Hong Kong…Somewhere between contemporary and traditional

I could already tell that I landed somewhere different from where I was 16 hours ago immediately after I walked out of the airport. It was 8:00 p.m. and the night air was still hot and humid as if the sun was still up.

I was expecting Hong Kong to have many Asian cultures that I am already familiar with, but in fact, Hong Kong was way more diverse that I expected. Also, what I observed as I first explored the city was that the overall city-view of Hong Kong was very modernized, but many parts of the city still have maintained the traditional taste.

For example, Starbucks nearby where I stay has become one of my favorite places, not only for its own version of a variety of menus, but also because of its unique atmosphere that has both the westernized and traditional Hong Kong styled characteristics. I personally thought that this particular place could be a good representation of my first impression of Hong Kong, somewhere between contemporary and traditional.

The background research as well as all the cultural theories that I learned prior to departure helped me to perceive the culture in more precise ways. It is very interesting to see how Hong Kong has persevered through the external influences and preserved its own cultural identity, which has been naturally embedded in the city reflected through architecture, food, and people.

The one thing I would do differently in terms of preparation is talking to one of my classmates from Hong Kong to compare what I learned to his own experience. Although I am still not used to this humid and unpredictable weather, the city is absolutely amazing to explore and discover more.


Hello, my name is Sangyu Kim. I am a junior and double-major in data analytics/operations management and supply chain management at UMD. I am currently in Hong Kong, exploring new culture and experiences!

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