Letters to the Editor, December 9, 2016

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 6:31pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 6:31pm

Schools could help address identity crisis

I am writing in response to the article by Naomi Ng (“One in three Hong Kong Form Five students faces ‘national identity crisis’: survey”, December 5).

In my view, many Hong Kong students are experiencing such an identity crisis, which means they do not agree that they are Chinese.

Our DNA and genes establish the fact that we are all Chinese. However, some Hong Kong youth do not think of themselves as Chinese citizens, but as “Hongkongers”. This is a crisis, as it endangers the very foundation of the “one country, two systems” principle.

As for why some Hongkongers refuse to be identified as Chinese citizens, I reckon it is because of the behaviour of certain visitors from the mainland.

Many mainlanders come to Hong Kong just for shopping, and drag their suitcases around on busy pavements.

Cultural mores on either side of the border may also seem different. Some mainland tourists will speak very loudly or eat on the MTR, annoying some Hongkongers and leading them to believe that mainlanders are rude.

In my opinion, the Education Bureau has the responsibility to ensure that schools inculcate the right concepts about national identity through national education.

Students should not just be pushed to clear their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination without developing some common sense.

Niki Au Tsz Ching, Shek Kip Mei

Only gains for HK along the belt and road

I am writing in response to your editorial on Hong Kong’s role in the “One Belt, One Road” initiative (“A key role to play in trade strategy”, December 6).

Indeed, some analysts have been singing the praises of the belt and road strategy and its potentially beneficial effects on the financial sector and society. However, others have criticised it for only furthering the policies of the central government.

I believe that it will be good for Hong Kong to engage with the initiative.

The reasons are not difficult to illustrate. First, from the economic aspect,the scheme will boost the services industries. “One Belt, One Road” implies there will be greater linkage ­between China and European countries. As an intermediate region, Hong Kong can provide professional services such as banking, logistics, certification and testing of goods to countries that need them.

Besides, the strategy will attract more international companies to invest in local firms, because it is believed local ­corporates will enjoy greater profit potential under the belt and road plan.

The second reason is that the scheme would provide a golden opportunity for university students to benefit from exchange programmes and experience other cultures.

The belt and road strategy ­includes an exchange programme which encourages foreign students to study in Hong Kong universities and vice versa.

Through such exchanges, our students and youth may expand their world view and even be more aware and appreciative of their own culture.

Thus, the benefits are many if Hong Kong takes a leading role in the belt and road strategy.

Joey Fung, Yau Yat Chuen

Laughter may indeed be the best medicine

I would like to respond to your article on laughter yoga (“Hong Kong’s rheumatic disease patients laugh pain away with yoga”, December 5).

The whole-hearted “Ha! Ha! Ha!” and rhythmic breathing of laughter yoga help relieve stress and also regulate any negative feelings.

Not only that, laughter yoga also benefits those suffering from psychological and social pressures. Therefore, I think people should pay more attention to this kind of yoga.

Most Hongkongers lead highly stressful lives, and some of them may develop mental illnesses or depressive thoughts. I think laughter yoga would really suit such individuals. Even the yoga practitioner interviewed said she enjoyed having the ability to make others happy since her suicide attempt 23 years ago.

Also, many people in Hong Kong suffer from poor health caused by to auto-immune diseases.

The article cited Hospital ­Authority statistics that 20,000 to 30,000 Hongkongers suffer from various kinds of rheumatism.

Rheumatism, which leads to failed function of muscles and joints, is a chronic illness, and those suffering in this way may also encounter psychological and social problems, especially if their mobility is affected.

Such patients may feel more energised with laughter yoga and even see improvements in their physical condition.

Life is not perfect for everyone. However, a positive attitude is important, and laughter yoga is one of things that can help us achieve that.

Samantha Situ, Yau Yat Chuen

Fans must face up to perils of plastic surgery

I am writing to express my views on the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery.

Apart from its uses for reconstructive purposes – for those left scarred by crime, accident or disease – most people turn to cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks and confidence.

The goal may be anything from a more V-shaped face, a smaller mouth or bigger eyes, as they try to achieve that perfect look. They believe that, armed with such perfection, they will become more confident and won’t need to worry any more about whether they are looking pretty or not.

Again, cosmetic surgery numbers are also being boosted because more people see it as the trend and don’t want to be left out. So some people may have plastic surgery because others are doing it.

Having cosmetic surgery has become a kind of fashion, and even leads to the creation of fashion icons.

But such a craze brings with it a few problems. First, people are not unique anymore.

If everyone ends up with a so-called perfect face, more and more people will begin to look similar and lose their unique features, imperfect or not.

Second, public demand for plastic surgery opens patients up to chances of medical malpractice, given the high costs usually involved.

We have all read reports about botched surgeries by poorly trained surgeons, or the use of substandard fillers and their life-threatening consequences.

So it is clear that cosmetic surgery can sometimes change lives, but we must be aware that it is not always for the better.

Lydia Woo, Lai Chi Kok

Mobile phones making kids lose out in class

I refer to your article about falling standards of science among Hong Kong students (“Students stumble to new low in science”, December 7).

Hong Kong students may have ranked second in the world at reading and maths, but their science scores are dropping, according to the latest survey by the global Programme for International Student Assessment.

Some experts attributed this to fewer students taking up ­science under the new senior secondary school curriculum.

But I have another explanation. I believe students’ scores are dropping due to their addiction to mobile phones.

These days, most students like to play with their phones all day. Consequently, they pay less attention during lessons. Constant phone use may even dull their brains, so they are not able to learn new concepts easily.

Also, playing with the phone means they will not engage in conversation as much, and will end up having fewer friends. They won’t even have time to talk to their parents. And the most serious effect: staring at an electronic screen all day will take a toll on their eyesight.

May Yuk Tam, Tseung Kwan O