I’ve never been all that fond of politics. Part of that probably comes from the fact that I grew up in Canada, and there aren’t many problems with our political system. I’ve been blessed with an environment that allows me to “take it for granted”, and still live a relatively conflict-free and peaceful life.
Hong Kong is very different in terms of politics. First of all, you have to understand that it’s a very unique place. It’s backed with a history of British culture, yet the majority of the people are proud of their own Chinese culture. It’s a world city that strives to move forward, but still tries to preserve traditions that are passed on from generation to generation. So whether you are young, old, CBC/ABC, whether you hate or love this city, there are different voices everywhere. Even having no opinion is an opinion in Hong Kong. The authorities try to bribe your indifference into a voice on their side. The proactive ones condemn you for lack of care in this city. No matter where you choose to stand, you are still taking a stand.
When you talk to people, things always eventually come up. Discussions about Occupy Central, talks about the government (both of Hong Kong and PRC), stories about CY Leung…. The worst is when you have these depressing conversations, fueled solely by complaints about everything that is wrong in the Hong Kong society. Some people wish that the British still had control over this tiny city. Others remark that this type of thinking is ‘the worst’, when you would rather have foreigners rule you instead of your own Chinese kin. However, there is at least one thing that most people can agree with, and that is, if given the free choice, they would want change from the current governing system. But the reality is, that choice isn’t free; and the lengths that each person is willing to take to get there varies greatly.
So in the midst of this political city, I also find myself innocently pulled into the crossfire. Not simply in discussions, but in my workplace, and my identity with Hong Kong Airlines. Just ask anybody, what airline represents Hong Kong the best? It has to be Cathay Pacific. But of course, Cathay is owned by Swire, and ultimately associated with the British. It was established in Hong Kong when they were still under British rule. Not long after China reclaimed Hong Kong as their territory, Hong Kong Airlines was established under the Chinese HNA Group. They even purposely named themselves “Hong Kong” Airlines, as if to claim the title of official representative airline for this city. (That’s not happening anytime soon, but at least they made a statement to fight for that top spot).
I don’t like politics, and I don’t have much of an opinion either. I suppose I’m too comfortable with Canada, and I always feel that if anything really comes up, I can run back to my home country. I enjoy my job because of the job nature and the field of work, and I will strive to do my best regardless. But observations and thoughts do come across my mind every now and then, and it’s interesting to see where they bring me.