Facts About Hong Kong

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1024px-Hong_Kong_skyline_night_lightsHong Kong is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Here are some little known facts about this port city.

Fact1: In the Cantonese language, the words for Hong Kong translate to fragrant harbor. Historians suggest that the name could have been derived from the city’s export of fragrant oil in the past. The Heung tree, was commonly grown in the Tung Koon District and the New Territories of Hong Kong during the Sung Dynasty (619-970 A. D.). From here the products of the tree, including pieces of incense, was shipped to mainland China and other regions, reaching as far away as Arabia.

Fact 2: Hong Kong’s police force is noted to be the oldest, and yet most modern police force in the world. It is assisted by the Hong Kong Auxilliary Police Force, comprising of more than 4000 citizen volunteers.

Fact 3: Hong Kong is also known as a gourmet’s paradise, boasting the highest per-capita concentration of cafes and restaurants in the world, offering every kind of world cuisine. It is also one of the first Asian cities to become a Michelin city, with some Michelin restaurants offering dishes at less than 2USD.

Fact 4: Taxis in Hong Kong are colour – coded by area. Strict government regulations keep the taxi system safe and inexpensive. Along with being one of the fastest moving cities in the world, Hong Kong has also gained the reputation of being the safest modern city today.

Fact 5: It is not part of Hong Kong culture to address an acquaintance by name. It is typical for local people to have three different names – a family name, a generational name, and a given name. In most situations, acquaintances are addressed with the family name and a title (doctor, Madam, etc.).

Fact 6: Hong Kong was given to Britain following the defeat of China in the Opium Wars. It has had a long history of evolution, starting as a fishing community before the coming of the British and becoming a naval base during the Nineteenth century. It served as a refugee haven during the wars, and an important trading center when the British regained power after the defeat of the Japanese in 1945.

Fact 7: In addition to being a major hub for pacific trade, Hong Kong also served as China’s vital link to the outside world. With the opening up of this port by the British colonizers, China was forced to abandon its reservations and understand Western culture and trade. Hong Kong can thus be described as a having a major influence on the modern history and development of China, as well as forming an integral part of the colonial history of Britain.

Fact 8: Hong Kong had its first democratic elections held in the early 1990s. Chris Patten, the last colonial governor of Hong Kong ignored threats of invasion and hostility from the rulers of China and gave the local residents the right to vote for their representatives in a Legislative Council.

Fact 9: The influence of both the British colonial culture as well as the culture of the Motherland can be seen in the country, even today. In fact, the people of Hong Kong seek to establish an identity of their own, apart from that of mainland China.

Fact 10: Hong Kong is the only colonial territory to have broken away from the trend of being a colonized region which suffered at the hands of its colonizers. In fact, when the British handed rule over to the motherland China, Hong Kong already held the world’s seventh largest foreign reserves and was the third largest exporter of clothing. This trend of exponential growth continues even today.

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