Hong Kong 2017: Cultural Empathising

Written by Dyami Millarson

I had read about Confucianism for many years and I enjoyed studying Chinese philosophy. To me, however, it remained just abstract theory. So I decided to go to Hong Kong in February 2017 and practise Asian culture. I believed that practice is the best way to cultivate empathy. Moreover, as I had arrived in Hong Kong, it hit me: What better place is there to start empathising with Hong Kong culture than by going to Tin Hau temples and observing rites there?

I wanted to get a practical taste of Hong Kong culture by participating in religious rituals in temples and by adopting Asian table manners in restaurants. I believed that these would give me a good grasp of the culture, and it paid off after 3 months. I felt really familiar with Hong Kong culture eventually like I had been an Asian man since time immemorial. Living like an Asian in Hong Kong made me feel comfortable.

I really started enjoying Hong Kong customs. Observing Hong Kong people’s habits in restaurants and temples was a great starting point, and I enjoyed interacting with Hong Kong people in restaurants and temples. I asked a lot of questions in order to learn to behave properly according to Hong Kong standards. I took my study of Asian behavioural standards very seriously and so it led to serious results. It helped me empathise with a culture so alien to mine. It made Hong Kong culture feel 100% familiar to me and I felt completely at home after just 3 months of staying there. 2017 was about Asian culture for me. The cultural exchange was a huge success.

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