Class of ’97: Erica Chin says political drama has equipped her generation with critical thinking skills

Chin admits the 1997 financial crisis hit her family hard. They moved to subsidised housing when she was three and to public housing nine years later

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:00am

Meet the class of ’97, born the year of the handover. Their childhoods tell the stories of Hong Kong’s first two decades after the return to China. Some remember Sars, others took part in Occupy. Now, they’re trying to work out what their future holds – and how Hong Kong’s own uncertain future fits into their plans.

Erica Chin Ho-nam

“I’m a student at Baptist University, majoring in international journalism and, compared to some of my classmates, come from a modest background. My father is a driver and my mother a housewife.

“The 1997 financial tsunami hit my family hard. When I was three we moved to subsidised housing and nine years later to public housing. It was about that time we started to recover.

“I studied history in secondary school and that taught me a lot about our colonial background. Others may not have an understanding of the subject if their family didn’t tell them about it or if they didn’t find out about it themselves. But I think the majority of our generation are equipped with critical thinking skills, especially since we have experienced a lot of political drama.

“When I help my sister with her homework. I am surprised at how much Mandarin there is compared to when I was in primary school.

“I think society is going to be more polarised. After the ‘umbrella movement’, people started to become divided into blue ribbons and yellow ribbons. People will be more extreme in expressing their opinions.”