Online Letters, August 22, 2017
Busking can work in Hong Kong if it is properly regulated
I agree with Chloe Ng Sin-yee’s letter about allowing busking in the city (“With sensible regulations busking can flourish in Hong Kong”, August 8).
Busking is becoming more popular and it is a good way for people to showcase their talent. However, if street performers start performing in crowded areas this can be a nuisance to pedestrians and nearby residents.
I do think busking can be good for the city. It is offering a stage to all those people who want to perform. It can be very therapeutic especially for young people who are very shy and want to come out of their shells.
Areas that become well known for street artists can attract a large audience and therefore a lot of shoppers and this is good for local businesses such as stores and restaurants, especially if some in the audience are tourists.
However in some areas with a lot of buskers, such as the pedestrianised areas of Mong Kong, there have been complaints by residents about the noise and congestion. So what are needed are clear regulations to be established by the government, limiting performances to designated areas. Also, officials would have to monitor noise levels and ensure that the buskers abided by the regulations that were set down.
With the right controls and cooperation by all parties, I am sure citizens will welcome the expansion of busking in the city.
Casey Chan, Tai Wai
City will only gain from promotion of e-sports
The e-Sports and Music Festival Hong Kong at Hong Kong Coliseum earlier this month was a big success.
With e-sports enjoying growing popularity, some teenagers harbour ambitions to become professional gamers, even if they face opposition from parents who want them to pursue a traditional career path where they are guaranteed a good salary.
It is certainly the case that the best professional gamers can earn high salaries, such as those people who are involved in top-rated competitions such as the League of Legends World Championships.
Of course, not everyone can join that elite group and make such large sums. However, some become what are known as vloggers [video bloggers] and still make money even by playing in amateur leagues, because they get donations from netizens.
As the popularity of e-sports grows so will the employment opportunities. This is already happening for example in South Korea where the development of e-sports is advanced. More South Korean teams are winning championships.
Attitudes are changing and more people are recognising that playing computer games is not a meaningless pursuit. Some teenagers who dream of becoming professional e-gamers will be able to fulfil their ambition. And I hope that some day we will see a Hong Kong team competing with and beating top teams from countries such as South Korea.
Lee Ka-long, Ma On Shan
The right extracurricular activities good for students’ health
I agree with Jerry Lam that the right kind of extracurricular activities can help young people relieve the stress they feel (“Extracurricular activities can be helpful for students”, August 15). This is especially the case if these activities include sports.
They have to do revision for exams and tests and have to memorise so much material. This puts them under a lot of pressure. Getting involved in sports can help youngsters to cope with that pressure. It also helps them make new friends if they are playing regularly for a team after school. And they can talk with these friends who face the same problems with their studies.
Learning to work as part of a team will help them in their careers as they learn to be team players and improve their communication skills. This will help them as adults when they encounter problems in the workplace or at home.
What matters of course is that teenagers take care when choosing their extracurricular activities and make sure they choose ones which make sure they get a lot of exercise and can play as part of a team.
Louis Fung Lam-lap, Sau Mau Ping
Youngsters must think carefully before starting part-time jobs
A growing number of students are taking up part-time jobs, often in fast food chains, but I have doubts about the benefits of doing this.
Secondary school students have a full timetable and it can be difficult to juggle school work with the demands of a part-time job. Even those youngsters who don’t have a job will often work late into the night on homework and other assignments. A part-time job adds to the pressure and can make it more difficult for them to find the time they need to have a proper rest. This can leave them exhausted during the school day and adversely affect their academic results.
Also doing part-time jobs can lead youngsters to think more about money and become more materialistic. They may forget that there are other things that matter more than money.
Some people argue that these jobs give valuable work experience, but that may be of little help if the jobs they do are menial and do not relate in any way to their chosen career. How can working in a fast food restaurant help you if you plan to become a professional?
Basically when deciding if they want to work part-time in a restaurant students have to recognise that there is a trade-off. They need to be sure they can balance their time well and that they do not lose sight of their clear goals in life.
Tina Lam, Sha Tin
Claim whites are uniquely racist is false
In a perfect world, America would be free of all forms of prejudice and racism. Appeals to racist thoughts and instincts would be unacceptable everywhere.
All of us are diminished by the prejudice that permeates our society and all Americans, not just whites who benefit by virtue of our skin colour, have an obligation to better our society. The idea, however, that whites in general are uniquely racist, a common meme among so many commentators, is false.
A 2007 survey by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that 15 per cent of Americans held anti-Semitic views. The survey also found that 29 per cent of foreign-born Hispanics and 32 per cent of African-Americans held strong anti-Semitic beliefs, three times more than the 10 per cent for whites. A 2009 study published in the Boston Review found that nearly 25 per cent of non-Jewish Americans blamed Jews for the 2008-2009 financial crisis, with a higher percentage among Democrats than Republicans (32 per cent of Democrats versus 18 per cent for Republicans).
Prejudice is ugly regardless of whether the practitioner is white, black or other, regardless of gender, and regardless of political, tribal or religious persuasion.
Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio, US