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A Very Capitalist Christmas


Gloria Mak, Howl Staff

The thought of spending Boxing Day at a mall is suffocating for any Canadian that likes their space. While my friends harp on about all the goodies that they’ve bought and flash me their newly purchased items, I simply nod as if I understand their folly for I cannot stand the bustling crowd, the pushing and shoving and the little kids that brush past your knees… It is a most annoying sensory overload. Why would I want to submit myself to such torture for half-price items that I probably wouldn’t have bought at their normal prices?

Utter torture.

And yet it is Boxing Day everyday in Hong Kong. While your average North American might think a Midnight Madness sale is over the top, most shops in Hong Kong do not close until 11 P.M. on a weeknight. On weekends, some are even open until midnight.

I was shocked at the number of people that were in the streets Christmas morning. They were standing at bus stops, ordering food at a restaurant, weaving in and out of stores… What was really astonishing was the length of the lines in front of expensive brand name stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes House and Dior. What were these people doing on the streets? It’s Christmas! They should be at home with their families enjoying each other’s company, not the products of a manufacturing company.

So amongst the neon signs, the advertisements on the bus and the bustling crowd that I once found annoying, I fell in love with capitalism. I know after Christmas Day, and the day after that, and then the day after that and many other days after today, the streets will still be full of people consuming food, clothes, beauty products and what have you. Every day is the same. The shops will continue to fill up their stockrooms and their shelves with the fruits of cheap labour. How wonderfully organized. How beautifully capitalist.

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