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Hong Kong Language and Culture

The culture of Hong Kong can be described as a perfect fusion of Chinese tradition and British colonialism. After the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong continues to develop an identity of its own.

1. Hong Kong Language

Since 1997, the government has adopted the "biliterate and trilingual" policy. Under the principle, Chinese and English must both be acknowledged as official languages, with Cantonese being acknowledged as the de facto official Chinese language in Hong Kong, while also accepting the use of Mandarin.

Chinese

Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong and spoken by around 88 per cent of people in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, other Chinese dialects, such as Hakka, Taishanese and Teochiu are also present, as is Mandarin of course – China's official dialect, which has gradually become more widely spoken in Hong Kong.

English

After the lost of First Opium War, Britain established a colonial port as a manufacturing hub in Hong Kong Island and up to now it becomes an international financial and business centre. As a result, English is widely spoken.

Today, English is the language of preference in the government, business and tourism sectors. As a visitor, you will not encounter special communicating problems in English because taxi drivers, salespeople, tourism agency and police have reached competent levels of the language. In fact, many locals even write their Chinese speech with English words and phrases.

Hong Kong Culture Centre

2. Hong Kong Culture

150 years of rule under British colony, Hong Kong combines Chinese traditional culture elements and British western culture to shape Hong Kong in every facet of the city spanning from law, politics, education, language, food, and the way of thought.

3. Religion, Beliefs and Festivals

We can say that Hong Kong's culture and languages are diverse. These languages and dialects co-exist and reflect the high level of cultural tolerance in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, Christian churches share space with Chinese joss houses: Buddhist, Taoist and Sikh temples, and mosques and synagogues. Moreover, Hong Kong is where you'll see elderly men playing ancient Chinese board games on digital tablets, where Christmas is celebrated with as much fervour as Chinese New Year, and where state-of-the-art skyscrapers are designed in consultation with feng shui masters.

The Big Bronze Buddha in Lantau Island

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