I was reflecting upon my early years. One of my best friends in elementary school had family from Hong Kong. They were a very well to do family. They moved into a very affluent community and lived their lives in a very traditional manner. Her parents rarely showed affection for one another. I always knew the love was there. They had 2 girls and no boys. I often wondered how that would impact their family structure. My friend had a lot of pressure put upon her by her famiily. She had piano lessons, tennis, academic activities and family activities every single day. She never complained but I knew she didn’t want to do everything that her parents wanted her to do. There were times when we would invite her to events and her family did not approve so she could not attend. As we grew older in middle school and high school she became more candid in how her family structure impacted her day to day.She was resilient in how she approached life. In our grade there was only a handful of minorities that attended our elementary school. Not focused on the fact that we were outnumbered we just grew close as friends. As minorities we held each other accountable as we engaged in an environment that was not familiar to us but not fully unfamiliar. To this day we are thick as thieves. We formulated a bond that was life long. I could post pictures but I am not sure they would all approve. I wrote all of this to say that meeting her gave me a perspective of Hong Kong. Her family was so inviting that I didn’t ask a lot of questions about their country of origin. This weeks reading of Tsang on Modern History of Hong Kong reignited those thoughts about my childhood. I understand that I cannot judge Hong Kong by my personal experience. What i appreciate is that I get the opportunity to learn, to understand and grow. To answer the questions as to why they are the affluent extension to the mainland. How the great Britain impacted the legacy of the royal empire. So how throughout history did Hong Kong come into existence. Tsang writes this:
“This was the result of the changing balance of power between Britain and China. The main difference being that this time this was recognised and acted on by its sovereign power, Britain, without fighting a war that it could not win. Both Britain and China accepted that Hong Kong had become too valuable to risk its destruction. In this sense the peaceful and successful transfer of its sovereignty represented the triumph of reason and responsible behaviour over emotion and dogma.”
The change in balance of power from Britain gave way to Hong Kong being apart of not only British history but Chinese history. In the fall the program will be going to Hong Kong. This will be my cohorts last advance. The history of China (Hong Kong and mainland) is fascinating. Who would have known that my 6th grade encounter would evolve into an actual visit to the country years later. I am grateful for the experience and I hope that I gain a collective holistic experience that I can continue to discuss in my inner circle.
 Steve Yui-Sang Tsang, A Modern History of Hong Kong (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011), 268.