On 14 June representatives of seven different cultures gathered at the Information Centre for Newcomers (ICN) to learn about the unknown culture of Hong Kong people. Students told about their homeland – the dialect of Chinese language spoken in Hong Kong, its currency, flag, art, lifestyle and cuisine – with great enthusiasm. Each participant of the event was invited to enjoy and learn about it!
Hong Kong is one of the largest and richest cities in China and the number of its inhabitants exceeds seven million people. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People`s Republic of China is an autonomous territory of China, which consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and over 260 other offshore islands. In 1997 sovereignty of the peninsula and archipelago transferred back to China. According to the China`s policy of "one country, two systems" Beijing has granted extensive autonomy to Hong Kong: the government controls defence matters and foreign affairs, the regional government is responsible for the internal legislation, policing, taxes and finances, as well as the immigration policy.
This summer three students from Hong Kong are visiting with the society "AIESEC Latvija" and learning to know Latvia by taking an active part in voluntary work alongside ICN volunteers. "We would like to tell you about our homeland, Hong Kong, not about China. We are Chinese, but we speak a different dialect and have different cultural traditions. We meet new friends in Latvia, who greet us with `Oh, you are from China. Great!` – but we respond with a polite smile and tell them that we are from Hong Kong! That makes people confused," shares his impressions Mauricy Wong.
The volunteer coordinator Ramona Liepina (Ramona Liepiņa) tells that organisation of such an event presented a new challenge for ICN volunteers too. "We prepared soup from sweet potatoes with ginger, a dessert and very strong tea with whole milk. Volunteers made a flag of Hong Kong, prepared the premises for the event and listened to music popular among the youth in Hong Kong."
She tells that on this evening the young people from Hong Kong told about the special administrative region of China – its culture, dialect, cuisine, architecture, traditions – and helped guests of the event to learn to eat with chopsticks, because their food culture is different too. "Participants of the event asked many questions about the variation of traditions between the region and China, about language differences and employment opportunities in the enormous city."
Latvians, Chinese people from Hong Kong, Indians, Syrians, Turks, Tajiks, Kyrgyzs, all of whom participated in the event, had an opportunity to taste the prepared treats of Hong Kong cuisine and spend the evening in friendly and exploratory conversations.
The activity of the Information Centre for Newcomers within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is ensured and developed by the NGO “Shelter “Safe House””. The centre is co-funded by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2017/2/01.
Information prepared by Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Multimedia Communications Specialist, phone 29145314, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org