Everyday Hybridity

Dr Paul O'Connor
Anthropology/Sociology/Cultural Studies/
Hong Kong/Ethnicity/
Skateboarding/Everyday Life

Lecturing in Anthropology at CUHK

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cuhk.academia.edu/PaulOConnorFollow me on Academia.edu
@peejayohhsee
everydayhybridity@gmail.com

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  1. Ethnicity in Hong Kong - Project Survey - 民族身份認同在香港

    This is a short survey looking into ethnicity in Hong Kong. It is designed to get some basic, but key information from a very broad range of people. Anyone who lives in Hong Kong, or has lived in Hong Kong is eligible to complete the survey. It will take no more than 10 minutes and it will be a great help.

    It is bilingual and can be completed in either English or Chinese.

    All responses are appreciated. PLEASE ALSO FORWARD TO YOUR OTHER HK CONTACTS.

    Ethnicity in Hong Kong Survey / 民族身份認同在香港
     
     
  2. National Education has been withdrawn by C.Y. Leung
A triumph for the hordes of students and parents demonstrating about Hong Kong’s proposed National Education Bill. I can imagine that the Tamar site is now a party atmosphere.
Perhaps now a dialogue can begin on something a little more apropos for Hong Kong like China citizenship?

    National Education has been withdrawn by C.Y. Leung

    A triumph for the hordes of students and parents demonstrating about Hong Kong’s proposed National Education Bill. I can imagine that the Tamar site is now a party atmosphere.

    Perhaps now a dialogue can begin on something a little more apropos for Hong Kong like China citizenship?

     
     
  3. Great fun going on RTHK Radio 3, Morning Brew today. It was quite a topical show and Gordon Mathews was also on the phone calling Nationalism a cult. So a good representation from CUHK Anthropology.
A good deal of chat about minorities, National education, and of course my book.
Listen to the show online here.

    Great fun going on RTHK Radio 3, Morning Brew today. It was quite a topical show and Gordon Mathews was also on the phone calling Nationalism a cult. So a good representation from CUHK Anthropology.

    A good deal of chat about minorities, National education, and of course my book.

    Listen to the show online here.

     
     
  4. Face Paint Nationalism and Hybridity

    Most of my posts on the Olympics have reflected on the national sentiments of the event. Today at Chungking Mansions we had a discussion about the value of the Olympics. Our multicultural group were mostly positive about the place and function of the Olympic Games. One person commented that it was better to have nations compete under their national flag in sport than in war. Despite some of the ugly issues of Nationalism that the Olympics brings out, it also brings a lot of camaraderie and human joy.

    One thing that does rest uneasy with me is the Union Jack painted on people’s faces. Perhaps  this is because my knee jerk association is with the Far Right, and football hooliganism. Earlier this morning I watched an Al Jazeera news reported interview people lazing in the Olympic Park in London watching events. They focussed in on one English Rose who had her face adorned with a Union Jack. She presented a few sound-bites about the success of the London Olympics and national pride. I could not help thinking about the cover of Annop Nayak’s book which has a South Asian girl adorned with the Union Jack. This picture on the front of Nayak’s book represents, to me at least, the palatable inclusive side of nationalism which the Olympics, in its best moments, promotes.

    This same morning I picked up the FT Weekend and saw the colorful cover above. It shows a collection of Olympic fans with their faces painted, or wearing their national flags, or colours. It ends up being a neat little exercise in nationalism and ethnic essentialism. 

    An exercise in painting that is a little more relfeive and hybrid is the painting of Post Office Boxes Gold to celebrate British Olympic Medals.

    This one in Islingtion was painted to celebrate the Somalian born British runner Mo Farah and his Gold Medal win.

    Paint, Nation, and the Olympics

     
     
  5. "The second avatar was the map-as-log. Its origins were reasonably innocent - the practice of imperial dye. In London’s imperial maps, British colonies were usually pink-red, French purple-blue, Dutch yellow-brown, and so on. Dyed this way, each colony appeared like a detachable piece of a jigsaw puzzle. As this ‘jigsaw’ effect became normal, each ‘piece’ could be wholly detached from its geographic context. In its final form all explanatory glosses could be summarily removed: lines of longitude and latitude, place names, signs for rivers, seas, mountains, neighbours. Pure sign, no longer compass to the world. In this shape, the map entered an infinitely reproducible series, available for transfer to posters, official seals, letterheads, magazine and textbook covers, tablecloths, and hotel walls. Instantly recognisable, everywhere visible, the logo-map penetrated deep into the popular imagination, forming a powerful emblem for the anti-colonial nationalisms being born."
    — 

    Benedict Anderson Imagined Communities p. 175

    A fantastic quote. Succinctly summing up the way we associate a map with a geographic outline. Reflecting on Hong Kong, I have the outline of the territory sealed in my mind to such an extent that I could quite accurately draw it freehand. It is only an outline, separated from all surrounding context and removed of any physical feature. But in a rather odd way it is a national representation, it triggers an emotional response, identification, a sense of belonging.

     
     
  6. Imagined Communities is one of those books that crops up in the references of scores of books that I have read, yet I have never read it myself. Earlier this week I set to remedy that. I can see why it is such a key text but it makes me want to revisit Ernest Gellner’s Nations and Nationalism .

    Here is an excerpt from Anderson…

    Some of the peoples on the eastern coast of Sumatra are not only physically close, across the narrow Straits of Malacca, to the populations of the Western littoral of the Malay Peninsula, they are ethnically related, understand each other’s speech, have a common religion, and so forth. These same Sumatrans share neither mother-tongue, ethnicity, nor religion with the Ambonese, located on islands thousands of miles away to the east. Yet during this century they have come to understand the Ambonese as fellow-Indonesians, the Malays as foreigners.

    Benedict Anderson “Imagined Communities” pp 120-121.

     
     
  7. I am currently revisiting this book. It is always great to read a text that deals with a whole bunch of complex interconnecting issues in such a lucid and deft manner. A really good read.
It reminded me of the term “schismogenesis”, a word I was desperately searching for about three years ago. I think in the end I expressed myself in a less succinct and also less arcane way.

    I am currently revisiting this book. It is always great to read a text that deals with a whole bunch of complex interconnecting issues in such a lucid and deft manner. A really good read.

    It reminded me of the term “schismogenesis”, a word I was desperately searching for about three years ago. I think in the end I expressed myself in a less succinct and also less arcane way.

     
     
  8. 
The G20 Summit opened on June 18th at Los Cabos, Mexico. When it came time for the leaders to pose for their group photograph, the organizing party used national flags to indicate each of their positions. After the pictures were taken and the leaders began to clear out, the various flags were trampled upon left and right. However, China’s Chairman, Hu Jintao, bent over at the waist to pick up his little flag sticker, and folded it up with care. This scene has evoked hot discussion online.

from ChinaSmack

    The G20 Summit opened on June 18th at Los Cabos, Mexico. When it came time for the leaders to pose for their group photograph, the organizing party used national flags to indicate each of their positions. After the pictures were taken and the leaders began to clear out, the various flags were trampled upon left and right. However, China’s Chairman, Hu Jintao, bent over at the waist to pick up his little flag sticker, and folded it up with care. This scene has evoked hot discussion online.

    from ChinaSmack