Where Guangdong Meets Shanghai: Hong Kong Culture in a Trans-regional Context

May Bo Ching

in Hong Kong Mobile

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099180
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206984 | DOI:
Where Guangdong Meets Shanghai: Hong Kong Culture in a Trans-regional Context

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To evaluate Hong Kong's positioning for its residents, past and present, a regional cultural context is essential. By the 1920s, established Guangdong merchants in Shanghai patronized their native place activities through their regional associations, martial arts and athletic societies, theaters, and department stores. It was under these circumstances in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, in a spirit of openness and adventure, that instrumental music, songs, and operas identified as Cantonese flourished. New artistic talents, supported by cosmopolitan mercantile interests, absorbed fresh nutrients from Western and other regional traditions. These cultural energies gave the region a competitive edge as China's window to the world. It allowed Hong Kong residents and business interests a hinterland far beyond Hong Kong's physical and administrative boundaries. Residents strategically used different cultural codes of conduct for economic survival and social advancement.

Keywords: Guangdong merchants; Cantonese businessmen; China; Western culture; cultural blending

Chapter.  7544 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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