---Yum Cha Together brought CUHK Shaw Colleague local and exchange students to visit Justice Centre Hong Kong. While bringing dim sum cultural knowledge to non-local students and refugees, we also learn more about refugee rights and issues through the sharing from Justice Centre Hong Kong and the refugees.
‘Imagine that your friend who was in a political party with you was killed. Next day your name is appeared on the headline of a newspaper and you are persecuted by the government. You also received a threaten letter. You know that you have to escape because your life is in a risk. What would you bring with you? ‘
This is the most impressive imagine scenario I have ever encountered. By joining an activity ‘Yum Cha Together x Justice Centre with refugee’ My understanding of ‘refugee’ changed.
It was the first time I heard of this social enterprise ‘Yum Cha Together’. With the introduction of Justice Centre Hong Kong, a group of CUHK exchange and local students got to know more about the refugees in HK. I was one of the participants and I am a local student. Before the event, it was shamed that I had never noticed that there were indeed numbers of refugee living in HK. Even when we mention ‘refugee’, we usually think about someone that escapes from wars and comes from a low education background. By joining this activity, the interpretation of ‘refugee’ changes in my mind.
When we arrived the Justice Centre Hong Kong, a few refugees had already sit in different tables. My friend and I approached a gentleman with a pair of glasses and a stick. That’s how I met Mr. D. He was from Yemen Republic. I was shocked and confessed when he told me that he was a senior engineer. It seemed that there was no relationship between his job and the reason he came to HK. In the conversation with him, I realized that refugees are forbid to work in Hong Kong. Although their children could receive education, they could never enter any university even they have the ability. They are just like birds kept in a cage. At that time, a question pop into my mind appeared: Do they just survive or do they really live? However, my sympathy changes to appreciation after I listened to a talk given by Justice Centre Hong Kong about refugee. In the talk, I realized that all my opinion on refugee were negative, like ‘unlucky’ ‘conflict’ ‘illegal immigrant’ ‘scared’ etc. But we ignored that indeed they were ‘brave’ they still have hope and ambition and they deserve rights. No one wants to be a refugee. Actually their lives were much better in their countries than HK. But due to several reasons, they had to leave their home countries and became the ignored ones in a foreign place.
In the activity, Yum Cha Together taught us dim sum culture, we, come from different parts of the world, played games with the refugees like memorizing the name of Dim Sum, using chopstick to pick them up. And also sharing us an interesting story of why we “knee” our fingers when someone pour tea to us. I was so surprised that they knew how to use chopsticks. Some told me that he learnt from Youtube. All of us engaged in the game so much and I understood that they were very passionate and inquisitive. I am encouraged by their perseverance and positive attitude. They also makes me to reflect inequality in our society.
During this event, I was sure to tell that I was inspired. Thanks for ‘Yum Cha Together’ to provide such a harmonic and joyful platform for us to chat with the refugees. Yum Cha does not only symbolize reunion, but it indeed cheers us up and releases our stress when we talk about serious topic. On the other hands, I appreciate ‘Justice Centre Hong Kong’ for their work and aim to raise our awareness on the silent ones.
Written by Helen Li (CUHK student)
Yum Cha Together FB: www.facebook.com/3yumcha
Justice Centre Hong Kong FB: http://www.facebook.com/JusticeCentreHongKong/