Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wax burning

Wax burning , also known as wax boiling, is the heating of candle wax to high temperatures in a container as a form of entertainment.

Most of the time, it refers to a local tradition of Hong Kong youths during the Mid-Autumn Festival period in public parks or other such areas. One would use an empty moon cake tin as the container to bring candle wax to the boil, possibly adding newspaper scraps or other flammable fuel. When the wax fire reaches its peak, one would pour water onto the flames thus creating spectacular sizzling and steam. This practice is dangerous due to the flames' kickback and volatile amount of flowing hot wax, possibly causing third degree burns; several children have been taken to hospital each year due to "wax burning" related injuries. The annual numbers are in decline due to legislation and public education campaigns .

Attitude of the Hong Kong government to wax burning

As there are many revellers during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Hong Kong police force has previously paid little attention to wax boiling, and hence many local youths see the festival as a chance for "legal fire-setting". However, due to the amounts of leftover melted wax in public areas and the inherent danger of the practice, in 1990 the government began issuing public announcements to citizens not to boil wax. The police and Leisure and Cultural Services Department began patrolling public parks and areas during the three-day festival period, requesting citizens not to light too many candles at once and to prevent wax burning.

Offenders burning wax in public parks, beaches or BBQ areas face a maximum penalty of HK$2,000 and 14 days imprisonment. The Housing Department also prohibits the practice, claiming that five points deduction and a $1,500 fixed penalty notice will be imposed on offenders in its public housing estates. Leaving behind wax stains in public places will also fall under "littering" and is liable to a HK$1,500 fine. The government suggests


Villain hitting

Villain hitting, Da Xiaoren or demon exorcising is a folk popular in the Guangdong area of China including Hong Kong. Its purpose is to curse one's enemies using magic. Villain hitting is often considered a humble career, and the ceremony is often performed by older ladies.


The concept of "villain" is divided into two types: specific villain and general villain.

Specific Villain

Specific villains are individuals cursed by the villain hitter due to the hatred of their enemies who employ the hitter. A villain could be a famous person hated by the public such as a politician or could be personally known to their enemy, such as when the request is to curse a love rival.

General Villain

Villain hitters may help their clients curse a general villain: a group of people potentially harmful to the clients.

Dualism is mainstream in the traditional world view, and many different kinds of folk sorcery beliefs derive from this view. The concept of Villain and Gui Ren comes as a result of this yin and yang world view.


The period for villain hitting is different among temples, but Jingzhe is the most popular date. According to some folklore, Jingzhe is the date when the whole of creation is awakened by thunder. As a result, different kinds of foul spirits including byakko and villains become active. Consequently, villain hitting on this day serves to prevent those harmful to others.


Villain hitting is often done in gloomy places such as somewhere under an overpass. In Hong Kong, the Canal Road Flyover between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai is a popular place for villain hitting. There are many villain hitters here especially on Jingzhe.


Receiving orders from clients, villain hitters require human-shaped papers with or without some information of specific people. As part of the ceremony, they beat the papers with shoes or other implements. The whole ceremony of villain hitting is divided into 8 parts:

# Sacrifice to divinities :Worship deities by Incense and Candle.
# Report :Write down the name and the date of birth of the client on the Fulu . If the client request to hit a specific villain, then write down or put the name, date of birth, photo or clothings of the specific villain on the villain paper.
# Villain hitting :Make use of a varieties of symbolic object such as the shoe of clients or the villain hitter or other religious symbolic weapon like incense sticks to hit or hurt the villain paper. Villain paper can also replaced by other derivative such as man paper, woman paper, five ghost paper etc.
# Sacrifice to :The hitter have to make sacrifice to Bái Hǔ if they want to hit villain on Jingzhe. Use a yellow paper tiger to represent Bái Hǔ, there are black stripes on the paper tiger and a pair of shape tooth in its mouth. During the sacrifice a small piece of pork is soaked by blood of pig and then put inside the mouth of the paper tiger . Bái Hǔ won't hurt others after being full. Sometimes they will also smear a greasy pork on Bái Hǔ's mouth to make its mouth full of oil and unable to open its mouth to hurt people. In some regional sacrifice the villain would burn the paper tiger of cut off its head after making sacrifice to it.
# Reconciliation
# Pray for blessings :Use a red Gui Ren paper to bray for blessings and help from Gui Ren.
# Treasure Burning :Burn the paper-made-treasure to worship the spirits。
# Zhi Jiao :Zhi Jiao, to cast two crescent-shaped wooden piece to under go the Zhi Jiao ceremony.

Sport in Hong Kong

Sports in Hong Kong, as in other countries, are important part of the culture. Hong Kong, however, have a limited amount of resources. A balanced mix of eastern and western culture sports do exist in the territory.


is located today where the original location of ''"Victoria Recreation Club"'' stood in 1849 after having been in operation in since 1832. It is the first sporting club established in Hong Kong's history. The first sports involved were water sports such as .

The primary sport in Hong Kong has been football due mainly to British influence going as far back as the late 19th century. The first documented team came from the "Chinese Football Team" of 1904, which began as a club called the "South China Athletic Club" founded by Mok Hing The Hong Kong Government is also known for its proactive approach towards sporting events prior to the upcoming Beijing Olympics.


Hong Kong First Division Football League

In recent years, Hong Kong Football Association has been having trouble keeping ten professional teams in the Hong Kong First Division League. But for the 2008-09 season, 13 teams will compete.

Most of the Hong Kong First Division League matches are played at Mongkok Stadium and Hong Kong Stadium. In 2008-09 season, Tai Po Sports Ground and Shenzhen Stadium will also be used.

Hong Kong Marathon

The Hong Kong Marathon takes place every February and draws as many as 30,000 participants.

International sporting events

Asian Games

Hong Kong has been participating in the Asian Games since the . The most recent participation was the 2006 Asian Games.

Commonwealth Games

Hong Kong competed at the Commonwealth Games from 1934 until 1994 as a British colony . Over the years Team Hong Kong picked up a number of medals, including in Lawn Bowls.

Summer Olympics

Hong Kong has participated in all Summer Olympic Games since the in Helsinki, Finland. The first medal was won in the in Atlanta, US. Lee Lai Shan won gold in the women's mistral individual event in . Coincidentally, it was also the last medal won by Hong Kong as a British territory.

The territory participated under the new name and its new regional flag for the first time in the in Sydney, Australia. Hong Kong won its second ever Olympic medal in the in Athens, Greece where Hong Kong won silver in men's doubles event in table tennis.

The events of the 2008 Summer Olympics will be held in Hong Kong. This will mark the second time the same edition of the Olympic Games to be hosted by two National Olympic Committees, namely by that of the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. It has been announced that the Hong Kong Sports Institute at Fo Tan, Sha Tin will be the site of the events.

Winter Olympics

Hong Kong participated its first Winter Olympic Games in the in Salt Lake City, USA. No medal were won at those games.

Hong Kong Sevens

The Hong Kong Sevens were established in 1976 and since held in March every year except for 1997 and 2005. As part of the IRB Sevens World Series in rugby union, the two-and-a-half-day event is a tournamnent participated by as many as 22 countries.


Sifu is a term for a master. The character 師 means “teacher”. The meaning of 傅 is “tutor” and of 父 “father”, both characters are read fu with the same tones in Cantonese and , creating some ambiguity. A similar term often used in the north is 老師 ''lǎo shī'' , "elder teacher".

Contextually, ''sifu'' is used in a familial manner as a child addressing a parent by the description "father", rather than a self referenced title seen in modern slang usage. It is also commonly used in a martial arts context to denote an instructional relationship.

Common usage

In mainland China, sifu is a common respectful form to address most professionals where knowledge or skill is exchanged, such as s, , monks, house decorators, and many elders of old trades and arts, with a large amount of experience, such as paintings and calligraphy. It is commonly used to refer to traditional professions where apprenticeship is possible, as this word is the reciprocal of "apprentice" .

It is rarely used and may even be disrespectful when used to refer to people of modern professions such as doctors and lawyers. In addition, it is rarely used to refer to teachers and professors in academic settings.

In modern slang, people use the word so as to, superficially, build up a better guanxi with others, in particular those with whom they are not familiar, not dissimilar from the western terms "boss" and "guv'nor".

Martial arts usage of sifu

Traditionally, in Chinese martial arts, the term was used as a familial term and sign of respect as in the general usage.

The term takes on a more intimate context when a student becomes a formal student or disciple of the teacher. The acceptance as a student is a very formal event, usually requiring a discipleship ceremony called ''bai shi''. After the ceremony, the relationship is defined as a more direct parent/child context and usage takes on this term rather than a generic sign of respect for skill and knowledge.

Shopping in Hong Kong

Shopping in Hong Kong have been categorized from ''"social activity"'' to a ''"serious sport"''. It is an important part of the culture and a way of life. Few cities in the world can rival the experience from an economic, business or social standpoint.


Hong Kong's culture is very much dominated by consumerism. In the early Colonial Hong Kong period, the territory served as a middleman that sold far more than it consumed. Goods were largely sold via mobile hawker units or independent shops, with the majority of trade, utilities, shipping and manufacturing handled by the Hongs. The establishment of banks and deposit institutions allowed people to accumulate savings, and expand their personal finance.

With significant manufacturing outputs, the economy turned around in the , setting the mall trends in motion. One of the first recognized modern shopping centre was . Daimaru opened the flood gate of Japanese goods to Hong Kong in 1966.

In the late 1970s, one of the first modern shopping development was in above the MTR station. Only specific import goods like alcohol, tobacco, perfumes, cosmetics, cars and petroleum products have taxes associated. For companies, there is a 17.5% corporate tax, which is lower than international standards.

Its proximity to manufacturing plants in China as well as being a free port provide the territory with significant advantages. Large quantities of goods could be manufactured and transported in short periods of time. Imports from Europe, Japan, US and Taiwan also add international flavor to the mix.


Convenience is a given, when most stores are tightly lined up next to one another in proximity. Tsim Sha Tsui alone offer more than 600 stores. Similar statistics can be drawn from and numerous other areas. With its balance of international stores, shopping in Hong Kong could essentially mimic shopping around the world. Though shopping selections are based on a wide scope, ranging from the most ancient to the most hi-tech goods.

Businesses are not always catered to high-end wealthy customers, as plenty of bargains attract regular shoppers. Transportation also eases the shopping experience as MTR subway and s allow anyone to get around with no preceding geographical knowledge or drivers license.

Other benefits include a mild winter climate during the two most critical shopping seasons in Christmas and Chinese New Year .


Hong Kong is unique in the sense that the population is fully engaged in two very different languages. Having derived from the Sino-Tibetan family and from the , the territory is capable of communicating with eastern or western shoppers. Merchants will find it handy to open branches in a bilingual territory. While one may argue the proficiency of English in some areas, Hong Kong, Macau and India are the only region on the with a 50% stake in two very different language families. The law also guarantees both Cantonese and English remain official, so bilingual sales tags and sales people are common, especially in the areas frequented by tourists.

Cultural openness is also an important factor, as Hong Kong is receptive toward selling merchandise regardless of the origin. Government believes in a hands-off policy, and do not censor, restrict or modify. An example is authentic looking .

Hong Kong is trendy and moves at a hectically fast pace. One can go shopping at a particular place, only to return a few days later to find the store completely rearranged. To survive stores must stay current, not only in merchandise but presentation.


In the mix of competition, Hong Kong has a reputation for selling counterfeits and fakes. The mishap of paying for items that turns out to be illegitimate is an ongoing problem. Items from bootleg CDs, clothing brands, watches to software have all been forged. The Hong Kong Tourism Board have introduced a plan to identify shops that offer a reliable service via a 300 page book called "A Guide to Quality Shops and Restaurants". Divisions like have also taken part in the anti-corruption process. On the contrary, bargain hunting has been a controversial issue since local consumers often seek to buy imitation brand-named goods at well below market price value.

However, in recent years, this problem has shifted to mainland China, where IP laws are not enforced as strongly and prices of these counterfeit products are even lower.

Warranties and return policies vary widely depending on stores. A majority will not allow refund or exchanges if the items have been tampered with.

Pang uk

Pang uk is a kind of stilt house found in Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. ''Pang uk'' are built on water or on small beaches.

A fire broke out in 2000 destroying some of the houses in Tai O, and some were later rebuilt.

They were once found in many other fishing towns and villages in rural Hong Kong, but only those in Tai O are preserved in a large scale, with some in the Lei Yue Mun Village and Ma San Tsuen in Lei Yue Mun. According to historians, ''pang uk'' were evolved from boat houses of or fishing people, after moving to reside on land.


Literature of Hong Kong

Literature of Hong Kong is writing about or from Hong Kong or by writers from Hong Kong. It is usually either in Chinese or English.


*List of Hong Kong poets

Translating from .

Jau Gwei

Jau Gwei refers to the sudden abandonment of roadside vendor stalls in Hong Kong, when the squads of the Hawker Control Team are coming and the vendors are either operating a stall illegally or selling prohibited goods.

''Gwei'' refers to the ''Gweilo'', as the hawker control officers were usually westerners in the old days.

''Jau Gwei'' is the word shouted out to warn other vendors of the approaching squads. Hong Kong has tried to reduce illegal vendors by licensing hawker permitted places, but a large percentage of street vendors still operate illegally. The term can be heard in other parts of Mainland China's Guangdong province where similar situations exist with illegal street vendors.

Hong Kong returnee

A Hong Kong returnee is a who to another country, lived for an extended period of time in his or her adopted home, and then subsequently moved back to Hong Kong.


According to the Hong Kong Transition Project of Hong Kong Baptist University, in 2002, the population of Hong Kong Returnees numbered at 3% of the Hong Kong population. This number was arrived at by survey and a participant is categorised as "Returnee" by self-identification. As such, it excluded those Hong Kongers surveyed that have foreign citizenship, but did not self-identify as "Returnee".


Most returnees left Hong Kong during the 1980s and the 1990s, after the announcement of the back to Chinese rule. It is estimated that nearly one-sixth of the population of Hong Kong emigrated between 1984 and 1997. The destination of choice was usually a western country, most popular amongst them were Canada, Australia, and the United States.

There are typically two types of emigrants, those who planned on returning to Hong Kong after they obtained foreign citizenship, and those who planned on staying in their adopted homes permanently and fully adapting to life there. The former are sometimes better described as ''sojourners'' rather than emigrants. However, often these two types of Hong Kong emigrants act against what they had planned, where some of those who had planned on permanent stays actually returned to Hong Kong, and sojourners planned on temporary stays actually made the decision to stay permanently in their adopted homelands.


It is estimated that 30% of those Hong Kongers who moved away in the 1980s have returned to Hong Kong. Those that have moved back to Hong Kong have returned for various reasons - for economic reasons, or simply because they enjoy living in Hong Kong more than they do elsewhere. Specifically, many wealthy Hong Kongers who emigrated to Canada found that they could not adjust to the economic culture in Canada. The higher taxes, the higher occurrence of "red tape", as well as the language barrier made it difficult for them to do business. Comparatively speaking, doing business in Hong Kong was much easier.

"The concept of ‘return migration’ doesn’t quite capture the contingency and fuzziness of Hong Kong emigrant strategies. Returnees could go back to Australia at any stage, especially if they gained Australian citizenship. They could be planning to move back on retirement, or if there are unfavourable ‘changes’ in Hong Kong. suggests the term ‘return movement’, since ‘return migration’ assumes a permanency which may not be justified. Nevertheless, return movements should be distinguished from visits and various types of business and social ‘commuting’ of a very short-term nature."

Social consequences

Cultural identity

Issues of identity have sometimes arisen for returnees, especially amongst those returnees that left Hong Kong when they were children, because of the change in national identity of Hong Kong the city itself due to Hong Kong returning to Chinese rule, and because of the life experiences gained living in their previously adopted homes outside of Hong Kong.


Many of those who returned to Hong Kong were husbands who left their entire families in their adopted homes, while they worked in Hong Kong. These husbands were dubbed ''Taai Hung Yahn'' , or "astronauts" because they spend their lives flying back and forth between Hong Kong and the adopted homes of their families. The absence of these husbands from their families often create tension in their relationships.

''Taai Hung Yahn'' is also a play on words. Taking a more literal meaning of the Chinese characters for "astronaut", ''Taai Hung Yahn'' can translate loosely to "man without a wife".

Hong Kong cultural policy

The Hong Kong cultural policy refers to the development and preservation of Hong Kong's arts and cultural heritage. As a player on the global stage of world cities, Hong Kong is perhaps best known for its role as an international financial center and shopping mecca, and not for its artistic and cultural offerings. The popular stereotype of the city holds that its residents are far too focused on getting and spending to concern themselves with the ephemeral affairs of art and culture.

Yet in recent years the city’s government, residents, and the media have brought more attention to the development of the city’s arts scene and preservation of the former British colony’s unique cultural heritage. It has been argued that the role of art and culture in Hong Kong has taken on increasing prominence in city’s search for an identity in the ten years since China resumed sovereignty over the territory. The limitations on democracy in post-colonial Hong Kong may lead more residents to seek expression or confirmation of their identities through arts and culture.

Cultural Policy

The administration of arts and culture in Hong Kong has undergone major changes since Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997. Cultural matters, previously under the auspices of the two Municipal Councils, now fall mainly under the purview of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Arts and Development Council . The government’s formal cultural policy statement is available on the website of the .

The ADC is a statutory body established in 1995 to replace the former Council of Performing Arts. The ADC is responsible for promoting broad development of the arts, makes recommendations to the government on cultural policy and development and provides funding for cultural organizations. However, the ADC has been criticized for lacking the executive power and resources to implement policies directly.
The current chief executive of the ADC, Jonathan Yu, took up his position in April 2005 after more than two decades with the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation.

The LCSD organizes artistic and cultural activities and manages a number of cultural facilities. LCSD manages 15 performance venues and 16 museums throughout Hong Kong. The Antiquities and Monuments Office, part of the LCSD, is responsible for heritage conservation and education in Hong Kong.

The Culture and Heritage Commission was set up in April 2000 to advise on cultural policy and funding priorities. Its Policy Recommendation Report, submitted in April 2003, has been adopted as the blueprint for Hong Kong’s cultural policy. The CHC set forth six general principles to guide Hong Kong’s cultural policy: The six principles are "people-oriented", "pluralism", "freedom of expression and protection of intellectual property", "holistic approach", "partnership" and "community-driven."

Other proposed policy reforms include increased corporatization of government-sponsored cultural organizations, small scale public-private partnerships, and the controversial .

The government has commissioned a number of studies on Hong Kong’s creative industries and cultural policy. Yet to date, many of the ongoing policy issues have not been resolved.
Critics have complained of the government’s over-reliance on advisory committees and consultations in managing cultural affairs on the grounds that is inefficient and contrary to global trends in arts administration.

Funding and Support for the Arts

The Hong Kong government allocates around US $300 million per year for culture and arts, which accounts for about 1 percent of total government spending.

In the 2006-2007 Policy Address, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang announced that the Arts and Sport Development Fund would receive US $5 million dollars to support cultural activities.

The ADC receives an annual subvention of around US $12 million dollars from the Home Affairs Bureau and around US $3 million on average from the Arts and Sports Development Fund. In addition to providing grants to arts groups, the ADC has established an Arts Service Centre in Sheung Wan to provide office space and facilities for smaller arts organizations.

The LCSD provides funding for the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival and four professional performing companies: the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Dance Company and Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. In addition to individual events, it also organizes two arts festivals per year: the summer International Arts Carnival for families and children, and a themed arts festival in the fall.

Film Industry

Globally, Hong Kong’s most noted contribution in terms of arts and culture has come through its film industry, which is the world’s third largest . have received worldwide critical acclaim and have been remade into blockbuster films by Hollywood, while Hong Kong directors and actors have gone on to find crossover success in Hollywood.

Hong Kong’s film industry has suffered since its last heyday of the 1980s and early 1990s, and the government has recently introduced measures to boost the film industry but this has failed miserably. The death of the Arts in Hong Kong is in large part due to an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship that the Hong Kong Chinese imposed upon themselves after the 1997 handover.

In the 2006-2007 Policy Address the Chief Executive proposed the establishment of a Hong Kong Film Development Council to support film production in the city. In his the 2007-2008 budget, Financial Secretary Henry Tang announced that US $40 million would be earmarked for a new fund to finance film production and professional development within the industry.


Hong Kong is home to numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Those that receive significant public funding include:

* – February/March

*Hong Kong International Film Festival – March/April

* – July/August

* – October/November

Arts Education

The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts is Hong Kong’s only tertiary institution devoted to the performing arts, film, television and related technical arts.

Heritage Conservation and Collective Memory

After the demolition of the Star Ferry pier in December 2006 led to widely publicized protests, the government is reviewing its policies on heritage conservation. The Antiquities and Monuments Office has published a throughout the territory, though no decision has been made on the extent of protection for these buildings.

Hong Kong’s collective memory, as manifested in its street markets, , and artisanal traditions, is also being integrated into the city’s cultural policy.


The Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set is a set of Chinese characters -- 4,702 in total in the initial release -- used exclusively in . It evolved from the preceding Government Chinese Character Set or GCCS. GCCS is a set of supplementary Chinese characters coded in the user-defined areas of the Big5 character set. It was originally used within the Hong Kong Government and later used by the public. It later evolved into Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set when the characters in the set were submitted to ISO-10646 for coding.

Development History

Due to the inherent differences between and , the Hong Kong Government recognized the need for a standardized set of ''proprietary'' characters that would allow for the streamlining of electronic communication; at the time, the Big5 Chinese encoding scheme did not contain a vast majority of these characters .

The Government Chinese Character Set or GCCS was thus developed by the government. The character set consists of Chinese characters commonly used in Hong Kong. Some characters are -specific, while some are alternative forms of characters. The set is not well-organised and the characters are not closely examined.

Subsequently, the HKSCS-1999 was developed. Following its acceptance, newer revisions were released in 2001 and in 2004 , totalling 4,941 characters.

The HKSCS is encoded in Big5 and ISO 10646. Starting from HKSCS-2004, all characters using to Private Use Area section of Unicode are remapped, with many of them reassigned to Extension B Block or Supplementary Ideographic Plane Compatibility Block. However, to preserve compatibility with programs that generated PUA code points, the allocated code points are reserved, and no new characters will be mapped to .


Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows

In Microsoft Windows 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, HKSCS support can be enabled using Microsoft's patch. In Microsoft's implementation, application using code page 950 automatically uses a hidden code page 951 table. The table supports all code points in HKSCS-2001, except for the compatibility code points specified by the standard. In addition, the MingLiU font is altered using Microsoft's patch. This patch is known to create conflicts in applications such as Microsoft Office, or any application using fonts supporting simplified Chinese characters . If the target environment contains custom font mapped to the code points affected by Microsoft's patch, the custom fonts can undo Microsoft's patch. Furthermore, the patch breaks EUDC Editor supplied with the affected versions of Windows.

According to Microsoft, HKSCS-2004 characters will only be supported in Unicode 4.1 or later encoding. A utility is available to convert HKSCS and PUA-encoded characters to Unicode 4.1 version .

Software for entering HKSCS characters can be found in Hong Kong government's Digital 21 site.

In Windows Vista, HKSCS-2004 is fully supported, and characters can be displayed using MingLiU_HKSCS, MingLiU_HKSCS-ExtB fonts. All characters are assigned standard, non-PUA codepoints.

Entering HKSCS characters can be done in Windows Vista. For earlier versions of the OS, it requires the use of Microsoft's patch, or using Digital 21's utility.


HKSCS support was added to glibc in 2000, but it has not been updated since then.

For setup, ''AR PL ShanHeiSun Uni'' font fully supports HKSCS-2004 since, with latest revision of HKSCS-2004 supported in version 0.1.20060903-1.

Mac OS

Mac OS X 10.0-10.2 supports HKSCS-1999. 10.3-10.4 supports HKSCS-2001.


Mozilla 1.5 and above supports HKSCS, with HKSCS-2004 support added into Gecko 1.8.1 code base. Unlike the above mentioned patch, Mozilla uses its own code page table.

3.x-based applications only support characters mapped to code points FFFF or lower. In QT4, characters outside BMP are supported via surrogates.

GNOME supports HKSCS characters in Unicode ranges, except those mapped to the Basic Multilingual Plane compatibility block.


Gweilo is a term for Caucasians, and has a long racially deprecatory history of use; however, nowadays it is usually not considered derogatory by Cantonese speakers.

Etymology and history

Gweilo ; ''sei gweilo'' , literally means "dead ghost man", using the translation "dead" for "sei" because it is only correct to be used as an adjective. However, the word "sei gweilo", when used to describe a living person, means "bad person". "Sei" is commonly added to other terms in order to describe the person or people being referred to as "bad", such as "sei lo" , meaning literally "dead man" or "bad guy" and "sei chai lo" , literally "dead policeman" or "bad policeman". Chinese people also can call each other "Sei gwei" in some situations, literally meaning "dead ghost", but refers to a bad man also. Even without the word ''sei'' the character itself can express intense loathing as when it was attached to the Japanese military in the term "Guizi Bing" during their massacre of what some have estimated to be upwards to 30 million Chinese during World War II.

While "gwailo" is commonly used by some Cantonese speakers in informal speech, the more polite alternative ''sai yan'' is now used. Many Cantonese speakers, however, frequently use the term to refer to white people and westerners in general and they consider the term non-derogatory, a controversial notion.. The term was commonly prefaced by ''sei'' as in ''sei gweilo'', meaning "damned ghost man", and used pejoratively with ''sei'' as the pejorative suffix.

Use of the term "gwei" to refer to Westerners is frequently referenced in Maxine Hong Kingston's ''The Woman Warrior''.


''Gweilo'' is the most generic term, but variations include:
*To refer specifically to non-Chinese women: ''gweipor'' which is also often spelt "gwai-poh" (it should be noted that "poh" implies the person is old"
*To refer specifically to non-Chinese boys: ''gweizai''
*To refer specifically to non-Chinese girls: ''gweimui''

Due to its widespread use, the term ''gwei'', which means ghost, has taken on the general meaning of "foreigner" and can refer to the European races since Indians, Filipinos, Indonesians, African and other races have their own separate racial terms that are used for them instead of gweilo. The following variant of the term is considered racist because they are specific to a group of people based on their racial characteristic:
* To refer to a foreigner: ''bakgwei''
* To refer to a foreigner: ''hakgwei''

Cultural reference

In 1999, CFMT-TV in Toronto had a cooking show named ''Gwai Lo Cooking''. It featured a Cantonese-speaking European chef as the host, who was also the show's producer and the person who named the show. In response to some complaints, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that

... While historically, "gwai lo" may have been used by Chinese people as a racist remark concerning foreigners, particularly European Westerners, the persons consulted by the Council indicate that it has since lost much of its racist overtone. The Council finds that the expression has also lost most of its religious meaning, so that "foreign devil" no longer carries the theological significance it once did. Based on its research, the Council understands that the expression has gone from being considered offensive to, at worst, merely "impolite".

According to CFMT-TV, ''"Gwei Lo"'' was used as "a self-deprecating term of endearment". Others, however, particularly foreigners living in Hong Kong, find the term demeaning and/or racist. However, it is also used by some non-Chinese to address themselves.

Related terms

In , guizi is a similar term to ''gweilo''. ''Guizi'', however, can be used to refer to either the or Europeans . ''Laowai'' is a word usually used for Europeans, and is a less pejorative term in Mandarin than ''guizi''. Also, cf. Ang Mo meaning 'red hair' .

Flag of Hong Kong

The flag of Hong Kong, or the Regional Flag of the , features a stylised, white, five-petal ''Bauhinia blakeana'' flower in the centre of a red field.

The flag of Hong Kong was adopted on 16 February 1990. On 10 August 1996, it received formal approval from the , a group which advised the People's Republic of China on from the United Kingdom to the PRC in 1997. The flag was first officially hoisted on 1 July 1997, in the marking the transfer of sovereignty. The precise use of the flag is regulated by laws passed by the 58th executive meeting of the held in Beijing. The design of the flag is enshrined in Hong Kong's , the city's constitutional document, and regulations regarding the use, prohibition of use, , and manufacture of the flag are stated in the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance.



The design of the flag carries cultural, political and regional meanings. The colour itself is significant; red is a festive colour for the Chinese people, used to convey a sense of celebration and nationalism. Moreover, the red colour is identical to that used in the , chosen to signify the link re-established between post-colonial Hong Kong and China. The juxtaposition of red and white on the flag symbolises the ''one country two systems'' political principle applied to the region. The stylised rendering of the ''Bauhinia blakeana'' flower, a flower discovered in Hong Kong, is meant to serve as a harmonising symbol for this dichotomy.


Historical flags

Prior to Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty, the flag of Hong Kong was a colonial Blue Ensign flag. The flag of colonial Hong Kong underwent several changes in the last one and a half centuries.

In 1843, a representing Hong Kong was instituted. The design was based on a local waterfront scene; three local merchants with their commercial goods can be found on the foreground, a square-rigged ship and a junk occupy the middle ground, while the background consists of conical hills and clouds. In 1868, a Hong Kong flag was produced, a Blue Ensign flag with a badge based on this "local scene", but the design was rejected by Richard Graves MacDonnell.

In 1870, a "white crown over HK" badge for the Blue Ensign flag was proposed by the . The letters "HK" were omitted and the crown became full-colour three years later. Six designs were chosen as finalists by the judges, but were all later rejected by the PRC. Ho and two others were then asked by the PRC to submit new proposals. At major government offices and buildings, such as the Office of the Chief Executive, the , the Court of Final Appeal, the , the , and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices overseas, the flag is displayed during days when these offices are working. Other government offices and buildings, such as hospitals, schools, departmental headquarters, sports grounds, and cultural venues should fly the flag on occasions such as the , the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day , and New Year's Day. A Hong Kong flag that is either damaged, defaced, faded or substandard must not be displayed or used.

Displayed together with the national flag

Whenever the national PRC flag is flown together with the regional Hong Kong flag, the national flag must be flown at the centre, above the regional flag, or otherwise in a more prominent position than that of the regional flag. The regional flag must be smaller in size than the national flag, and it must be displayed to the left of the national flag. When the flags are displayed inside a building, the left and right sides of a person looking at the flags, and with his or her back toward the wall, are used as reference points for the left and right sides of a flag. When the flags are displayed outside a building, the left and right sides of a person standing in front of the building and looking towards the front entrance are used as reference points for the left and right sides of a flag. The national flag should be raised before the regional flag is raised, and it should be lowered after the regional flag is lowered.
*President of the People's Republic of China
*Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
*Chairman of the Central Military Commission
*Chairman of the
*Persons who have made outstanding contributions to the People's Republic of China as the Central People's Government advises the Chief Executive.
*Persons who have made outstanding contributions to world peace or the cause of human progress as the Central People's Government advises the Chief Executive.
*Persons whom the Chief Executive considers have made outstanding contributions to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or for whom he considers it appropriate to do so.

The flag may also be flown at half-staff when the Central People's Government advises the Chief Executive to do so, or when the Chief Executive considers it appropriate to do so, on occurrences of unfortunate events causing especially serious casualties, or when serious natural calamities have caused heavy casualties. and that "publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling" the flag is considered flag desecration.

The ordinance also allows for the Chief Executive to make stipulations regarding the use of the flag. In stipulations made in 1997, the Chief Executive further specified that the use of the flag in "any trade, calling or profession, or the logo, seal or badge of any non-governmental organisation" is also prohibited unless prior permission was obtained.

Leung Kwok-hung, a member of the Legislative Council and a prominent political activist in Hong Kong, was penalised for defiling the Hong Kong flag in 2001 . He was placed on a good-behaviour bond for 12 months in the sum of HK$3,000 for dotting the flag with black marks while protesting against the handover anniversary and elections to choose the Election Committee, the electoral college which elects the Chief Executive, in Wan Chai, and on 1 July and 9 July 2000.

Leung's case was the second convicted case of flag desecration in Hong Kong. The first case involved demonstrators Ng Kung Siu and Lee Kin Yun, who were found guilty of desecrating both the Hong Kong flag and the national PRC flag in a demonstration held in January 1998, for writing the word "Shame" on both flags. The case was finally decided in the Court of Final Appeal, the highest appellate court in Hong Kong, after an initial guilty verdict was overturned by the .

Emblem of Hong Kong

The Emblem of Hong Kong, or the Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is the emblem which represents Hong Kong. It came into use on 1 July 1997, after from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China.

The emblem features the same design elements as the regional Flag of Hong Kong in a circular setting. The outer white ring is shown with the caption of the official name of the territory in Traditional Chinese and the English short form, "Hong Kong".

Colonial Coat of Arms

The arms had been in use in colonial Hong Kong since it was granted on 21 January, 1959 and later adopted on the in July of that year. The use of the arms ended in 1997 where it was replaced by the regional emblem. The Coat of Arms feature a shield with two sections: the bears two traditional Chinese junks facing each other. Inside the or is a gold-coloured naval crown. The 'embattled' design separates the chief from the rest of the shield. The features a lion holding a pearl. The shield is held up by two supporters, a lion and a Chinese dragon. The shield and supporters stand on the compartment, which consists of a heraldic island bearing the motto "HONG KONG".

The two junks symbolise the importance of trade within the colony. The naval crown symbolises Hong Kong's links with the and the Merchant Navy, and the battlements commemorate the Battle of Hong Kong during World War II. The pearl held by the lion wearing the imperial crown in the crest personifies the romanticised phrase "Pearl of the Orient" referring to Hong Kong. The lion and dragon supporters show the British and Chinese aspects of Hong Kong. The island symbolises the beginning of the colony as an island and represents the maritime and hilly geography of Hong Kong. Some Hong Kong nationalists consider the design as an insult: the pearl originally in the left forelimb of the dragon is now given to the lion .

The crest alone had featured on the of Hong Kong coinage before the introduction of the Bauhinia design in preparation for the in 1997.

Colonial Badge

The colonial seal badge was in use since 1843 in one version or another until it was replaced by the coat of arms granted in 1959. Throughout several revisions, the idea of the remained. It depicted three Chinese merchants and a pile of cargo on a wharf on the left in the foreground. In the background there was a square-rigged ship and a Chinese junk in the harbour backed by conical hills.

External references


Diu (Cantonese)

Diu is a common profanity in Cantonese. It can be regarded as the Cantonese equivalent of the English fuck. In , it is equivalent to the English "dick". The character, in , is also used by young people in Taiwan to mean "cool" .

In classic Chinese

''Diu'' is a word in the Chinese language. It appears frequently in the text of the classic novel ''Water Margin'', and is written as . It is used as an emphatic adjective with a function similar to the English "fucking", "bloody" or "god damned". For example,

''Water Margin'', Chp. 29

''Diu'' means primarily the penis. It is written as 屌 when used in this sense, but usually as 鳥 when used as an emphatic adjective. For example,

''Romance of the West Chamber'' , Act 5, Scene 3

has its female equivalent in the traditional Chinese written language. In the , the word, meaning penis, is sometimes written as . For example,

''Jiu Fengchen'' , Act 1

In Hong Kong and Macau

The written form is mainly seen in Hong Kong, for example, on graffiti. In Cantonese, it is used as a transitive verb meaning to copulate. In a manner similar to the word fuck, it is also used to express dismay, disgrace, disapproval and so on. For example, someone may shout "diu nei!" at somebody when he or she finds that other person annoying.

"Diu nei loe moe!" or "Diu nei loe mei" , a euphemism, is a highly offensive profanity in Cantonese when directed against a specific person instead of used as a general exclamation. In Cantonese, the meaning "''I'' fuck your mother" is implied, as opposed to English, in which the phrase "motherfucker" is an imperative.

The form is absent in the Big-5 character set on computers. The Government of Hong Kong has extended Unicode and the Big-5 character set with the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set , which includes Chinese characters only used in Cantonese, including the Five Great Profanities. The government explained that the reason for these characters being included is to allow for the Hong Kong Police to record criminal suspects' statements. Consequently, these characters are now also in Unicode.

In English, "damn" gives birth to its euphemism "darn"; similarly in Cantonese, especially Hong Kong Cantonese, ''diu'' has ''yiu'' and ''Tiu'' "siu" as its euphemisms.

Ding Hai Effect

The Ding Hai Effect , Adam Cheng Effect, Chiu Koon Effect , or Qiuguan Effect is a peculiar stock phenomenon that affects Hong Kong stock markets.


It is observed that whenever the Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng stars in a new television show, there is a sudden and unexplained drop in the market. This is still a popular topic amongst stock brokers, years after the drama series ''Greed of Man'' was broadcasted in Hong Kong in October 1992. The effect is named after Ding Hai, the main character of the show, played by Adam Cheng.


In the 1990s, TVB aired the classic drama ''The Greed of Man'', which featured some of the most popular actors and actresses of the time. The drama centred heavily around the stock market, and the schemes and plots of those who struck it rich in the market.

Cheng, who played Ding Hai in the drama, made an immense fortune with his four sons by selling short derivatives and stocks during a bear market. Many people went broke, but the Ding family became richer and richer until an eventual defeat by the family's nemesis.


Initially, the Ding Hai Effect occurred whenever the TVB drama series ''Greed of Man'' or its remake, ''Divine Retribution'' , made by Asia Television Ltd was broadcast. Later, it was also observed that the effect occurs whenever a new drama show that Cheng stars in was aired.


* October 1992: The drama series ''Greed of Man'' made its debut on TVB. During the time it was broadcast, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 598 points in 4 days, causing billions in stock losses.

* November 1994: ''Instinct'' made its debut on TVB. The Heng Sang Index fell more than 2,000 points.

* September 1996: ''Once Upon a Time in Shanghai'' premiered on TVB. The Hang Seng Index fell 300 points.

* June 1997: ''Cold Blood Warm Heart'' made its debut on TVB. The Hang Seng Index accumulated 735 points in losses.

* December 1997: ''Legend of Yung Ching'' premiered. At this time, the Asian Financial Crisis began, and the Heng Seng Index fell 5,324 points, ending below the 10,000 mark.

* June 1999, ''Lord of Imprisonment'' premiered, causing the Heng Seng Index to decline 1,176 points


* September 2000: A loose re-make of ''The Greed of Man'', ''Divine Retribution'' , aired on . Due to the Tech stock bubble at the time, the Hang Seng Index fell an accumulated 1,715 points, with other stock markets around the world falling as a result also.

*Summer 2003: ''Greed of Man'' re-aired on TVB's US satellite channel, TVB-USA. Corporate Corruption scandals stemming from financial troubles at Enron caused much stock market instability in the US and other global markets.

*October 2003: ''The Driving Power'' made its debut. At first, it appeared the spell was broken, with the Heng Seng Index rising more than 100 points on the day of the premiere. However, the market soon fell, eventually falling 51 points.

* March 2004: ''Blade Heart'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing the Hang Seng Index to fall 550 points over 3 days due to high oil prices and instabilities in the Middle East.

* October 2004: ''The Conqueror's Story'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing a 198-point drop in the Heng Seng Index on the day of the premiere

* March 2005: ''The Prince's Shadow'' premiered, and local uncertainties surrounding the resignation of Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa caused wild fluctuations in the market.

* April 2006: ''Bar Bender'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing wild drops in US and Hong Kong stock markets. {[fact

* July 2006: ''The Prince's Shadow'' aired on TVB-USA, and markets fell dramatically due to the .

* February-March 2007: ''The Prince's Shadow'' was rebroadcast in Hong Kong, and a Chinese stock market crisis caused Hong Kong and global markets to drop significantly.

* May 2007: Investigative programme ''Mystery'' premiered, with Cheng as the host. The Heng Seng Index fell 700 points.

* July 2007: ''Return Home'' premiered in Hong Kong, and the caused the market to fall 1,165 points in Hong Kong; US and Canadian stock markets also dropped significantly in July and August.

* August 2007: ''Bar Benders'' premiered on TVB-USA, and the caused extreme drops in global markets. The market is still in a volatile state when the series finale aired on 10 September 2007. It is interesting to note that ''The Greed of Man'' was rerun at roughly the same time on TVB-USA.

* October-November 2007: ''The Conqueror's Story'' premiered in Singapore, global markets dropped significantly for weeks.


The only time that the Ding Hai Effect did not occur was in late 2006, when a cultural and educational programme about the Forbidden City hosted by Cheng was aired in the US and did not cause a stock market crisis.


The Ding Hai Effect has led to Adam Cheng attracting much press attention. Now, whenever a new show starring Adam Cheng is about to be broadcast, some stockbrokers and investors in Hong Kong become wary, even anticipating a drop in the market.

While some investors have argued that the effect is no more than a series of coincidences and amounts to nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, the show's peculiar effect on the stock market is regarded by some as more than coincidence. It was also confirmed that Crédit Lyonnais wrote a report on this matter.

This strange phenomenon also created a career trough for Adam Cheng in Hong Kong during the 1990s, for the two over-the-air television stations in Hong Kong avoided using Cheng for its dramas, partly because they did not want to bear responsibility for a stock market crash.

Culture of Hong Kong

The culture of Hong Kong can best be described as a foundation that began with China, and then leaned West for much of the 20th century under constructive . Despite the 1997 with the , Hong Kong continues to hold an identity of its own.

People in the culture

Most Hong Kong ethnic Chinese people naturally lean toward eastern culture, because demographically they are the majority. Many, though, have adopted western ways with substantial numbers still adhering to Chinese traditions. On various social aspects, the bottom-line Chinese values of ''"family solidarity"'', ''"courtesy"'' and ''""'' carry significant weight in the culture. Heavy influence is derived from culture from the neighbouring province of Guangdong. There are also substantial communities of Hakka, , and Shanghainese people. On the contrary, people have long been referred to by their origin in China.. Overall the background of Hong Kong Chinese born after 1965 can be classified as westernized, since they have been influenced by western cultural symbols


With limited land resource available, Hong Kong continues to offer recreational and competitive sports. Locally sports in Hong Kong is described as "Club Life". Internationally, Hong Kong have participated in Olympic Games, and numerous other Asian Games events. Major multipurpose venues like Hong Kong Coliseum are found. Others include regular citizen facilities like .

Martial Art

Martial arts in Hong Kong is accepted as a form of entertainment or exercise. is one of the most popular, especially among the elderly. There are groups of people practicing the motion in every park at dawn. Many forms of martial arts were also passed down from different generations of Chinese ancestry. Styles like , and are some of the more recognized. The atmosphere is also distinct as people practice outdoor in next to ultra modern .


When not at work, Hongkongers devote much time to leisure. Mahjong is a popular social activity, and family and friends may play for hours at festivals and on public holidays in homes and mahjong parlours. The image of elderly men playing Chinese chess in public parks, surrounded by watching crowds, is common. Other board games such as Chinese checkers are also enjoyed by people of all ages. Among teenagers, shopping, eating out, karaoke and video games are common, with Japan being a major source of digital entertainmment for cultural and proximity reasons; there are also popular local inventions such as Little Fighter Online.

In the past, Hong Kong had some of the most up-to-date games available outside of Japan. Negative associations were drawn between and . Nowadays, soaring popularity of home video game consoles have somewhat diminished arcade culture.

Outdoor activities such as hiking, barbecues and watersports are also popular due to the local geography.


Gambling is popular in Chinese culture and Hong Kong is no different. Gambling is legal only at three established and licensed institutions approved and supervised by the government of Hong Kong: horse racing , the Mark Six lottery, and recently, football .

Games like mahjong and many types of card games can be played for fun or with money at stake, with many mahjong parlours available. Movies such as the 1980s God of Gamblers have given a rather glamorous image to gambling in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Hong Kong Jockey Club provides a major avenue for horse racing and gambling to locals, mostly the middle-aged. The club was established in 1844 by the , with the first racecourse being built in Happy Valley. The club closed for a few years during World War II due to the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. In 1975, lottery Mark Six was introduced. And in 2002, the club offered wagerings for soccer world championship games including the and the .

Cultural Gallery

Coffin home

Coffin home is a temporary coffin depository. Part of the coffins are of overseas Chinese who wanted to be buried in their home villages in China. The other are of those unaffordable for funeral or unable to find relatives. The coffins are later transferred to their destinations or buried locally.

Cantonese profanity

The five most common vulgar words in Cantonese profanity are '''' , ''gau'' , ''lan'' , ''tsat'' and ''hai'' , where the first literally means ''fuck'', while the rest are sexual organs of either gender. They are sometimes collectively known as the "outstanding five in Cantonese" . These five words are generally offensive and they give rise to a variety of euphemisms. Other curse phrases, such as ''puk gai'' and ''ham gaa caan'' , are also common.

Vulgar words


''Diu'' , literally means ''fuck'', is a common profanity in Cantonese. The word ''diu'' was originally a noun meaning the penis, but it was later used as a verb. Although it is considered to be a vulgar word in Cantonese, it is used by young people in Taiwan to mean "cool" and in this context it is not censored on TV broadcasts and still generally used today.

In a manner similar to the English word ''fuck'', ''diu'' is also used to express dismay, disgrace, and disapproval in Cantonese. For example, someone may shout "''diu nei''!" at somebody when she finds the other person annoying. A common usage is the highly offensive phrase "''Diu lei loh moh''!" that literally means "fuck your mother."

The word ''diu'' is generally considered to be offensive and in its place a variety of euphemisms exist, including ''tsiu'' , ''yiu'' and ''tiu'' .


''Gau'' is a common vulgar word in Cantonese that literally means penis. For instance, the Cantonese phrase '''' that means "makes no sense" was cut to ''mo lei tau'' to avoid the sound ''gau''.


In Cantonese ''lan'' is another vulgar word that means penis. But in recent decades the character is generally considered to be equivalent to the vulgar word . A common usage is the phrase ''lan yeung'' which maybe translated into English as "Dickface".

The word ''hai'' can also mean total failure as in the phrase ''hai saai'' . The Chinese character means "to expose to the sun", but in Cantonese it is also used as a verbal particle to stress the action. To further stress the failure, sometimes the phrase ''hai gau saai'' is used . Since this phrase is highly offensive , a euphemism or ''xiehouyu'', a kind of Chinese "proverb", is sometimes used. As in a normal ''xiehouyu'', it consists of two elements: the former segment presents a scenario while the latter provides the rationale thereof. One would often only state the first part, expecting the listener to know the second. The first part is "a man and a woman having a sunbath " . Since the penis and vagina are both exposed to the sun, the second part is ''hai gau saai'' ── a pun for total failure. Since the phrase does not involve any sexual organs or reference to sex, some argue that it should not be considered as profanity. Nevertheless, "PK" is often used as an euphemism for the phrase. The written form can be seen on graffiti in Hong Kong and other places in Guangdong, China.

''Ham gaa caan''

''Ham gaa caan'' is another common curse phrase in Cantonese that literally means "may your whole family be dead". In the , it is prohibited to "use any threatening, abusive, obscene or offensive language...." However, despite the explicit prohibition of various laws, the exact definition of "obscene language" is not given in the ordinance.

Bauhinia blakeana

Bauhinia blakeana is an evergreen tree, in the genus ''Bauhinia'', with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. The fragrant, orchid-like flowers are usually 10-15 cm across, and bloom from early November to the end of March. This unique flower is special of Hong Kong's ecosystem. It is referred to as bauhinia in non-scientific literature though this is the name of the genus. It is sometimes called Hong Kong orchid tree .

The ''Bauhinia'' double-lobed leaf is similar in shape to a heart, or a butterfly. A typical leaf is 7-10 cm long and 10-13 cm broad, with a deep cleft dividing the apex. Local people call the leaf ''chungmingyip'' , and regard it as a symbol of cleverness. Some people use the leaves to make bookmarks in the hope that it will assist them to study well.

It is usually sterile , suggesting a origin, probably between ''Bauhinia variegata'' and ''Bauhinia purpurea'', though this is still a matter of debate. Propagation is by cuttings and air-layering, and the tree prefers a sheltered sunny position with good soil.


It is named after Sir Henry Blake who was the from 1898 to 1903. An enthusiastic botanist, he discovered it in 1880 near the ruins of a house on the shore of Hong Kong Island near Pok Fu Lam. The first scientific description of the Hong Kong orchid tree was published in 1908 by S. T. Dunn, superintendent of the Botanical and Forestry Department, who assigned it to the genus ''Bauhinia'' and named it after Sir Henry Blake.

Usage as an emblem

''Bauhinia blakeana'' was adopted as the of Hong Kong by the Urban Council in 1965. Since 1997 it has become the floral emblem for the City of Hong Kong and appears on and ; its Chinese name has also been frequently shortened as 紫荊 , although 紫荊 refers to another genus called Cercis. A statue of the plant has been erected in Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong.

Although the flowers are bright pinkish purple in colour, they are depicted in white on the Flag of Hong Kong.

The plant of Hong Kong was introduced to Taiwan in 1967. In 1984 it was chosen to be the city flower of , in southwestern Taiwan.


Weapons of the Gods (role-playing game)

Weapons of the Gods is a wuxia role-playing game based in an ancient Chinese setting. Created by Brad Elliott and Rebecca Borgstrom, ''Weapons of the Gods'' is published by Eos Press and is a license from the Hong Kong manhua by Wong Yuk Long of the . The first supplement for the game, ''The Weapons of the Gods Companion'', was due out in Winter 2006 but was delayed and ultimately released in December 2007.


The rulebook is split into five sections, according to the five Chinese elements. The first ‘Wood’ section is the basics of the game and essential rules and character creation; the second ‘Fire’ section details the combat aspects of the game; the third ‘Earth’ section gives the setting , the fourth ‘Metal’ section gives all of the martial arts and secret arts rules, and the fifth ‘Water’ section is the gamesmaster chapter that gives quick campaign generation systems, how to build the magical weapons of the gods, and a brief overview of the characters from the comics.


''Weapons of the Gods'' is set in an ancient fantasy history version of China where all the martial arts movies are set. ''Weapons of the Gods'' is a cinematic martial arts fantasy role-playing game, where kung fu heroes with fantastic weapon skills do deeds of virtue out of Chinese history and myth. The Weapons of the Gods book has a huge chapter devoted to a thematic and cultural presentation of ancient China as interpreted through a lens of its own myths and folktales, including an extensive section on how the culture works, including concepts such as filial piety and even covering attitudes concerning courtship and sexuality.


''Weapons of the Gods'' uses a custom-designed ruleset called the "Wuxia Action System". The player rolls the number of specified dice equal to the character's skill. The player then looks for matching dice. For each match, the player multiplies the number of matches by a specified amount and adds the value of the dice.

The Wuxia Action System is also notable for the concept of the ''River'', a small stock of dice that can be saved from any sets of matches for later use; this models the aspect of wuxia stories in which a badly battered combatant can summon a hidden reserve of strength later in the battle, even when badly wounded.