獅子山精神 The Lion Rock Spirit

「人生不免崎嶇 難以絕無掛慮
既是同舟 在獅子山下且共濟
拋棄區分求共對」

獅子山是香港的象徵;「獅子山下」這首七十年代膾炙人口的電視主題曲亦自然地成為香港人共同的歌曲。「獅子山精神」源自於七十年代,體現香港人在急速發展的經濟中力爭上游的拼搏精神。時至今天,「獅子山精神」一詞除了繼續出現在流行文化中,不少政治人物亦多番強調這股精神。前財政司司長梁錦松(2001-2003)、前總理朱熔基(1998-2003)、以致今年的特首選舉的參選人曾俊華都曾使用這個詞彙。作為「香港般的地方」系列最後一幀回顧,我們將會探討或許最牽動香港人的核心價值 —— 究竟這條舟能否繼續共濟呢?


“The road is rugged and rough,
And it is mired with worries.
But since we are on the same boat below the Lion Rock,
All discord set aside, with one heart on the same bright quest”

The Lion Rock is the unofficial symbol of Hong Kong, and naturally, the famous theme song from the 1970s TV series hit “Below the Lion Rock” has become the unofficial anthem of Hong Kong. The term “Lion Rock Spirit” emerged in the 1970s to embody the hardworking attitude of the many Hong Kong people at the time, who strived to work their way out of poverty in the period of fastest-growing economy in Hong Kong. To this day, not only does “Lion Rock Spirit” remain a popular cultural reference, it has gained currency in politics. Former financial secretary Anthony Leung (2001-2003), Zhu Rongji, former Premier of the PRC (1998-2003) and the 2017 Chief Executive election candidate John Tsang have used the term. The last post in the Handover series , “A Place Like Hong Kong”, will address this core value that is perhaps the most sentimental to Hong Kong people. Can our boat sail on?

 

 

【貧富懸殊,還是團結精神?】

去年,香港的堅尼系數達到0.539,成為45年來的新高,亦在已發展經濟體系中稱冠。這數字反映香港的貧富差距持續擴闊,但此現象並不能歸咎於回歸。香港的堅尼系數事實上從80年代就開始急升。這個現象在急速發展的經濟體系中十分普遍,因此,香港回歸對堅尼系數的影響難以判斷。根據一個政府統計,從1997-2009年間,雖然平均家庭住戶每月入息的差距增大,十等分組別中的平均每月入息卻普遍改善。不少人認為自回歸後香港人的生活質素因各種因素而下跌,例如香港樓價在內地投資者炒賣下持續上升,本地小型企業亦因2003年推行的個人遊計劃式微

【Wealth inequality-the spirit of community?】

Last year, the Gini coefficient of Hong Kong reached 0.539, a high in 45 years, and the highest among developed economies. It means that Hong Kong’s wealth inequality has been steadily rising, but it would be misguided to blame it on the handover. In fact, the surge of Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient started in the 1980s, which was normal in any rapidly developing economy. It is difficult to judge the impact handover has on wealth inequalities. According to a study done by the government, while the average monthly household income disparity widened from 1997 to 2009, average monthly employment earnings of full-time employees improved across decile groups. However, many would argue that the handover has made the lives of average Hong Kongers a little bit harder. Mainland Chinese investors keep the housing price high while an influx of mainland Chinese tourists since the Individual Visit Scheme was introduced in 2003 forces small, local businesses out of business.

【堅持=向上流動?】

+ 根據香港大學的一份研究,即使工作超過十年,香港最貧窮的四分一人當中仍然有54.1%停留在同一的收入水平。
+ 租金佔港人的支出的最大部分。小型單位價格在2006年至2013年間上升了188%,而同期入息中位數只是上升了30%。
+ 青年入息中位數低於全港勞動人口的入息中位數。

不少人視高樓價和單一經濟為香港社會流動性偏低的原因。以上的數字顯示,不幸地,教育似乎已經無法如上一輩般成為地下階層脫貧的方法。

【Social mobility-perserverance?】

+ According to the study done by the University of Hong Kong, 54.1% of those in the poorest quintile stay in the same quintile after 10 years of working.
+ Affording a place to live still accounts for a massive chunk of Hong Kong people’s savings and expenses. The price of small apartments rose by 188% from 2006 to 2013, while the median income has only risen by 30%.
+ The median income of young people is lower than the median income of the entire Hong Kong working population.

Many see the causes of low social mobility to be exorbitant housing price and an economy that is lacking diversity. Unfortunately, education, an asset that previous generations rely on to escape poverty does not give young people the competitive edge they need anymore.

【追求理想?還是跨代貧窮?】

過去,不少人好像前律政司司長黃仁龍般,透過教育向上流動,能夠闖出一番事業。時至今天,這些故事還有沒有在香港上演呢?

+ 2011年,來自香港最富有的10%家庭的子女入讀大學的機會比活在貧窮線的學生多超過370%。1991年,這個差距只有116%。
+ 假若父親是一名教授,其兒子有42.8%機會踏上同一條路,成為大學教授。

近年不少免費的津貼學校轉為收取學費的直資學校,大部分學費大概為$2000-3000。不少人歸咎直資學校和私人補習社的興起,導致跨代貧窮加劇。

【Intergenerational poverty-idealism?】

Hong Kong has seen numerous cases of people escaping poverty through education, including the former Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung whose father sold ice-cream for a living. Are such stories still possible in today’s Hong Kong?

+ In 2011, child of the richest 10% of Hong Kong families has a 370% higher chance of getting into university than his cohort living below the poverty line. In 1991, the figure was 116%.
+ If the father is a professional, there is a 42.8% chance that the son will become a professional too.

Many blame rising intergenerational poverty on the rise of private tuition culture and the transition of many government-subsidised schools (free-of-charge) to the direct subsidy scheme (schools in this scheme charge about HK$2000-3000 per month).

 

 

何謂獅子山精神?

獅子山指的是座落於九龍半島與新界之間,形狀貌似獅子的山峰,亦是香港的象徵。獅子山精神源自於香港電台1972年開始播放的電視節目「獅子山下」,節目斷斷續續播放至2016年。這套膾炙人口的電視節目多次拍攝續集,最新一幀在上年播放;節目反映七十年代香港人如何拼博求存,當中包括內地新移民及石硤尾貧民的故事。

獅子山精神並沒有一個確切的定義。現職監製的陳曼儀是「獅子山下」八十年代的製作助理,她表示節目推出之初,這份精神僅代表低下階層的市民努力工作以期改善自己生活的態度。中文大學中國研究中心Kristof Van Den Troost教授則指獅子山精神對於不同年代的香港人都有不同的定義。對於老一輩的港人,獅子山代表的是努力改善生活態度,最終達致自立、自足。對於被低社會流動性和高樓價所困擾的年輕一輩,這個似乎只是一個遙不可及的夢。每當老一輩批評年輕人缺乏動力、只求政府協助時,年輕不期然都會指出一個清晰的改變——香港經濟不再如七十年代被快速增長。

相反,對於年輕一輩來說,獅子山精神有另一層的意義。在2014年,一群行山人士登上獅子山頂,並懸掛「我要真普選」的直帆,事件與其發生的背景反映青年人所追求的不只於物質上的改善。曾俊華在特首選舉期間,發表了一篇有關獅子山精神的帖文,當中也指出「市民對於社會制度、對於公義、對於生活、都有更高層次的追求」。今天,獅子山精神所代表似乎不單是努力上游的態度,而是勇於追尋夢想的精神。接下來,我們會審視香港經歷了回歸二十年後,這份獅子山精神是否仍然長存呢?

What is the Lion Rock Spirit?

The term “Lion Rock Spirit” originates from the RTHK television series “Below The Lion Rock”, which which ran five times discontinuously from 1972 to 2016. The series featured communities struggling to survive in the 1970s, including new immigrants from mainland China and the slum dwellers of SheK Kip Mei. “Lion Rock” refers to the peculiar-looking hill in Kowloon Country Park, which has become a symbol of Hong Kong.

It has never been clear what the “Lion Rock Spirit” actually entails. Rita Chan Man-yee, who was the production assistant for the show in the 1980s and now an executive director, said that when the show first came out, it was merely about “people being poor and working to improve their living standards.” Professor Kristof Van Den Troost of the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said that the term strikes a different chord in each Hong Kong generation. For the older generation, the Lion Rock reminds them of the time when people were self-reliant and self-sufficient. To them, it means a grounded approach to improve life. To the younger generation, the Lion Rock dream is becoming unreachable for them due to low social mobility and high housing price. While the older generation condemns the younger generation for expecting the government to help them, the younger generation points to the changing circumstances--Hong Kong economy is no longer booming as it is in the 1970s.

Instead, the younger generation looks to something beyond improving material living standards as their Lion Rock dream. In 2014, a group of hikers reached the peak of the Lion Rock, and hung a banner that said “I want Real Universal Suffrage”. The backdrop to the message was significant. During his election campaign, John Tsang released a post about his reflections on the “Lion Rock Spirit”. He points out that the “Lion Rock Spirit” has acquired the meaning of pursuing fairness in society and a high quality of life.

In sum, the “Lion Rock Spirit” is about idealism and the possibility to reaching dreams. Now, we turn to the last 20 years to review whether our Lion Rock Spirit has been dampened.

 

 

獅子山下

香港的每一代人至今都依然敬佩同舟共濟、努力不懈、追求夢想,這些獅子山所象徵的精神。新政府能否提升社會流動性,為青年提供機遇,仍然是未知之數。2014年,時任政務司司長的林鄭月娥鼓勵年輕人承傳獅子山精神,「珍惜今天、放眼明天,更要好好地瞭解昨天」。我們都希望這位新任的香港「第一負責人」不單只推廣,更能夠協助青年活出這份可貴的精神。特首今天公佈了新增5億教育經常性開支的詳情;這些新的措施包括資助修讀自資院校學士學位和在內地升讀學士的學生,並提升中小學教師與學生的比例。

我們除了要傳承獅子山精神,更要多元創新、抓緊機遇。林鄭在選舉期間承諾會透過再工業化和投資創新產業,使經濟更為多元化。她在政綱中亦提到會支持中小企發展創新科技。至於房屋問題,林鄭承諾推出港人首置上車盤,解決青年難以置業的問題。此外,不少人之初一帶一路能夠成為香港發展的新機遇,同時能夠擴闊青年人的視野。

但是,無論前路如何,我們相信香港人仍然會如「獅子山下」的歌詞般,活出永不言敗、拼搏理想的獅子山精神。

「我哋大家 用艱辛努力寫下那
不朽香江名句」

Below the Lion Rock

The Lion Rock, a symbol of solidarity, perseverance and idealism, is still a symbol that every generation looks up to. It is unsure how the new administration can improve social mobility and give the younger generation hope. In 2014, the now Chief Executive Carrie Lam encouraged the youngsters to inherit and pass on the “Lion Rock Spirit” by “cherishing today, looking forward to the future and understanding the past”. We hope that apart from promoting a positive attitude, the new leader of Hong Kong can provide the vehicle for the young to achieve their dreams. Today, Lam announced that her plan to add 5 billion to recurrent expenditure in education. New measures include subsidising students in tertiary education and students studying in mainland China, and increasing the teacher to student ratio in primary and secondary schools.

Apart from persevering, the “Lion Rock Spirit” is about embracing. Embracing differences, embracing opportunities. It is uncertain what the new administration can bring, but the future can be promising. In her election campaign, Lam promised to diversify economy by “reindustrialisation” and investing particularly in creative industries. She also mentioned in her manifesto that small enterprises will be supported by new technology. To address the housing issue, Lam promised to increase the supply of residential units reserved for Hong Kong first-time buyers. Some also say that the One Belt One Road Initiative can bring new economic opportunities and broaden the minds of the younger generation. No matter what the future brings, the “Lion Rock Spirit” teaches idealism.

“Together we work hard to create
The everlasting legend of the Fragrant Harbour”

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