Citi - HKCSS Community Intern Programme outreach - 15 June 2016
Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism...all these religions are well-known to all, but we always neglect the existence of many religious beliefs of ethnic minority. Today I was able to visit the Sikh Temple located in Wan Chai and get to know more about the culture.
The Sikh ambassadors from WEDO Global introduced us the characteristics of a Sikh such as the 5 essential items that a baptized Sikh should have and the history behind the religion. We followed the tradition by learning to wrap our heads with the turbans, removing our shoes before entering the temple and trying out the Indian food. The most interesting part would be asking the Sikhs for help to complete our card-matching game. During the time, they taught us some simple greetings and vocabularies in Punjabi (one of the Indian languages). Though there might be some communication problems between the Sikhs and us since some of them did not understand English, it was a great experience to let us take a step further and try to actively talk to the Sikhs. In our daily life, whenever we see people from the ethnic minority, our immediate response is usually to avoid being in contact with them. In fact, as Hong Kong is known as an international city with diversified cultures, we as the citizens should welcome people from all around the world, regardless of one’s wealth and social status. We should not stereotype the Sikhs as typical criminals. After today’s program, I realized they are friendly and are willing to offer help.
In my opinion, all people are equal regardless of their skin colours and origins. As migrants, the Sikhs have been facing a lot of challenges: language and communication problems, unemployment, or even discrimination. When we are expecting them to follow our culture and learn our language, their traditional ones are being threatened, like what the ambassadors told us that they did not even know how to write Punjabi since they only learn Chinese and English in schools. Cultural integration should be achieved with the concerted effort of Hong Kongers and the ethnic groups.