Friends · Hong Kong

The reasons for leaving UK for HK: Racism in the UK

Another daily prompt post.

Today’s daily prompt is about leaving something for something else. Seeing this, I couldn’t really not write a blogpost since one of the very things that made me want to start my blog and my youtube channel is because of my journey from UK to HK. I’ve never actually really told anyone about my reasons for choosing to do this, so I guess theres no better time to do it but now!

I was born in the UK and spent maybe a year or 2 here before I moved back to HK with my brother to live with my grandma and my cousins. It was one of the happiest times of my life living in HK and I have so many memories even though I was only there for a small fraction of my life so far. I moved back to the UK to start school and thus began my life in the UK.

I had a hard time adjusting at the beginning as when I first moved back to the UK, I could not speak any english. It’s hard to imagine this as nowadays my english is far better than my chinese, but at the time, I spent most of my time speaking cantonese with my family and in HK so I did not know any english.

I had to have a special teacher to come in and help me learn and my school used to send my parents letters requesting for them to teach me more english as I simply wasn’t listening to them. Whether I was ignoring them because I didn’t understand them, or because I did understand but didn’t want to obey, I do not know. It was a long time ago so I don’t remember that much. Thats perhaps a good thing…

The toughest part of growing up was actually dealing with bullies. I grew up in a predominantly white town and so was basically the only chinese/coloured person at school all the way up to secondary school. There were some very racist people around and unfortunately for me, I was an easy target.

I asked my brother if he ever got bullied but he was always very popular and was friends with all the sports guys so even if someone did try to bully him, they would be quickly sorted out. I, on the other hand, was friends with the more geeky kids, I was never the most popular (nor was I unpopular) but I was a petite, quiet, shy little girl which meant people could easily pick on me.

I had some awful times with racist people and that is part of the reason I’ve been wanting to leave the UK ever since secondary school. They made me hate myself, hate my race, even hate my parents for making me come to the UK. I despised my parents for putting me through it by making me come over to the UK when I was perfectly happy in HK and I wished I wasn’t chinese. I used to cry in my room and wonder why it had to be me- why am I chinese- why couldn’t I be white?!Β 

Looking back, I am very ashamed of myself for ever blaming my parents- they did everything in order to ensure a better life for my brother and I and it was me who was an ungrateful sod. Bullying and racism is still a very sore point for me and whenever these topics are mentioned I always react quite strongly to it. I hate hate hate bullies and racist people and it will please me to see them rot in hell.

Obviously I have some lovely friends and met some amazing people who have given me plenty of happy memories of being in the UK, but perhaps due to my experiences from my childhood, it has always made me always think that the UK will never be my home.

As I have nowhere to call ‘home’, my journey to HK is my journey to finding myself, and finding a place that I can finally call home. A place where I belong and don’t feel like I stick out- a place that I can bring up a family and not worry that they will be discriminated against.

It will also allow me to find my cultural identity. As a BBC, I am a bit of both – british and chinese, but as I have always felt unwelcome in UK- I have always identified myself as being chinese. I know that some HK people tend to think of BBCs as outsiders- more english than chinese so I am worried that I won’t feel any more welcome in HK but it is something I will only know by going back there. I am hoping that my time in HK will tell me who I am.

Am I chinese? Am I british? Am I both?


14 thoughts on “The reasons for leaving UK for HK: Racism in the UK

  1. You’re whatever you feel like! I am really glad you have lived in the UK because I’ve made a bestie for life in you… So the UK ain’t all bad! But I know you’ll be super happy in HK and try not to worry about being an outsider because you should never feel like that :). People can be very mean especially children I’m sorry you went through all that 😦 xx

    1. Yes, I’m glad I’ve been in the UK too, its made me a stronger person and I’ve met amazing people like you! πŸ™‚
      I think it will be a great journey just to see if I do actually prefer HK- I might even decide I prefer UK after a year or 2 in HK XD Hehe xx

  2. Can we just exchange please? Can I go to the UK and you can be in HK where I am right now. And although you probably won’t get racism here, *I* do as a Filipino and it’s horrible

    1. Aw, I can tell you now though that UK won’t be much better… I’m sad that you experience racism here in HK, I’ve always felt it to be a wonderful place, but I do know that it does happen. My boyfriend is indian and whilst he doesn’t experience it often, sometimes when we are together I hear locals talk about us behind our back or I hear them talk about him when I’m walking behind him and they don’t realize we are together.
      I hope it isn’t a day to day occurrence for you as HK is such an amazing place, it would be a shame for such people to ruin it for you.

  3. Hi there, I’m currently writing an essay for a book called The Good Immigrant, which will be published later this year and is a collection of pieces about race and immigration. My essay is about the East Asian community in the UK, and will look at our cultural invisibility and current status as the ‘model minority’. I was wondering if I could interview you about your experiences this month, and about your decision to leave the UK and the academic career you’re aiming for?

    Wei Ming Kam

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