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By: Thomas Zhan

the Hope for a better future


Family Tree

Interviewed Person (Mom)


Historical Narrative                                              The  Hope  For  a  Better  Future          I  looked  around  the  living  room.  I  saw  my  mom,  dad,  and   my  sisters  staring  at  the  TV,  all  9illed  with  depression  as  the   British  9lag  was  being  lowered.  I  thought  to  myself,  Will   everything  be  the  same  after  we  are  handed  over  to  China?  Will   life  be  the  same?  What  will  change?  Millions  of  questions  came   into  my  mind  like  a  herd  of  furious,  charging  bulls.  I  was   desperately  worried.              It  looked  liked  a  normal,  quiet  night  in  Hong  Kong,  but  the   city  was  buzzing  with  emotion.  I  kept  an  eye  on  the  TV  while  I   ate  dinner  with  my  family.  We  didn’t  usually  watch  TV  when   we  ate  our  dinner,  but  that  day  was  special,  because  one   hundred  and  9ifty  9ive  years  of  British  rule  in  Hong  Kong  were   9inally  coming  to  an  end.  Hong  Kong  was  9inally  being   returned  to  China.

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When I  was  young,  I  visited  my  Grandparents  who  were   farmers  in  Dongguan,  China.  Back  then,  many  people  in  China   were  penniless.  It  was  not  easy  for  them  to  travel  to  other   countries.  There  was  not  enough  beds  and  children  had  to   sleep  on  the  9loor.  My  grandparents’  house  did  not  even  have   a  bathroom.  It  was  not  even  easy  to  get  adequate  food  supply   for  each  family,  so  each  time  we  visit  them,  we  bring  candy,   biscuits,  and  medicine.  I  was  worried  if  this  is  what  Hong   Kong’s  future  would  look  like  after  China  starts  ruling  us.  I   was  also  worried  of  not  having  freedom  to  travel  to  other   countries. In  fact,  for  several  years,  many  people  in  Hong  Kong   dreaded  this  very  day  approaching.  Some  of  my  friends   already  moved  to  other  countries,  fearful  that  Hong  Kong   would  be  worse  after  the  handover.  Our  family  stayed,   because  Hong  Kong  was  our  home.  Plus,  my  family  had  six   people  and  also,  we  didn’t  have  enough  money  to  buy  six   plane  tickets.

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The ceremony  started  as  I  was  9inishing  eating  dinner.   Bits  of  leftover  pork  were  stuck  on  my  lips.  Soy  sauce  was   smeared  right  under  my  lip.  I  wiped  it  all  off  with  a  tissue,   then  joined  the  rest  of  my  family  in  the  living  room  to  watch   the  ceremony.  I  welcomed  myself  on  the  couch,  and  I  focused   my  eyes  on  the  TV. Twenty  minutes  had  passed,  and  Mr.  Chris  Patten,  the   last  Hong  Kong  governor  appointed  by  Britain,  was  giving   his  9inal  farewell  speech.  I  felt  tears  in  my  eyes.  Mr.  Patten   had  been  such  a  successful  governor,  and  I  didn’t  know  what   the  new  Chinese  governor  would  do  to  us.  Just  then,  my   sister,  Jovy,  screamed,  “The  British  9lag  is  about  to  be   lowered  and  replaced  by  the  Chinese  9lag!”  Her  voice  was  so   loud;  it  made  me  jump  a  mile.  Jovy  liked  to  shout  things  out   whenever  she  felt  like  it.  Most  of  the  time  I  didn’t  care,  but   that  night  I  did.

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As the  TV  showed  Mr.  Chris  Patten  looking  onto  the   lowering  British  9lag,  I  asked,  “What  will  happen  to  Mr.  Chris   Patten  after  the  ceremony?”  Jovy  replied. “He  will  leave  Hong  Kong  tonight  by  boat.”  “But  why  not   by  airplane?”  I  questioned.  My  dad  answered,  “Because  when   British  9irst  came  here  to  Hong  Kong,  they  came  by  boat.  Now   they  want  to  honor  that  tradition.” My  eyes  were  9ixed  on  the  TV  as  the  British  9lag  9inished   lowering  and  the  Chinese  9lag  raised  up.  This  was  the  saddest   part  of  the  ceremony  -­‐  I  could  already  see  tears  in  my  mom’s   eyes.  Jovy  looked  like  wanted  to  cry,  too,  but  she  shut  her  eyes   quickly,  so  the  tears  won’t  drop.   Just  then,  I  heard  popping  sounds  in  the  air.  I  looked  at  the   window.  Sparkling  light  was  jumping  up  in  the  air.  There  were   9ireworks!  I  could  even  see  it  from  the  windows  of  my   miniature  apartment.  I  had  always  loved  9ireworks.  Watching   the  9ireworks  dancing  in  the  air,  I  actually  started  to  feel   blissful  instead  of  wretched.  Ironically,  as  I  felt  despair  and   anxiety  about  the  British  leaving,  I  also  felt  proud  of  Hong   Kong.  There  might  be  new  hope  for  a  better  future.  Maybe  the   best  days  of  Hong  Kong  were  still  ahead  of  us.        


Interview Q&A Q: Who  was  there? A:  Prince  Charles,  Mr.  Patten,  China  President,  Tong  Chi  Hua.   (First  Hong  Kong  Governor) Q:  Where  was  it  held? A:  Hong  Kong  Convention  Center Q:  How  old  were  you  when  this  happened?  Were  you  still  in   school? A:  25  years  old.  She  was  working. Q:  Were  there  any  other  family  members? A:  My  parents  and  sisters.   Were  you  happy  when  China  took  Hong  Kong?  Why? A:  Not  really.  Because  she  was  used  to  the  British  9lag. Q:  How  long  did  this  even  last? A:  2  to  3  hours. What  was  your  favorite  moment? A:  When  the  ceremony  ended.  She  didn’t  really  have  any   favorite  moments. Q:  What  was  the  strongest  moment  in  the  Hong  Kong   Handover?  Why? A:  When  the  British  9lag  was  being  lowered  and  be  replaced   by  the  Chinese  9lag. Q:  Did  you  affect  the  event? A:  No. Q:  How  did  the  people  around  you  react  to  this  event? A:  Some  people  were  happy,  some  were  worried,  and  some   were  sad. Q:  Why  did  China  take  over  Hong  Kong? A:  Because  Hong  Kong’s  territory  was  under  China.


Q: What  was  your  saddest  moment?  Why? A:  When  the  9lag  was  being  lowered.  Because  she  would   never  see  the  Britain  9lag  in  Hong  Kong  ever. Q:  What  were  you  doing? A:  Watching  the  ceremony  on  TV. Q:  What  did  the  Convention  Center  look  like? A:  A  building  with  9lag  poles  and  a  statue  given  by  China.   The  statue  was  the  Hong  Kong’s  national  9lower. Q:  How  did  you  feel? A:  Depressed  and  worried. Q:  Who  was  Mr.  Patten? A:  He  was  the  last    governor  in  Hong  Kong  to  represent   Britain. Q:  Was  the  ceremony  indoors  or  outdoors? A:  Both. Q:  Who  took  down  the  Britain  9lag  and  replaced  it  with  the   China  one? A:  A  few  Hong  Kong  of9icers. Q:  Where  were  the  9lagpoles? A:  In  front  of  the  convention  center. Q:  What  was  your  feeling  when  they  took  down  the  Britain   9lag? A:  Sad. Q:  When  did  they  start  lowering  the  Britain  9lag? A:  Before  the  ceremony  ended.


Q: How  tall  were  the  9lagpoles? What  do  you  think  Mr.  Patten  and  Prince  Charles  were   feeling  when  the  Britain  9lag  was  being  lowered?  Why? A:  Depressed  because  Mr.  Patten’s  3  daughters  started  to  cry   when  the  9lag  was  being  lowered. Q:  What  were  you  doing  when  they  were  lowering  the  9lag? A:  Watching  the  TV.   Q:  If  you  were  the  person  who  was  lowering  the  Britain  9lag,   would  you  regret  pulling  it  down?  Why? A:  Yes  because  I  would  miss  the  9lag  very  much.  I  would  also   miss  all  the  British  things  in  Hong  Kong.


Research Notes -­‐Britain ruled  Hong  Kong  since  1842 The  Hong  Kong  Handover  was  in  June  30th/July  1st  (happened   at  midnight)  ,  1997 -­‐The  Handover  was  held  in  the  Hong  Kong  Convention  Center -­‐Mr.  Patten  was  the  last  governor  in  Hong  Kong  under  British   rule -­‐There  was  actually  an  angry  mob  blocked  away  from  the   ceremony -­‐Since  1984,  Britain  and  China  agreed  on  terms  for  the  transfer   of  power  over  this  territory  wrested  from  China  in  the  19th   century  was  over  the  opium  trade. -­‐China  resumed  sovereignty  over  Hong  Kong  today,  ending   156  years  of  British  rule. -­‐Change  came  quickly  as  the  territory’s  new  ruler  assumed   control. -­‐They  planned  the  handover  a  few  years  ago.


Bibliography "1997: Hong Kong Handed over to Chinese Control." BBC On This Day. BBC News. BBC, 07 Jan. 1997. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/1/ newsid_2656000/2656973.stm>. "Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://school.ebonline.com/all/eb/article-9114275?query=hong kong handover>.


Author’s Note        This  was  about  my  mom  experiencing  the  Hong  Kong   Handover.  The  Ceremony  took  place  in  June  30th  1997  and  it   ended  on  July  1st.  The  United  Kingdom  started  ruling  Hong   Kong  since  the  year  1842.  Mr.  Chris  Patten,  the  last  Hong  Kong   Governor  represented  by  Britain.  Now,  he  works  for  the  BBC   in  England.  Tung  Chee  Hwa  was  the  9irst  Hong  Kong  Governor   represented  by  China.  So  far,  there  are  3  Hong  Kong  Governors   represented  by  China.  Everyone  was  really  worried  when  this   happened.  A  lot  of  people  moved  out  of  the  city  and  into   different  countries  because  they  thought  there  won’t  be  any   freedom  after  the  Handover.  Everyone  was  wrong.  Years  later,   it  was  all  the  same.  Now,  my  mom  is  not  worried  because  9irst   of  all,  we  now  live  in  Shanghai,  and  second  of  all,  nothing  has   changed.   The  Hong  Kong  handover  took  place  at  the  all-­‐famous   Hong  Kong  Convention  Center  (This  was  in  my  mother’s  view).


Reflection This project  helped  me  learn  more  about  my  family’s   history.  I  think  this  projects  important  because  you  can   learn  more  about  the  world’s  history  and  know  what   signi9icant  and  historical  event  happened  to  you  family.   What  I  enjoyed  the  most  is  the  interview  because  I  get  to   know  more  about  the  event  and  I  could  interview  for  real   for  the  9irst  time.  I  learned  my  mom’s  feeling  which  she  did   not  talk  about.    For  example,  I  didn’t  know  she  worried  so   much  about  our  lives  changing  in  Hong  Kong. The  challenges  I  faced  was  when  I  had  to  chose  a   different  family  member.  Because  doing  that  means  that  I   have  to  start  everything  over,  for  instance,  interviewing,   getting  ideas  for  the  narrative,  and  writing  the  narrative   draft.  I  overcame  them  by  9inishing  all  of  them  on  time.   Comparing  the  historical  narrative  and  the  personal   narrative  from  September,  I  think  I  grown  as  a  writer  by   adding  metaphors  in  my  story,  making  it  well  planned,  and   using  better  word  choice.  My  advice  to  give  future  students   is  to  do  your  interview  when  you  are  allowed  to  start   interviewing  because  if  you  don’t  the  person  you  will   interview  would  be  busy.

thomas01pd2018 Identity Portfolio  

A historical narrative based on my family’s experiences

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