Hong Konger, Hong Kong Chinese vs. Hongkie

I had an interview lunch with an intern candidate a few days ago. Almost everything went well-except he called people from Hong Kong as "Hongkie". To me, the term "Hongkie" was derogatory. (Okay, first of all, it sounds like "monkey" to me.)

When I was living in Singapore, whenever people in school called me and my friends "Hongkie", I could always feel a negative tone behind it (as in, the stereotype of being loud, Cantonese speaking and like to show off the wealth...). Of course I did my best to educate them- I told them to refer people from Hong Kong as "Hong Kong Chinese" or "Hong Konger" (like New Yorker ;))

Anyway, sometimes ignorance is not bliss (especially during the interview!). But I still want to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know the term "Hongkie" made me feel uncomfortable.

I just hope there are more people with some "cultural awareness" out there!


simpleblob said...

Funny, I was confused with that a few weeeks ago. I decided on "Hongkongian" (like asian)

yync said...

Hello SB,

Ha, funny, great minds think alike, eh?