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「編織顏色 」少數族裔婦女手作品

Sewing Colours: Handmade by Ethnic Minority Women in Hong Kong - Ha's Handmade Candles

Sewing Colours: Handmade by Ethnic Minority Women in Hong Kong - Ha's Handmade Candles

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Hand-Made Product Producer:  Ha 

 ‘Ha’: Knitting is my fashion

We may not be able to choose our looks or our parents, but we should not be bound too much by our ethnic background. ‘Ha’ came to Hong Kong 14 years ago to be married to a local Nepalese who is a descendant of Gurkha. ‘Ha’ also has three other roles as an ‘ethnic minority woman’: a mother of two, a caretaker at hotels, as well as a fashion designer whose passion lies in knitting and crocheting.

 ‘Ha’ started weaving her fashion design dreams long before coming to Hong Kong, and despite the hardships she encountered as a foreigner here, she has never thought of giving up pursuing her dreams. Back at her ethnic home in Eastern Nepal, generations of women have learnt to make their own clothes. At a young age, ‘Ha’ had worked to earn her way to college to study fashion. She would pursue a full time job in the day, and attend courses in the evenings. She came to Hong Kong with a full certiicate in fashion design, only to ind that her qualiications were not recognized. She had to put her dreams aside, ind work and earn enough to support her family. But this did not discourage her from pursuing her talents and passion in knitting. When ‘Ha’ had her dayoffs she would go onYoutube to watch videos that teach crocheting. She would also shop around in Sham Shui Po for fabrics. ‘My husband would sometimes ask me why I am so passionate about sewing. I told him that it gives me a lot of pleasure, especially when you see the fruits of your work.’ ‘Ha’ said.

A string of coincidences led ‘Ha’ to a local NGO, which organized market fairs on ethnic minority crafts and products. Ha started selling her handmade items at these markets.The sense of achievement does not only lie in exchanging your items for money, but also knowing that your talents are recognized by others.’ ‘Ha’ said with pride.

The arrival of COVID was a blow, but could also be a mixed blessing. ‘Ha’ has got more time at home to do her knitting and crocheting. Her talents also got noticed in her network, as friends and relatives would refer her some orders for making bags and other items. She also has extra time to make clothes for her children.

Every cloud has a silver-lining. Despite the hardships in life, ‘Ha’ has never thought of packing up and leaving Hong Kong. Being an ethnic minority person, she understands too well that it would be wrong to place stereotypes on the whole community, simply from one individual’s behavior. And, afterall, ‘Ha’ has already identiied herself as a local (Hong Konger).

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