Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Adventures of Japanese Housewives in Hong Kong

Many of you may wonder at my rather unorthodox title and wonder if I'm using cheap, lowest-common-denominator tactics to promote my blog, but actually I'm letting people know about an interesting talk. On Thursday, June 16th 2005, MPhil Anthropology Candidate Lam Wing-Sze will give a talk (in Cantonese) on the Adventures of Japanese Housewives in Hong Kong. It will be at 7pm in the Hong Kong Museum of History Lecture Theatre on the Ground Floor (the museum is on Chatham Road). Here is the speaker's abstract for the talk:

" 「嫁雞隨雞,嫁狗隨狗」似乎是天經地義的事,而普及印象中的日本婦女是千依百順的 典範, 身處香港的日本婦女更 是專心相夫教子。可是,在日本,女性早就靜靜地起革命,生活越來越多樣化,工作、婚姻、人生意義等都只是個人選 擇。那麼,這些「千依百順」的日本婦女為何要「嫁雞隨雞」?她們來到「菲傭比主婦多」的香港後,怎樣適應全職主婦的生活?她們回日本後又怎樣重新適應日 本?講者將藉著研究這些問題,探討海外日本女性的地位轉變及全球化對 她們的影響。

Japanese women are popularly viewed as passive, selfless and dedicated completely to their husbands and families. Japanese expatriate wives seem to fit this picture. However, studies show that women are undergoing a quiet revolution in Japan. Life is becoming more diverse, and women are emphasizing their individuality in career, marriage and meanings in life. How are these changes affecting Japanese housewives in Hong Kong? Are Japanese housewives really so passive? How are they adapting to life in Hong Kong? What problems do they face when they return to Japan?"

I for one think it should be quite interesting, and there is going to be some translation available for those needing it. Hope you'll come along!

In case you're wondering why we're plugging the talk, I (Dave) am a member of the Hong Kong Anthropological Society, which has a number of very interesting talks throughout the year. From time to time, I'll let you know about the interesting ones!

In case you haven't been we do recommend a visit to the Hong Kong Museum of History. The modern building belies the thoughtfully presented street scenes and dioramas of Hong Kong's past. It confronts the past of Hong Kong and its beginnings in opium, which is already a lot more than one might have expected given other museums and their obvious silences on taboo subjects.

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