Class of ’97: Christie Wong is fascinated by Hong Kong English but finds city too money-driven

Wong recognises an obsession with getting into ‘divine disciplines’ that guarantee a good job and pay, such as medicine, law and engineering.

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.

Christie Wong Sum-yin

“Majoring in English literature at Chinese University, I find the emergence of Hong Kong English and the way it has combined with Cantonese very interesting.

“Hong Kong English, to a certain extent, reflects the values of the people but, in terms of traditional English, we have deteriorated.

“People like me who are doing humanities probably don’t have much room to develop here because it is such a money-driven society and Britain may be a better option.

“We talk about getting into these ‘divine disciplines’ that guarantee you a good job and pay, like medicine, law and engineering.

“Here, everything is about efficiency and this shapes the very pressurised environment. However, we are starting to realise that it is not politically stable right now, and if there are more protests and sociopolitical demonstrations the public will only become more aware.

“We will also definitely become more careful, and pay greater attention to what is happening in terms of politics.

“I think people are already sensitive to what is happening on the mainland and of any attempts to influence the way we live in Hong Kong.”