The episode: A group of tourists from the mainland (around 3 women and their children) were riding on the MTR in Hong Kong; while on the MTR, they started eating instant noodles, completely ignoring the “no eating” signs. Another passenger on the MTR told them they cannot eat on the train and it ended up into a heated argument and yelling between Hong Kong people and Mainland tourists. This definitely is a small and even “irrelevant” incident, but it led to a lot more internal buildup of frustration between the people living in HK and the people from the Mainland that all exploded through this minor incident.
Why the video went crazy in HK: There are a lot of pent-up frustrations with local Hong Kong people over the influx of mainland tourists in HK. It really bothered HK people when Mainland tourists feel they are above the law, talking loudly and rashly, but the worst part is the attitudes and images they portrayed. It is common seeing Mainland tourists dragging little kids in shopping malls and they will suddenly drop their pants and start urinating or defecating in the middle of a shopping mall. It is common to see Mainlanders just butting into a long line, sidling up to people and pretending to be in the line. When caught, all they do is start yelling and saying they don’t understand Cantonese and their mentality is “if I can keep screaming and speaking really loud, you guys will eventually just let me be”. I believe at the end of the day, these are just minor issues locals in HK will gulp down and “take a beating to”, but when Mainlanders start rushing to HK to borne their babies to ensure their children will be able to access HK education and get HK citizenship, or snatching up all the infant formulas and bed space in hospitals, or overheating the property and real estate markets, many of the local HK can no longer tolerate because it truly affects their standards of living.
The Video: Comments to the incident on MTR made by a “so called” professor at the university of Beijing; very brash and rude languages used and repeatedly stating people of HK are dogs. After his comments caused huge debates and tensions between people living in HK and China, he went on interviews saying he has NEVER CALLED PEOPLE IN HK DOGS when it was repeatedly said in the video. Go figures!
His Comment: If people in HK are discriminating against people in China, then let China not supply you people with water, vegetables, rice, let’s see how you survive
My Comment: products supplied from China is constantly contaminated that there is no confidence for products that are “made in China”. This vote of “no confidence” is not just from HK, but the rest of the world as well. As a tax-free capitalist city, China is not the only place HK source or trade with, I do not believe people in HK will starve if China is to stop supplying their produce and goods. I believe many people in HK prefer to purchase overseas brands, because there is no confidence with the quality of products made in China.
His Comment: There is nothing special about HK, all the advantages that HK used to have, well Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen are all catching up. If it is not for people in China coming to HK to travel and to shop, you will be nothing, you cannot survive!
My Comment: While tourism is a big part of HK economy, HK is also known as the financial centre and logistics hub in Asia. While I believe majority of people in HK enjoy visitors and tourists from different parts of the world, what they do not enjoy is Mainland tourists coming to HK to buy milk powder, bottled water, cooking oil, and daily necessities to carry back to China because they do not believe in goods made in China. While people in HK should pity and feel sorry for Mainlanders, at the end of the day, they are only left feeling frustrated because these insane volume purchases left babies in HK constantly without milk powder. While tourists from Mainland might think they are doing HK a favor by pouring tourism money into the city, many people in HK feel they are worse off because their buying habits created many additional side effects such as landlord requesting additional rent, property prices exploding, and in turn, prices of goods rise because retailers need to pay high rent. If one is to walk down the main tourist districts of Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui, they have all became shopping strips of high-end brands such as LV, Chanel, and Gucci, because only these international brands can pay the ridiculous rents requested. Many outlets tailored to local HK people such as supermarkets and movie theatres are forced to close doors to make ways for these International brands. So, at the end of the day, are these tourist money really doing the city a favor?
His Comment: Why is HK clean? It is because there is laws there that penalized people who litter. The reason the city is in good shape is because it is regulated by laws, not because of the quality of the people who live in the city. For a city to be regulated by laws tells me that the quality of the people is low because they cannot regulate themselves. If they are not beaten, they will not be good. One word to describe this behavior: SHIT
My Comment: Last time I checked, there is a law and regulating system in China, but of course, rather the people abide to it or not is another thing completely. If following the laws mean the people in that place are of low quality, I would be happy in any law-abiding countries, because at least what is “right” and what is “wrong” are clearly stated. If urinating and defeating in public, jumping a line, or pushing your way into public transportation are the acts of high quality people, I am happy to be considered low quality and need to be regulated by laws.
My thought: I do acknowledge there is a certain degree of discrimination against people from China in HK, and that is nothing to be proud of. At the end of the day, the common root is we are all Chinese people with brown eyes, black hair, and yellow skin. I think everyone wants to be united and be proud to say HK is part of China, but I also believe that day will only come when some of the people from the Mainland can learn to “fine tune” their attitudes, behavoirs, thinking, and beliefs. When living in HK, I always frowned and shake my head at some of the outrageous behaviors I witness from Mainland tourists. I believe if you want people to accept you and to treat you civilly, you also need to behavior and act in a manner that allow others to respect you. It is unfortunate seeing all these conflicts between people from the mainland and HK, but I honestly do not think they will stop. If anything, I believe these conflicts will only escalate and get worst with all the pent-up anger and frustration from people in HK. I believe a lot of local HK people feel like their way of living, their standard of living, their self-image and belief are being eroded as more and more Mainlanders come to HK and “impose” their way of living, thinking, and behavior to the HK mass. There is a strong belief and hidden understanding in HK that the locals need to continue to show tolerance and acceptance to behaviors and acts they cannot accept from Mainlanders, and they are suffering as their image and quality of Chinese people is eroded at the international platform.
During the video, the professor has said repeatedly that HK people have been colonized so long by Britian that they have forgotten they are part of China. From my point of view, I am happy to see Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 because indeed HK is a part of China and so this port city should not be governed by foreign forces. However, at the same time, the reason it is not possible for HK and the rest of China to “merge” together and for the people living in these places to “merge” and see each other as so-called “the same” is because EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND HK and China are indeed different. When a developed and metropolitan city is to merge with a giant that is still developing, with lots of issues to human rights, corruption, and people with very different culture, mindset and beliefs; it is not truly possible to just “merge”. People in HK freak out when they see on TV local citizens living in Beijing needs to be trained to form lines to get on buses because you do not just all blindly push and run onto a bus when it arrives. This episode happened before the Beijing Olympics. The following statement I am about to make is always and constantly playing in the minds of people living in HK, which is “I feel like I am downgrading myself by saying I am part of China rather than saying I am Hong Kong”. I believe this statement runs very true to people living in Taiwan as well.
Some comments from people and government of HK: