Monday, December 10, 2007

A Day Off

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For many Filipiano women, Hong Kong is the Land of Opportunity. Almost every household of moderate or greater means hires a woman from the Phillipines as a housekeeper.

These women come to Hong Kong by the thousands and work for money that most of us would consider insulting, putting in 12 hour days, Monday thru Saturday.

When Sunday comes it is time for them to let loose and kick back. The scene from this picture is common on any flat surface in downtown Hong Kong. Blankets are layed out, picnic lunches are distributed, and for 10 hours these ladies sit and enjoy the company and the language of their fellow country(wo)men.

I was amazed at the sheer volume of these ladies or all ages spread throughout the city. On the few Sundays I have been able to walk around I have encountered tens of thousands of these small gatherings, always talking, playing cards, or just napping on their small island of cloth.

I am always impressed by their good humour, their lively discussions, and their desire to be around each other.

5 comments:

Lia said...

Hi, here from Michele's. Interesting point about the Filipino community - we have them here in the US, too, but I never really thought about a community of women getting together like that. Then again, I don't have a housekeeper.

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

This was very interesting to read. I wish that the women didn't have to work so hard.

Diane Mandy said...

The human spirit is truly amazing. Reading you post mkes me feel ashamed for compaining about my charmed life.

Here via Michelle.

Mike said...

I guess it would be difficult to live in a different country. Under those circumstances I guess i might gather with others from my home as well.

Michele sent me.

Carmi said...

I like the lesson in this entry. Their spirit can teach the rest of us a thing or two about the merits of hard work and the need to actively pursue important moments with the folks who matter.

The next time someone sighs that he/she is "too tired" after a typical North American workweek, I'll point them toward this entry for a little perspective. Thanks for sharing this: enlightening as always.