Hong Kong Culture
Hong Kong has a rich, colorful past unrivalled by most other Asian countries and cities. It has been under British colonial rule for 150 years and has merge beautifully the best of eastern and western cultures. This is very evident in their buildings, festivals, traditions, and lifestyle.
The city landscape of Hong Kong is an exciting mix of ancient temples and steel skyscrapers. To fully understand and experience Hong Kong culture, you must try to blend in with the people, talk to them, and feel the city pulse. Then join in the festivities and rituals that abound all year long.
Hong Kong has many old Chinese temples all around the territory. Most Chinese in Hong Kong practice Buddhism as well as Taoism. Of the other deities, the most popular is Tin Hau. To see the solemn splendor of religion in Hong Kong, there are several monasteries that are open to the public while other are located in rather remote areas in Hong Kong like the Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery, the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden, the Che Kung Temple at Ho Chung, the Hung Shing Temple, and the Sha Tin Che Kung Temple.
Some of these temple date back to over 700 years old, so you can just imagine how solid and firm their beliefs are. Hong Kong is a trading port as well as a robust financial district. This has lead to the growth of deities that provide relief and comfort to those men who go out to sea, as well as those exposed to the harsh elements of Hong Kong weather.
In the field of arts and entertainment, Hong Kong boasts of a lively Chinese Opera, also known as the Sunkung Opera. Most Chinese opera tells tales of high drama accompanied by intense musical flair and dance. The film industry in Hong Kong have produced such world class artists like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
There are two Chinese dance that are very popular among the tourists: the Dragon Dance and the Lion Dance. If you will notice, Chinese culture puts great emphasis on animals and their strengths. In the Dragon Dance, a display of power and art is depicted using a colorful serpentine-like animal with large claws, dancing to loud cymbals and drums.
The Lion Dance is used in many occasions because it is suppose to bring good luck and fortune on all the people who watch the dance.
If you have time, visit the Song Dynasty Town which will show you how life was in the early days of Hong Kong. It is an almost exact replica of life back then. This town is easily found in the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and will show you how the people then grew and cultivated their way of life. There have been many literature and artwork that have come out of this period.
Hong Kong is also famous for its herbal medicine. More commonly known as Chinese therapy, the number of concoctions made from all natural herbs will astound you. You can buy medicines and supplements for pains, medical conditions like asthma and coughs, even how to lose weight and develop muscle. Almost everything under the sun has been covered with Chinese medicine.
Finally, no visit to Hong Kong is complete without participating in the tea ceremony. The Chinese love their tea and believe in its medicinal value. It is a age long tradition that has spread to many parts of the world.