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DisHal TashEn

on 10 November 2014

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Hong Kong (Fragrant Harbour)
The geography of Hong Kong primarily consists of three main territories: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.
The name "Hong Kong", literally meaning "fragrant harbour", is derived from the area around present-day Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island, where fragrant wood products and fragrant incense were once traded.
The narrow body of water separating Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula, Victoria Harbour, is one of the deepest natural maritime ports in the world.
Hong Kong and its 260 territorial islands and peninsulas are located in the South China Sea, at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta.
The Kowloon Peninsula to the south of Boundary Street and the New Territories to the north of Hong Kong Island were added to Colonial Hong Kong in 1860 and 1898 respectively.
The landscape of Hong Kong is fairly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes. The highest point in the territory is Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 metres. Lowlands exist in the northwestern part of the New Territories.
Hong Kong is located in eastern Asia, on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China, facing the South China Sea.
Hong Kong is 60 km east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River estuary. It has a land border with Shenzhen to the north. The remaining land is reserved as country parks and nature reserves.
Area of land in Hong Kong is 1,104 km2 ((426 sq mi) and area of sea in Hong Kong is 1,650 km2 (640 sq mi).
Total coastline of Hong Kong is 733 km.
Hong Kong has 263 islands over 500 m2, including Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, Cheung Chau, Lamma Island, Peng Chau and Tsing Yi Island.
Hong Kong stands on volcanic terra firma, with its landscape dominated by hills and mountains.
A crest lining from the northeast to southwest forms the backbone of Hong Kong.
Kowloon peninsular and the northwestern New Territories are mainly flat areas.
3% of Hong Kong's total land area is agriculturally cultivated and this is mostly at the New Territories large alluvial plains.
A narrow piece of flat land between the mountains and the sea along the north shore in Hong Kong is vacated by most of the country's population, whereas the south shore has luxury residential buildings and some nice beaches, such as Stanley and Repulse Bays.
There is a tunnel that was built through the mountains, which links the north and south shores.
The highest peak is Ta Mo Shan, located in central New Territories at 957 meters (3,140 ft) above sea level, while the lowest is Lo Chau Mun at 66 meters (217ft).
In total, there are about 234 outlying islands in the country, with the island of Hong Kong being the most famous and populated.
Hong Kong's climate is subtropical and monsoonal with cool dry winters and hot wet summers.
Even though Hong Kong's latitude is within the tropics, its seasonal changes are greater than in most places at similar latitudes. Monsoons and seasonal alternation of winds often dominate the climatic system of the country.
As of 2006, its annual average rainfall is 2,214 mm (87.2 in), though about 80% of the rain falls between May and September.
January and February are more cloudy, with occasional cold fronts followed by dry northerly winds. It is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below 10 °C (50 °F) in urban areas.
Sub-zero temperatures and frost occur at times on high ground and in the New Territories.
Fog and drizzle are common on high ground which is exposed to the southeast.
May to August are hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms
In November and December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures.
The culture of Hong Kong can best be described as a foundation that began with China, and became more influenced by British colonialism. After the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong continues to develop an identity of its own.
Hong Kong's culture was born in a sophisticated fusion of East and West. It not only kept many Chinese traditions, but also experienced a baptism of western culture.
One-hundred-fifty years of rule as a separate British colony, as well as political separation from the rest of mainland China have resulted in a unique local identity.
Elements of Traditional Chinese culture combining British western influences have shaped Hong Kong in every facet of the city spanning from law, politics, education, language, food, and the way of thought.
It is for this reason that many people in Hong Kong are proud of their culture and generally refer themselves as "Hong Kongers" or "Hong Kong Chinese", to distinguish themselves from the Chinese in mainland China (which developed independently).
Media in Hong Kong are available to the public in the forms of: television and radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. They serve the local community by providing necessary information and entertainment.
Hong Kong is home to many of Asia's biggest media players and remains as one of the world's largest film industries.
The loose regulation over the establishment of a newspaper makes Hong Kong home to many international media such as Asian Wall Street Journal and FEER, and publications with anti-Communist backgrounds such as The Epoch Times which is funded by Falun Gong. It also once had numerous newspapers funded by Kuomintang of Taiwan but all of them were terminated due to the poor financial performance.
Freedom of the press and publication are enshrined in Article 27 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution, and are also protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) under Article 39 of the Basic Law.
There is no law called "media law" in Hong Kong. Instead, the media are governed by statutory laws. In brief, there are 31 Ordinances that are directly related to mass media.
The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan.
As a former British colony, Hong Kong had a greater degree of political and economic freedom than mainland China and Taiwan, and developed into a filmmaking hub for the Chinese-speaking world (including its worldwide diaspora), and for East Asia in general.
For decades, Hong Kong was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Indian Cinema and Hollywood) and the second largest exporter.
In the West, Hong Kong's vigorous pop cinema (especially Hong Kong action cinema) has long had a strong cult following, which is now arguably a part of the cultural mainstream, widely available and imitated.
Unlike many film industries, Hong Kong has enjoyed little or no direct government support, through either subsidies or import quotas. It is a thoroughly commercial cinema: highly corporate, concentrating on crowd-pleasing genres like comedy and action, and relying heavily on formulas, sequels and remakes.
Hong Kong film derives a number of elements from Hollywood, such as certain genre parameters, a "thrill-a-minute" philosophy and fast pacing and editing. But the borrowings are filtered through elements from traditional Chinese drama and art, particularly a penchant for stylisation and a disregard for Western standards of realism. This, combined with a fast and loose approach to the filmmaking process, contributes to the energy and surreal imagination that foreign audiences note in Hong Kong cinema.
Hong Kong literature is 20th-century and subsequent writings from or about Hong Kong or by writers from Hong Kong, primarily in the poetry, performance, and fiction media.
Hong Kong literature reflects the area's unique history during the 20th century as a fusion of British colonial, Chinese, and sea-trading culture. It has mainly been written in vernacular Chinese, and English.
Hong Kong fiction and performance (including Cantonese opera, television, plays, and film) are many and varied, though only a few film and theatrical works were widely known internationally until the late 20th and early 21st century.
Hong Kong's wuxia martial arts fiction is one of Hong Kong's most famous exports, and provided many internationally recognized films and televisions programmes during the latter half of the 20th century, almost single-handedly bringing Hong Kong literature out of relative obscurity towards a global audience.
In addition to Chinese writing, there is also a smaller body of literature in English. Notable Hong Kong English language writers include Stewart Sloan and Nury Vittachi.
Hong Kong Comics are comics originally produced in Hong Kong.
Sun Yat-Sen established the Republic of China in 1911 using Hong Kong's manhua to circulate anti-Qing propaganda.
Some of the manhua that mirrored the early struggles of the transitional political and war periods were The True Record and Renjian Pictorial.
But, by the time the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941, all manhua activities had stopped.
With the defeat of the Japanese in 1945, political mayhem between Chinese Nationalists and Communists took place. One of the critical manhua, This Is a Cartoon Era by Renjian Huahui made note of the political backdrop at the time.
Since the 1950s, Hong Kong's manhua market has been separate from that of mainland China.
The arrival of television in the 1970s was a changing point because Bruce Lee's films dominated the era and his popularity launched a new wave of Kung Fu manhua.
Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, non-Cantonese Chinese cuisine (especially Teochew, Hakka, Hokkien and the Jiangsu & Zhejiang), the Western world, Japan, and Southeast Asia, due to Hong Kong's past as a British colony and long history of being an international city of commerce.
From the roadside stalls to the most upscale restaurants, Hong Kong provides an unlimited variety of food in every class.
Complex combinations and international gourmet expertise have given Hong Kong the reputable labels of "Gourmet Paradise" and "World's Fair of Food".
Most restaurant serving sizes are considerably small by international standards, especially in comparison to most Western nations like the United States or Canada.
The main course is usually accompanied by a generous portion of carbohydrates such as rice or mein (noodles). People generally eat 5 times a day.
Dinner is often accompanied with dessert. Snack time also fits anywhere in between meals.
Most East Asian cuisines, with the exception of fusion and Thai, are consumed exclusively with chopsticks. The more Western style cuisines favour cutlery. Some meals are more suited for the use of hands.
One notable trend in restaurants is the limited number of napkins provided during a meal. Most mid to low-tier restaurants operate under the assumption that customers bring their own napkins or tissue packs when dining.
The Music of Hong Kong is an eclectic mixture of traditional and popular genres.
Cantopop is one of the more prominent genres of music produced in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta regularly perform western classical music in the city. There is also a long tradition of Cantonese opera within Hong Kong.
Moreover, music of Hong Kong consists of three main music genres. They are Cantopop. Mandarin pop and English pop.
In colonial Hong Kong, pipa was one of the instruments played by the Chinese, and was mainly used for ceremonial purposes.
The 1960s was marked by the rise of Hong Kong English pop which peaked until the mid-1970s among both British and Upper Middle/Upper class ethnic Chinese Hong Kongers.
After the Chinese language had become an official language in 1974, Cantopop's popularity increased sharply due to the improved status of the language and the large Cantonese Chinese population in the city.
In addition, Western classical music has a strong presence in Hong Kong.
Sports in Hong Kong are a significant part of its culture.
Due mainly to British influence going as far back as the late 19th century, Hong Kong had an earlier introduction to Western athletics compared to other Asia regions. Football, basketball, swimming, badminton, table tennis, cycling and running have the most participants and spectators.
In 2009, Hong Kong successfully organised the V East Asian Games and was the biggest sporting event ever held in the territory
Other major international sporting events including the Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Marathon, AFC Asian Cup, EAFF East Asian Cup, Hong Kong Tennis Classic, Premier League Asia Trophy, and Lunar New Year Cup.
Hong Kong athletes over see improved, as of 2010, there are 32 Hong Kong athletes from seven sports ranking in world's Top 20, 29 athletes in six sports in Asia top 10 ranking.
Moreover, Hong Kong is equally impressive performance of athletes with disabilities in 2009, having won four world championships and two Asian Champions.
Demographic features of the population of Hong Kong, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with an overall density of some 6,300 people per square kilometre.
Hong Kong has one of the world’s lowest birth rates—1.11 per woman of child-bearing age as of 2012, far below the replacement rate of 2.1.
With just 1,032 babies born in 2009 to every 1000 fertile women, it is estimated that 26.8% of the population will be aged 65 or more in 2033, up from 12.1% in 2005.
The demographics of Hong Kong mainly consists of ethnic Chinese, making up more than 93.6% of the population.
The ancestral home of most Hong Kong people originates from various regions in Guangdong.
Most Hong Kong people nowadays are the descendants of immigrants from Mainland China and around the world after the end of World War II.
The major ethnic groups include the Punti, Hakka, Hoklo, and Tanka ("boat dwellers").
Despite Filipino and Indonesian foreign domestic helpers being the ethnic minorities, there are over 273,609 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong,[2] accounting for 4% of the entire population.
Religion in Hong Kong is variegated, although most of the Hong Kong people of Chinese descent practice the Chinese folk religion—which comprehends also Confucian doctrines and Taoist ritual traditions—or Buddhism, mostly of the Chinese variety.
According to official statistics for the year 2010, about 50% of the total population belongs to organised religions, specifically there are: 1.5 million Hong Kong Buddhists, 1 million Taoists, 480,000 Protestants, 353,000 Catholics, 220,000 Muslims, 40,000 Hindus, 10,000 Sikhs, and other smaller communities.
A significant amount of the adherents of non-indigenous Chinese religions, in some cases the majority, are Hong Kong people of non-Chinese descent.
The other half of the population mostly takes part in Chinese folk religions, which comprehend the worship of local gods and ancestors, in many cases not declaring this practice as a religious affiliation in surveys.
The traditional Chinese religiosity, including Chinese Buddhism, was generally discouraged during the British rule over Hong Kong, which favoured Christianity.
With the end of the British rule and the handover of the sovereignty of the city-state to China, there has been a renewal of Buddhist and Chinese folk religions.
The Basic Law of Hong Kong stipulates that both Chinese and English are official languages in Hong Kong.
During the British colonial era, English was the sole official language of Hong Kong until 1974.
The majority of the population in Hong Kong were descendants of migrants from the Canton (now Guangdong) and speak Cantonese as first language, and only a minority groups were expatriates.
In addition, there were immigrants from the West and other Asian countries, countries such as the Indian subcontinent, United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
The multicultural population, as a result, has contributed much to Hong Kong's language diversity.
89.5% of the population in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, a Chinese spoken variant originating from Guangzhou (Canton) city in Guangdong province. It is the main variety used in education, broadcasting, government administration, legislature and judiciary as well as daily communication.
English is a major working language in Hong Kong, and is widely used in commercial activities and legal matters. Although the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to the PRC by the United Kingdom in 1997, English remains one of the official languages of Hong Kong as enshrined in the Basic Law.
Historically, English was the sole official language of Hong Kong from 1883 to 1974. Only after demonstrations and petitions from Hong Kong people demanding equal status for Chinese, did Chinese become the other official language in Hong Kong from 1974 onward. In March 1987, the Official Languages Ordinance was amended to require all new legislation to be enacted bilingually in both English and Chinese.
Hong Kong's medical infrastructure consists of a mixed medical economy, with 11 private hospitals and 42 public hospitals.
There are also polyclinics that offer primary care services, including dentistry.
Hong Kong is one of the healthiest places in the world.
Because of its early health education, professional health services, and well-developed health care and medication system, Hongkongers enjoy a life expectancy of 85.9 for females and 80 for men, which is the third highest in the world, and an infant mortality rate of 3.8 deaths per 1000 births, the fourth lowest in the world.
Hong Kong has high standards of medical practice.
It has contributed to the development of liver transplantation, being the first in the world to carry out an adult to adult live donor liver transplant in 1993.
The Department of Health, under the Food and Health Bureau, is the health adviser of Hong Kong government and an executive arm in health legislation and policy.
Hong Kong has only two comprehensive medical faculties, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and they are also the sole two institutes offering medical and pharmacy programs. Other healthcare discipline programs are dispersed among some other universities which do not host a medical faculty.
Hong Kong residents also called Residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, according to the Hong Kong Basic Law include permanent residents and non-permanent residents.
Rights of Hong Kong residents are protected by the Basic Law such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement and freedom of religious belief.
Hong Kong permanent residents have the right of abode in Hong Kong and the right to vote in elections for the Legislative Council and the District Council.
The status of permanent resident was first introduced into Hong Kong law on 1 July 1987 when it replaced Hong Kong belonger status in the Hong Kong Immigration Ordinance Cap 115.
Non-permanent residents of Hong Kong are persons qualified to obtain Hong Kong Identity Cards (HKID) but have no right of abode.
Non-permanent residents do not qualify for a Hong Kong passport but can obtain a Document of Identity to travel if they are unable to obtain a national passport or travel document from any other country.
Politics of Hong Kong takes place in a framework of a political system dominated by its quasi-constitutional document, the Basic Law of Hong Kong, its own legislature, the Chief Executive as the head of government and of the Special Administrative Region, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.
On July 1 1997, sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), ending over one and a half centuries of British rule (National Day/Independence day).
Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC with a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign affairs and defence, which are responsibilities of the PRC government.
According to the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) and the Basic Law, Hong Kong will retain its political, economic, and judicial systems and unique way of life and continue to participate in international agreements and organisations as a dependent territory for at least 50 years after retrocession.
For instance, the International Olympic Committee recognises Hong Kong as a participating dependency under the name, "Hong Kong, China", separate from the delegation from the People's Republic of China.
The Hong Kong government is economically liberal, but currently universal suffrage is only granted in District Council elections, and in elections for part of the Legislative Council.
The head of the government (Chief Executive of Hong Kong) is elected through an electoral college with the majority of its members elected by a limited number of voters mainly within business and professional sectors.
As one of the world's leading international financial centers, Hong Kong's service-oriented economy is characterised by its low taxation, almost free port trade and well established international financial market.
Its currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is legally issued by three major international commercial banks, and pegged to the US Dollar. Interest rates are determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure it is fully market-driven.
There is no central banking system in Hong Kong.
According to Index of Economic Freedom,[23] Hong Kong has had the highest degree of economic freedom in the world since the inception of the Index in 1995. Its economy is governed under positive non-interventionism, and is highly dependent on international trade and finance. In 2009, Hong Kong's real economic growth fell by 2.8% as a result of the global financial turmoil.
Hong Kong's economic strengths include a sound banking system, virtually no public debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves, rigorous anti-corruption measures and close ties with the mainland China.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$2.97 trillion.
As of 2006, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has an average daily turnover of 33.4 billion dollars, which is 12 times that of Shanghai.
Hong Kong has been ranked as the world's freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom of Heritage Foundation for 20 consecutive years, since its inception in 1995.
Hong Kong is the only one to have ever scored 90 points or above on the 100-point scale in 2014 Index.
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