How South Asians helped to make Hong Kong
When a visitor arrives for the first time in Hong Kong, it is clear this is a Chinese city, but with a Western overlay. The faces are mostly Chinese, the conversations are likely in the unfamiliar tones of the Cantonese dialect and Chinese characters abound. But English is also seen and heard. But this is not the whole story. Hong Kong is a city not only of Chinese and British but of many nationalities.South Asians from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were some 80,000 in Hong Kong. They were soldiers and merchants – soldiers from the regiments of the British Indian Army and merchants who were Parsees from Western India. For the next 100 years, Indians played an essential role in the development and security of the colony. They ran international trading firms that shipped Chinese tea, silk, porcelain and spices to India and the West in exchange for opium, cotton, garments and other goods. They sold diamonds and jewellery.South Asians brought with them their languages, religion, sports, customs, festivals and food. These have been preserved here until today. They built temples, mosques and other places of worship. Their sports and recreation clubs gave them a place to play cricket and hockey and the restaurants they opened offered a dazzling array of culinary styles and dishes – from curries and halal meat to vegan and vegetarian fare. Illustrated with around 200 photographs.