Hong Kong Culture

Other Considerations

  • Mentioning failure, poverty or death may offend a Hong Konger due to superstitions.
  • Spitting, burping and other flatulent sounds and actions are not taboo in Hong Kong.
  • People rarely thank one another for gestures of courtesy (e.g. holding open doors), nor do they apologise when bumping into each other on the street. This cultural difference in manners sometimes leads Australians to interpret them as being rude or disrespectful. However, it is important to consider that these minor incidents and habits are normal and expected. In Hong Kong, because they are anticipated on a daily basis, they need not be addressed. Deep respect and courtesy is perceived and exhibited in different ways.
  • Superstitious Colours: White is typically associated with mourning and death, whilst black refers to evil, death and disaster. Blue is also often associated with death. Red is considered to be a ‘happy’ colour, typically associated with the notions of wealth, fame and luck. However, red also relates to blood and so writing in red ink is taboo. It indicates one is writing to a blood enemy.
  • Superstitious Numbers: Lucky numbers in Hong Kongese culture are 3, 8, and 9. This is because each number sounds similar to the words for ‘life’, ‘prosperity’, and ‘eternity’. 4 is considered an unlucky number as it’s pronunciation in Cantonese sounds like ‘death’. It is common in Hong Kong for high rises to omit all floor numbers with 4 (e.g., ‘4’, ‘14’, ‘24’...).
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Hong Kong
  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Cantonese [official] (88.9%)
    English [official] (4.3%)
    Mandarin [official] (1.9%)
    Other Chinese Dialects (3.1%)
    Other (1.9%)
    [2016 census]
  • Religions
    Chinese Folk Religion (49%)
    Buddhism (21.3%)
    Taosim (14.2%)
    Protestant Christianity (6.8%)
    Catholic Christianity (5%)
    Other (3.7%)
  • Ethnicities
    Chinese (92%)
    Filipino (2.5%)
    Indonesian (2.1%)
    Other (3.4%)
    [2016 census]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Chinese Ancestry
    1,213,903 [2016 census]
Hong Kongers in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Hong Kong.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (47.7%)
    Female (52.3%)
  • Religion
    No Religion (44.8%)
    Catholic Christianity (14.9%)
    Buddhism (10.3%)
    Baptist Christianity (7.2%)
    Other (22.8%)
  • Ancestry
    Chinese (84.3%)
    English (5.4%)
    Australian (3%)
    Vietnamese (1.2%)
    Other (6.2%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Cantonese (82.8%)
    English (12.5%)
    Mandarin (1.8%)
    Vietnamese (1.2%)
    Other (1.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 85.4% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (51.5%)
    Victoria (24.3%)
    Queensland (11.6%)
    Western Australia (6.3%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (70.9%)
    2001-2006 (12.6%)
    2007-2011 (13.2%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/132/hk.svg Flag Country Hong Kong