Most mainlanders know Hong Kong as busy and shiny. It’s the birthplace of many of the most famous literary works and a city rich with celebrities and entertainment. For shoppers, it’s the nearest land of food and luxuries.
To Xu Tiancheng, Hong Kong is an often forgotten city of freedom and depression.
Xu was born in Hong Kong in 1977 and practices law both there and on the mainland. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a degree in Economics and worked in the US. Later Xu went to the UK to study law. After years’ of working, studying and traveling abroad, Xu opted to settle in Beijing.
As a beipiao lawyer and a “weak Hong Konger” – as he calls himself – Xu happened to read Liao Xinzhong’s Taiwan Memory. Liao was also born in 1977, and his book was about his life and memories in his hometown.
Xu thought about recording his memory of his home, Hong Kong, from the perspective of a local Hong Konger, to show its real face.
And so, Hong Kong Memory Since 1977 began.
As two special regions, Hong Kong and Taiwan are quite different from the Chinese mainland. In Xu’s book, he sums up the development of Hong Kong in the past 30 years as an ordinary Hong Konger and introduces the difference between Hong Kong identity and Taiwan identity.
Xu also introduces many life experience that he had when living in Hong Kong, such as the important role of tea in Hong Kong life, the requirement to have an English name in primary school, popular Hong Kong TV culture of the 1990s and political and social issues of the era.
Readers said Xu tried hard to create a bridge between the mainland and Hong Kong people in order to be polite. The book presents everything about Hong Kong in a clear and understandable way.