Overseas Hong-Kongers as an Information Community
Kevin K. Pih, 2021 Showcase
: For the past few years, the information community of Overseas Hong-Kongers witnessed the liquidation of their once influential home city. There has always been migration from Hong Kong, but the first major wave of departures came during the late-1980s and early 1990s, after the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declarations and prior to the Chinese takeover in 1997. The majority of this population resides in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but there are indeed HKers around the globe. The internet, especially the various forums and chat rooms, remains their most popular channel for information exchange, as it enables rapid and direct communications while allowing a reasonable degree of anonymity. Their information needs stem from their concerns for their family and friends who are still in the city, the political and economic situations in the city, and human rights violations. Nostalgia also plays a crucial role here. Some of the challenges for information exchange include the breakneck pace of information availability and renewal, the quality and veracity of the information, and the deterioration of freedom under China’s suppressive tactics. Though the situation is dire, Overseas HKers can serve as the preserver of information, watchdogs for human rights violations, and rallying bodies for international support. Information professionals, meanwhile, can be the element of truthfulness and clarity for these information seekers.
This is Homecoming for Kevin K. Pih. Last time when he was a student at San José State, cars could still go through campus on San Carlos Street. He stayed at Royce Hall, which was torn down years ago. His favorite place to study was Wahlquist Library, which (rumor has it) was offered as an action movie filming location so that it could be demolished at the lowest cost possible to the University (and of course, that regretfully did not happen). He watched Jeff Garcia play while working catering at Spartan Stadium. He remembers the card catalog at Clark Library (oh yeah, it was a library!) well. And after a bachelor’s degree in both Chemistry and Music with a minor in US History and a master’s degree in Music, he left his beloved Bay Area for the Pacific Northwest on a U-Haul truck that leaked transmission fluid from somewhere in Oregon all the way to Kirkland WA! Some twenty years later, he managed to return to where he started from for yet another academic adventure, though this time through the magic of Canvas!
Kevin still teaches and plays music in the Seattle area, but during the day, he does financial analysis and reporting for an investment company. Although he does not live in California anymore, he has never left and will never leave his Giants, Niners, Warriors, Sharks, and Earthquake!