Jason Wordie

Jason Wordie

Latest from Jason Wordie

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
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

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
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.

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
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

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
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

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
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.

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
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

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
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.

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
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

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
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.

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
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

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
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.

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
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

Then & Now | Why Hong Kong’s copywriters peddle tired clichés, pretentious words and the illusion of grandeur

From the humble copywriter to brand managers, advertisers have mastered the art of the meaningless marketing cliché

9 Nov 2018 - 9:00AM
Why Hong Kong’s copywriters peddle tired clichés, pretentious words and the illusion of grandeur

From the humble copywriter to brand managers, advertisers have mastered the art of the meaningless marketing cliché

Then & Now | Why the Greater Bay Area is an inaccurate name – we are part of a river delta

The renaming of the ‘Canton Delta’ as the ‘Greater Bay Area’ mirrors economic shifts sweeping across the region

9 Nov 2018 - 6:18AM
Why the Greater Bay Area is an inaccurate name – we are part of a river delta

The renaming of the ‘Canton Delta’ as the ‘Greater Bay Area’ mirrors economic shifts sweeping across the region

Then & Now | Why wild pigs caught in Hong Kong’s urban areas should be humanely destroyed

A surge in attacks by feral pigs that have strayed into the city is a sign that the government must rein in the porcine population before someone gets seriously hurt.

26 Oct 2018 - 8:20AM
Why wild pigs caught in Hong Kong’s urban areas should be humanely destroyed

A surge in attacks by feral pigs that have strayed into the city is a sign that the government must rein in the porcine population before someone gets seriously hurt.

Then & Now | Why view Hong Kong-based Chinese soldiers with suspicion? They are only trying to help

Politicians were quick to condemn uniformed troops from the People’s Liberation Army’s Hong Kong garrison helping with the post-Typhoon Mangkhut clean-up, but why not see them for what they are – a valuable but underused resource?

19 Oct 2018 - 5:03PM
Why view Hong Kong-based Chinese soldiers with suspicion? They are only trying to help

Politicians were quick to condemn uniformed troops from the People’s Liberation Army’s Hong Kong garrison helping with the post-Typhoon Mangkhut clean-up, but why not see them for what they are – a valuable but underused resource?

Then & Now | How Hong Kong’s Regina Ip got her ‘Broom Head’ nickname, and why the household item arouses such superstition

Feared for its ability to bring bad luck, the harmless broom – often the source of unflattering nicknames – is kept at arm’s length during Lunar New Year. Find out why

12 Oct 2018 - 3:01PM
How Hong Kong’s Regina Ip got her ‘Broom Head’ nickname, and why the household item arouses such superstition

Feared for its ability to bring bad luck, the harmless broom – often the source of unflattering nicknames – is kept at arm’s length during Lunar New Year. Find out why

Then & Now | Hong Kong has forgotten it owes its mango trees to Indian police and soldiers who first planted them

Across Hong Kong, often at the sites of former police and military facilities, mango trees grow. Though it’s rarely acknowledged now, they owe their existence to Sikhs and Punjabis who filled the ranks of both services.

5 Oct 2018 - 11:01AM
Hong Kong has forgotten it owes its mango trees to Indian police and soldiers who first planted them

Across Hong Kong, often at the sites of former police and military facilities, mango trees grow. Though it’s rarely acknowledged now, they owe their existence to Sikhs and Punjabis who filled the ranks of both services.

Then & Now | New Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail link takes longer than pre-1950s train services

Original express train from Tsim Sha Tsui to the centre of the Chinese city took just 90 minutes, when it started in 1937, before all links were cut with the Communist assumption of power

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
New Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail link takes longer than pre-1950s train services

Original express train from Tsim Sha Tsui to the centre of the Chinese city took just 90 minutes, when it started in 1937, before all links were cut with the Communist assumption of power

Then & Now | The passport that was lifeline for refugee Jews and White Russians who fled to China and Hong Kong

The Nansen passport – named after a Norwegian Nobel laureate – allowed those left stateless after the first world war to escape, including famous names such as Marc Chagall, Anna Pavlova and Aristotle Onassis

20 Sep 2018 - 6:23PM
The passport that was lifeline for refugee Jews and White Russians who fled to China and Hong Kong

The Nansen passport – named after a Norwegian Nobel laureate – allowed those left stateless after the first world war to escape, including famous names such as Marc Chagall, Anna Pavlova and Aristotle Onassis

Then & Now | Hong Kong’s ‘gig economy’ of 1960s and ’70s – when off-site piecework was a family affair

As Hong Kong’s assembly sector flourished, workers sometimes shared the load with family members, including children, to increase production

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Hong Kong’s ‘gig economy’ of 1960s and ’70s – when off-site piecework was a family affair

As Hong Kong’s assembly sector flourished, workers sometimes shared the load with family members, including children, to increase production

Then & Now | Colonial Hong Kong’s ‘serviette civilisation’, and other cutting observations from a Briton’s diaries

Writer Stella Benson’s journals reveal much about European life in pre-war Hong Kong, of which she was emphatically not a fan.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Colonial Hong Kong’s ‘serviette civilisation’, and other cutting observations from a Briton’s diaries

Writer Stella Benson’s journals reveal much about European life in pre-war Hong Kong, of which she was emphatically not a fan.

Then & Now | The crazy rich Asians of old Hong Kong – when a pink Rolls-Royce and a gold-studded toilet seat were fact, not fiction

In Hong Kong flamboyant displays of wealth are nothing new – the moneyed class have long known how to splash the cash.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
The crazy rich Asians of old Hong Kong – when a pink Rolls-Royce and a gold-studded toilet seat were fact, not fiction

In Hong Kong flamboyant displays of wealth are nothing new – the moneyed class have long known how to splash the cash.

Then & Now | Sex toys in Hong Kong: prudish city’s kinky contradiction

Hong Kong, where vibrators are openly advertised, has always had a contradictory relationship with the business of pleasure, an industry led by Japan

1 Oct 2018 - 11:30AM
Sex toys in Hong Kong: prudish city’s kinky contradiction

Hong Kong, where vibrators are openly advertised, has always had a contradictory relationship with the business of pleasure, an industry led by Japan

Then & Now | Outrage over Hong Kong independence leader Andy Chan’s speech only reinforces his message

Pro-establishment indignation has catapulted Andy Chan from the fringes onto a political pedestal

3 Oct 2018 - 1:18PM
Outrage over Hong Kong independence leader Andy Chan’s speech only reinforces his message

Pro-establishment indignation has catapulted Andy Chan from the fringes onto a political pedestal

Then & Now | How the West fell in love with Asian culture – when tea, silk and porcelain were seen as status symbols

From the craze for Chinese tea and Indian textiles to Japonisme, ‘fads’ have connected the East with Europe and the United States for centuries

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
How the West fell in love with Asian culture – when tea, silk and porcelain were seen as status symbols

From the craze for Chinese tea and Indian textiles to Japonisme, ‘fads’ have connected the East with Europe and the United States for centuries

Then & Now | The disappearing language of Chinese hand signals, once shorthand for Buddhist monks and discreet dealings

Invented to expedite communication for travelling Buddhist monks, hand gestures eventually evolved into a less honourable means of communication and today are largely the preserve of mobsters

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
The disappearing language of Chinese hand signals, once shorthand for Buddhist monks and discreet dealings

Invented to expedite communication for travelling Buddhist monks, hand gestures eventually evolved into a less honourable means of communication and today are largely the preserve of mobsters

Then & Now | Why Hong Kong’s bars were the Europeans’ domain – tavern-keeping was one of few jobs they could get

Affability, a nose for trouble and the ability to handle drunks were essential qualifications for barkeeping, one of the only trades in which Westerners could compete in Hong Kong

26 Jul 2018 - 7:47PM
Why Hong Kong’s bars were the Europeans’ domain – tavern-keeping was one of few jobs they could get

Affability, a nose for trouble and the ability to handle drunks were essential qualifications for barkeeping, one of the only trades in which Westerners could compete in Hong Kong

Then & Now | Hong Kong’s shady past of antibiotic smuggling – the post-war penicillin racket

How black-market racketeers made tidy fortunes by selling adulterated pencillin and other antibiotics to China in the 1950s

20 Jul 2018 - 11:09AM
Hong Kong’s shady past of antibiotic smuggling – the post-war penicillin racket

How black-market racketeers made tidy fortunes by selling adulterated pencillin and other antibiotics to China in the 1950s

Then & Now | When Hong Kong textile mills were free to pollute Victoria Harbour and streams ran red, green, and yellow with run-off

Textile mills provided employment for several generations of Hongkongers and made their proprietors rich, but the coloured effluent that spewed from dyeing works defiled city nullahs and inshore waters until production moved to China.

13 Jul 2018 - 10:38AM
When Hong Kong textile mills were free to pollute Victoria Harbour and streams ran red, green, and yellow with run-off

Textile mills provided employment for several generations of Hongkongers and made their proprietors rich, but the coloured effluent that spewed from dyeing works defiled city nullahs and inshore waters until production moved to China.

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