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Our heritage is part of our identity

January 8, 2010

By Ivy Shi, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

In recent years, the government has demolished several historic monuments, like Queen’s Pier and the clock tower at the Star Ferry pier in Central. Despite protests the government took a firm stance, believing that urban development was more important.

However, I believe the preservation of our cultural heritage should be paramount.

Government officials claim the best way to boost tourism is to have new attractions, such as Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360. But common sense tells us many tourists want to experience the overall character and culture of the place they’re visiting. Hong Kong’s historic sites have a great appeal for tourists, and can help bring enormous economic benefits to the city.

But these buildings are not just a way of generating cash; they also help remind us of the city’s history and culture, and give us a sense of belonging to Hong Kong and pride in our identity.

Hong Kong has its own personality – we don’t need to turn ourselves into another New York or Shanghai.

Don’t let our heritage disappear. Take action now!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dennis permalink
    April 23, 2010 7:22 pm

    Hi Ivy,

    I’m Dennis from Germany. My GF is from Hong Kong and we are together since almost 10 years already. I have been in HK for several times already and always searched for the “old HK”. Unfortunately it was not quite easy to find what I searched for.
    In Europe there is a totally other thinking regarding history and monuments. We take care of our history and that gives the cities a piece of familiarity.
    I think a good sample for the success of taking care of old buildings is Macao. When I was there last year I could see that the most tourists searched for the monuments and old buildings. Hopefully the HK government will think about its way of acting regarding this matter.

    Like you said:
    Hong Kong has its own personality – we don’t need to turn ourselves into another New York or Shanghai!


  2. January 8, 2010 4:25 pm

    Thank you for your letter, Ivy. You are quite right. Tourists who come to Hong Kong want to experience something of its history, not just the glass and chrome and plastic culture. We need to ask ourselves where our identity lies.

    It seems that everything in Hong Kong has to earn money or disappear to be replaced with something that does. It makes us soulless and uncaring. Money will only get us so far. Under the glitz and bling, we need depth, history, and stability.

    Susan, Editor

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