Hong Kong Record
>> Shek Kip Mei Estate
| thumbnails |
Shek Kip Mei Estate
Type your message and click Add Comment
It is best to
first but you may post as a guest.
Enter an optional name and contact email address.
Thank you for the very thought provoking images of life in the housing estates today. I stayed for a whole summer with my maternal uncle who lived in Ngau Tau Kok lower estate Block 1. It was quite an experience in it's times, mid 1970's. Those estates were very lively at the time, with many families. Children, Teens, Adults and Elderly. The atmosphere was intense. These types of housing estates were built mostly in the 1960's by the HK govennment to accommodate the influx of refugees from China.
Crime was a daily factor in life. "m geen hung yiu nei geen hung" was the saying from a robber, meaning if he doesn't see red he'll make you see red. For those of you who don't know, the HK $100 note is red. If the robber doesn't see at least 100, he'll stab you so that you will see the red of your blood. Tenants organized and guarded the estates at night with sticks on every floor to fight crime.
The apartment units are referred to as bird cages. Very small. It's amazing my uncle and aunt raised six children in that little bird cage. Most families were did not have much education beyond high school. Many worked in the nearby factories of Kwun Tong or Wong Tai Sin.
As time went on, their children moved out, as did that generation. By the 90's the housing estates were mostly elderly. Some have moved on. The once lively thriving community that is left is reflected in your photographs. It's very melancholy to see what has become of these housing estates.
Thank you for bringing the memories and your thoughts through your images.
click on thumbnails for full image