Hong Kong Kids

Recently in Hong Kong people have been abuzz about a youtube video known as Hong Kong Kids. Here is the link to the video if you haven't seen it. Created by a local rapper SKiBs it's got a bit of controversy behind it due to the content of the video and the unfair image that people feel it portrays of Hong Kong's youth. As of now it's got over 73,000 views on youtube! We had all the members of our critics panel watch the video and give their take on it. Some chose to look at it as strictly a piece of art and some chose to look at it as a social statement piece on Hong Kong.

Have you seen it? What do you think?

Artistic merit – the video’s well put together, as is the song, which has a beat so I could dance to it if I wanted to, and after a few plays it hooks, but it doesn’t change the way I see the world, just reinforces my prejudice against spoilt brat expat HK kids with ‘loadsamoney’ and flaunting it.  Maybe I’m missing its subtle ironies  – or extreme sarcasms – or whatever…

Parental perspective – well, it reinforces my prejudice against spoilt brat expat HK kids with loadsamoney… but my 15 year old son after one viewing had a one word verdict: ‘cool’.  So does this signify more than his being just one more spoilt brat expat HK kid with etc…

Seriously, regardless of whether or not anyone actually drank or smoke illegally in this video is inconsequential. They may or may not have been doing so in the video and there is no way to prove one way or another. The real issue is whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of these young people. And, from what I have seen, it is very accurate for many of the local and expat young people. Instead of getting upset at these artists who are reflecting, why not look at why our young people are seeking out this lifestyle instead of more positive outlets?

When I first saw the video my first thought was, "Where are these kids' parents?" I know if I had ever done anything like this as a teenager (drank alcohol in public, smoked in public, and then blatantly showed it off to the neighborhood) my mother would have found the nearest wooden spoon and beaten me with it. Despite the catchy hook in the song, I actually think it's really sad that these kids don't give a fuck about anything at such a young age. Who was it said, "Apathy is the plague of our youth"? These youngsters have apathy coming out of their ying yangs. I also would like to state I'm officially turning into my mother. This blurb practically screams all her advice she ever gave me as a kid, plus a few bad words thrown in that a proper southern lady would never use.

As a Hong Kong Kid myself, I can say for certain that the life portrayed in the video does not ring true for a vast majority of HK youngsters. In reality, it is only a snapshot of the expatriate lifestyle, both in the locations used (Stanley, Repulse Bay, Lan Kwai Fong), and the activities engaged in (Smoking up, Partying on the beach, Getting drunk, etc). These kids probably all go to international schools. Does this make them the "real" deal? I don't think so.

When I was in high school (a local school), I hung out in cafes, went to movies, and sang karaoke with friends. We shopped in Mong Kok, and we studied. If we drank, we drank at home, as most of us did not have the means to go to LKF. I find it funny that SkiBs seem to think the video actually shows a uniquely Hong Kong life. In reality, if you transplant the characters and actions to different locales, you'll get the equivalent of "Tokyo Kids" or "Singapore Kids". The same drinking, the same partying, the same big houses. Nothing in the video (aside from the HK flags) screams Hong Kong.

It is a piece of music video that exemplified human agency (capacity for human beings to make choices) and employed decent levels of imagination and skills in its creation. From the point of view of art, it should be welcomed; but whether it should be endorsed or not, it is a different issue and is a very subjective one depending on time and context to say the very least.

Whether the video portrays the kids in Hong Kong fairly or not is totally irrelevant. It doesn't need to even if it claims to. For a fair portrayal of anything, people should be more vigilant and attentive; and turn to news or documentary. But even with news or documentary, people still ought to be critical in differentiating facts from interpretation of facts.  I take the view that the video is a good try and it is minutely more interesting than TVB's Dolce Vita. I also take consolation that at the very least when they grow up, they can try to find work in doing corporate videos.


Related articles:

hongkong, kids, SKiBS


  • George
    23 October 2012

    I think this video is a disgusting view of what it's like to grow up in hong kong. I hope my kids never think it's ok to act like this.
  • Tru
    25 October 2012

    The critics seem like they don't know how to have fun! Lighten up!
  • Ashamed
    20 April 2014

    If they wanted to make a video for the sole purpose of demonstrating what a spoiled expat brat with bad parenting looks like, they have succeeded. All international schools students, teachers and parents should appreciate what a fine job these guys have done in ruining their collective reputations.

    As mentioned above, any resemblance between these Dbags and actual (local) Hong Kong kids is purely accidental.
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