions that cannot be openly practiced in China.

Today, I also saw a huge demonstration parading down Nathan Road. I have no idea what they were demonstrating for or against because I can't read or speak Cantonese. They were all dressed in yellow and were playing drums and waving flags. The police seemed to be very helpful and walked with them the whole way, making sure they didn't get hit by any cars or busses. The funniest part was watching them stop at red lights, just as the traffic did. This is a sight you would never seen in China. I just wish I knew what it was all about. I will post photos/videos when I get a USB cord for my camera.

I didn't do too much today, I figured that as long as I'm here for another four days, I might as well take it easy. I slept until 10am and when I got up I basically just walked around the city streets. Kowloon is just a really interesting place to wander around.

Last night I visited the famous night markets on The Golden Mile. Stalls and people litter the tiny streets. There are people trying to sell you things everywhere. I don't hate these people like I hate the hawkers. If you don't want to buy something, then don't walk down The Golden Mile. But to be hasseled in the street when you're minding your own business...well, those guys are just horrible.

One thing that is common in any of the markets in Hong Kong is haggling. And I LOVE haggling!! I know its stupid, but I get a huge sense of accomplishment after I've haggled price of something down. I feel almost smug, like I've won or something.

The truth is, that most of the time you get cheated anyway and the things you buy aren't worth the plastic bag they come in - but SOMETIMES you can be lucky and find something you really want for very cheap. I bought a little sterling silver star fish necklace and I paid HKD45 (AUD9.20) for it, which isn't too bad. I felt even better because the price started at HKD98! I did some good haggling! Yeah! ;)

I'm at an internet cafe by the harbour at the moment. The net access here is about half as expensive as the hotels, so I'll probably just come down here from now on.
Not far from here is a little underground Irish pub called Murphys. Tonight I shall go there for a pint of Guinness. That's my evening planned.

Drummers that were part of a demonstration that were making their way down Nathan Road in Kowloon. I have no idea what it was all about because I can't speak or read Cantonese.

Drummers that were part of a demonstration that were making their way down Nathan Road in Kowloon. I have no idea what it was all about because I can't speak or read Cantonese.

 

Comments

1

Thanks for uploading your pictures so soon – they’re great!

Your story above referring to the laws in Hong Kong remaining distinctly different from mainland China, is certainly food for interesting thoughts!

As you know, the laws of Hong Kong provide its people with much great personal freedom and a free press etc. etc. Also, there is the right to FREELY practice religion; unlike mainland China, which strictly monitors all religious activity, i.e. of the five approved religious groups.

Furthermore, according to the 1997 handover agreement, HK is allowed to maintain its partial autonomy until the year 2047. Also, universal suffrage will be established in 2017, i.e. voting for a candidate; however, the elections will not be entirely free, as it is proposed that all candidates will need to be ratified, i.e. formally approved by the Chinese government.

As stated recently by Donald Tsang (HK Chief Executive since 2005): "We don't want Hong Kong to be a completely independent political body. We have one country with two systems and we want that to continue."

Much love ...

  antique Rose Nov 26, 2008 1:48 AM

2

I wonder what will happen after 2047? I don't think much will change. At first I didn't think Hong Kong was TOO different to China, but when you consider the laws it truely is different.
People always say there's more capitalism here, but I see signs of that in China as well (Mc Donalds EVERYWHERE in China, people love it). So I don't think that's strictly correct. Hong Kong does of course have a lot more of a western influence though and with that comes more capitalism and consumerism.

  mazystar Nov 26, 2008 8:44 PM

3

I agree with you, I don’t believe much will change post-2047. I cannot envisage Hong Kong’s inhabitants relishing the idea of living under totalitarian rule; and even if there were threats, hopefully the West would support Hong Kong.

Also, another thought which is germane to this subject, is the question of whether mainland China’s freer markets and increasing economic growth etc., will eventually result in rule by the people, i.e. a democratic state. In my opinion, this is quite unlikely.

As you’ve observed, there are certainly signs of capitalism in China; however, the proliferation of multinational companies, such as McDonalds, are perhaps just indicative of the freer markets and globalization. So this probably could be defined as a “pseudo-capitalism”; as how can true capitalism exist without a genuine free-market system, incorporating checks and balances, rights and freedoms, and accountability? What’s your opinion?

Missing you – and our discussions!

Lots of love ...

  antique Rose Nov 27, 2008 7:45 PM

4

I disagree with you actually. I think complete democracy in China is virtually inevetable. With the economy getting stronger and stronger and technology and information becoming more widely avalable throughout the country - I think it WILL happen.
Visiting China had changed my view of it very much. I dislike many things, but the people are strong and lovely (speaking generally of course).

I don't think the term capitalism includes freedoms and rights...it's simply: "Capitalism is an economic system in which capital goods are owned, operated and traded by private individuals, businesses, or corporations for the purpose of profit."
Human beings HAVE to have society with some form of capitalism, and China is no acception. You only have to visit some markets or a shopping center or a resturant to realise this. It is different to western capitalism only in the sence that land cannot be owned by the people...its all owned by the government. Which CAN seem unstable (as in you could be moved at any time). Anyway, I don't have much time so I'll finish this thought later. xx

  mazystar Nov 29, 2008 4:26 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.


About mazystar

Winter time means HATS!

Follow Me

Where I've been

Favourites

Photo Galleries

Highlights

Near Misses

My trip journals


See all my tags 


 

 

Travel Answers about Hong Kong

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.