|Food stalls selling street food are a part of Hong Kong culture|
Why make such a big fuss about this now? Has some bigwig complained and so the government is responding with a hard line? Or is there an underlying message that the Leung Chun-ying administration will not tolerate any kind of illegal activities?
|A food hawker selling stinky tofu in Mongkok|
In Leung King housing estate in Tuen Mun, apparently a self-proclaimed hawker control team clashed with illegal street food vendors and their supporters last night. The conflict began simmering around January 21 when a renovated wet market, run by the controversial company Link Reit, opened at the estate.
One of the hawkers explained that Link Reit increased the rent after the renovation and promised the cooked food stalls there would not be any hawkers.
|Supposed hawker control group clearing stalls in Tuen Mun|
Nevertheless, the hawkers in Tuen Mun seem determined to continue their trade, though traditionally tonight would be the last night to do so before most restaurants and eateries reopen tomorrow.
Both incidents seem to spark more concerns about Hong Kong's culture eroding, and it directly relates to people's identity as Hongkongers. They feel that with the government clamping down on these hawkers, it is like an attack on themselves, and so they are doing whatever they can to preserve whatever is left.
So this may lead to something positive -- people might be more conscious about supporting local eateries and shops as a kind of protest against big corporations and multinationals that have monopolized Hong Kong.
This idea has been happening in the last few years due to mom-and-pop shops closing due to high rents, but perhaps this time will be the tipping point?