Sunday, 23 October 2022

A Study of the Standard of Living of Working Families in Shanghai (1931)

Simon Yang and L. K. Tao, A Study of the Standard of Living of Working Families in Shanghai (Peiping: Institute of Social Research; the Leader Press, 1931).

Wednesday, 12 October 2022








平衡時空,同年1月,在港外國人成立Hongkong Hiking Club。1931年12月,他們開始在South China Morning Post上討論,廣召同好,共襄盛舉,如SCMP, Dec 22, 1931, p. 9. 自此,該報上關於山系的資訊也慢慢增加,風氣漸長。(資料待續


Monday, 12 September 2022

A History of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival as a Public Holiday in Colonial Hong Kong

chronological sources:

Holidays Amendment Bill 1940 (13 December 1940) (Bills Database
  1. Title of Ordinance: General Holidays Ordinance
  2. Proposed by: Attorney General
  3. Gazette date of Bill (Contents of the Bill): 13 December 1940
  4. Gazette date of Ordinance: 17 January 1941 (Ord. No. 1 of 1941)
  5. Date of First Reading of Bill: 19 December 1940
  6. Objects and Reasons: "The amendment proposed in clause 3 of the Bill is the abolition of the General holiday on the first Monday in September and the substitution therefor of a General holiday on the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival day, or if that day should be a Sunday then the following day"

CO 129/590/10, Holidays Amendment Ordinance 1941: 1941 Jan. 17-Feb. 3. 

  1. "An Ordinance to amend the Holidays Ordinance, 1912. [17th January, 1941.]" 
  2. "3. Section 3 of the Holidays Ordinance, 1912, is amended by the repeal of paragraph (12) thereof and by the substitution therefore of the following paragraph: - (12) Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Day, or if that day should be a Sunday then the following day;"
  3. "Passed the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, this 16th day of January, 1941."
  4. Objects and Reasons: "The amendment proposed in clause 3 of the Bill is the abolition of the General holiday on the first Monday in September and the substitution therefor of a General holiday on the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival day, or if that day should be a Sunday then the following day."

Industrial Employment (Holidays with Pay and Sickness Allowance) Bill 1961

  1. Title of Ordinance: Employment Ordinance
  2. Proposed by: Colonial Secretary
  3. Gazette date of Bill (Contents of the Bill): 1 December 1961
  4. Gazette date of Ordinance: 29 December 1961 (Ord. No. 53 of 1961)
  5. Date of First Reading of Bill: 29 November 1961
  6. "He [Colonial Secretary] said: This Bill, Sir, breaks new ground in the field of labour legislation. It provides that six holidays a year must be given to all workers employed in industrial undertakings. These six holidays must be granted with full pay in the case of a wide range of workers who satisfy certain qualifying conditions. In addition, such workers are entitled to sickness allowances at half-pay up to twelve days each year. The range embraces non-manual industrial workers earning not more than $700 a month, and all manual industrial workers (including men, women, and young persons) whether they are engaged by the day or for longer periods. To qualify for benefits a worker must have worked for an employer both for not less than 180 days out of the twelve months, and for 20 out of 28 days immediately preceding a statutory holiday or the day on which the worker falls sick.
  7. Over 300,000 local workers will be affected by this legislation and, taking into account dependants, well over a million people should benefit directly or indirectly by this Bill."
  8. "The Bill goes a considerable way towards meeting the provisions of an International Labour Convention on holidays with pay which does not at present apply to Hong Kong. This Convention calls for annual holidays with pay of six working days. The Bill now before Council selects six days associated with traditional Chinese holidays on which a worker may be granted a holiday with pay. Workers are not obliged to take these holidays, but they will, if qualified, be entitled to the holiday pay" 
  9. Objects and Reasons: "Employers will be required to grant six holidays each year to all their workers. Subject to certain other provisions of the Bill that are mentioned hereafter, the holidays, which are designated "statutory holidays", are to be granted on Chinese New Year's Day, the day of the Tsing Ming Festival, the day of the Dragon Boat Festival and the day of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and, at the option of the employer, on the day preceding or the day following Chinese New Year's Day and on the day of the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or the first day of January next following that day (clause 5(1) and (2))."

Holidays (Amendment) Bill 1967

  1. Title of Ordinance: General Holidays Ordinance
  2. Proposed by: Secretary for Chinese Affairs
  3. Gazette date of Bill (Contents of the Bill): 3 March 1967
  4. Gazette date of Ordinance: 17 March 1967 (Ord. No. 19 of 1967)
  5. Date of First Reading of Bill: 1 March 1967
  6. "Sir, the reason why these changes are put forward is that we believe the new arrangements will conform more closely with actual practice in Hong Kong society, and with popular sentiment, than do the present arrangements."
  7. "Four new general holidays are proposed; those are days which have for long been celebrated here as important traditional festivals, or popular holiday occasions, and they are as follows:— 
  8. The third day of the lunar year, (年初三); the Tuen Ng(端午) or Dragon Boat Festival; and the Ching Ming (清明) and Chung Yeung (重陽) festivals, which are respectively the spring and autumn grave-tending festivals. 
  9. By way of compensation it is proposed to delete three days from the present list of general holidays, as follows:— 
  10. Whit Monday, the third Monday in October and the day after Remembrance Sunday. 
  11. Thus the net effect on the number of holidays will be to increase the total number of week-day general holidays by one, that is from 16 to 17 a year.
  12. In addition, the Bill proposes that the holiday appointed in connexion with the Mid-autumn Festival (中秋) should in future fall on the day after the festival instead of on the day of the festival itself as at present. This is thought desirable because of the nature of the festivities and observances traditionally associated with this occasion. Finally, Sir, the Bill seeks to provide that Liberation Day, which at present falls on the fixed date of 30th August, should instead be the last Monday in August in order to form a long week-end.
  13. Sir, these changes are proposed after consultations with both religious and secular bodies and after extensive investigation into the views of the public at large on these matters. The Bill was published for general information some four weeks ago, and there seems every reason to suppose that the changes it seeks to make will be generally welcomed."

Holidays (Amendment) Bill 1968 / Industrial Employment (Holidays with Pay and Sickness Allowance) (Amendment) Bill 1968

  1. Proposed by: Commissioner of Labour
  2. Gazette date of Bill (Contents of the Bill): 11 April 1968
  3. Gazette date of Ordinance: 24 May 1968 (Ord. No. 22 of 1968)
  4. Date of First Reading of Bill: 10 April 1968
  5. "One significant change which will occur as a result of this amendment is to introduce an industrial holiday on the day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival instead of the day of the festival itself. The nature of the traditional celebrations at that time is such that the day following the celebrations is a more suitable time for a holiday than the day before."
  6. Objects and Reasons: "The purpose of the Bill is to make the day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Day a statutory holiday in lieu of the day of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival..."
(to be continued: next SCMP if any relevant sources)

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Japanese tourists drop as Hong Kong floating restaurants profit plummet in 1998

Melco International Development said profit generated by its floating restaurants sand 40 per cent this year compared with the same period last year, having already plunged last year.

The company, whose main business is running Aberdeen's Jumbo Seafood restaurant and its two adjoining restaurants, Jumbo Palace, and Tai Pak, said it cut 80 staff in April and now employs about 400 staff at the floating restaurants.

Chief executive Patrick Huen Wing-ming said salaries were more than $90 million last year but the company would try to retain as many staff as possible, despite the profit drop.

It reported an 80 per cent drop in attributable profit last year, to $10.3 million from $57 million in 1996.

Mr Huen said the firm had more than $200 million in cash and generated interest income of over $15 million last year.

Chairman Stanley Ho Hung-sun attributed the drop in business to the state of Japan's economy. Most customers were Japanese, "but Japan is not doing well and a lot fewer Japanese are coming to Hong Kong", he said.

About 65 per cent of the restaurant's patrons were tourists, with Japanese tourists making up more than 40 per cent.

Mr Ho said with markets such as Thailand slowly picking up, he expected the tourism slump in Hong Kong to bottom in the latter part of the year.

Deputy general manager Tong Yau said the company was seeking to extend its local client base by advertising in magazines. He said negotiation for a few projects had been put on hold.

source: SCMP, Jun 2, 1998, p. 34.

---                ---                ---

also from SCMP, Mar 8, 1972, p. 5.

Hongkong's floating restaurants come under fire

Hongkong's world-famous floating restaurants are becoming the targets for increasing complaints from tourists and travel agents overseas.

The Executive Director of the Tourist Association, Mr John Pain, said this yesterday.

And he said tourism officials had held two meetings with the management of these establishments to try to get the quality of service improved at these places.

Mr Pain's comments came after Magistrate K. W. Dillon in Western Court yesterday dismissed a charge of assault against a foki of the Sea Palace restaurant who had been accused of assaulting a tourist customer after he complained about a bill.

"We have had a number of complaints in recent months about the floating restaurants," Mr Pain said.

"They come from tourists and from travel agents overseas who have in turn received complaints from tourists who found the floating restaurants unsatisfactory.

The main complaints have been about service and the attitude of waiters who throw food down in front of customers and who display a lack of courtesy."

He said tourists had also complained about cold food and poor quality food.

Mr Pain said the following restaurant companies were members of the Tourist Association, and as members, the association could not accept unsatisfactory and poor conditions.

"We can't have these undoubted tourist attractions ending up as liabilities to the tourist industry," Mr Pain said.

"We can't have these undoubted tourist attractions 

---               ---                ---

SCMP, Mar 19, 1972, p. 3.

Aberdeen's world-famous floating restaurants are under heavy attack overseas and it could ruin them as tourist attractions.

It could also severely damage their local business.

One attack concerns a dead cockroach.

It was found recently in a dish of boiled shrimps by a local diner.

This is one of many complaints against the food and service at the restaurants.

The Tourist Association has received an avalanche of complaints in recent months from customers and the association is worried.

The restaurants' reputation has slumped so much that tour organisers - who once listed a visit to Aberdeen as a "must" - are looking for attractions of a similar nature in other areas.

One obvious choice is the floating restaurant at Shatin. Here the surroundings are pleasant, the view superb and the food up the an acceptable standard.

Pleas to improve the standard at Aberdeen have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, the complaints pour in. One letter (a copy of which was received by the HKTA) stated: "It is an embarrassment for me to take overseas visitors to the Aberdeen restaurants.

"In future I will not use the restaurants nor recommend them to others."

A tourist said in another letter: "I regret to say we were given a travesty of a meal which was matched by poor service.

"I complained to the management who offered me other dishes - once was enough!

"I am no stranger to Chinese food and cannot recall having received such poor service anywhere in the world."

The HKTA has held meetings with the managers of the Aberdeen restaurants and local civic groups in an attempt to improve dining conditions and win back some of the former esteem and popularity.

But the executive director of the HKTA, Mr J. H. Pain, said in a letter to one manager: "It seems these meetings were of no avail.

"We are faced with increasingly bad comments overseas on the floating restaurants. Frankly, conditions at Berdeen are becoming a liability to the industry."

Mr Pain concluded by requesting a "prompt explanation" for the complaints.

He said the situation had reached a stage where the restaurants' membership with the association would have to be reviewed.

Monday, 2 May 2022

William Edgar Geil's Eighteen capitals of China (1911)

William Edgar Geil's Eighteen capitals of China (Philadelphia; London: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1911). with 139 illustrations.

Hangchow, Foochow, Canton, Kweilin, Kweiyang, Yunnanfu, Soochow, Nanking, Anking, Nanchang, Wuchang, Changsha, Chengtu, Lanchow, Sian, Kaifeng, Taiyuanfu, Tsinan, and finally Peking. 

上有天堂,下有蘇杭 Heaven is sway in the sky, but Soochow and Hangchow are here below. (p. 3)
對牛彈琴 Play music in front of a chow (p. 23)
舌頭底下壓煞人 You can curse people with the weight of the tongue (p. 33)
雪地裡葬人 Burying one in the snow - won't last (p. 45)
油嘴刺心刀 Oily words, but a knife heart (p. 65)
少莫走廣 When young don't go to Canton (p. 79)
針無兩頭利 No needle has a point at both ends (p. 81)
大雞唔食細米 A big chicken does not eat small rice (p. 95)
大富由命,小富由勤 Great wealth comes from fortune; small wealth comes from diligence. (p. 127)

Saturday, 2 April 2022

miscellaneous notes (2012)

Everyone has a childhood. It may be joyful, unforgettable, or miserable.

"It is very necessary that children should learn, when young, the value and the use of money; they should be taught to spend it, as well as to save it."
"Pocket Money," Godey's Lady's Book (25, April 1879): 98
"O Children! Money-making for the Lord, in the right way, is the most honorable business we possibly do. Now, then, are you willing to try? Hands up, from Maine to California!"
Mrs. O. W. Scott, "Our Mission Band," Heathen Children's Friend (2, August 1891): 94

From Karen Li Miller's 'The white child's burden: managing the self and money in nineteenth-century children's missionary periodicals,' American Periodicals, Vol. 22 No. 2 (2012): 140-57.

Saturday, 26 March 2022


  1. Chan, Selina Ching. (2019). "Tea cafés and the Hong Kong identity: Food culture and hybridity". China Information, 33(3), 311-328.
  2. Lo, Patrick. (2008). "Eating Metropolis: An Analysis of the Cultural Hybridity and Local Identity Behind the Hong Kong-Style Tea café, 'Cha Chaan Ting /茶餐廳'". The International Journal of the Humanities, 6(4), 55-80.
  3. David Y. H. Wu, "Chinese Cafe in Hong Kong," in his and Tan Chee-beng (eds.), Changing Chinese Foodways in Asia (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2001), pp. 71-80.
  4. 蕭欣浩,〈從英式到港式——茶餐廳及其飲食的傳承與轉化〉,《美食研究》第32卷第1期(2015年),收入氏著:《解構滋味:香港飲食文學與文化研究論集》(香港:初文出版社,2019)。
  5. 謝藴然,〈「港式奶茶」與香港人文化身分認同〉,《文化研究@嶺南第66期》。
  6. 銀龍飲食集團:《港人飯堂︰茶餐廳》(香港:萬里機構,2013)。
  7. 梁廣福:《再會舊冰室》(香港:中華書局,2016年)。
  8. 李嘉雯:《得閒飲西茶》(香港:三聯書店,2017年)。

Wednesday, 22 December 2021




同治十三年 六月初五日 中華印務總局內文裕堂啟

法士卜 First Book
昔近卜 Second Book
撻卜 Third Book
科卜 Fourth Book
輝乎卜 Fifth Book. 
Chambers's Standard First to Fifth Reading-Book?
列丁卜 Reading Book. Chambers's First and Second Book of Reading?
女仔書 A Book for Girls? 
Margaret E. Sandford's The Girls' Reading-book? Reading Book for Girls' Schools? 
士啤聆卜 Spelling Book. Chambers's Spelling-Book?
信札書 The Hand-book of Letter-writing
德怠乾威宜 ???
小卡藍麻 Goold Brown's Small Grammar
又大卡藍麻 ? Grammar
湛孖士卡藍麻 Chambers's English Grammar
蘇釐分卡藍麻 Robert Sullivan's An Attempt to Simplify English Grammar
書館常用卡藍麻 William Bentley Fowle's The Common School Grammar
花旗卡藍麻 James Brown's An American Grammar? James Herron's American Grammar
類字辨似書 Peter Mark Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases?

also refer to Keiichi Uchida's "Wenyutang and Its Business Partners", in his A Study of Cultural Interaction and Linguistic Contact Approaching Chinese Linguistics from the Periphery

ref. Lindley Murray's Grammar