Pink Dot HK
Chatteris' own Rian Devlin on his experience at Pink Dot, including fond memories of free champagne and fitness equipment.
Recently, a few Chatteris friends and I attended the Pink Dot Hong Kong event in Nursery Park, West Kowloon Cultural District. What is Pink Dot HK you may be asking? Pink Dot is a small outdoor LGBTQ festival that brings together like-minded people to celebrate tolerance and in my opinion, respect for human rights. Despite this, the event is technically labelled as non-political and the organisers seem keen to shed light on different issues, whilst still keeping the festival engaging and entertaining for all. There was a spiritual corner where meditation and interfaith discussions were taking place, workshops on useful legal tools for the LGBT community and even a silent disco. Admission is completely free and people of all ages and walks of life attended.
We first heard about the festival through new friends that we had met earlier in the week and decided to check it out, mostly as we were too lazy to go hiking that day. From the Mong Kok or Prince Edward area where many CNET’s (Chatteris Native English Teachers) live, it only takes around 20 minutes to get there by bus. Immediately, we realised we were pretty much the only people not wearing pink. It turns out that everyone was supposed to wear this colour so that from the sky, we would all look like one giant ‘pink dot’. Luckily for us, a few free glasses of champagne managed to ease our awkwardness.
Though the event only happens once a year, it certainly makes for a great day out, offering everything from drag queen storytelling to stalls selling local crafts and businesses giving away free merchandise. I quickly gained a bag full of absolutely impractical items that at the time, I totally went wild for. The British Council were giving away cheap wallets, the local health organisations were giving away free sanitary products and at some point that day, I managed to get myself a free yoga mat which I have yet to use but I will soon…I hope.
|Above: Free yoga mat, still gathering dust|
A particular high for me was visiting the Amnesty International booth and singing up to volunteer with them at similar events in the future. Having previously volunteered with the organisation while at university in Scotland, it was a nice reminder of a chapter in my life that has so recently ended. There was also quite a few local charities present that campaigned for everything from championing sex workers rights to tackling the issue of homelessness in the city. After the Christmas break, I may try and volunteer with some of these organisations but for now, I’ll at least educate myself on the work that they do- an easy task thanks to the millions of leaflets I left with.
|Above: The Amnesty International Booth|
The day activities ended as the evening concert began (queue more free champagne and overpriced beer). A variety of local singers performed and we found ourselves passionately screaming and swaying along to songs we had never heard of before and will probably never hear again. Despite not having a clue what most of the songs were about, the atmosphere was incredible.
|Above: Adulting, obviously|
When I moved to Hong Kong three months ago, I didn’t expect to find such a great event that celebrates inclusivity and promotes human rights organisations so well. Seeing so many local Hong Kongers at Pink Dot reminded me just how unique Hong Kong is and I hope to stumble across more festivals like this in the future.