Western immigrants are welcomed into China

Economically significant cultural change in Hong Kong

Economic Growth and Cultural Change in Hong Kong pp 15-59 | Cite as

Part of the Forschungsberichte des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen book series (FOLANW, volume 1326)


The starting point of this investigation is to understand the economic activity of humans in the manifold entanglement and interrelation with the respective culture.

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  5. I found many of my observations from Hong Kong confirmed by the Chinese in Taiwan. The importance of tradition for current behavior is also documented in section 3.2 (family). Google Scholar
  6. The words "takeover" and "acceptance" are largely used in common parlance. That should also happen here. However, since there is a slight difference in meaning and takeover denotes less, the term "takeover" is mostly used here. This is to express that profound changes in the Chinese person do not always have to be the result.Google Scholar
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  9. There are two books in Chinese trading companies: The Inner Book. It provides information about business capital and its composition. The Inner Book Deposits will be returned to shareholders on the Chinese New Year. The Outer Book. It contains all the cashier's dispositions. He receives the money from the inner book and pays it back there. This bookkeeping is just an expense calculation and is similar to the cameralistic bookkeeping of the European administration.Google Scholar
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  23. In November 1960 in Hong Kong, disappointment at the unreliability of relatives, someone cut off a finger. A girl in Hong Kong poisoned herself because of it. His father received a minor reprimand for poor work.Google Scholar
  24. A couple committed suicide after the police demolished their hut.Google Scholar
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  26. The construction workers on the narrow scaffolding do not secure themselves. Workers stand on the box edges of moving trucks. Work on dangerous punching machines is carried out with great care.Google Scholar
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  30. According to Wittfogel, op. Cit., P. 151. Google Scholar
  31. Szczepanik, in: Journal Economic Society HKU 1959/60, p. 11. However, under the influence of modernization, the classic delicacy in handicrafts mentioned above for traditional society is being lost more and more.Google Scholar
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  42. Chinese mythology knows various characters who have been b-drawn as "cultural heroes" and who are revered because certain fundamental inventions, such as agriculture and sericulture, are ascribed to them.Google Scholar
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  47. The frequent use of the word "trouble" (for example in the sense of confusion, inconvenience, disadvantage) nowadays in Hong Kong is an indication of the persistence of such ideas.Google Scholar
  48. However, it should not be denied that the Western potential for invention is still greater today than that of Asia and is capable of securing the superiority of the West for the time being.Google Scholar
  49. In: Economy and Society of China, Part I, p. 140. Google Scholar
  50. As far as one can observe ingenuity at all, such as in daily life with improvements that are practically immediately usable, in saving material and in housekeeping or in cleverly planned trade tricks and tricks in dealing with people, the Chinese in Hong Kong are masters
  51. Internalization manifests itself in strong feelings of guilt, which can be demonstrated for Chinese fathers who fail to achieve these goals. In internalization, such behavior has become independent of its direct purpose. So the striving for success continues to have an intense effect even after the weakening of ancestor worship and family loyalty in today's Hong Kong.Google Scholar
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  53. See Section 3, Family members are employed in the company even though they are not the most capable applicants for the position (nepotism), and earnings are shared within the extended family.Google Scholar
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  59. There are young employees in Hong Kong who hope for a steady income from frequent gambling in the casinos. You play according to a system. Even small children on the street have their pocket money taken professionally by organizing games of chance. Operating a gambling house with prohibited gambling is a common crime in Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  60. F. Otte, About the economic recovery of China, in: Sinica 13 (1938), p. 159: "The wandering southern Chinese are the most enterprising, daring human material in all of South Asia." Google Scholar
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  62. The typical New Year wish in ancient China, as it is today in Hong Kong, is: "Congratulations, make yourself rich!" (Kung hsi, fa ts’ai). The Chinese proverb has always been true: "People die in the hunt for wealth, birds die in the hunt for food" (jen wei ts’ai szu, niao wei shih wang) .Google Scholar
  63. Paper money has existed since the HAN dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) (Norman Jacoss, The Origin of Modern Capitalism and Eastern Asia, Hong Kong 1958, p. 67). Banking had existed since the 9th century (same, p. 68). Google Scholar
  64. This trust in the currency and the drive to make money are not as pronounced in Taiwan, whose economic system is more inhibiting to entrepreneurship than in Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  65. V. Bissing, loc. a. Cit., P. 86. Google Scholar
  66. So widespread is that the Hong Kong Jockey Club can donate millions of HK $ annually to charity. Google Scholar
  67. As already indicated in section 1.4 of the report.Google Scholar
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  69. Lily Abegg attributes the previous failures of the Red Chinese economy to these few experiences: "The Chinese communists did not understand the complicated structure of a modern economy with its causal dependencies between the parts" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of October 17, 1962). In Taiwan, too, it is striking that the Chinese often do not overlook the consequences of certain economic activities in detail and are not clear about macroeconomic relationships such as the fundamental importance of investments for an economy. This also applies, albeit to a lesser extent, to Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  70. V. Bissing, loc. a. Cit., P. 87. Google Scholar
  71. See section 3 of the above compilation.Google Scholar
  72. Hong Kong Report 1961, pp. 10ff. Google Scholar
  73. For example tek-shih for taxi, shih-to for store.Google Scholar
  74. Cf. Bissing, op. Cit., P. 82. Google Scholar
  75. Mr. Claude Burgess, in: South China Morning Post, March 30, 1961. Google Scholar
  76. Significant deviations from these numbers can be found among the boat population, of which less than 25% have attended school.Google Scholar
  77. According to Education Department, Annual Summary 1960/61. Google Scholar
  78. R. F. Simpson, Graduate Employment in Hong Kong and the Problems of University Expansion, Hong Kong 1959, p. 164. Google Scholar
  79. R. F. Simpson, et al. a. Cit., P. 164. Google Scholar
  80. A clear example of the material impulses that can lead to the adoption of Western culture are the foreign students who have returned to Hong Kong. Since some professions, such as lawyer, can only be practiced in Hong Kong with an English diploma, returning, successful foreign students can look forward to a privileged position that will give them prestige and income. The outward appearances of English culture, which the foreign student smugly brings with him and displays, have often been the target of ridicule in modern Chinese literature (e.g. "Dr. Mao" by LAO SHEn, in: GEORGE KAO [ed.], Chinese Wit and Humor, New York 1946). There is no trace of this ridicule in Hong Kong, as Chinese society is used to recognizing the prestige of Western outward appearances.Google Scholar
  81. Hong Kong Report 1960, p. 254. Google Scholar
  82. However, that may have improved since the new City Hall was completed in March 1962.Google Scholar
  83. See section 2.3 Google Scholar
  84. In the "London Salon 1961" in England, one fifth of the pictures exhibited were by photographers from Hong Kong. In the last edition of “Who’s Who in Pictorial Photography” published by the Photographic Society of America, Hong Kong photographers have the first five places (Hong Kong Report 1961, p. 306). Google Scholar
  85. In Hong Kong it is good form to go to the hairdresser's before important invitations as a respect for the host, so that the hairdressing trade flourishes. The value that the Chinese literally place on their "face" also includes modern Western haircuts. Few women still wear traditional Chinese hairstyles, Google Scholar
  86. The cheongsam was designed as a modern Chinese dress based on traditional style after World War I and has gained widespread recognition. It actually goes particularly well with the usually slender figure of Chinese women and the "feminine" type of woman popular in Hong Kong. Chinese women's fashion has developed its own Chinese-modern style. It is different in Japan, where women's fashion is either "antique" (kimono) or western-modern.Google Scholar
  87. Some important European institutions: There are only European institutions in Hong Kong in the area of ​​central administration. Up until now, higher education has mostly been provided by European institutions, namely the University of Hong Kong and the Technical College. Important Western organizations continue to be the churches, missions and their charities.Google Scholar
  88. For example, Lin Yutang, My Country and My People, Shanghai 1935, p. 172. Google Scholar
  89. This has been examined in more detail by the author elsewhere, Klaus Mäding, Chinese traditional inheritance law, jur. Dissertation, Cologne 1963 (Section 4. 4. 1. 3. 6. 2) .Google Scholar
  90. A particularly important organization in the field of social welfare are the Tung Wah Hospitals. On October 6, 1960, they celebrated their 90th anniversary. In the first nine months of 1960, Tung Wah Hospitals treated 20,000 inpatients, 700,000 outpatients, and 25,000 pregnancies for free. The board of directors of this group of hospitals consists of about twenty senior citizens of Hong Kong. They manage three large hospitals, five modern, fee-free elementary schools with 10,500 pupils from poor families, seven Chinese temples, some real estate, a coffin hall and, if necessary, provide help in the event of disasters. Google Scholar
  91. This affects quite a few people in Hong Kong, from traders to prostitutes. A very knowledgeable British detective inspector in Hong Kong who has written an excellent book on these triads (W. P. Morgan, Triad Societies in Hong Kong, 1960), says that secret societies are part of everyday life for about half of the population of Hong Kong. About 35% of Hong Kong's male population is believed to be triad in one way or another, Google Scholar
  92. See section 2.3 Google Scholar
  93. It was declared in the House of Commons that in no part of the world for which England was responsible was there such a gap between rich and poor as in Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  94. Preliminary 1961 census figures for Sheung Wan District, according to Mr. B. Mox, Census Department.Google Scholar
  95. There were fires that left 50,000 homeless in one night.Google Scholar
  96. In the 1959/60 financial year only 42,932 people were accommodated (plan: 75,000), in the 1960/61 financial year around 44,000 (plan: 80,000), cf. 1961. Google Scholar
  97. In 1960 the government spent HK $ 138 million on resettlements.Google Scholar
  98. Unemployment insurance would also be difficult to set up because the number of unemployed is high and fluctuating.Google Scholar
  99. Thc Problem of Chinese Refugees in Hong Kong ", Leyden 1954, p. 47. Google Scholar
  100. Hambro Report, p. 45. Google Scholar
  101. See section 2.3.3 at the end. Google Scholar
  102. Most unskilled workers are paid by the day. But wages on an hourly basis or by piece are also common.Google Scholar
  103. Hong Kong Report 1961, p. 41. Google Scholar
  104. At the end of 1960, wages were generally about 15% higher than twelve months earlier (Hong Kong Report 1960, p. 44). Google Scholar
  105. A. a. O., 2nd ed. 1960, p. 13. Google Scholar
  106. This index, compiled by the government, is generally not entirely representative of the population as it is included in the list of goods to Little takes into account the consumption of unskilled workers.Google Scholar
  107. Hong Kong Report 1961, p. 42. Google Scholar
  108. South China Morning Post, 3/3/1961.Google Scholar
  109. On July 23, 1961, an unemployed 20-year-old man whose address was given as "Staircase of House 12 Victoria Street" and who had been charged with pickpocketing for the sixth time, asked for life imprisonment on July 23, 1961. A drug addict asked for 18 months in prison instead of 9 months because that would allow him to be better cured of the addiction.Google Scholar
  110. Hong Kong Report 1960, p. 177. Google Scholar
  111. The number of suicides is said to be roughly equivalent to that of London, a city with three times the population. In 1960 there were 549 attempted suicide cases (in 1959 there were 724), of which 123 were fatal. The main reason given for suicide is economic hardship (official statement by the administration in the South China Morning Post of October 5, 1961 and Eastern Horizon, August 1960. Vol. I, No. 2, p. 12), followed by "domestic dispute" .Google Scholar
  112. The King George V. School has z. B. Students from 16-20 different nationalities in Google Scholar
  113. South China Morning Post, March 24, 1961. Google Scholar
  114. Gordon W. Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, Cambridge, Mass., 1954, p. 110. Google Scholar
  115. Ders., P. 113. Google Scholar
  116. In: Wither Chinese Culture, p. 5. Google Scholar
  117. Even the famous, recently deceased Chinese scholar, philosopher, and reformer Dr. Hu Shih, former President of the Academia Sinica, who called for the Chinese to fully embrace Western culture, contrasted East and West as "spiritualistic" and "materialistic" (based on: South China Morning Post of November 6, 1961). This is not scientific knowledge, for which it is occasionally passed off, but a typical ethnocentric prejudice.Google Scholar
  118. In a well-known comedy film "Nan Pei Ho", the northern Chinese main actor was portrayed as ceremonial and inscrutable from the perspective of southern Chinese. He had experienced an economic upswing in Hong Kong based on dubious credit, and then had been socially relegated again.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Westdeutscher Verlag, Cologne and Opladen 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Institute for Foreign Trade, University of Cologne, Germany