Flower Market, Lunar New Year 2006
Contributed by: Ka Lung NG, Filmmaker and PhD student at HKU.

One of the family tradition starting from my mom and dad is the night before chinese new year, which is called the 30th night, the family has a full dinner together and we always choose a movie to go to, then after the movie we will head to the Victory park for the flower market.

And supposedly the children should stay up as late as possible on that night because the saying goes that parent live longer if children stay up. The 30th night always make me very happy and feel the warmth of the family and being in the city like Hong Kong, with lots of people going about a certain tradition. It is exactly like the Christmas eve, where you always have anticipation of a long wonderful evening with friends and family.

And being in Hong Kong, there is this strange mix of western influence and chinese festivity, because we always choose a western film, and those days almost always the big budget disaster film or Star Wars, so in the cinema I have this great feeling of being transported far far away and yet knowing well that we will be among the crowds soon at the flower market. THis give me the feeling that I am part of something, of being in the city, part taking a great urban experience, but of course I was smaller and didn't know how to articulate that wonderful feeling, I believe it inspires me to make film too, part of the experience of the cinema in the city is not so much the film itself but the re-entering into the urban crowd after the screening, I always feel a sense of communion with strangers walking out of the theatre into the crowd, into the night still bustling with activities in the street, the hawkers with food stand and the night cafe.

That no matter what kind of cinematic thrill I have experience, there is a rejoice in entering reality, a feeling of fullness and being taken care of somehow. And going to the flower market is the epitome of that experience. It is forgetting being the individual and just be with the crowd, it is the moment I don't mind being in the most crowded place on earth.

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