chapter  5
11 Pages

The Vietnamese minority: boat people settlement in Hong Kong

ByYuk Wah Chan and Terence C.T. Shum

According to the last Hong Kong government census in 2006, there are 2994 Vietnamese in Hong Kong (HKCSD 2009 ). Around one fourth are men, the others are women. Most of the 2200 women are homemakers, while around 750 are employees. One reason for this overwhelming feminine presence is intermarriages between Hong Kong men and Vietnamese women. However, as mentioned in the introduction of this volume, we estimate that the actual number of Vietnamese migrants is much higher than this. Many of the Chinese Vietnamese who came to Hong Kong either before, or within the periods of the refugee waves, would not claim to belong to the Vietnamese group. A number of Vietnamese informants also said that after obtaining the Hong Kong identity card of permanent residency, they might not claim to be Vietnamese. To some, it is better to under-communicate their Vietnamese identity, as the name ‘Vietnamese’ still entails much social taboo relating to bad images of the boat people and would thus incur discrimination.