Weekly Photo Challenge: (Neon) Sign

This is something unique in Hong Kong.

Neon signs everywhere jutting out onto the streets.

Different colors, designs, some vertical, some horizontal, some straight, some curved – all bright and lit up during the night.2667919810_dce8d9b353_oA

Most of them are written in Chinese – only readable by those who know the language.

Neon signs used to be associated with vibrancy. Of course, we are a vibrant city – a city that never sleeps!

PS Photo the courtesy of my friend CP Chan.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sign (of Poverty and Endurance)

The photo challenge of Daily Press for this week is Sign and for last week was Endurance.

Here I am going to combine these two topics.

These are pictures taken in the city by my friend CP Chan in Hong Kong.

It is sad to see that some elderly people are relying on picking up cardboard from the streets for their survival.

They collect cardboard from shops and streets and cart them to nearest recycling collection points in exchange for money.

This happens in a place where capitalism is practiced to the extreme and where social benefits are still not sufficient for the aged people without savings.IMG_9676

These people remind me of the song Streets of London:

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

The Gini index is a measure of the disparity between the rich and the poor; the index is over 50 for Hong Kong which is not good. We need to find ways to narrow that gap.IMG_9115

The pictures not only show signs of poverty ( which is present in all cities) but also show how some elderly people have endured the hardships in dignity.

I have visited a lot of countries  and have seen lots of beggars in my travels. I am glad that this city does not have many beggars, people, evenly elderly people prefer work and endure the hardships.

Understand that the government is addressing this but this is now getting more urgent as the population is quickly aging.