Merry Christmas, with Hong Kong Characteristics!

Michael Christmas Eve

Michael Taylor (in Oakland Raiders jacket) stumbles upon a Christmas Eve street party in Sheung Shui on his way home – and gets his wish! Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

2012 Christmas Present

 I wanted a nice Christmas picture to post in my blog on Christmas, something with distinctly Hong Kong characteristics.

But I couldn’t find anything appropriate on line!

So this was my very unexpected 2012 Christmas present. Santa gave me exactly what I wanted – without my even knowing that I wanted it! 

I was on the final leg of my lengthy trip home on Christmas Eve. After getting off the train and heading to the mini bus station, I saw a police car in the street with its red and blue lights flashing.

Then I heard some noise. Then I saw lots of people wearing Santa Claus hats. I’m a journalist! I wanted to know! I decided to go over and investigate…

There were hundreds of Chinese people – all of them in very high spirits, most of them wearing Santa Claus hats. As I made my way toward the massive gathering, an elderly Chinese woman smiled at me and enthusiatically said to me in English, “Merry Christmas!!!”

Different Strokes for Different Folks!

Christmas Eve skipping ropeThe first group that I encountered had many children in it. They were excitedly singing Christmas carols – in Cantonese.

They were happily swaying back and forth to the music as they sang. They couldn’t stop smiling…

A man came up and asked me where I was from and if I would like to join them.

I said, “I’ll just listen. I’m afraid I can’t sing Christmas carols in  Cantonese.”

The next group that I encountered were mostly teenagers. They had an electronic piano and a guitar. They were doing various things – skits, singing songs,  and break dancing. It was sort of like a talent show…

Best of all were three kids – two girls and a boy (see above left). They skipped rope to Christmas disco music, and they were very, very good! My only regret is that I wasn’t able to capture this magical moment on video!

What the World Needs Now …

Christmas Eve dancerAnd then there was an eccentric. He was ridiculously dressed and danced with total abandon, pausing briefly  so that I could take his picture (see left). 

He greeted me warmly, and we shook hands.

I couldn’t help but think that if the world had more people like this, we might have fewer problems.

Looking down Sheung Shui’s main street, the crowds continued.

And – judging by what I had seen as I made my way through Mongkok earlier in the evening – I believe that scenes like this were being repeated all over Hong Kong tonight, except that each celebration was different, reflecting the pluralistic nature of Hong Kong’s unique and multicultural socieity.

What struck me most was that everyone in Hong Kong tonight seemed so happy and enthusiastic and polite. And I swear, I have never seen so many Santa Claus hats in all my life!

Low Battery

I wanted to take lots of pictures, but my mobile phone was running out of power. So I decided to go home and recharge it. The night was young. My hangout – a pub in Sheung Shui – awaited.

On my way to the mini bus rank, I stopped to take another picture. The same man that had spoken to me earlier asked if I’d like him to take a picture of me with the carolers.

I said, “Yes, please!”

So I got my Christmas wish: a nice Christmas picture with Hong Kong characteristics to post on my blog (see above)! Best of all, I was wearing my Oakland Raiders jacket!!! Not that there are many Oakland Raiders fans here…

But, hey! Isn’t that part of what makes Hong Kong Hong Kong?

Different strokes, for different folks!

Amazing! I’ve spent a total of nearly 25 years in Hong Kong, and I never knew that stuff like this took place on Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas from Hong Kong!

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