Other Sights of Hong Kong

Walk into Victoria Park near Causeway Bay in Hong Kong on any weekend day, you will find thousands of southeast Asian women congregating at every piece of lawn, pathway and corner of the park. They are the house maids (a.k.a. domestic helpers) employed by Hong Kong families. Most of such maids used to come from the Philippines, but now the majority are from Indonesia. Weekends are their days off and most of them find rest, recreation, joy and comfort by spending time with their compatriots. These are the days they are who they are. And these are the days when Hong Kong becomes a colorful, multi-cutural cosmopolitan, at least in Victoria Park, with sights often missing in tourist guides and missed by tourists, and by the local Chinese as well.

One particular sight I’d like to illustrate here is what I saw in the park in an October afternoon last year. There on the lawn of the park, a group of Indonesian people were performing a colorful ethnic dance. The performers were dressed in very colorful, theatrical outfits and put on the makeups of men, with painted beards on their faces. I was surprised to be told that they were actually women. One bystander, also an Indonesian maid, told me that most of them were tomboys (who play the role of men in lesbian relationships). The dance they performed was some kind of sorcery dance that was supposed to have the power to exorcise evil spirits. The dance was dramatic, and the accompanying drumming was loud. That was really a sight to behold! But I was the only non-Indonesian in the audience. And probably the only real male in the whole crowd.













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