What a fantastic time to be in Hong Kong at the moment, with preparations for Chinese New Year occurring around us. I am loving the colour and excitement – lights and lanterns illuminating the streets, delicious food on offer, cumquat trees at the entrance of buildings, beautiful chrysanthemums, orchids and the incredible pink cherry blossom trees. It is certainly a spectacle to behold.
It is these types of celebrations which really make us appreciate how lucky we are to be in Hong Kong and to be immersed in its rich culture.
When we move to a new country, we can sometimes find ourselves worrying about what it is that we are missing out on back home, rather than savouring and appreciating the different experiences we are exposed to on a daily basis in our new home. It is easy to compare what we do have to that which we don’t, or would like to have. Whilst it is human nature to some extent to do this, sometimes we can spend so much time comparing that we forget to appreciate what we do have, and how good this actually is.
Schools are a perfect example of this. When arriving in a new school, the reaction can be to compare it to what has been left behind, to the type of school one has attended themselves or to the type of school they might be moving to in future.
Being an Australian school in Hong Kong places us in a unique position. Yes, we are undoubtedly an Australian school and there is no question about this. However, we are also an international school, and we cannot fairly be compared to other schools in Australia – our Hong Kong context simply makes this impossible on many levels.
What we do have is an incredible community and learning environment, built on the solid foundations of committed and dedicated staff, happy and engaged students and supportive families. All members of our community help to create a special dynamic in one of Asia’s most exciting cities, making AISHK truly a one-of-a-kind school. Our students and families are incredibly lucky and can enjoy many different experiences as a result of living in Hong Kong; experiences and opportunities which simply aren’t possible in Australia. Life in one place is not necessarily better than in another; it is just different. We need to celebrate this difference!
So, next time we are tempted to make these comparisons, I encourage each us to focus on all that is great about AISHK and living in Hong Kong, as I am sure that none of us moved here because we wanted to totally replicate what we have left.
Chinese New Year is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate how great our school is, to take in the festivities of the week ahead and to cherish these aspects as a great part of living in Hong Kong.
I hope you all have a wonderful Chinese New Year and enjoy spending time with your loved ones.
Mark Hemphill | Head of School