There were many times when I wandered around Hong Kong in December that I just had to chuckle. Sometimes laugh out loud. Why? Signs and what struck me as funny use of English often caused me to stop, giggle and snap a photo. So did the Kong Kong Avenue of the Comic Stars.
I loved it. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the challenges of the day and world, that we need a bit of comic relief. Fun to find it in unlikely places and to enjoy cultural differences.
I am intrigued with Hong Kong English. Called Chinglish in a A Dictionary of Hong Kong English Words from the Fragrant Harbor. Turns out that because the cultures of Chinese and the British are so intertwined that Chinglish as developed. Here’s what the dictionary says about it.
Defination: Chinese-English code-mixing.
Text example: A large number of overseas-educated Hong Kong Chinese have completely lost the ability to speak pure Cantonese, and communicate with each other in Chinglish without even realizing it. Even government officials are often heard inserting English words into they sentences in a form of Chinglish lite.
But, I don’t know if some of what struck me as funny was the Chinglish or the lost in translation stuff that amuses me. For example, I really hooted when I saw a sign that said, “Beware deep water” next to a small pond that couldn’t have been more than 3 inches deep. Or what about the illegal tree cutting sign? Or no sand drawing?
Or the sign warning of slow pedestrians on a narrow walkway on a remote part of Lamma Island, far away from the hustle of city Central jammed with cars and motorcycles and buses.
I ponder about the sign on the beach. Did it dictate that one needed to keep the beach clean or one’s own body clean on the beach?
You figure it out.
Here are some of the signs that I enjoyed and hope you do too.
I also loved the names of businesses and the mannequin climbing the wall in a shopping center. I had to look twice to make sure she wasn’t a performance artist.
The folks in Hong Kong value their cartoons, so much that they have a Walk of Comic Characters in the Kowloon Park. I really enjoyed seeing them and loved the families gathering around for selfies. Kowloon Park is the location of the original settlement on Kowloon—a charming respite from the chaos of the shopping, shopping and more shopping in this part of the city. Here are a few of the statues that I thought were fun.
I loved this quote on the wall encompassing a huge construction site. What an inspirational thought.