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)

PHOTO: AFP

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)

一份調查發現,三分之一的香港人連一個鄰居的名字都不知道,香港冷漠及工作至上的社會形象不辯自明。

論及跟鄰居真正的關係,香港人更是疏離得可憐,這份香港大學的調查顯示,不到一成受訪民眾表示跟鄰居有親密或良好的關係。

香港六百八十萬人口中,多數民眾與鄰居鮮少互動,或完全沒有互動,而約四成民眾表示若鄰居有難他們也不願幫忙。

儘管大學研究人員所調查的五百位民眾中,有三分之一的人能說出一個鄰居的名字,但多數人也只知姓不知名。

多數香港人居住在擁擠高聳的公寓,只有較為昂貴的社區有公共空間跟會館等設備。

近年來甚至發生年長者在家中過世也沒有鄰居和親戚致電關切,以致幾星期都沒人發現的案例。

社會學家將香港的高自殺率歸罪於工作狂熱和金錢導向的生活型態,以及家庭功能失調。香港每天都有三起自殺案例。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. reputation n.

名譽 (ming2 yu4)

例: Ken has a reputation for being a playboy.

(肯是有名的花花公子。)

2. contact n.

接觸 (jie1 chu4)

例: Human contact is very important for babies.

(人際接觸對嬰兒來說很重要。)

3. cramped adj.

狹窄的 (xia2 zhai3 de5)

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

(我的公寓有點擠,但是很可愛。)

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.

(每個房客都有自己的寢室,但廚房、浴室、和客廳是共用的。)


(德通社╱翻譯︰鄭湘儀)

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