Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

Is Hong Kong racist? The answer, sadly, is yes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 9:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 9:01pm

I am writing in response to the article titled, “Is Hong Kong racist? Prejudice against ethnic minorities, especially Africans, undermines city’s claim to be truly international” (July 21).

Sadly, I agree with the statement “Hong Kong is racist”, after spending two years living in Yuen Long’s Pat Heung village and a year in On Tat Estate, in Kwun Tong. Both places are well-known as being home to people from the ethnic minorities, but I can tell Hongkongers have a prejudice against them.

Back in Yuen Long, I always saw Africans hanging around with their friends. They were nice and said hi when we crossed paths, sometimes asking how my day went and ending with “Have a nice day”. They were all friendly and trying to make friends with those outside their circle. It is true that some may have committed a crime, but that does not make the whole African community criminals. Hongkongers need to accept that some Africans are Hongkongers too, despite the colour of their skin. They cannot condemn an entire community because of the wrongdoings of some.

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Now I live in On Tat Estate, where many other minorities live alongside local Hongkongers, and life seems to be a bit more harmonious. I have seen parents of the different races getting along, as well as their kids. But I have also witnessed some residents complain about how they dress and how they smell.

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Differences between them and us do exist, but I have seen many people from the ethnic minorities compromise and try to fit in. It is local Hongkongers who are reluctant to let them become a part of the community. It is time to for us to put our prejudices aside, so that Hong Kong can start being an international city.

Keith Li, Tseung Kwan O