How the South Asians Helped to Make Hong Kong

Why We Recommend it

Hong-Kong based journalist and author Mark O’Neill tells the rarely-revealed story of the considerable contribution of Indians, Pakistanis and others from the Sub-continent to the building of our city.


The narrative runs from the first day it became a British colony to the present, when these immigrants have worked as soldiers, policemen, prison guards, jewellery merchants and international traders. The talk is richly illustrated with photographs of the different communities and their shops, businesses and cuisine.

Prominent among them are Parsees, who established the Star Ferry, Hong Kong University and the Ruttonjee Sanatorium, the main hospital that fought tuberculosis in the post-war period. They also built temples, mosques and community centres. Gurkhas from Nepal patrolled the border with Guangdong and prevented tens of thousands of illegal entrants, especially during the Cultural Revolution, when they also helped to maintain order.

Today there are 80,000 South Asians in Hong Kong. Of them, 45,000 of them are Indians, double the number at the handover. Most of the new arrivals are engineers and professionals in finance and IT. They are also attracted by the absence of religious conflict that has scarred many countries, as all can walk the streets carrying symbols of their faith without difficulty.


When: 24 Sep 2019 - 24 Sep 2019 Where: Hill Dickinson, Suite 3205 Tower Two, Lippo Centre – 89 Queensway – Admiralty