As one of Asia’s largest cultural centers, Hong Kong is a city that’s home to many different cultures and ways of life. A true melting pot, both for Chinese and residents from hundreds of other foreign countries, Hong Kong’s diverse nature and its distinct blend of different cultures make it one of the most rewarding and interesting Asian cities to live in.
Retirees and expatriates in Hong Kong will immediately notice the city’s diversity. As a leading economic hotspot, the opportunities that can be found in Hong Kong have attracted expatriates, investors, and entrepreneurs from as far afield as Nigeria, the United States, and the Philippines.
This international environment makes Hong Kong a city that truly has everything to offer. From unique international food – which can be found all over the city, particularly in areas known for their international popularity – to unique culture, Hong Kong offers a blend of cultures that few other cities in the region can match.
The dominant language of Hong Kong is Cantonese. Most newspapers are written in Cantonese, most street signage is in Cantonese, and the majority of Hong Kong-based television shows and movies are, predictably, in Cantonese. Despite this, a small minority of Hong Kong residents are fluent in Mandarin and will communicate in this dialect as their default language.
Over the last few years, Hong Kong has received a large amount of immigration from Mainland China, making Mandarin a popular second language in the territory. English is also spoken by an increasing amount of locals, particularly in expatriate-heavy areas such as Hong Kong Island and the harbor-front regions of Kowloon.
Street signage and official notices in Hong Kong are printed in both Cantonese and English, making it easy for non-Cantonese speakers to live in the city. It’s worth noting that many expatriates live in Hong Kong for years – even decades – without learning more than the most basic Cantonese words and phrases, all the while having little to no communications issues.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most capitalistic societies, and the population is generally focused very intensely on their work. Enterprising businesses are a mainstay for Hong Kongers, with many people in the city opting to branch out on their own instead of working for a large company. Many residents of Hong Kong will be happy to hear of your success, not jealous because of your fortune.
Because of this, Hong Kong is also one of the few places in the world where luxury goods are very much accepted as a desirable, ‘must have’ status symbol. With hundreds of shopping malls spread out throughout the city, Hong Kongers love to shop, particularly for expensive aspirational items.
From its aspirational culture to its huge blend of ethnicities, Hong Kong is very much an Asian city that’s developing into a cultural melting pot. From the city’s hard-working lifestyle to its caring and compassionate people, Hong Kong’s blend of cultures and personalities make it one of Asia’s most rewarding cities for foreign expatriates and retirees.