The Boys' & Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong
14 JANUARY, 2022

Featured story.From language barrier to community integration

With courage, Aysha takes small steps to overcome language barriers

12-year-old Aysha is a Hong Kong born-and-bred of Pakistani descent. Same as most ethnic minority students, Aysha faces obstacles and challenges due to language differences.

Transferring to another primary school was a positive change for Aysha, as the new school offered Chinese Language courses that better suited her level. This did not only relieve her from the pressure of study, Aysha even became top in her grade in the language, enabling her to get into a Band 1 secondary school.

Aysha finds writing and speaking the most difficult in learning the Chinese language, and the most direct solution is to write and speak more – don’t shy away from trying

If I could make it, you could make it as well. Aysha, member of Jockey Club South Kwai Chung Children & Youth Integrated Services Centre

Active participation in local communities to facilitate cultural exchange

Aysha actively participates in various kinds of voluntary work including flag selling, cleaning beaches and visiting elderly homes. Among all, she particularly enjoys community activities that promote the Pakistani culture, such as teaching local children how to make authentic Pakistani samosas at Jockey Club South Kwai Chung Children & Youth Integrated Services Centre, and making traditional Pakistani doll costumes. She hopes that these activities would help deepen their understanding of her food and clothing cultures.

Aysha finds all kinds of community services unforgettable experiences for her to know the local culture better, and to learn Chinese. On another hand, she is glad to see that local children can get to understand more about the Pakistani culture via exchange activities.

Try to understand before judging, don’t believe in stereotypes

As an ethnic minority, Aysha experienced discrimination both verbally and behaviourally. She hopes society would not think all ethnic minorities were “bad people” just because some of them did not behave well, thus not willing to understand their culture or welcome them in local communities.

Cheers to peers: proactively learn Chinese and integrate with local communities

“If I could make it, you could make it as well.” Aysha encourages her ethnic minority peers not to give up, instead spend more time to learn, then one day they will be able to speak the language and integrate into local communities. At last, she adds that she will continue to participate in different voluntary activities, contributing to the community while boosting her confidence.

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