Comparing Egypt and Hong Kong
By Kristin Trapp
After traveling the world I have come to realize that as
cities are they still share many similarities. Two of my favorite
countries to visit were Hong Kong and Egypt.
They both presented major vernacular and transnational attributes that
not help but notice. However as similar as the two cities are,
still completely different and unique in their own way. A much
complete description of these two countries can be found at the
Kong’s vernacular attributes were much
more subtle than Egypt’s. The streets of Hong Kong
were loaded with signs of being a vernacular city.
Family owned restaurants were located next to
large international businesses, street markets lined the streets in the
afternoon and small shops were located on nearly every street. Architectural landmarks were every where
many of them appeared in pristine condition. This
could be explained with Edward Denison’s article "Restoring
History in China." The article discusses the great extent China
through to restore its monuments and at what cost.
urban residential buildings
are being demolished for the renovation of historical landmarks. The transnational feel of Hong
Kong can also be felt in the city center.
Lisa Law’s article "Defying Disappearance:
Cosmopolitan Public Space in Hong Kong" discusses the events that
the town’s center every Sunday. Central
Hong Kong is seen as a safe haven for many of the transnational workers
that live there.
is a day of transformation for the center that
typically has a very
genuine vernacular feel. The article
discusses the way Central attracts all the guest workers for a
ritual that is present throughout the community. A
further example of China’s
transnationalism is present in the article written by Fulong Wu,
Cityscapes." This article talks about
the different residential communities in Beijing,
many of which were built specifically for foreigners.
Developers must apply for different permits,
if the future home buyer is not a Chinese citizen, this is clearly a
sign of a
transnational city. Egypt
contrast was much more obvious when it came to their signs of being a
vernacular city, the pyramids were a dead give it away.
The streets also had venders selling t-shirts
and souvenirs to tourists and there were small restaurants and hookah
were family owned. The countries were
also very similar in their transnational attributes.
very present in the both countries. However,
Hong Kong had
more of the
physical characteristics of an international city.
The city was more of a concrete jungle,
filled with apartments and businesses that reached the sky and carried
as far as the eye could see. International
corporations were not an uncommon sight
either, the amount
of businesses that I recognized from home was amazing, in a very
way. Egypt’s cities were much
in their physical appearance. Farha
Ghannam’s chapter "Relocation and the
Creation of a Global City" is a prime
how different Egypt
really is. This article discusses the
diversity that Cairo
has to offer and how as a city can appeal to a broad range of people. The modern really meets the traditional. Seeing advertisements for businesses like
Chili’s and Pizza Hut with the pyramids lurking in the background gave
a completely different feel. A different
aspect to Egypt’s
cities comes in the form of the residential communities.
As Petra Kuppinger discusses in the article "Exclusive
Greenery: new gated communities in Cairo,"
gated communities are a becoming a larger portion of the cities. The diversity in the income of many of Cairo’s
residents is now
becoming very apparent in the new upscale neighborhoods.
This is also just one more prime example of
becoming an international city. Cairo
and Hong Kong many appear to exists in two completely different worlds
it comes to many of the important attributes that an international city
for they could not be anymore similar.
In conclusion the similarities that each of
counter balanced by their contradicting characteristics. Each
that I have visited proves to be unique and beautiful in its own
Every time I walked off the ship it was like a metaphorical Christmas,
a new city full
of different people,
traditions and practices. Noticing the similarities was never as
as discovering the differences that lay hidden from the ordinary
Witnessing the core elements that make up a city like the ethnoscapes,
mediascapes, and finanscapes helped me to examine and see the countries
visited in a way I never thought possible. Knowing that cities
comprised of more elements than just people and their daily grinds gave
new appreciation that I hope never fades.
The ethnoscape for Hong Kong and Egypt
were very different. Hong Kong was a country with a very obvious
ethnoscape, whereas Egypt’s
ethnoscape was much more concealed. The mediascape for both
were very easily witnessed. Information was spread easily and
both countries, which made traveling in the country much easier.
main dimension that I observed for both countries was the
Both countries had a global capital flow that was very easily witnessed
their transnational businesses. Through all of my travels I found
observing the many dimensions of each city proved to be exceptional and
enlightening in a very refreshing way. I wouldn’t trade this
for anything in the world and I hope that my attitude toward new
forever changed after this voyage of discovery.