Ode to Victoria
April 22, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Hong Kong | Tags: , , , ,

Whenever I tell people I love Hong Kong, I am inevitably asked why.  Is it the gargantuan shopping malls?  The pulsating city lights? The unebbing tides of teeming masses?  And why not other iconic Asian metropolises such as Tokyo or Taipei?

Perhaps the staple diet of Canto pop while growing up had something to do with it.  Or perhaps I have yet to outgrow the libraries of TVB drama serials that in one way or another offered glimpses into the collective psyche of the Hong Kong people.  Heck, I even picked up Cantonese purely from these products of pop culture.

I’ve been mulling this question over the many years and numerous occasions that I’ve been able to visit the enigmatic, evocative city.  Well, some would argue that Hong Kong is being eclipsed by other more exciting cities on the ascent such as Shanghai.  To me however, even the darkly-lit backstreets of Mong Kok have an organic allure to them.

In the quiet moments of reflection, I’ve come to conclude that even as the breathtakingly resplendent Victoria Harbour represents the success of a city that has withstood the crucible of time, and the daily swirl of suit-clad office workers symbolizes the strong work ethics that Hong Kongers are renowned for, what I am ultimately drawn to Hong Kong is its hopeful, resilient people who have overcome adversity and taken on life’s challenges as they come, as well as the juxtaposition–and coexistence–of a city that is so modern and dynamic in its outlook and yet so traditional at its core.