CGED Research Seminar Series
A Double Minority: Representation, Inculturation, and the Russian Orthodox Community in Hong Kong
Loretta E. Kim, Associate Professor and Director, China Studies - Arts Stream, School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC), HKU
Chengyi Zhou, PhD candidate (China Studies), SMLC, HKU
Respondent: John Carroll, Professor, Department of History, School of Humanities, HKU
Moderator: Vivien Wei, Assistant Professor, School of Chinese, HKU
Date: 22 March 2021 (Monday)
Time: 7:30 PM
Delivery: via Zoom
Although many religions are practiced in Hong Kong, the existence of some faith-based organizations are not as well-known as others. The Russian Orthodox community is one such group that is defined by its creed and ethnicity as a “double minority.” This talk examines how Hong Kong is more diverse than acknowledged in general perceptions by local residents and outsiders, and how the development of Russian Orthodoxy illustrates unique responses to the political and social conditions of the region. It will discuss the history of the community from the 1930s to recent years, and how leaders and members have transformed a primarily “expatriate church” into a combination of church and educational institution that serves both believers and non-believers. The current Russian Orthodox community plays an important role in facilitating Sino-Russian relations on the person-to-person level and exemplifies how religious practice and cultural exchange are vital social resources in present-day Hong Kong.
Loretta Kim is associate professor and coordinator of the China Studies programme at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Hong Kong. She is a historian of late imperial and modern China. Her primary research areas include the comparative history of borderlands and frontiers, Sino-Russian cultural relations, and Chinese ethnic minority languages and literatures. She is the author of Ethnic Chrysalis: China’s Orochen People and the Legacy of Qing Borderland Administration (2019), and is currently completing a GRF-sponsored project about non-Han-language names of Northeast China from the seventeenth century to present.
Chengyi Zhou is a PhD candidate (China Studies) in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Hong Kong (HKU). Holding BA and MPhil degrees (School of Chinese, HKU) concentrating in Chinese history and philosophy, she has worked as a teaching and research assistant in the Faculty of Arts (HKU). Her research areas include China’s late imperial history, names and naming practices of non-Han Chinese people, and Chinese ethnic minority identities. Her dissertation project takes an onomastic approach to study gender and ethnic identity of the Manchu people during the Qing dynasty.