A Letter From Hong Kong


Research output: Other PublicationsOther ArticleCommunication


The normal coexists with the brutal. Last Saturday, in Hong Kong, carefree expat children walk by my apartment building, holding party balloons as Puma police helicopters buzz overhead. Less than a mile away people are fired on with tear gas and water cannon spewing blue dye. I imagine that this is what it felt like in the last days of the Shah.

My days are not usually surreal. I am a teacher at Lingnan University, a liberal arts college and the smallest of eight public universities in Hong Kong. I have lived and worked in Hong Kong for twenty years; my wife and I raised our two children here. We are foreigners, but with a deep attachment to this city and its people. The causes of the current turmoil will take years of research to understand properly. Historians will find these causes in the Chinese family, in the class structure, in demography, in generational change, in new forms of communication, in political society and in several other factors still opaque to us. But where are we in Hong Kong now? And what is the situation of the students I teach? A personal snapshot must suffice.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationQuillette
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'A Letter From Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this