Friday, July 4, 2008

Hong Kong Establishment Day

Today is the 4th of July. For some reasons, it reminds me the day Jul 1, 1997. It was the day that Hong Kong, my home, was hand over back to China. It was under the Bristish colonial rule for 99 years after the 2nd Opium War 1898.

After this war, the Treaty of Beijing was signed. Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the Britain. The New Territories, north of the Kowloon Peninsula, were leased to the British for 99 years. But when the Chinese and British started their discussion of the Handover, the British decided to give back the Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. The main reason was that the New Territories were not as advanced, urbanized and commercialized as the Hong Kong Island.

About 10 years before 1997, everybody in Hong Kong tried to find a way to immigrate to other countries, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, South Africa and the United States, because nobody knew what it would be like under the communist government rule. My family was one of them. These countries, especially Canada, made several billions of dollars because of the investment of these immigrants from Hong Kong. But we went back to Hong Kong in 1996. So far, everything goes great. Hong Kong still runs its government almost the same as it was under the British rule. We have a BIG financial support from China.

On the 4th of July, every county and/or town has its firework. I remembered that there were a lot of fireworks in 1997. When it comes to fireworks in Hong Kong, it is at least 20 times bigger in scale than anywhere else in the United States. And we had fireworks almost every 2 months that year.

Since 1997, Jul 1 is set as a public holiday to celebrate the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

Happy Jul 4th, everybody.

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