Hard work only way to happiness: poultry trader

 Liu Songxin Photo: Sino-US.com

Migrating to Hong Kong in 1980 from Dongguan in south China’s Guangdong province, Liu Songxin said he has been through many historic events in the first half of his life, such as the Cultural Revolution, China’s economic reform in late 1970s, as well as Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997.
 
For many mainland migrants to Hong Kong like him at that time, the only way to lead a good life was to work hard, according to Liu.
 
Before Liu moved to Hong Kong, his father had been running his own business of poultry trade. Liu’s father who had witnessed the era of Japanese invasion began to work in Hong Kong at the age of 15 and had engaged in various jobs there from construction to waiter and fresh chicken sale at food market before he opened his own store.
 
In order to pursue more opportunities in Hong Kong, Liu promised to his father that he would rely on himself and began to work at his father’s store.
 
Liu earned regular salaries at his father’s store, from 400 Hong Kong dollars each month to 800, and then 1,200 each month. In 1984, the same year former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Hilda Thatcher visited Hong Kong, Liu got married and became a father himself, and began to operate his own store.
 
“Many people looked down on migrants like me at that time because we had little knowledge and came from poor places,” said Liu adding that it was also hard for him to apply for a business certificate due to his identity.
 
The luck is that he did well in his poultry business, especially after the year 1997 when Hong Kong was handed over to China.
 
“We have more initiative in doing our business than before,” he said. “With two or three million Hong Kong dollars, you can do many businesses here. As long as you work hard, you can always make money.”
 
Liu said many big events have happened in Hong Kong after 1997, and the one which had the biggest influence on him was when a serious avian influenza hit the city few years after Hong Kong’s return to China. He talked to the parliament representatives in 18 districts in Hong Kong in order to voice his position on the poultry business, Liu said.
 
“Before Hong Kong’s return to China, citizens were rarely allowed to voice themselves, but after 1997, the government began to provide more communication channels to citizens,” said Shi Weijin, Liu’s friend who moved to Hong Kong from south China’s Fujian province at the age of 4. “Many citizens and merchants could have let themselves heard by the government, but now there are so many people complaining, which harms the benign interaction between government and citizens.”
 
Talking about young generation, Liu said they don’t like to work in the food market and tend to ask for higher salaries than older workers who work harder than young people. “Hiring a young person for chopping pork usually takes 1,200 Hong Kong dollars a day, while a person at the age of 40 or 50 selling vegetables only needs 700 or 800 per day,” Liu said.
 
With his children all having grown up and working in big companies, Liu said all that he can tell them is his experience of working hard.
 
He also said although people living in Hong Kong have become more concerned about politics compared with the time before 1997, what he cares most is economy and life itself. He believes that the return of Hong Kong to China has a positive impact on the development of both China and Hong Kong. And while the economy in the Chinese mainland is developing rapidly, Hong Kong still has its own advantages, he said.


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