|Hong Kong is
not only a complex blend of Eastern and Western cultures; it is also
made up of peoples from all areas of China, a vast country with many
variations of culture and customs. Since Hong Kong is located on the
southern coast of China, this discussion will basically reflect
customs of the Cantonese, originally from Guangdong province. This
effort to discuss Cantonese culture is only a general overview.
Topics covered in this book are ordinary things that
happen in everyday life, from birth to marriage to death. These are
approached from a viewpoint of trying to help the newcomer to have a
basic understanding of the culture, and to know how to relate to
people and situations. Of course, it would be impossible to cover all
the customs of such a rich culture, but we have tried to cover most of
those that might be confronted in everyday life.
Living in Hong Kong has been a very exciting and
enchanting experience. Often people, of a culture different from one's
own, do not respond or react as expected. It is fascinating trying to
understand and determine why they respond and react as they do. It is
because of this fascination, and great desire to understand the people
around me, that I have worked with one of my former language teachers,
Mrs Rebecca S.Y. Ng, in writing this material. We have been very frank
and open with each other; she in sharing her culture, and I in bluntly
asking questions, as I sought to understand her culture.
This book was written with the hope that it will
bring a deeper understanding of the everyday culture and customs of
Cantonese people living in Hong Kong and other cities in Asia to its
readers. It is especially hoped that it will help foreigners to more
quickly and smoothly adapt to life here.
Shirley C. Ingram
Copyright © Shirley C.
Ingram & Rebecca S. Y. Ng
Culture Shock! Repugnant and Annoying Chinese Habits