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Year-round Festival Series 22 – July 1 Reunification Day – To stay or to go?

Next Saturday, July 1, will be the 26th anniversary of Hong Kong‘s return to China.

According to the Hong Kong government, there was a net outflow of more than 130,000 people in the three years from 2019 to 2021. The fifth wave of the epidemic resulted in a net outflow of 140,000 people in the first quarter of 2022, and the immigration expo currently being held in Hong Kong is attracting a large number of people to the event. Some young people want to take the opportunity to emigrate to a foreign country, and some people want to enjoy a quiet and simple retirement life in a foreign country; more people are worried that the future political and living environment of Hong Kong will deteriorate.

Property prices in Hong Kong remain high, and the entrance fee to buy a property costs at least several million Hong Kong dollars. The three countries that provide “lifeboat scheme for Hong Kongers”: the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, have become the top choices for Hong Kong people to immigrate. Some Hong Kong parents, considering their children’s education and career prospects, believe that studying in the UK or an English-speaking country will be more beneficial to their children’s development than the traditional education in Hong Kong.

To stay or to go?

If you choose to leave Hong Kong and start over in an unfamiliar environment, there are sorrows and joys in becoming a minority in a foreign country from a community in the mainstream of Hong Kong. I felt this feeling very deeply when I was studying abroad. I studied in a country where English is not even spoken, and even if someone bullies you, there is nothing you can do about it. When you go to a foreign country, you have to have hope. Hope allows us to overcome the storms and know that time can bring good results. A positive and optimistic attitude is the first foundation for a new life in a foreign country.

Throughout history, Hong Kong has experienced many storms, but we have seen miracles happen every time. Those who stay in Hong Kong will continue to be the mainstream of Hong Kong, and will continue to hold and enjoy the comforts of being a mainstream Chinese in Hong Kong. We do not face the pressure of being a minority.

Every time I came back to Hong Kong to visit my family for a short period of time during my studies, I could feel the peace I felt walking the streets of Hong Kong as a minority in Germany and then as a mainstream community in Hong Kong. The freedom and ease of walking around, with Cantonese in my ears, is a feeling that no other place on earth can replace. I remember once when I was returning home from Germany, I was standing by a traffic light on the street in Hong Kong, observing the people around me, and the feeling of peace and acceptance that suddenly came into my heart really brought tears to my eyes. Hong Kong is my home. Surrounded by my own family and loved ones, reconnected to the source of love that cannot be replaced by anything else.

Yes, I have lived in those beautiful houses in Europe. Yes, I have seen the exotic scenery of street lights covered by snow and the sun setting over the sea. Hong Kong has none of these.

My father swam to Hong Kong in the 70’s and built his own home with his young shoulders as Hong Kong was moving towards its golden age. In my generation, Hong Kong has already been reunited with China, and with the pessimistic thoughts of all parties, Hong Kong is once again in the same situation as my father’s generation, where everyone’s life is really hard. Perhaps, every generation will envy the past, and every generation will say that they are really hard. History will not be exactly the same, but it will be repeated with an amazing degree of similarity, and I look forward to how Hong Kong will once again welcome its miraculous recovery.

#YearRoundFestivalSeries #ReunificationDay #HongKong #Immigration


✍🏼 Write + Create 

Elva Laienjoys reading, learning, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her art education in Singapore, the USA, Germany and Hong Kong.

FB: Light House Studio 

IG: @Lighthouse0307


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