Fri, Oct 06, 2006 - Page 21 News List

Hong Kong: city of strangers 香港:陌生之都

Apartment buildings in Hong Kong.香港的公寓建築。 (照片:法新社)


Hong Kong's reputation as an uncaring, work-obsessed society has been borne out by a survey which has found that one in three people do not know the name of a single neighbor.

When it comes to having actual relationships with their neighbors, Hong Kongers looked even worse. Less than 10 percent of people questioned in the survey by the University of Hong Kong said they had a close or excellent relationship with their neighbors.

In this city of 6.8 million, most people appear to have little or no contact with those living next door, with around 40 percent saying their neighbors would be unwilling to help if they were in trouble.

Even though one in three of the 500 people questioned by university researchers were able to give the name of one neighbor, most of those only knew their surnames.

Most people in Hong Kong live in cramped, high-rise apartments. Only more expensive communities include features such as communal areas and club houses.

There have been a number of cases in recent years in which elderly people have died in their homes and remained undiscovered for weeks because no neighbors or relatives have called to check on them.

Sociologists have blamed Hong Kong's workaholic, money-oriented lifestyle and its dysfunctional families for the city's high rate of suicide; in Hong Kong, suicide claims three lives a day.(DPA)








Today's Words 今天單字

1. reputation n.

名譽 (ming2 yu4)

例: Ken has a reputation for being a playboy.


2. contact n.

接觸 (jie1 chu4)

例: Human contact is very important for babies.


3. cramped adj.

狹窄的 (xia2 zhai3 de5)

例: My apartment is a little cramped, but it's cute.


4. communal adj.

共有的 (gong4 you3 de5)

例: Each of the roommates has his or her own bedroom, but the kitchen, bathroom and living room are communal.



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