Brain Game: If you could make one Hong Kong cultural icon last forever, what would it be and why?

  • Each week, our readers vote for their favourite answer and the contestant with the least votes is eliminated
  • This week, contestants say which HK icons they would love to save
Kelly Fung |

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What's your favourite thing that is VERY Hong Kong?

Contestant 1

I’ll admit that, as an American, I’m not very familiar with Hong Kong’s cultural heritage. But it’s difficult not to be aware of the cultural icon I would preserve: the Dragon Boat Festival.

During the warmer months, I can look out of my window and watch the long dragon boats slicing through the waters. There’s something exhilarating about the banging of drums and the coordinated rowing as the teams splash through the bay.

The colourfully painted dragon heads and scales really complete the experience. And who doesn’t like eating zongzi, or sticky rice dumplings?

Contestant 2

I’d choose Sam Tung Uk Museum, in Tsuen Wan. It’s a 200-year-old restored Hakka village which takes us back to the days when Hong Kong was packed with farmland rather than factories. It offers insight into the lifestyle of villagers in the New Territories.

I found that it was a great place to relax. Many Hongkongers work long hours that can affect their mental health. A trip to the museum can help with stress relief and, at the same time, give people a better understanding of Hong Kong’s traditional culture.

Contestant 3

Herbal tea, or leung cha. When my grandparents were young, many flats did not have air conditioners or TVs.

Tea shops would install a TV to attract customers. Many people would go in to buy a herbal tea, then hang around to watch television.

But today we all have TVs at home so fewer people visit tea shops. Also, some are put off by its bitter taste.

I really hope we can preserve this cultural icon, which some say can help cure a cold or sore throat.

Contestant 4

As a fan of Hong Kong’s iconic foods, I’m here to represent the pineapple bun. Despite the name, it doesn’t actually contain pineapple – the name comes from the way that the topping looks when it’s baked.

The classic pastry’s filling can include butter, red bean paste, or barbecued pork among others.

The government has listed the pineapple bun as a part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage.

I’d want to protect the pastry simply because I love its buttery goodness.

Contestant 5

If I could preserve a single monument, it would have to be the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse.

Hong Kong owes much of its prosperity to shipping so this is a perfect choice.

Cape d’Aguilar, on the southeast shore of Hong Kong Island, was chosen as a suitable site for the lighthouse.

It was built in 1875 and still stands proudly as the oldest surviving lighthouse in Hong Kong.

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