My Childhood in Hong Kong- Ch. 1 – No Secret, No border between neighborhood

You cannot keep secret because the apartments are so packed

Small and packed living environment in Hong Kong public housing

I should talk about the background for people who are not familiar with Hong Kong living environment.

I was grown up in public housing apartment. Public housing in Hong Kong is a governmental hosing program for the low income people. Public apartment is built all over Hong Kong, mostly in the relatively remote area. Each public housing are usually 20 to 40 stories, and each floor can occupy around 40 families. Each apartment is small. The placed I grown up was just 200 something sq. ft. for a family! The old design of the public housing is more packed and less considering the privacy of residents. That’s why what happened to our naughty boy Kit. It is really hard to keep secret between neighbor in this crowded environment.

Kin Ming Estate, completed in 2003 by

Twin tower design in old public housing by

Usually each public housing consists of 5-10 buildings.

The twin tower design on the left was the old design in 70s and early 80s. This is where Kit grown up.

Physical Punishment is a common family education

For other culture, it may be hard to imagine using physical punishment as a method to teach the kids. However, it is not rare in Hong Kong. Parents usually use “Tangtiu” and “Rooster Duster” as their “weapon” to beat their kids. Tangtiu is a piece of long and flexible plant, and Rooster Duster  is just like adding rooster hair at the end of the Tangtiu. 

When I was small, hearing other children yelling and being punished by their parents was a common scene in the public housing. Actually it was my true story. hahaha

Rooster Duster


Posted on September 29, 2011, in Comics, My Childhood in Hong Kong and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Tweety,
    I am delighted to have your public housing posted on the web. I agree that there were no secret between neighbors for those living in public housings. However, people were willing to help one another due to compact living environment. I had left sweet memories when I was living in public housing, some hawkers brought cooked food to sell from floor to floor such as steamed sticky rice, deserts, peanuts etc. It won’t be happened again in public housing anymore.

  2. That really takes me back to my years when I was an early teen. But I’ve never get punished with rooster duster by our parents, though. I didn’t mind living in public housing environment back then, come to think of it, I know it at least helps enriched our live and makes us appreciate everything we have now.

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