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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 21:00 GMT 22:00 UK
Hong Kong: Your memories
On 1 July, Hong Kong marks the 10th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule after 156 years of British administration.

BBC News website readers have been writing in with their memories. You can read a selection below.


We arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai in the 1950s. My father was a lecturer, my mother a demonstrator, and I a medical student.

But we were classified as refugees with no voting rights. Thus in 1956, we immigrated to the United States.

The colonial system at that time classified Britons as the first-class citizen, Chinese born in Hong Kong second-class citizen, and my family members non-existent.


Hong Kong harbour
Hong Kong's air quality objectives are less stringent than World Health Organisation guidelines
I was born in Hong Kong in 1952. My parents were very outdoorsy people. We spent a lot of time at the beaches in the hot months and hiking the hills in the cooler months.

We would walk up to the Peak after dinner to look at the city lights as if we were tourists. Hong Kong was so beautiful.

But in 1967, after one of my aunts was killed during the Cultural Revolution in China, my parents decided that my sisters and I were to go to university in Canada and not return. I wrote my GCE A-levels and TOEFEL with the sound of pro-Communist demonstrators chanting outside.

The last time I came back to Hong Kong - three years ago - I felt I couldn't breath when I stepped off the plane. The pollution index was over 100.


Hong Kong in the 1970s, which is where and when I was brought up, was absolute heaven. Yes, it was still a colony, and yes, we had amahs - domestic servants - but for a teenager it was fantastic.

For a teenager it was fantastic
We had with dirt cheap clothes - designer jeans for 32p - dirt cheap transport, a fantastic climate (no rain for six months in the winter, and a balmy warmth instead). We also had spectacular beaches with no one else on them. What more could you want?

I am not surprised that when I read interviews with famous people brought up in a British colony, the one thing that unites them is the shock at discovering how mundane and dull the home country is.

There again, the UK did have some comforts. In the 1970s the only places that had fresh milk in Hong Kong were the hotels.


Hong Kong landscape (file photo)
Hong Kong's success is largely thanks to its capitalist economy
Living and working in Hong Kong for two years in the early 80s, I have overwhelming memory of life being constantly exciting.

Even mundane things like trips to the supermarket had an allure quite unlike anything I have experienced elsewhere. A wonderful period of my life and a great, great place to live.


I first arrived in Hong Kong in the early 90s. It was still full of Rolls Royce's parked on narrow streets. The smell of money was still in the air.

After numerous trips after that you could feel the change. I even remember the closing of a popular fast food restaurant in Kowloon. It seemed strange. Now business has moved to Shanghai.


I live in Hong Kong now, and have lived in it through the handover and beyond.

I have seen some great changes and witnessed history first hand. It all comes down to your own perspective.

Maybe now Hong Kong is a satellite of China. However, the territory is coming to terms with itself through globalisation and sending very independent messages to the world.

It has become culturally entwined in two systems. This is China's remarkable face of capitalism. It's here to stay and many people with it.

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