“We use the word culture in these two senses: to mean a whole way of life – the common meanings; to mean the arts and learning – the special processes of discovery and creative effort.”
Raymond Williams, Culture is Ordinary, 1958
Culture refers to not just the high culture, namely fine arts, but also what we do in our everyday life in our everyday society: In Hong Kong, for example, we drink “silk-stocking” milk tea at Cha Chan Tang; we speak Cantonese and English; we uphold the rule of law; we treasure our freedom of speech; we grow up with listening to Canto-pop, watching Cantonese opera shows at nomadic bamboo theatres; we fight our battles to preserve our city’s heritage; we create satirical comics and re-writing pop song lyrics as parodies to mock politicians and the government. Our unique colonial history laid the foundation for our openness towards foreign cultures.
These all have common meanings to people living in Hong Kong, and they involve a certain extent of discovery and creative effort – it is OUR whole way of life. Culture is no longer confined to attending a classical music concert or a ballet dance show. Culture is not exclusive to those who are on the top of the social hierarchy - culture belongs to every member of the society, and everyone has the right to it.
This blog looks into cultural and entertainment phenomenons and makes sense out of them – to generate common meanings for those living in Hong Kong and those who are curious of what’s going on in this part of the world.