HK Magazine - - COVER STORY -

Fish­balls have be­come so in­sep­a­ra­ble from Hong Kong iden­tity that they dubbed the Lu­nar New Year Mong Kok un­rest the “fish­ball revo­lu­tion,” even though fish­balls had very lit­tle to do with the ri­ots. But this isn’t the first time that fish­balls have stoked un­rest.

Rea­son to re­volt?

When Fi­nan­cial Sec­re­tary John Tsang an­nounced his 2015-2016 bud­get, he toyed with the idea of in­tro­duc­ing food trucks sell­ing street food clas­sics such as beef of­fal and fish­balls. The city’s hawk­ers, al­ready op­er­at­ing on rapidly dwin­dling li­censes, would have to pay an es­ti­mated $600,000 in start-up costs for a food truck.


A par­ent told Ming Pao news­pa­per in Jan­uary this year that in a school writ­ing as­sign­ment, her daugh­ter’s teacher had in­structed her to use the Pu­tonghua word for fish­balls— yu wan zi— in­stead of its Can­tonese coun­ter­part. En­croach­ing in­flu­ence from the main­land, or just good writ­ten Chi­nese? You de­cide.

What a Load of Ball-ocks

Dur­ing a 2013 leg­isla­tive hear­ing into for­mer anti-cor­rup­tion chief Ti­mothy Tong’s al­leged lav­ish spend­ing on gifts, en­ter­tain­ment and of­fi­cial vis­its, Tong claimed that he acted in “courtesy of rec­i­proc­ity” when he bought a vis­it­ing Main­land del­e­ga­tion a $815 gift of beef brisket and fish­balls. Guess din­ner’s on Tim tonight!

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