Hong Kong’s fishing villages are a microcosm of broad, cultural changes sweeping the Chinese territory and former British colony.

 

 

By Ashley Fraser

I recently returned from a class trip to Hong Kong, where I reported on disappearing fishing villages in the semi-autonomous territory.

I met with Wong Wei King, a curator of the Tai O Culture Workshop and community member of Tai O, a fishing village where Wong grew up. Wong spoke about her connection to one of Hong Kong’s oldest fishing villages and her experience growing up there.

“The relationship with oneself and their history is so important,” she said through our translator Lee, who asked that I not use his full name.

Lee, who accompanied us on our reporting excursions, shared his own story and connection to Tai O’s fishing village. He fears the rapid cultural change occurring in these villages as well as what he considers to be more immediate threats to Hong Kong’s culture from mainland China.

On the day I flew back to Toronto, widespread protests over Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill were just beginning. Back in Canada, I spoke further with Lee about the protests and what the extradition bill means to the people of Hong Kong.

Many of his peers consider it essential to march against the bill, he said, because “they feel threatened and they feel the responsibility to protect the younger generations.”

Listen to my podcast here.

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(Photos by Ashley Fraser)

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. Why did Wong Wei King establish the Tai O Cultural Workshop?
  2. What is the key industry in Hong Kong’s fishing villages today?
  3. Have you noticed a cultural change in your city or country that has been controversial?

fishing villagesAshley Fraser is a graduate student in journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Originally from Vancouver, she has lived in London and Leeds in the UK. She enjoys travelling and bringing local issues to an international audience. She focuses on in-depth, visual storytelling and podcasting. Fraser has produced current affairs segments for CBC Radio, written features for student newspaper The Peak and interned at the BBC World Service in London.

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