When a visitor arrives for the first time in Hong Kong, it is clear this is a Chinese city, but with a Western overlay. The faces are mostly Chinese, the conversations are likely in the unfamiliar tones of the Cantonese dialect and Chinese characters abound. But English is also seen and heard. But this is not the whole story. Hong Kong is a city not only of Chinese and British but of many nationalities.
South Asians from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were some 80,000 in Hong Kong. They were soldiers and merchants – soldiers from the regiments of the British Indian Army and merchants who were Parsees from Western India. For the next 100 years, Indians played an essential role in the development and security of the colony. They ran international trading firms that shipped Chinese tea, silk, porcelain and spices to India and the West in exchange for opium, cotton, garments and other goods. They sold diamonds and jewellery.
South Asians brought with them their languages, religion, sports, customs, festivals and food. These have been preserved here until today. They built temples, mosques and other places of worship. Their sports and recreation clubs gave them a place to play cricket and hockey and the restaurants they opened offered a dazzling array of culinary styles and dishes – from curries and halal meat to vegan and vegetarian fare.
Illustrated with around 200 photographs.
About the Authors:
Was born in London and educated at New College, Oxford. After working in Washington DC and Belfast, he came to Hong Kong in 1978 and has remained in Asia since then. He worked in Taiwan, India, Japan and Mainland China before settling in Hong Kong in 2006. He has written 10 books, eight published by Joint Publishing. These include Israel and China: From the Tang Dynasty, The Miraculous History of China’s Two Place Museum.
Is a British journalist, who has made Hong Kong her home for the past 25 years. She has presented the RTHK Radio 3 weekly feature programme "Hong Kong Heritage" for the past 20 years. She also co-presents a daily news programme and is a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post newspaper. She has previously written for a variety of Asia-based and London publications, and was a Hong Kong stringer for the BBC World Service.
Was born and raised in Hong Kong. Kevin studied at Ecole regionale des beaux arts de Besancon in France. He has lived and worked in Vancouver, Beijing and Shanghai. Kevin has been a photographer since 1985. His pictures have appeared in many international media, including as the cover of The Economist magazine. Kevin freelances for Associated Press, Daily Telegraph, The Globe and Mail (of Toronto), Getty Images, Bloomberg News and Suddeutsche Zeitung.