Class of ’97: Janice Wong says Hong Kong is more crowded and avoids political debate with her pro-China family

Wong says many of her relatives are pro-China and her father accused students fighting for democracy of not being grateful, saying they could not survive without mainland resources

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:00am

Meet the class of ’97, born the year of the handover. Their childhoods tell the stories of Hong Kong’s first two decades after the return to China. Some remember Sars, others took part in Occupy. Now, they’re trying to work out what their future holds – and how Hong Kong’s own uncertain future fits into their plans.

Janice Wong Kwan-ting

“The most obvious change I have noticed over the years is in the number of people flooding into the city. When out walking, I find there is someone in almost every corner. Not only on weekends but also weekdays.

“Apart from the crowded streets, the physical appearance of the city is changing. A building can be here today and gone tomorrow.

“Many people have threatened to quit Hong Kong fearful of the future, but I’m not one of them. As I was born here and am currently pursuing cultural studies at Lingnan University, I won’t abandon the place under any circumstances. What I want is to look back to the old Hong Kong I was familiar with.

“I rarely talk about politics with my parents. My father, while watching television, would accuse those students fighting for democracy of not being grateful, saying they could not survive without mainland resources.

“Many of my relatives are also pro-China supporters and they may think I am politically apathetic but, actually, I just don’t want to argue with them on any political issues.”

“My favourite thing about the city is its diversity, which has both positive and negative sides in my opinion. For instance, one could easily find international cuisines here. Yet the city’s ignorance of minority groups is hard not to notice.

“One of my classmates who is from a South Asian country told me that it was extremely hard to find food from her country in Hong Kong, the situation should be improved in the future.

I like going to Tsim Sha Tsui. As my secondary school is quite close to this area, I would often walk to the harbour with friends, or by myself when feeling depressed.