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Meeting PlaceEncounters across Cultures in Hong Kong, 1841-1984$
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Elizabeth Sinn and Christopher Munn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390847

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390847.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Wang Tao in Hong Kong and the Chinese “Other”

Wang Tao in Hong Kong and the Chinese “Other”

(p.1) 1 Wang Tao in Hong Kong and the Chinese “Other”
Meeting Place

Elizabeth Sinn

Hong Kong University Press

Wang Tao, a prominent member of the Chinese literati, arrived in Hong Kong in 1862 and found it a baffling place, inhabited not only by foreigners but also by southern Chinese, who were (in his view) uncivilized, unable to speak his dialect and possessing weird tastes in food. Merchants, who belonged to an inferior class in China, played a prominent role in society, flaunting their wealth and status with little restraint, funding charitable works, claiming political influence over the colonial government and earning respect from officials in China and Chinese overseas. During his 20 or more years in Hong Kong Wang Tao came to terms with the colony. He made history by founding the first Chinese-language newspaper, the Xunhuan ribao. He came to appreciate the different versions of Chineseness that had at first bewildered him, and molded new versions of Chineseness out of this jumbled assortment of Chinese identity.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Wang Tao, Xunhuan ribao, Newspapers, Chinese identities, Chinese elites, Merchants, Food

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