BLOG – Hong Kong Textbook Tells You to ‘Know Your Place!’ 71

Racist textbookIn case you were wondering about your destiny in Hong Kong, a primary school textbook is here to enlighten you with this fun ‘fill-in-the-blank’ task entitled ‘racial harmony’! The photograph below is going viral amongst parenting, Filipino and teacher forums online and is from the ‘New General Studies P3‘ textbook (Book 6) – ‘Living in Hong Kong’ chapter, published by Educational Publishing House Ltd.

h/t Sherin.

Racist textbook

Below is another textbook from the Primary 4 New General Studies book ‘The Wonderful World‘. The chapter is entitled ‘We are a Family‘ and was printed by the same Singaporean publisher, who are currently refusing to respond to enquires by the blog. The activity invites students to specify which ‘race’ people belong to (white, black, brown or yellow).

Pupils can then learn about the “common characteristics of the people of these races” and circle the correct answers…

White – light skin, tall, flat/narrow nose, thin/thick lips..
Black – very dark skin, tall, flat and wide nose, thin/thick lips, curly hair.
Brown – dark skin, big/small nose, thin/thick lips.
Yellow – yellow skin, blue/dark brown eyes, high cheek bones.

nQ8kvgM.jpg (768×574)

Back in 1999, The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center criticised Hong Kong textbook publishers for perpetuating stereotypes.

Multiculturalism is now studied at primary level in Hong Kong schools, yet an SCMP story this week revealed that ethnic minority children are being “belittled and stereotyped” in Hong Kong schools. Meanwhile, the UN has expressed concern about about support provided to minorities in learning Chinese, as currently HK has a ‘lingual apartheid’ system whereby minorities are taught in separate schools.

Update 1: The Equal Opportunities Commission has responded to an enquiry by Hong Wrong, stating…

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“The EOC believes that educational material should reflect diversity, cultural values, customs, lifestyles and the social realities of Hong Kong. It should not reinforce stereotypes of any kind. We believe that ethnic stereotypes must be viewed with caution.

Education should play a significant role in removing stereotypical perceptions, and schools, teachers and textbooks are catalysts to change. The EOC hopes that the Curriculum Development Institute and the Education Bureau should jointly develop equal opportunities educational materials for schools. Professional development and in-service training for teachers should aim at raising awareness of stereotyping issues and developing teaching skills in handling these issues.”

Update 2: A satirical version has emerged on our sister publication, the Sub-Standard. Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has been asked if it will take action and the story has gone viral on news sites throughout the Philippines and Hong Kong. It was also featured on Hong Kong’s TVB News and will feature on Al-Jazeera English on Thursday.

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71 thoughts on “BLOG – Hong Kong Textbook Tells You to ‘Know Your Place!’

  • Reshma gurung

    This book is actually segregating the human beings by their races and their nationalities but there’s an irony that in the topic of chapter 3, it has written “we are a family”.

    • Joseph Lau

      Saying that Most Filipinos in Hong Kong works as maids is not ignorance. It is the result of correctly observing the reality no matter how sad it is for some.

      • Elysiadon

        Oooh, a BIOLOGIST! Well then, you must have mastered every language!

        Specie is a (Latin) word. It is the ablative singular of “species.” In fact, his entire username is Latin. Roughly translated, “ignotus specie” means “strange (or unknown) with respect to type,” or to put that in more idiomatic English, “a strange (or unknown, or perhaps even unclassifiable) sort of person.”

        Just because our field (i.e. biology) uses Latin nomenclature does not mean you can claim a monopoly on understanding Latin.

        – Trust me, I am a BIOLOGY STUDENT… doing a Latin minor.

        • Joseph Lau

          It shows a lot about the current state of the colleges Universities in the Philippines. No wonder their diploma only qualifies them the mastery of weilding mops and brooms here.

          • cyberbattosai

            seriously?! i guess your right.. but at least they make ORIGINAL products and NOT IMITATION ORRRR FAKE….
            is this something taught in your Universities? to cut, copy and paste??

          • Joseph Lau

            If you are questioning China’s general competence,I urge you to take a good look of the quality of outbound Chinese people around the world.Even millionaires and luminaries in Philippines are mostly Chinese.That is a situation Filipinos should reflect on.

          • cyberbattosai

            What competence is there in selling and manufacturing FAKE products? stealing ideas from other people? Are you teaching me to become rich from mere looting? I rather be poor but/ and morally rich.
            Quality? i do not buy made in china because they break easily, it is cheap but not a good investment This is a situation Chinese should reflect on.

          • Joseph Lau

            And the computer and keyboard your typing this comment on is made form which country?

          • Joseph Lau

            HaHa.I doubt you can afford Vietnam made products.Our products are strategically cheap so other countries have no choice but to buy from us which in effect grows our economy.

          • Fuck you Joseph Lau

            wow what an asshole. fuck you asshole fuck you racist shit. do you want to go here in the Philippines and meet me in person so i can kill you. i would gladly provide you my complete address come visit me and i’ll kill you personally and no one would care no one would know since you are a racist shit. who smells like shit

          • Joseph Lau

            The sad thing for you is that even if you really do kill me,it still won’t change the fact that University graduates from your country will still be more than happy to clean my fellow Chinese’s shit-stained toilets.You don’t want to hear negative things about your country’s reality? Start working harder instead of relaxing there while waiting for your country’s maids to send you back money.

          • Joseph Lau

            Not worth it? I’d say you wouldn’t dare because you can’t afford to! Filipinos are so brave behind a keyboard but won’t dare react in person even when bullied especially if the person they really don’t like is their employer.Filipinos are generally wise not to do anything foolish that can cause them to lose their important jobs.

        • cyberbattosai

          hahaha! it seems like you did some research but you have twisted your facts to make a point. A typical attitude of your kind WHO ALWAYS MAKE FAKE PRODUCTS. Though it is true that specie and species share latin origin they have diverged in meaning long time ago; specie refers to coin money and species refers to the classification of organism with common traits. In english grammar, the word species like mathematics, physics, mechanics, kinematics are both plural and singular in form or collective noun. So, we do not use specie to say the plant species, animal species etc. because it will be grammatically wrong.. 🙂

          – Trust me, I am A+ in BIOLOGY……..

          • Elysiadon

            I am a white dude, born and raised in Canada. I have never been east of Greece. I don’t know how I ended up on this forum. It appears to be based in Hong Kong, and it appears that everyone on this forum is incredibly racist. Oh well.

            You fail to understand that this man’s username (“Ignotus Specie”) is not of “Latin origin.” IT IS LATIN. Latin words do not change their meaning over time. They mean what they mean. Do you know Latin? Have you ever heard of the word “speciebus?” No? Great. Stop.

            And please don’t lecture me on English, Latin, or Ancient Greek (the language from which we derive, directly or indirectly, all of the words you listed.) I was raised speaking the first, study the second, and made an honest, three-year-long attempt at the third. I assure you that I am quite familiar with all of them. Well, perhaps not Greek. But whatever.

            “Ave atque vale, o lues internetis.”

    • Bettyna Zhai

      they just have different work with different abilities, like many foreigners in China can only teach english, they dont even can find a job in their own country!!! You should be kind and be equalist if you require people so. lots people think they are kind, but not, always easy to say and critisize. these people suck

      • Joseph Lau

        Yes they suck.What bothers me the most is that in the past 2 or 3 years more and more female prostitutes from the Philippines are offering their services in Shenzhen and Guandong.I can’t blame their Chinese customers for patronage as they have cornered the market from Russian and Chinese working girls by undercutting the competition for lower price.It has a potential of a public health threat because Aids cases in the Philippines are the highest in Asia right now.

        • Matthew Rothenberg

          You really told him he looks like “a Taliban”? First, the singular is “talib.” Second, what does that even mean? Third, what does it have to do with anything? I understand that you’re trying to be offensive, but maybe you should try to get the information right and have a point before you advance to actual insults.

  • Kong An Lan

    I am Filipino, I am tourist in Hong Kong and Singapore because it is the cheapest destination for us poor people. If I have money I’d rather be in the USA.

  • John Lee

    I am Hongkonger. I am racist. I don’t respect others because I am rich. Money is our god, just like our sub-human Mainland Chinese and Singaporean brothers and sisters, that is why we will burn in hell when we die. We are happy with our money, but jumps off either from a cliff, on the MTR, or on the MRT if penniless.

  • Froi Vincenton

    Offensive? Learn to deal with it, folks.

    My complain about this issue is not ‘racism’ or ‘ethnic’ or ‘racial discrimination. In my personal opinion, this ‘racial harmony’ task has nothing to do with racism or race. It has something to do with a Hong Kong student’s personal perception of foreigners (e.g., Filipinos, Indians, British and Chinese) based on what they do in Hong Kong.

    Yet the question that popped up in my mind is: What the hell went wrong?

    Didn’t we ban foreign professionals and foreigners from buying and owning lands– and didn’t we limit foreign participation in business through our 60-40 ownership law?

  • Josef Ramirez

    I am Filipino. I am a domestic helper in Hong Kong. I am the best in cleaning up their mess, wash their clothes to the cleanest possible. Clean their house to the cleanest possible. Cook the best/ most delicious dish/foods, and take good care of their babies like our own family just simply because :They Cannot Do IT” without “FILIPINOS”

    #peace #hehehe #patulandawba

  • benche04

    Just ignore this, instead empower ourselves to become a better and responsible citizen. Let’s join hands in our collective efforts at least to make ourselves indispensable. Isang araw magigising tayo na pwede na nating buhusan ng iniinom niyang kape ang mga siraulong amo at hindi tayo pwedeng sibakin sa trabaho. I hope you got my point.

    • Joseph Lau

      Because unlike Filipinos,eventhough we were also colonized by a western power, we don’t have the strange need to totally embrace the colonizer’s way of life and language to the point that we lose our identity.Even their Country’s name is derived from a foreign King.Seriously, there is no other country that proudly shows their subordination to whites. It really puzzles me why they’d rather side with americans instead of a neighbouring country that never attempted to subordinate them.strange breed they are indeed.

      • chinese cock suckers

        Fuck you chinese fuckers!! i fucking hate you… you know why? because all of you live in the same asshole… you tell everyone that your race and culture is the best and dominant? well you chinese people cant even survive without other race and culture because all of you are stupid weird and fucking ugly.. i mean who the fuck sues his wife for having ugly kids? that takes the land of the philippines that is obviously theirs because spratlys is in phil territory?! stupid chinese i know! and sells fake products and people in china are fucking fakes because they all had surgery to fix their fucking faces!! and guess what?? who fucking cooks and eats animal penises? or cook live human to eat on a feast for powerful people in fucking china? the lesson here is that never judge a race because you’ll never know… they might have reached more goals than fucking chinese people

        • Joseph Lau

          Goals?what goals?Working as helpers in a foreign country does not even qualify as a goal in our culture.Working hard and studying hard to have enough money to hire helpers to do dirty jobs for us is our typical goal and it is much wider goal to choose in my opinion.It is not my fault if your people’s chosen goal to pursue in life is completely different from mine.

        • Joseph Lau

          I really find it amazing you Filipinos are even contesting chinese territory as yours while you Filipinos can’t wait to leave your territory just to get a better life.

  • Aikie Reyes

    I am a Filipino, I have never toured Hong Kong, but I have in Singapore. Soon I will tour HK too, once my parents decide to let me out the house. I am grounded. 🙁 😛

  • Edielyn Gregg

    Wala na bang bago sa mga basura ng HK? h’wag na tayong pumatol sa mga patutsada ng mga ignoramus na basura ng HK.
    They will be forever and ever be a piece of trash in my book.Siguro dapat ng matuto ang mga Pinoy na tumayo sa sariling mga paa at huwag asahan ang pagiging alipin sa bansa na ina-under dog ang mga lahing Pinoy.

    • Jasmine Yeung

      Stay classy, stay positive, there are definitely people that appreciate foreigners in HK. By saying things like ‘they will be forever and ever be a piece of trash in my book’, it drags you down to their (the people you think badly of) level, you are only fanning the flames to the fire.

      I’m glad you understand that they are ‘ignorant’ in your other comment, which is why we should aim to educate the future generations and promote goodwill- not criticize without direction.

      • Joseph Lau

        i would plead for you to try to notice that HK is in a very strange state now.Mainlanders are being reprimanded and popularly depicted as uncivilized to shit on the streets of HK while they bring the much needed tourism money that HK needs.I am not contesting whether the popular complaints are true.What strikes me the most is that Filipino helpers every sunday turns our financial hub as their own living areas and also urinates there.It really does not make sense to single out mainland tourists while we let them do that just because we are already used to it.Thankfully,Indonesians would rather assemble during their rest days in parks where facilities for their activities is readily available and does not further put a stress on the surroundings.We must be careful of double standards.

  • Edielyn Gregg

    They don’t care at all,because they think so high and mighty of themselves.There were some decent HongKong citizens out there,but they been dragged down by the ignorances of their hateful countrymen.

  • Edielyn Gregg

    Between Japan and HK,I probably support Made in Japan Products rather than dealing business with HK.If you plan to travel in SEA,Visit Japan and avoid Hongkong.

  • Jasmine Yeung

    I’m from Hong Kong. I study in Britain, learn French, Spanish and Japanese at my school, and have Chinese, Singaporean, Filipino, Indian and Russian classmates. And I’m one of the many people who have been raised with help from a ‘helper’ (albeit, she was Indonesian not Filipino), who has taught me more maths than any other teacher I’ve ever had in school. So I like to give myself a little credit in having seen a lot of the world (having spent a month in Costa Rica volunteering as a language teacher as well).

    What worries me the most is that this nonsense is being taught to primary kids, who- honestly- would not know any better to doubt the book. With the blatant disrespect that is shown towards the immigrants to Hong Kong, who are aiming to only improve their lives and those around them, I really worry for the younger generation- and my own to be honest. The Singaporean Educational Publishing House Ltd. should know better than to distribute this in what is supposed to be the 3rd most globalized country in the world (not that it should be published anywhere else in the world either).

    • duke nissi

      @jasmineyeung:disqus — wow. This is Humanity. Thank you. People should travel to see the beauty of multi cultural setting the way you saw it. Merci!

    • Joseph Lau

      Indonesians are not Filipinos.It will be a mistake not to point out the difference just because they are both FDH.Indonesian Culture tends to lean more on Chinese values.

  • akih

    omg.. guys what ever nationality and language you have… we are all people…please know how to respect other…. be a good person..

  • Microscopic Penis of Chinese

    I am a Chinese I have a microscopic penis. I rape my sister and cousins to prevent the other family from getting our wealth. We are all mongoloids and faggots. We are also fucking idiot. we musturbate everywhere, anytime and everyday. If we see a child being hit by a fucking car, we wouldn’t help because it is not our concern and we are never concern to other people who are in need of help, because our only business is monkey business and that is to earn a lot of fucking money and pussy…

    Come on! go to hongkong and eat my microscopic penis..


  • Joseph Lau

    Here we go again,these “PEOPLE” playing the pity card all because a book simply reflected the facts of life.Discrimination? working and staying in HK is a privilege given the situation of their country of origin,HK people must not give incentives to this cheap Pitymongering.Instead, HK people should welcome cheap laborers that are grateful for the Win-win scenario for their employment and services given.Seriously,it will be more confusing to kids if the book depicts a white person as an FDH while a filipina maid picks him or her up from school later.This attention-seeking demand to attain an unreasonable standard from society should be discouraged.Last time I checked, HK does not owe anything from these People.It is insane to expect unreasonable reciprocity from us.

  • chinese cock suckers

    Fuck you chinese fuckers!! i fucking hate you… you know why? because all of you live in the same asshole… you tell everyone that your race and culture is the best and dominant? well you chinese people cant even survive without other race and culture because all of you are stupid weird and fucking ugly.. i mean who the fuck sues his wife for having ugly kids? that takes the land of the philippines that is obviously theirs because spratlys is in phil territory?! stupid chinese i know! and sells fake products and people in china are fucking fakes because they all had surgery to fix their fucking faces!! and guess what?? who fucking cooks and eats animal penises? or cook live human to eat on a feast for powerful people in fucking china? the lesson here is that never judge a race because you’ll never know… they might have reached more goals than fucking chinese people