Singer/Songwriter – Australian/ Hong Kong’er
“For now, home is when I get lost in playing, writing and listening to music.”
Stacey Chan was born in Hong Kong and is currently living there. However she is Australian by nationality. As an aspiring singer and songwriter, she plans to return to Australia in the near future, where she will study composition, music production and management.
Stacy faces a question many TCK’s face, does she identify herself as a Hong Kong’er or does she feel more affinity with her nationality, Australian? We get Stacy to share some of her thoughts on “home”, what it means to be a “local” and if it’s important to feel like you belong to a certain place or community.
What does “home” mean to you?
“Home should be where you feel most comfortable and free of insecurities.”
It’s difficult for me to say what “home” is to me. Although I have grown up and lived here my whole life, I find it hard to label only Hong Kong as “home.” I love Hong Kong in all its convenient-transport- glory, cheap street food, safety, skyscrapers and moody weather, but I have reached a stage where I want to move on to some place new. Somewhere where people walk slower, talk slower and breathe slower.
To define “home,” I would say that home can’t always be confined to one certain place, person or event. Home should be where you feel most comfortable and free of insecurities. For now, home is when I get lost in playing, writing and listening to music. Music is my form of stress-relief, expression and discovery.
What does “local” mean to you?
“I think “local” means having a broad and in-depth understanding of a place’s culture and language.”
It’s a common assumption that one can speak the language of the city they’ve grown up in, but I’m far from fluent in Cantonese as I have attended English-speaking international schools since my primary years. I think “local” means having a broad and in-depth understanding of a place’s culture and language. Unfortunately, this is not the case for me so I doubt I can call myself a local Hong Kong’er.
What bugs me a little bit is that most of the world doesn’t actually know how international Hong Kong is. I can’t stress how many times I’ve been asked the question (when visiting foreign places) “If you’re from Hong Kong, why is your English so fluent?” There is some shame upon not being able to communicate fluently in Cantonese, but I think that as long as I can get around town without being entirely lost, I’ll be fine.
Do you think it’s important to feel like you belong to a certain place or a group of people?
Yes, it is really important to be able to find a community where you feel accepted. It doesn’t have to be a community where everyone comes from the same background. I’ve moved schools several times so it took a while to find a solid, tight circle of friends who I could really relate to. I strongly think that finding a place in society is beneficial for one’s health and growth. It’s through experiencing the joys and lows of life with other people that allows life to have its depth and meaning.
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