This page is all about what makes Hong Kong special: its people, their history, habits and quirks.

How comedy and protests helped me find my Hong Kong identity
“Get lost gweilo!” says the old man. I firmly respond, “How dare you call me gweilo! Be respectful and call me ah-cha!”  If you got this joke, then you have a local understanding of racism in Hong Kong.  (For those who don’t get it, gweilo is a Cantonese term for white people while ah-cha refers to South Asians.)  I’m an Indian made in Hong Kong. And because I was born and raised here, my parents felt it was vital that I learn the local language of Cantonese. They wanted me to better integrate into society and avoid the limitations they faced due to their own language barrier. It seemed like a simple formula: Learn the language, become a local, everybody’s happy.  However, as we realized in
Finding aliens, and community, in Hong Kong
What would be a more terrifying fact? That we are surrounded by innumerous extraterrestrial civilizations? Or that we are completely alone?  In Hong Kong and Macau, a community of UFO enthusiasts are convinced there is something out there. We talk with experts Cheuk Fei and Osiris So to learn more about the community, and the differences between them and their Western counterparts. 
All sweat and smiles at Hong Kong’s Dragon Boat Festival
Today is the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. That means that Chinese people all over Asia are celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival. These days, the occasion is celebrated by racing dragon boats and eating rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves called zongzi.  But the festivities had a legendary tragic origin.  This 2,000-year celebration commemorates an ancient poet and patriot, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in a river out of grief for the state of his country. To keep fish at bay, the local villagers beat drums and thrashed the water with paddles, flinging dumplings into the water to tempt them away. In Hong Kong, Duanwu – or Tuen Ng as it’s known in Ca
The work of a legendary Hong Kong street photographer
Fan Ho was a legendary photographer, best known for capturing the beauty and spirit of old Hong Kong in his black and white photos. Born in Shanghai in 1931, Ho started taking photos at the age of 14. A sufferer of chronic headaches, Ho found it hard to spend extended periods reading or writing. And so he picked up his father’s Kodak Brownie camera and took up photography. Dubbed the “Cartier-Bresson of the East,” like his western namesake Ho preferred shooting in black and white. “Black and white offers me a sense of distance: a distance from real life,” Ho said in a video interview with Hong Kong visual culture museum M+. Photography was never his occupation. He applied his talents to the
Hong Kong’s playful past
Hong Kong was once the world’s biggest toy maker. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the city was a manufacturing hub, particularly specializing in plastics. Since China’s opening up to the outside world, much of the manufacturing business has moved to the mainland. Now the city’s toys offer a historical snapshot of the city in a simpler time, as toy enthusiast and collector Chong Hing-fai reveals. Check out our video, above, for a glimpse at a time when toys didn’t come on smartphones.
5 haunted Hong Kong Halloween hangouts
Halloween is here, and that means it’s time for grisly tales, ghost stories and haunted locales. The city of Hong Kong has a long and tumultuous history – which means it’s littered with ghost stories and claims of the paranormal. Here are five of the best ghost stories and haunted places in Hong Kong. 1) Nam Koo Terrace Nam Koo Terrace is famous for being the most haunted apartment building in Hong Kong. It’s thought to have been a military brothel for Japanese troops during their occupation of the city in the 1940s. According to legends, Chinese women were taken there as “comfort women,” and often tortured or killed by soldiers. Some say ghosts of the women haunt the building and their cri
Ancestors in high places
Thousands of people in Hong Kong observed the Double Ninth Festival on Wednesday, the ninth day of the ninth month in the traditional Chinese calendar. It’s customary on this day, also known as Chung Yeung Festival, to climb up a high mountain – folklore has it that it keeps bad luck and disasters at bay. These days in Hong Kong, the festival is an occasion for people to visit the graves of their ancestors, which often means a hike to mountainside cemeteries. In this respect, the day is similar to Ching Ming festival, also known as “tomb-sweeping day.” Check out our gallery of photos above, taken by South China Morning Post photographers, to see how people pay their respects on this special
Cantonese: speak it loudly and proudly
Every now and then, the political rumor mill in Hong Kong is abuzz with talk of replacing Cantonese with Mandarin as the medium of instruction in schools. It happened again earlier this month, but this time it wasn’t the usual brand of gossip setting passions aflame. Education chief Kevin Yeung Yun-hung suggested experts should look into whether the official tongue of China should be used instead of Cantonese to teach the Chinese language. Most Hongkongers were particularly offended by his comment, in which he said “the future development of Chinese language learning across the globe will rely mainly on Mandarin”. His comments unwittingly hit a raw nerve with Hongkongers because many see the
Hong Kong’s tiny Cantonese opera stars
The voices are hushed. The lights are low. Backstage, the opera stars are ready for their moment in the spotlight. There’s just one difference from a regular performance: all the stars are children. The Cha Duk Chang Children’s Cantonese Opera Association in Hong Kong has run since 2002, offering Cantonese opera lessons to Hong Kong schoolkids. It produced scripts tailor-made for kids to teach values such as honesty, courage and filial piety. And it all culminates in the annual “Great Fun Show” performance. South China Morning Post photographer Martin Chan captured these miniature opera stars, both on stage and behind the scenes.
This Chinese puppet master is trying to save his art
Li Yi-hsin is a pupper master who comes from a family of Chinese opera puppeteers. Althought the art of Chinese opera puppetry is over 1,000 years old, Li is afraid its days might be numbered.  To help save this ancient art, he's offering free classes to teach young people in Hong Kong how to perform a Chinese puppet opera.  Now he is passing along his knowledge and love for puppetry to a new generation. Check out the video for more. The video is part of a series highlighting the winners of the 2018 Spirit of Hong Kong Awards, which is organized by the South China Morning Post. The awards have been shining a light on Hong Kong's unsung heroes since 2013.