Celebrating Cultural Diversity in Hong Kong (and elsewhere)


Cultural diversity. It’s what has made Hong Kong the wonderful melting pot of nationalities and cultures it’s always been.

Having come to Hong Kong by ship with my parents from Sri Lanka, and which was then called Ceylon, it wasn’t always lollipops and roses and smooth sailing for a nine year old.

However, by inhaling everything around me, and exhaling the negativity, I made things work.

Often, I felt like the character Christian Bale played in “Empire Of The Sun”, who used his imagination to create a fantasy world that made his life in an internment camp one big adventure.

Through my years at Quarry Bay Primary School, and then Secondary school at KGV, imagination, creativity and self-belief helped me become part of Hong Kong.

Others from different “ethnic minority” groups would have used their own ways to belong in the city.

I hadn’t thought about the term “ethnic minority” before, but I now resent it.

I don’t know anywhere else in the world that uses this term, which, personally speaking, seems to reduce us many Hong Kong Belongers to a secondary and third world role.

Having spent decades here, where I married a wonderful American girl, became a father, and worked in Hong Kong in advertising, journalism, coined the term “Canto Pop” when writing for Billboard, the world’s leading trade publication, and has been a senior music executive with Universal Music and EMI Music plus starting the Happy Wednesday brand for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, I hope to work towards celebrating the cultural diversity of Hong Kong.

How? Especially by showcasing talent from other minority groups and helping to remind everyone of the rich, vibrant city we all helped build by coming together.

The primary objective now is to create a new Hong Kong and a brave new world at a time when this city that has been home to many of us, needs our help and cultural diversity to make it more than what it is.

It’s something that should inspire and motivate us into taking everything we have and creating new ways to help a city that’s been home to many of us start something new and even more exciting.

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