Hong Kong Did you know that Hong Kong was a British from 1842 to 1997, when it was

reverted to Chinese sovereignty? Many Hong Kong Chinese people adopt Western names for use in business with Western companies. Children legally become adults at age 18, but usually do not leave home until they get married. Country and Development Data Hong Kong is its own capital, with a population 7,089,705 (rank=99), and is 426 square miles large. The human Dev. Index rank is 21 of 177 countries, and the adult literacy rate is very high, about 97% for males and 90% for females. Infant mortality rate is 3 per 1,000 births and the life expectancy is 79 for males and 85 for females. Background Hong Kong is located on China's southern coast and covers 426 square miles (1,104 square kilometers), about half the size of Rhode Island. Formerly a British colony, it has been the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China since 1997. It includes the New Territories, the Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, and more than 200 smaller islands. The terrain is largely mountainous; lowlands are found in the New Territories. Hong Kong Island and the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula form Victoria Harbor, a deep natural harbor that made the region an important center for global commerce. The climate is tropical with seasonal monsoons. Hong Kong experiences more seasonal change than most tropical areas. From November to March, the weather is dry and cool, about 50– 65°F or 10–18°C. Rainy, hot weather prevails during the monsoon season (July–October), when temperatures range from 80 to over 90°F (26–34°C). Pollution is a growing problem, with emissions coming from automobiles, power plants, nearby factories in China, and ships in and around the harbor. The People Hong Kong's population of 7.09 million is grows by 0.5 percent annually. Roughly 20 percent of the population lives on Hong Kong Island, 30 percent on Kowloon, and 50 percent in the New Territories. About 95 percent of Hong Kong's residents are Chinese, mostly Cantonese with roots in Guangdong Province. About 2 percent are Filipino. Much of Hong Kong's population was born elsewhere, most in Mainland China. Hong Kong's official languages are Chinese and English. Dialects from all provinces of China can be heard in Hong Kong, but the Cantonese dialect (Yue) dominates. More people are learning the Beijing dialect, (Mandarin). English is the language of business. Street signs, telephone directories, and government documents are written in both English and Chinese.

Even when wearing casual clothing. people politely inquire about each other's health. while relatives and close friends may use nicknames. but modern Hong Kong residents are more relaxed. causing someone to “lose face” is improper. Hong Kong residents are particularly fashion conscious and wear all styles of clothing. The Chinese are very conscious of their social position in relation to the people with whom they interact. from European to Asian. from traditional to modern. Many Hong Kong Chinese adopt Western given names. business affairs. Friends use given names. as homes are small. people tend to carefully follow current trends.Strong elements of Taoism and Confucianism. People in Hong Kong commonly entertain in restaurants. Modesty is important in public. Calling ahead is the norm. Guests are offered hot tea. As with most items. Traditional Chinese sit with hands in their laps and feet on the floor. and Buddhism. These names often are added before the family name and are used in business or when communicating with Westerners. Touching another person's head is impolite. Ethnic Chinese shake hands with non-Chinese. Visitors are treated with special consideration: food may be prepared to their liking and conversation geared to their interests. or title and family name. Business people wear suits. one usually uses an open hand. the Chinese are careful to allow others to escape from potential embarrassment with dignity. “How are you?” and “Have you eaten?” are typical greetings. Winking at someone is impolite. People decline the . people offer and receive gifts with both hands. Upon greeting. The Chinese address each other by full name. One does not take the best portion of food first but rather serves it to others. People in Hong Kong often remove their shoes when entering a home and slippers are typically provided for guests. One pours tea for others first and then for oneself. In social interaction. Customs and Courtesies Both English and Chinese greetings are common in Hong Kong. with snacks. both of which originated in China. Traditional Chinese will not cross their legs. Chinese beckon with the palm down and all fingers waving. Visitors sit when invited to do so. “Saving face” is very important. form part of the religious life of many Hong Kong residents. Close friends and relatives do visit in the home but seldom without prior arrangement. An individual's actions reflect on the entire family and a child's achievements honor the entire family. People make an effort to greet and show respect to older people. To point. or school activities. Nearly all major Christian denominations are represented in Hong Kong. Folk religious practices and ancestor veneration are also widespread. The people are energetic and hardworking who have built Hong Kong into a major trade center.

and respect. Professional or white-collar families often have live-in domestic help to do chores and watch children. chicken wings or legs. or hot oatmeal. with one to two children. couples seek parental approval and invite both sets of parents to meet . People make an effort to remain close to their parents. toast. Relationships often form within these groups. Couples often wait to marry until they have job security or the means to live in married quarters. Hong Kong's residents are not restricted in the number of children they can have. However. Parents generally expect to support their children until they complete their higher education. or public agencies for childcare. Because of Hong Kong's fast-paced lifestyle. Younger people are expected to be obedient to older relatives as a sign of respect. Families in Hong Kong eat together whenever possible. Traditionally. Men were breadwinners. Grown children often at least partially support their aging parents. Most families maintain a Chinese diet at home and usually eat with chopsticks. gender roles were clearly defined within the home. encouraging the hosts to eat these themselves. a quick visit to a fast food restaurant at least once a day is increasingly typical. It is unacceptable to date more than one person at a time. waffles. most parents split their time between their children and their own parents. Young people might have bread. cake. Today. when young people generally socialize in groups. Lifestyle Chinese family members are bound by a strong tradition of loyalty. neighbors.best pieces of food or refreshments. most families are small. Working-class families depend on relatives. Most people begin dating in secondary school. Young people generally date a variety of different people before settling down. Older people often have a more traditional breakfast of dim sum and tea. such as egg tarts. This division is becoming less clear today. even as a guest. In addition to tea. Diners help themselves by taking portions with chopsticks from the central plates and placing them in their individual bowls of rice. usually with coffee or milk. especially for young people. Dishes of food typically are placed in the center of the table. sandwiches. When it comes to family. and women were housekeepers and mothers. omelets. Breakfast is usually light and eaten quickly. To marry. most households consist of a single nuclear family. Three generations sometimes live under one roof. with more women receiving an education and working outside the home. obedience. It is proper to hold the rice bowl close to one's mouth when eating. The average age to marry is 28 for women and 31 for men. Taking an afternoon tea break is common among the older generation. Weekends are generally spent with the immediate family. people also have a snack. People try to get together with their parents perhaps once a month. The host or parent refills bowls with more rice until politely refused.

and boating are popular with the wealthy. tomatoes. Packaged foods are growing in popularity. broccoli. and rice noodles. ancestral halls. soy sauce. . soccer fields. Hong Kong arts blend Chinese and Western influences. Badminton. a traditional wedding celebration includes a large banquet for family and friends. garlic. and skating are popular. Mainly men and boys play basketball and soccer. as does Canto-pop. Most meals don't end with dessert. Christian couples usually opt for a church ceremony. many enjoy karaoke singing. Drinks. potatoes. on public transportation. After the ceremony. Weddings are all-day. jogging. Architecture includes walled villages. People also eat a variety of different noodles such as instant ramen. etc. and skyscrapers. and tropical fruits such as bananas.and negotiate issues such as how many tables the groom's family is to provide for the bride's family at the wedding dinner. and table tennis courts. especially as snack foods. scallions. The couple kneels before the groom's parents to receive a blessing on their marriage. and theater. squash. the groom goes to the bride's home to pick her up and bring her to his parents' home. People also enjoy shopping. Rice is the main staple. usually held on Wednesdays and Sundays. television. Nearly all of Hong Kong's food is imported. picnics. or at home. golf. whether at work. and grooms wear tuxedos. table tennis. Teenagers enjoy reading comic books and novels. and oyster sauce. fishing. November and December are the most common months for weddings. swimming. People also spend time on the computer. udon. meat. Congee is a porridge-like rice dish. either hot or cold. spring onions. accompany most meals. Chinese noodles are boiled or fried. Fitness centers cater to people who work out during the lunch hour or after work. People enjoy beach outings. playing games or using social networking sites. Many painters specialize in the traditional Chinese arts of ink painting and seal carving. Yoga is especially popular among women. In the morning. Couples try to reserve the “best” dates according to the Chinese calendar. For evening entertainment. what gifts the groom will give the bride's parents to thank them for raising her. Hong Kong is a regional center for performance and visual arts as well as art collection. forts. Men enjoy watching and sometimes betting on horse races. litchis. and peas. People usually try to eat a balanced main meal. watermelons. Traditional Cantonese opera remains popular. and fish. cabbage. Listening to music is also popular. horseback riding. squash. Brides wear white Western-style wedding dresses. Tennis. which would include vegetables. Many marriages take place at the government marriage registry office. due in large part to government patronage and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Common seasonings are ginger. movies. Common vegetables are romaine lettuce. Public areas are set aside as running tracks. basketball courts. and mangoes are popular. Oranges.

and traffic can be heavy. but the government in Beijing actually has considerable influence over Hong Kong's internal matters as well. including inside subway tunnels and on ferries. due to tourism. Nearly everyone owns a cellular phone. and parents try to provide their children with the best schooling. Economic ties between Hong Kong and China are strong. Students graduate from secondary school at age 18. The harbor is key to business. Although income distribution is unequal. In the 60-seat Legislative Council. and financial integration. commerce. The economy in Hong Kong operates under a free-market capitalist system. which specifies citizens' rights. 30 members are directly elected and the heads of business and professional groups. Hong Kong has modern communications systems and excellent domestic and international service. High-speed Internet connections are widespread. especially tourism and financial services. trade. At 12. More of Hong Kong's economy now relies on the service sector. most people enjoy a comfortable standard of living. delineates the division of power in the government between China and Hong Kong. Trains connect Kowloon and the New Territories. The government of Hong Kong is based on the Basic Law. Members serve four-year terms. students begin secondary school. Cellular phone service covers nearly the entire territory. often the latest model (which may not have been released yet elsewhere in the world). A subway system offers rapid transit to major locations on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).Society Hong Kong is a self-governing region of the People's Republic of China. or functional constituencies chooses 30 members. Nearly all pupils complete the primary level. Traffic moves on the left. and provides for the development of democracy. China is officially only responsible for defense and foreign affairs. Hong Kong enjoys one of the world's highest per capita incomes. Education is considered the stepping-stone to success. and a ferry connects the islands and the mainland. and manufacturing. but many media firms are practicing limited self-censorship to avoid potential problems with authorities. Many people own private cars. which also lasts six years. Hong Kong built its success on shipping. Hong Kong has 36 representatives in China's national legislature. International trade is an important part of the economy. most proceed . Primary school begins at age six and lasts six years. and most people own personal computers. The Basic Law permits a free press. The HKSAR's chief executive (currently Donald Tsang) is the head of government and is selected by an 800-member election committee and advised by a 15-member Executive Council. The voting age is 18. Each year. millions of tourists visit Hong Kong. Public education is free for 12 years and compulsory for 9 years. Hong Kong has an extensive bus and minibus system.

three years of senior secondary school. primary students attend weekdays for six hours. DC 20008. and four years of university education. Great emphasis is placed on testing. . Admission is based on test scores and performance in secondary school. phone (202) 495-2266.org. and cultural education. Success is credited to health education and the universal availability of preventive care. web site www. 3505 International Place NW.org/eng. Some of the core subjects in a typical curriculum include Chinese. Students must provide their own uniforms and textbooks. Entrance to the better secondary schools is based on a competitive examination. There are not enough places at Hong Kong's universities for all of the students who wish to attend. A growing number of teachers use technology in the classroom. Washington. Private care is widely available. phone (212) 421-3382.hkta. regardless of their ability to pay for services. All citizens have access to comprehensive public care. NY 10022. web site www. 115 East 54th Street. Hong Kong residents enjoy one of the world's highest life expectancy rates and lowest infant mortality rates. Hong Kong Tourist Board. secondary students attend for eight hours. and most employed people have private insurance. New York. Students complete three years of junior secondary school. Private schools are available for families who can afford them. math. Schools focus on interactive teaching and critical thinking. Second Floor. Traditional Chinese medicine is becoming more prominent than in the past. English. During the 10-month school year.china-embassy. Poorer families sometimes struggle with these expenses. At a Glance Embassy of China.from primary to secondary school.

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