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Christmas Special: Go beyond shopping malls, support small shops, umbrella shop, Caring Meals by Pemiga Oliveiro, Ethnic Minorities leaning Chinese (26 Dec 2014)


Merry Christmas, and welcome to The Pulse. For some, this is a religious festival. For others it’s a period devoted to the great god of retail sales. For yet others though, it’s a time to reflect a little and think a little more about the people around us. So, for this week’s show we’re focusing on stories of individuals who have been, or are, contributing to the community in their own ways. We turn away from the shopping malls to a couple of Hong Kong’s smaller traders. Well, there are at last no more shopping days to Christmas. At least for this year. But for those whose credit cards are still aching, the season does provide an opportunity to shop with a community spirit, not necessarily supporting big business and huge shopping malls but supporting to smaller scale and more individualistic shops. The overriding symbol of the Umbrella Movement is, the umbrella, and particularly those of a certain banana-like colour. Some have been purchased from one shop in Hong Kong that’s been shielding people from rain for generations before they needed to be shielded from batons. And we’re returning to that protest movement but this time food. A few who visited the Umbrella Movement’s site at Admiralty could fail to have been impressed to see students sitting in a large study area keeping up with their school assignments. But they needed to eat too, and throughout much of the two-month occupation period former restaurant owner Pemiga Oliveiro and a team of volunteers showed their community spirit by offering daily home-cooked meals to the students on site. According to the 2011 Population Census, at that time there were a total of 451,183 people from ethnic minorities residing in Hong Kong. Some 80% are south east Asian. With the New Year fast approaching, many of us are thinking of what may lie ahead, but for many individuals from minority groups, a lack of Chinese language skills could mean a depressing future, and it’s an obstacle some are determined to overcome. From all of us on The Pulse, we wish you all the best for 2015.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, December 26, 2014
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