Time to go out~

14 Aug

Summer is a goodtime for students to gather together. Most of us are working hard of our dissertation, summer intern and so on, no matter how busy we are, we should take some time to have a gathering. Jacky’s birthday was on 7th August, because we have busying on our task, that’s why we celebrated his birthday on 12th August.

This time, we had gathering at Hon Wo Korean Restaurant, and having famous Korean meal: bulgogi. It is a dark but noisy restaurant at Causeway Bay, a middle-lower level restaurant. I would not have high expectation of that restaurant due to I had meals several times before and the careless attention of consumers. Due to many classmates have a long time did not taste bulgogi, that’s why we go there. It is similar to buffet, pay a lump sum amount and can have unlimited food.

Normally, I would choose a dark café; we are sitting on a comfortable sofa and around a table holding candles, without annoying noisy, listening Mozart’s Violin Concertos such kind of classical music or Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason such kind of blues, of course the most important: chit chat with my friends. It is a place for us to relax, without any pressure talking to my friends about academic studies, embarrassment of work or other things in this atmosphere.

In the past, we would go to Korea to taste bulgogi if we wanted to eat it. However, for those who have ability moving around the world can taste bulgogi or other kinds of food if they wanted. Now, not only bourgeoisie can enjoy it but popular can consume it too. Due to we are living in a postmodern and globalisation era; we can consume various kinds of products all over the world in this little place: Hong Kong.

Capitalism system is supporting and maintaining by consumption, otherwise the whole system would be collapsed. Capitalists would like to earn more and for their accumulation of wealth, therefore, they establish various kinds of restaurants and publicity to attract the taste and requirement of consumers. Those publicity just a kind of symbol, to let consumers consume it immediately.

Going to enjoy bulgogi in Korea requires not only money, but time is another important factor. Most people are working in infrastructure, they have neither money nor time for them consuming in daily time. The capitalists are annihilation space through time, setting up such kind of restaurant in Hong Kong so we can consume it in convenient way. Of course, we forgot nature of its original meaning under this kind of eating; various kinds of food have its manners, occasions and requirement of different time. Our socialisation process would normally teach us how to taste Chinese or Western cuisines, nonetheless we are lack of socialisation agent to socialise us how and when to eat bulgogi. From Korean points of view, they would discriminate our behaviour from eating bulgogi, threat us as “others” and stereotype us, similar process as Hongkongers discriminate mainlanders. In Korean culture, Koreans eat bulgogi only in celebration or important festival, not in daily life. We are violated nature of bulgogi.

That is the harmful of capitalism and globalisation; the impact would affect, violate and even destroy the local culture. Capitalists would take it surface of cultural products, not essential therefore self identity would be lost.

Anyway, we cannot escape this system; we would still be consumed those violated products by the capitalists or by my friends. But it is a time for us to gather together, celebration of Jacky’s birthday; most important is happiness hopeful over there.

 

Reference:

Bauman, Z. (2007). Consuming life. Cambridge: Polity.

Harvey, D. (1990). The condition of postmodernity. Cambridge & oxford: Blackwell.

Held, D. & McGrew A. (2002). Globalization/anti-globalization. Cambridge & oxford: Blackwell.

Tomlinson, J. (2007). The culture of speed: The coming of immediacy. Los Angeles: SAGE.

 

Thanks Emily Cheng to take all the photos in Jacky’s birthday party.

Words: 640

Written by: Addison Wong

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