Jason Wordie

Jason Wordie

Latest from Jason Wordie

Then & Now | Why elegant dinner tables of colonial times were laden with tinned food

A lack of fresh produce as well as hygiene concerns meant most meals were made from processed imported foodstuffs that would then be jazzed up with chutneys, mustard, pickles and any manner of relish.

21 Jun 2019 - 7:51AM

A lack of fresh produce as well as hygiene concerns meant most meals were made from processed imported foodstuffs that would then be jazzed up with chutneys, mustard, pickles and any manner of relish.

Why elegant dinner tables of colonial times were laden with tinned food
Then & Now | Before the stereotypical Chinese tourist, brash Americans and red-faced Britons were drawn to Hong Kong

From the camera-gear-laden Japanese to loud-mouthed Australians, tourists always stand out no matter how hard they try to blend in

14 Jun 2019 - 9:50AM

From the camera-gear-laden Japanese to loud-mouthed Australians, tourists always stand out no matter how hard they try to blend in

Before the stereotypical Chinese tourist, brash Americans and red-faced Britons were drawn to Hong Kong
Then & Now | Peter Goullart, the White Russian writer for whom China became a spiritual home

Hong Kong provided temporary refuge for the author, who arrived in 1949 after the communists assumed power in China, before he relocated in Malaya and eventually settled in Singapore.

7 Jun 2019 - 12:15PM

Hong Kong provided temporary refuge for the author, who arrived in 1949 after the communists assumed power in China, before he relocated in Malaya and eventually settled in Singapore.

Peter Goullart, the White Russian writer for whom China became a spiritual home
Then & Now | Why were Hong Kong’s executive secretaries and police typists almost always European?

While Western-educated émigrés from China were viewed with suspicion, local Portuguese women and the ‘fishing fleet’ from Britain were highly sought after as executive secretaries in 20th-century Hong Kong.

30 May 2019 - 7:15PM

While Western-educated émigrés from China were viewed with suspicion, local Portuguese women and the ‘fishing fleet’ from Britain were highly sought after as executive secretaries in 20th-century Hong Kong.

Why were Hong Kong’s executive secretaries and police typists almost always European?
Then & Now | What the decor of colonial era houses in Asia said about their residents

A sense of impermanence pervaded colonial life in tropical Asia, and was reflected in interior decor and dress choices.

26 May 2019 - 10:15AM

A sense of impermanence pervaded colonial life in tropical Asia, and was reflected in interior decor and dress choices.

What the decor of colonial era houses in Asia said about their residents
Then & Now | Those nostalgic for an ‘old Macau’ are pining for a place that never existed

A tranquil, tropical haven, or ‘a material and moral rubbish heap’? In the former Portuguese settlement, sentimentality and reality collide.

17 May 2019 - 9:59AM

A tranquil, tropical haven, or ‘a material and moral rubbish heap’? In the former Portuguese settlement, sentimentality and reality collide.

Those nostalgic for an ‘old Macau’ are pining for a place that never existed
Then & Now | Why Hong Kong’s culture of corruption is alive and well, and extremely difficult to prove

Graft is entrenched in Hong Kong society; just the face has changed from low-level bribery to high-level venality that’s virtually impossible to uncover.

10 May 2019 - 9:00AM

Graft is entrenched in Hong Kong society; just the face has changed from low-level bribery to high-level venality that’s virtually impossible to uncover.

Why Hong Kong’s culture of corruption is alive and well, and extremely difficult to prove
Then & Now | A romance between a British officer and a Japanese divorcee: timeless like Madama Butterfly

Amid the countless short-lived affairs between Western men and Asian women during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there is one that stands out

3 May 2019 - 7:30AM

Amid the countless short-lived affairs between Western men and Asian women during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there is one that stands out

A romance between a British officer and a Japanese divorcee: timeless like Madama Butterfly
Then & Now | Rice Christians: converts who are devoted to material benefits rather than religious faith

Those who use the cloak of religion to gain personal advantage have long found friends among Hong Kong’s pious.

25 Apr 2019 - 7:00PM

Those who use the cloak of religion to gain personal advantage have long found friends among Hong Kong’s pious.

Rice Christians: converts who are devoted to material benefits rather than religious faith
Then & Now | Wallpaper was invented in China, but its primary purpose was not for decoration

The popular wall coverings were initially conceived to insulate rooms during the long, cold winters, and, on account of its humid climate, Hong Kong almost didn’t catch on.

19 Apr 2019 - 11:01AM

The popular wall coverings were initially conceived to insulate rooms during the long, cold winters, and, on account of its humid climate, Hong Kong almost didn’t catch on.

Wallpaper was invented in China, but its primary purpose was not for decoration
Then & Now | Extradition: how Hong Kong and Macau have provided China with ‘a sunny place for shady people’

The absence of extradition agreements between Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China and Taiwan have made them safe havens for the corrupt and the criminal.

13 Apr 2019 - 11:24AM

The absence of extradition agreements between Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China and Taiwan have made them safe havens for the corrupt and the criminal.

Extradition: how Hong Kong and Macau have provided China with ‘a sunny place for shady people’
Then & Now | Century-old soda bottle find recalls Hong Kong’s role in bringing aerated drinks to Asia

First stored in stoneware jars, carbonated drinks became available to the masses with the manufacturing boom of glass bottles – and Hong Kong became a key exporter of popular pops across the region

5 Apr 2019 - 8:30AM

First stored in stoneware jars, carbonated drinks became available to the masses with the manufacturing boom of glass bottles – and Hong Kong became a key exporter of popular pops across the region

Century-old soda bottle find recalls Hong Kong’s role in bringing aerated drinks to Asia
Then & Now | In former colonies Hong Kong and Taiwan, ‘national’ identity often emerges from fanciful nostalgia

Appealingly commodified by the heritage marketing industry, imperial culture, whether British or Japanese, is eulogised by those who did not live through it.

29 Mar 2019 - 9:34AM

Appealingly commodified by the heritage marketing industry, imperial culture, whether British or Japanese, is eulogised by those who did not live through it.

In former colonies Hong Kong and Taiwan, ‘national’ identity often emerges from fanciful nostalgia
Then & Now | Why Bella Sidney Woolf – wife of Hong Kong colonial secretary Tom Southorn – evaded official engagements

Writer Bella Woolf Southorn, whose brother married Virginia Woolf, found fulfilment in more intellectual activities than those demanded from formal functions

23 Mar 2019 - 1:16PM

Writer Bella Woolf Southorn, whose brother married Virginia Woolf, found fulfilment in more intellectual activities than those demanded from formal functions

Why Bella Sidney Woolf – wife of Hong Kong colonial secretary Tom Southorn – evaded official engagements
Then & Now | Hong Kong glass-clad skyscrapers are iconic, but the city’s windows were once glazed with oysters

By the mid-19th century, glass – once a novelty and a status symbol – had become ubiquitous in the city, effectively killing demand for the product previously used for window-glazing purposes

16 Mar 2019 - 11:45AM

By the mid-19th century, glass – once a novelty and a status symbol – had become ubiquitous in the city, effectively killing demand for the product previously used for window-glazing purposes

Hong Kong glass-clad skyscrapers are iconic, but the city’s windows were once glazed with oysters
Then & Now | A potted history of the Chinese porcelain industry, when personalised plates were plentiful

A must-have for newcomers to Hong Kong, customised dinner plates found their way from China, to Europe, and even the Virginia plantation of one George Washington

8 Mar 2019 - 12:57PM

A must-have for newcomers to Hong Kong, customised dinner plates found their way from China, to Europe, and even the Virginia plantation of one George Washington

A potted history of the Chinese porcelain industry, when personalised plates were plentiful
Then & Now | Remembering Hong Kong journalist Peter Moss, champion of the Lap Sap Chung campaign

Indian-born Moss, who died recently in Manila aged 83, called Hong Kong home for more than four decades but the best years of his life were spent in Malaya

1 Mar 2019 - 10:17AM

Indian-born Moss, who died recently in Manila aged 83, called Hong Kong home for more than four decades but the best years of his life were spent in Malaya

Remembering Hong Kong journalist Peter Moss, champion of the Lap Sap Chung campaign
Then & Now | Famous Filipinos José Rizal and Imelda Marcos and their Hong Kong connection

Philippine-Hong Kong relations run deep, with the British colony having been a safe haven for revolutionaries, illicit funds and designer shoe brands

22 Feb 2019 - 10:11AM

Philippine-Hong Kong relations run deep, with the British colony having been a safe haven for revolutionaries, illicit funds and designer shoe brands

Famous Filipinos José Rizal and Imelda Marcos and their Hong Kong connection
Then & Now | Fireworks banned in Hong Kong? The rules, apparently, don’t apply to the New Territories

A complete ban on fireworks was lifted in 1975 to allow government-organised displays but, in complete disregard of the law, colourful firecrackers have been lighting up the New Territories skies every Lunar New Year, as authorities look the other way

14 Feb 2019 - 6:15PM

A complete ban on fireworks was lifted in 1975 to allow government-organised displays but, in complete disregard of the law, colourful firecrackers have been lighting up the New Territories skies every Lunar New Year, as authorities look the other way

Fireworks banned in Hong Kong? The rules, apparently, don’t apply to the New Territories
Then & Now | Bullying endemic in all levels of Hong Kong education system

Recent viral video of school assault puts spotlight back onto the perennial problem; failure to address the issue is down to city’s culture of condoning, encouraging and cultivating passive-aggressive behaviour.

31 Jan 2019 - 5:46PM

Recent viral video of school assault puts spotlight back onto the perennial problem; failure to address the issue is down to city’s culture of condoning, encouraging and cultivating passive-aggressive behaviour.

Bullying endemic in all levels of Hong Kong education system
Then & Now | Two Chinese ‘uncle’ stereotypes that smugly superior Hong Kong once sneered at

Discernible by their language and dress, Southeast Asian-born and Californian expatriate Chinese ‘uncles’ were often the butt of jokes

25 Jan 2019 - 11:04AM

Discernible by their language and dress, Southeast Asian-born and Californian expatriate Chinese ‘uncles’ were often the butt of jokes

Two Chinese ‘uncle’ stereotypes that smugly superior Hong Kong once sneered at
Then & Now | Why we have amateur historians not academics to thank for understanding of Hong Kong

Much of our foundational understanding of local and regional customs and connections has come from enthusiasts, rather than those who occupy scholarly positions of authority

19 Jan 2019 - 10:35AM

Much of our foundational understanding of local and regional customs and connections has come from enthusiasts, rather than those who occupy scholarly positions of authority

Why we have amateur historians not academics to thank for understanding of Hong Kong
Then & Now | China’s great leap upwards – can the good times last or does an ‘inexorable rise’ always come before a fall?

As history has shown again and again and again – from Russia and Iran to the Philippines and Japan – a national downturn is just a matter of time.

10 Jan 2019 - 7:33PM

As history has shown again and again and again – from Russia and Iran to the Philippines and Japan – a national downturn is just a matter of time.

China’s great leap upwards – can the good times last or does an ‘inexorable rise’ always come before a fall?
Then & Now | How American missionaries gave southern China its Swatow lace industry

Missionaries introduced embroidery to the Chiu Chow, helping a poverty-stricken region and endowing the diaspora with a distinct profession

5 Jan 2019 - 11:50AM

Missionaries introduced embroidery to the Chiu Chow, helping a poverty-stricken region and endowing the diaspora with a distinct profession

How American missionaries gave southern China its Swatow lace industry
Then & Now | Latter-day Leninists bent on rewriting Hong Kong history - at least we can speak out against them ... for now

The city’s education chief says China never lost sovereignty over Hong Kong. English essayist George Orwell wrote of sinking ‘to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men’. Hong Kong has reached that point.

21 Dec 2018 - 1:26PM

The city’s education chief says China never lost sovereignty over Hong Kong. English essayist George Orwell wrote of sinking ‘to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men’. Hong Kong has reached that point.

Latter-day Leninists bent on rewriting Hong Kong history - at least we can speak out against them ... for now
Then & Now | Why Hong Kong’s wealthy need a reality check, nostalgia for a ‘better time’ often precedes a downfall

Like Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, who pretended to be a milkmaid on her fake farm on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, the affluent in Hong Kong are sheltered from the harsh realities of life

14 Dec 2018 - 9:14AM

Like Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, who pretended to be a milkmaid on her fake farm on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, the affluent in Hong Kong are sheltered from the harsh realities of life

Why Hong Kong’s wealthy need a reality check, nostalgia for a ‘better time’ often precedes a downfall
Then & Now | Amateur historians in search of war souvenirs might be robbing families of chance to find remains

Wartime relics reclaimed from Hong Kong’s long-ago battlefields could hold vital evidence that would allow those whose remains were never accounted for to be given proper burial.

7 Dec 2018 - 7:53AM

Wartime relics reclaimed from Hong Kong’s long-ago battlefields could hold vital evidence that would allow those whose remains were never accounted for to be given proper burial.

Amateur historians in search of war souvenirs might be robbing families of chance to find remains
Then & Now | From barren rock to green wilderness: where did Hong Kong gets its botanical bounty?

Fuel-gathering villagers stripped the countryside of trees before planting programmes and the proliferation of immigrant species transformed the land

30 Nov 2018 - 7:48AM

Fuel-gathering villagers stripped the countryside of trees before planting programmes and the proliferation of immigrant species transformed the land

From barren rock to green wilderness: where did Hong Kong gets its botanical bounty?
Then & Now | When Asian men in Hollywood films weren’t scrawny, geeky or desexualised

Long before Crazy Rich Asians there was sex symbol Sessue Hayakawa, a Japanese actor in the silent movie era who had hordes of women — mainly white – swooning over him.

23 Nov 2018 - 11:10AM

Long before Crazy Rich Asians there was sex symbol Sessue Hayakawa, a Japanese actor in the silent movie era who had hordes of women — mainly white – swooning over him.

When Asian men in Hollywood films weren’t scrawny, geeky or desexualised
Then & Now | Queen Mary biographer James Pope-Hennessy had some harsh words for Hong Kong after 1960s visit

Best known for his biography of Queen Mary, the 20th-century Anglo-Irish writer didn’t mince his words after a brief stay in the city

17 Nov 2018 - 11:01AM

Best known for his biography of Queen Mary, the 20th-century Anglo-Irish writer didn’t mince his words after a brief stay in the city

Queen Mary biographer James Pope-Hennessy had some harsh words for Hong Kong after 1960s visit