"......Preparations are afoot in Beijing
as well as Hong Kong to celebrate the big day. All the hotels in Hong Kong are booked full for June 30th and July 1st. New hotels are also springing up to meet the demand when the world's attention turns to this cluster of islands. Brides and grooms in China, it is reported, are postponing their wedding dates to coincide with the historic day.
But there are mixed feelings among the Hong Kongers themselves about their return to the mainland. Apprehensions, to some extent, are there that things might go wrong after July '97. Talks have been rife about Hong Kongers moving out of the island, apparently under the notion that the territory may not remain as open and free under a communist China rule and that China may impose repressive rule in this territory of 6.2 million people.
Many have pitched their tents elsewhere in the world, in anticipation of the aftermath of handing over. There was an interesting report sometime back about Hong Kong emigrants spending thousands of dollars to ship dead from the territories cemeteries to new resting places in North America or wherever they are moving over to. According to their tradition, Chinese visit and " tend " the graves of their ancestors every year during a particular lunar month. Since the emigrants cannot possibly be flying back to Hong Kong every year, they prefer to have the ashes of their dead relatives close by. One memorial park manager in San Francisco reportedly said that business was booming in shipping and relocating the sets of ashes from Hong Kong......."
Well, yes you guessed it right :-) I was looking back at July 1997 - the day when Hong Kong was returned to China. Today is the 7th Anniversary of that day. So what better way to remember it than post one of my Singapore despatches to ET in those days ? !! So just in case you are interested, check out here for full story :-)