Jason Wordie

Jason Wordie

Latest from Jason Wordie

Then & Now | Kam Tin in the New Territories is a domestic tourist destination – no thanks to official initiatives

The once ‘unlovely’ New Territories village has become popular with Hongkongers thanks to its Instagram-friendly murals, craft markets, self-pick farms and more.

20 Feb 2021 - 12:15PM

The once ‘unlovely’ New Territories village has become popular with Hongkongers thanks to its Instagram-friendly murals, craft markets, self-pick farms and more.

Kam Tin in the New Territories is a domestic tourist destination – no thanks to official initiatives
Then & Now | In Hong Kong, working from home was once lot of society’s poorest and most disadvantaged

Piecework was commonplace during the city’s post-war industrial boom, allowing families to earn extra and their employers to sidestep safety and labour regulations.

10 Feb 2021 - 10:15AM

Piecework was commonplace during the city’s post-war industrial boom, allowing families to earn extra and their employers to sidestep safety and labour regulations.

In Hong Kong, working from home was once lot of society’s poorest and most disadvantaged
Then & Now | In Hong Kong, the humble refrigerator was once a status symbol

In the post-war period, the humble refrigerator took pride of place in living rooms across the city, until it eventually became too commonplace for comment.

2 Feb 2021 - 4:11PM

In the post-war period, the humble refrigerator took pride of place in living rooms across the city, until it eventually became too commonplace for comment.

In Hong Kong, the humble refrigerator was once a status symbol
Then & Now | Hong Kong’s ballroom scene was relatively respected. Then Covid-19 changed everything

The recent ‘dance-hall cluster’ has thrown a spotlight on the hitherto respectable tradition of ballroom dancing.

25 Jan 2021 - 8:47AM

The recent ‘dance-hall cluster’ has thrown a spotlight on the hitherto respectable tradition of ballroom dancing.

Hong Kong’s ballroom scene was relatively respected. Then Covid-19 changed everything
Then & Now | A farewell to Ah Kam, and an ode to domestic workers everywhere

A writer pays tribute to his amah as Ah Kam retires to her native Thailand after 20 years of feeding, judging and fond memories.

18 Jan 2021 - 11:44AM

A writer pays tribute to his amah as Ah Kam retires to her native Thailand after 20 years of feeding, judging and fond memories.

A farewell to Ah Kam, and an ode to domestic workers everywhere
Then & Now | How the West fell in and out of love with China

17th and 18th century Europe admired all things Chinese, from textiles to garden design and even philosophy, before such sentiments soured into suspicion and hostility – setting a precedent for modern geopolitics.

12 Jan 2021 - 9:01AM

17th and 18th century Europe admired all things Chinese, from textiles to garden design and even philosophy, before such sentiments soured into suspicion and hostility – setting a precedent for modern geopolitics.

How the West fell in and out of love with China
Then & Now | Where have all of Hong Kong’s dressing table sets gone?

Such items reveal the lives, times, and personal circumstances of their former owners, and how general fashions and tastes have evolved – and deteriorated – over generations.

4 Jan 2021 - 8:46AM

Such items reveal the lives, times, and personal circumstances of their former owners, and how general fashions and tastes have evolved – and deteriorated – over generations.

Where have all of Hong Kong’s dressing table sets gone?
Then & Now | The possessions that provide emigrants with a sense of home – old and new

In the past, what people took to their new lives, and then retained for a couple of generations, illuminates what they considered personally important.

26 Dec 2020 - 9:38AM

In the past, what people took to their new lives, and then retained for a couple of generations, illuminates what they considered personally important.

The possessions that provide emigrants with a sense of home – old and new
Then & Now | Online shopping might be new, but Hongkongers have long bought from overseas

Despite Hong Kong’s long-standing reputation as a shopping haven, the city’s well-to-do have always looked West for quality household goods.

17 Dec 2020 - 8:59AM

Despite Hong Kong’s long-standing reputation as a shopping haven, the city’s well-to-do have always looked West for quality household goods.

Online shopping might be new, but Hongkongers have long bought from overseas
Then & Now | How Hongkongers observed Christmas under Japanese occupation and kept hope alive

After Hong Kong fell, on Christmas Day 1941, those interned in the colony learned to make festive feasts from their meagre supplies.

10 Dec 2020 - 8:59AM

After Hong Kong fell, on Christmas Day 1941, those interned in the colony learned to make festive feasts from their meagre supplies.

How Hongkongers observed Christmas under Japanese occupation and kept hope alive
Then & Now | How Hong Kong got its taste for sweet potatoes, once grown as pig feed

The sweet potato was a hardy, hearty – and delicious – substitute for rice during World War II.

7 Dec 2020 - 10:32AM

The sweet potato was a hardy, hearty – and delicious – substitute for rice during World War II.

How Hong Kong got its taste for sweet potatoes, once grown as pig feed
Then & Now | In Chinese political theatre, interpreters have held positions of privilege – and power

In societies where different languages play parallel roles, interpreters are required to translate both language and cultural nuance.

27 Nov 2020 - 2:49PM

In societies where different languages play parallel roles, interpreters are required to translate both language and cultural nuance.

In Chinese political theatre, interpreters have held positions of privilege – and power
Then & Now | For as long as Hong Kong has attracted arrivals, it has attracted moaners

From its earliest urban beginnings, Hong Kong has never lacked full-throttle moaners, and their repertoire of complaints doesn’t vary very much.

23 Nov 2020 - 11:42AM

From its earliest urban beginnings, Hong Kong has never lacked full-throttle moaners, and their repertoire of complaints doesn’t vary very much.

For as long as Hong Kong has attracted arrivals, it has attracted moaners
Then & Now | Drying cupboards were a household essential in colonial Hong Kong

As European colonies spread so did drying cupboards, to protect leather shoes, books and rarely worn ‘leave clothes’ from the ravages of tropical climates.

17 Nov 2020 - 8:23AM

As European colonies spread so did drying cupboards, to protect leather shoes, books and rarely worn ‘leave clothes’ from the ravages of tropical climates.

Drying cupboards were a household essential in colonial Hong Kong
Then & Now | How anthologies help readers discover lost books

Chinese Ink, Western Pen: Stories of China, and Sinophiles and Sinophobes: Western Views of China, offer new readers insight into their chosen area of research.

11 Nov 2020 - 3:24PM

Chinese Ink, Western Pen: Stories of China, and Sinophiles and Sinophobes: Western Views of China, offer new readers insight into their chosen area of research.

How anthologies help readers discover lost books
Then & Now | The great divide: Hong Kong’s harbour has long set the boundary for a tale of two cities

Victoria Harbour has long separated Hong Kong from Kowloon, a geographical bifurcation that encouraged biases and insular mentalities, even when infrastructure came to connect the two cities.

2 Nov 2020 - 11:33AM

Victoria Harbour has long separated Hong Kong from Kowloon, a geographical bifurcation that encouraged biases and insular mentalities, even when infrastructure came to connect the two cities.

The great divide: Hong Kong’s harbour has long set the boundary for a tale of two cities
Then & Now | Hong Kong’s role in the Pacific war started long before the city’s surrender in 1941

Surrounded by rising hostilities, the city had been on a war footing since the Sino-Japanese war started in earnest in 1937.

22 Oct 2020 - 6:15PM

Surrounded by rising hostilities, the city had been on a war footing since the Sino-Japanese war started in earnest in 1937.

Hong Kong’s role in the Pacific war started long before the city’s surrender in 1941
Then & Now | Imagine it’s 2035 – what excuses might Hong Kong’s current leaders offer for their past actions?

A Hong Kong historian looks to the future to avoid the pain of the present.

19 Oct 2020 - 10:31AM

A Hong Kong historian looks to the future to avoid the pain of the present.

Imagine it’s 2035 – what excuses might Hong Kong’s current leaders offer for their past actions?
Then & Now | How handwritten notes help bring the dead back to life

Sorting the papers belonging to a late Portuguese friend led this columnist on a journey of discovery that touched on issues ranging from war to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Station at Tsim Sha Tsui.

13 Oct 2020 - 11:45AM

Sorting the papers belonging to a late Portuguese friend led this columnist on a journey of discovery that touched on issues ranging from war to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Station at Tsim Sha Tsui.

How handwritten notes help bring the dead back to life
Then & Now | Hong Kong’s most ‘romantic’ locations through the ages

From Repulse Bay to Castle Peak, these amorous spots have helped many a relationship blossom over the decades.

5 Oct 2020 - 11:25AM

From Repulse Bay to Castle Peak, these amorous spots have helped many a relationship blossom over the decades.

Hong Kong’s most ‘romantic’ locations through the ages
Then & Now | How reservoirs, and cheap imports, marked the end of agriculture in Hong Kong

The construction of reservoirs in the New Territories all but eliminated rice cultivation as a going concern, while rising labour costs and cheap imports helped do away with large-scale vegetable farming.

25 Sep 2020 - 2:50PM

The construction of reservoirs in the New Territories all but eliminated rice cultivation as a going concern, while rising labour costs and cheap imports helped do away with large-scale vegetable farming.

How reservoirs, and cheap imports, marked the end of agriculture in Hong Kong
Then & Now | ‘Ma’ Fisher, the woman who brought ready-to-wear Western fashion to pre-war Hong Kong

Instantly recognisable around town in her trademark turbans, Australian Jeanette ‘Jan’ Fisher imported the latest fashions from Paris and New York for her Central shop, Vogue.

17 Sep 2020 - 10:56AM

Instantly recognisable around town in her trademark turbans, Australian Jeanette ‘Jan’ Fisher imported the latest fashions from Paris and New York for her Central shop, Vogue.

‘Ma’ Fisher, the woman who brought ready-to-wear Western fashion to pre-war Hong Kong
Then & Now | Busting the myth of Portugal’s ‘benign’ colonial influence in Asia

The idea that Portugal’s legacy of expansion in Asia was entirely different from other colonial experiences was perpetuated by dictator Antonio Salazar.

10 Sep 2020 - 8:45AM

The idea that Portugal’s legacy of expansion in Asia was entirely different from other colonial experiences was perpetuated by dictator Antonio Salazar.

Busting the myth of Portugal’s ‘benign’ colonial influence in Asia
Then & Now | The role of oral history in Hong Kong’s urban legends often goes unquestioned

The origins of various urban myths, and how they have evolved into received truth over time, offer revealing insights into local approaches to history.

8 Oct 2020 - 11:40AM

The origins of various urban myths, and how they have evolved into received truth over time, offer revealing insights into local approaches to history.

The role of oral history in Hong Kong’s urban legends often goes unquestioned
Then & Now | ‘Made in Hong Kong’: a trusted mark of quality it took decades to build

Trust, like that placed in the ‘Made in Hong Kong’ label, must be earned. Forcing the ‘Made in China’ label upon Hong Kong-manufactured goods will squander an internationally recognised sign of credibly.

20 Aug 2020 - 1:57PM

Trust, like that placed in the ‘Made in Hong Kong’ label, must be earned. Forcing the ‘Made in China’ label upon Hong Kong-manufactured goods will squander an internationally recognised sign of credibly.

‘Made in Hong Kong’: a trusted mark of quality it took decades to build
Then & Now | Singapore once embraced Europeans, until a campaign made writers like Donald Moore leave

Writer Donald Moore’s talents were dampened by political circumstances, a rising puritanism, and campaigns against ’yellow culture’ – as anything artistic was labelled – in 1970s Singapore.

18 Aug 2020 - 10:12AM

Writer Donald Moore’s talents were dampened by political circumstances, a rising puritanism, and campaigns against ’yellow culture’ – as anything artistic was labelled – in 1970s Singapore.

Singapore once embraced Europeans, until a campaign  made writers like Donald Moore leave
Then & Now | Beyond treason: Hongkongers who collaborated with the occupying Japanese

There are a number of factors that can coalesce to create the Quisling type, cheif among them is almost always financial gain.

11 Aug 2020 - 8:51AM

There are a number of factors that can coalesce to create the Quisling type, cheif among them is almost always financial gain.

Beyond treason: Hongkongers who collaborated with the occupying Japanese
Then & Now | Cranks and eccentrics: the Westerners who tried to assimilate in Asia

Foreigners attempting to integrate into Eastern societies have long been seen as odd, from both sides of the ethnic divide.

30 Jul 2020 - 8:48AM

Foreigners attempting to integrate into Eastern societies have long been seen as odd, from both sides of the ethnic divide.

Cranks and eccentrics: the Westerners who tried to assimilate in Asia
Then & Now | Dead from British naval ship that fought in second opium war commemorated in a Hong Kong cemetery

HMS Calcutta, an obsolete wooden sailing ship, was pressed into service in the second opium war against China.

24 Jul 2020 - 3:44PM

HMS Calcutta, an obsolete wooden sailing ship, was pressed into service in the second opium war against China.

Dead from British naval ship that fought in second opium war commemorated  in a Hong Kong cemetery
Then & Now | Hong Kong’s rights are a gift that can be taken back whenever China sees fit

Cold-eyed acceptance of the city’s diminished role does not feature in public discussion.

20 Jul 2020 - 8:15AM

Cold-eyed acceptance of the city’s diminished role does not feature in public discussion.

Hong Kong’s rights are a gift that can be taken back whenever China sees fit