Hong Kong's Reunion with China: The Global Dimensions

By Gerard A. Postiglione; James T. H. Tang | Go to book overview

7
Labyrinth of Hybridization: The Cultural Internationalization of Hong Kong

Hoiman Chan


Cultural Internationalization as Problematic

At the last juncture of the impending transition toward 1997, the project of cultural internationalization has assumed special irony and impetus. The fortune and trajectory of Hong Kong are even now being decided in a spate of international negotiations and obscure power plays, in which Hong Kong society is not permitted to play an active role. Despite how international and modernized the city's facade has become, it stands as less than a nation able to prescribe its own political destiny. Culture is, however not as unrelenting as politics. While the latter is constrained, maybe the culture field can do better in securing sympathetic hearings and even respect for Hong Kong. Herein lies the more imminent meaning and prerogatives of cultural internationalization--embodying ideals which, moreover, are seemingly within reach with the nascent cultural vision of an alleged "Greater Hong Kong."

As this volume as a whole will address the multifaceted articulation of internationalization, the present chapter can dispense with general discussion on the construct per se. 1 What requires closer delineation is how this project of internationalization is entwined with the cultural formations of Hong Kong. The growth of Hong Kong society--cultural and otherwise--is more often than not fashioned by political and historical vicissitudes from outside of the territory. The different identities that the city incarnated at one time or another--colony, entrepôt, "Little Dragon," soon-to-be SAR--are the unwitting products of

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