Politics and gold comfort at Lunar New Year fair

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2012, 12:00am


The race for chief executive has inspired many stallholders in search of the first pot of gold in the Year of the Dragon at the annual Lunar New Year fair, which opened in Victoria Park yesterday.

At least two stalls caught the eye of shoppers by selling jungle chess - a type of Chinese board game - with 16 pieces, including Henry Tang Ying-yen, depicted as a stupid pig, and his chief rival Leung Chun-ying as a cunning wolf.

The game's designer, Sham Chi-ming, 23, said: 'The pig and the wolf can eat each other in the game. The one that reaches the rival's lair is the winner. On the chessboard, I replaced the lair with the government headquarters. That means the one who gets in first takes the helm of Hong Kong.'

Acknowledging the reality of the situation, he said: 'Both of them have a chance of winning. But we [the public] have no right to choose. I hope some day we will be able to elect our chief executive.'

And like many stallholders, Sham said he was optimistic about making a profit.

Those who are tired of the ongoing public relations blitz by the two pro-establishment candidates might be interested in another item at the fair - giant, inflatable sticks bearing images of Tang and Leung.

Political groups such as the New People's Party, the Civic Party, the Democratic Party, the League of Social Democrats and People Power will also have a presence at the fair, where they will be competing with traditional New Year food and flower stalls.

Poking fun at the government's cash handout announced last year, fourth-year students at Kwun Tong Institute of Vocational Education are selling cushions fashioned on a HK$6,000-dollar bill.

Chan Wing-fai, one of the students involved, said: 'Everyone has been talking about the HK$6,000 handout in the past year so we decided to make a cushion out of it.'

The cushions are part of a project for the students' business administration course. 'Come over and take photos, don't be shy. We're not D&G,' yelled one man selling cushions in the shape of gold bars and coins in foreign currencies.

Queenie Wong Wei-sun, who is in charge of the stall, said: 'Gold is rising in value, so we hope that if you buy a gold bar from us, you'll rake in a fortune in the coming year.'

The Lunar New Year fair will run until January 23 at 14 parks and open venues throughout the city and surrounding areas. It is organised by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department every year.