Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
If it weren’t for the Science Fiction course last semester, I probably would not have returned to certain areas of Hong Kong, the city I’ve lived in for four years.
In order to prepare for the final project, my friend and I chose to revisit somewhere we already knew but to do so from the perspective of newcomers. Among the many tourist attractions of Hong Kong, the Victoria Peak is recognised as not to be missed. To be honest, though, compared with natural scenery, city scenes don’t appeal to me greatly, mainly because they strike me as artificial, even though that doesn’t prevent me from being impressed looking down from the Peak, as I felt when I went there for the first time.
Seeing the residential buildings of Mid-Levels hidden on the hillside and the Central district glistening with skyscrapers, it is hard for me not to feel pride in this place. How do people create such wonders in this region of limited land resources? Especially when darkness falls, the lights, dotted and reflected in the water of Victoria Harbour, reveal the prosperity of Hong Kong.
However, I often stare at one of the thousand lights, feeling lost and a lack of belonging because all of these seem not relevant to me. It leads me to ask myself about the uncertain future, and maybe there are two sides to Hong Kong. What you see from the Peak is a place made of the work and efforts of people from different parts of world, so it can open and embrace everyone who desires to come here; but on the other hand, it might be considered too complete, a top model, so for some people, it might lack intimacy.
I haven’t fallen in love with Hong Kong, but I live very well here. That’s maybe why I feel pride in this place, not only about its modernity and vitality but also in myself who came here.
Pino CAO Xumeng is a graduate of the Department of English Language and Literature (Class of 2018). [Read all entries by Pino here.]