LocalHood was born around 7 years ago out of big dreams and great ambitions.
The initial challenges of canvassing to the general HK public about LocalHood and the idea of connecting to their neighbors were numerous. As the founder, I remember distinctly one evening, our group of volunteers was speaking to residents entering the gates of big residential estate in Wanchai. As the building was a private estate, the management office had called the police. All of a sudden, we saw 3 officers come to us. After the HKID checks and an interrogation session the police understood that we were not selling anything but only trying to sell anything. One of them even said that he wished there was LocalHood in his building!!
Even through this difficult period, thankfully there were more pat-on-our-backs than roadblocks and show downs. So, we kept marching!!
In Pic: Some LocalHood Team members, 2017
LocalHood is a 100% volunteer run organization with a mission to make Hk neighbourhoods more cohesive and supportive. We try to do this by decreasing the divide between the locals and the expat population, increasing awareness of the local culture, while increasing cognizance and pride in our hoods.
We do this through essentially the Website Content Volunteer team which writes our neighbourhood centric blog articles https://www.localhood.org/blog and the Events Team which plans exciting and unique events https://www.localhood.org/upcoming-events. Both the teams work around topics that either touch our day to day lives, celebrate local lives, deal with like sustainability, culture and heritage or mental health issues.
Among the most memorable things that LocalHood has done so far , it ll be very difficult to choose favorites. Among many, I’ve really be proud to be associated with the following ones:
- Street parties: it all started in the summer of 2018 and took a break during the HK protests. We discussed the compatibility and eventually partnered with a local NGO Saiwan based USSC to organize a street party for the Mid-Autumn Fest.
In Pic: LocalHood Mid Autumn Festival street party in Saiwan, 2018
The idea was the have a new platform for cultural assimilation. Since then, every year upto Covid, we organized 2 street
parties - 1 for CNY and the other for mid-autumn festival where we had a student telling using brief the history and the story behind these festivals, Chinese calligraphy, local art and crafts sessions for kids, tasting of some traditional goodies etc. A related article on such street parties we organized: https://www.localhood.org/single-post/2019/09/12/throwback-localhood-s-maf-street-party
In Pic: LocalHood CNY street party in Saiwan, 2019
- Neighborhood Heritage Tour: It was with our long-term partner Charlton Cheung, an amateur historian- a mine of history and information, he has organized many a neighbourhood tours for LocalHood. We always get great insight on one of the iconic ‘Hoods of Hong Kong, how they were before and to their current architecture and planning like Happy Valley, Kennedy Town… Always very informative and interesting!!
- Pub Quiz Night: Thats the best thing about LocalHood. Not only our volunteers but also our ovely members are there to help out when needed or keen to share their interests. Pub O’clock was a regular feature at LocalHood a few years ago and hosted by LocalHood members who were excellent Pub Quiz hosts. Each host had their unique style of making their sessions more interesting-some came dressed in gear for Halloween, some added spice with a surprise segment in their pub quiz and some cracked hilarious jokes. Being a multi tasker, I really love the concept of a Pub Quiz where you can exercise your grey cells while having fun with friends.
Pic: LocalHood Pub Quiz, 2019
- Ohel Leah Synagogue tour: Another example of LocalHood members sharing their interests with the larger community is the tour of the Hong Kong synagogue was made possible by a LocalHood member who is also a member of the synagogue. He also led the tour and gave us an insider s view of this beautiful and culturally unique place of worship. Some say this a place is as difficult to get in as the Office of Chief Executive😁😁! Yaay! For those interested, stay tuned as have another session in the planning in May-June this year: https://www.localhood.org/upcoming-events .
- Dumpling Tasting @ Dragon Boat Festival: This was one of the best gastronomic events that we had exclusively for LocalHood Volunteers and Friends. It was organized by the Splendid Sze for the Tuen Ng Festival or the Dragon Boat Festival in 2020 and 2021. These dumplings were a mix of homemade (made by Sze herself) and store bought. Not only did we get to get the different variations/filling of theses amazing delicacies, we also had to score them out of 5 and give our personal reviews on each. How fun!! To read an related article on this event: https://www.localhood.org/single-post/localhood-goes-dumpling-tasting-customary-for-dragon-boat-fest-edition-2021
Pic: Volunteers Dumpling tasting, 2020
LocalHood is now in its 7th year of existence. 7 glorious years as we grow, maturity and meaning. Within LocalHood we create a positive and low stress environment- to actually in the best posture to do what have come together for. We work with open minds, leave our egos aside, share laughs and of course argue sometimes. Through this team, some of us have found best friends, some mates to enjoy a laugh, a meal or a stroll.
As we are a volunteer-run organization, the most important success factor for Localhood has been the awesome team of volunteers that we have been able to attract. Our Volunteer team is divers and mirrors the society that we live in. It comprises of men and women who are physiotherapists, lawyers, bankers, or stay at home parents...and most importantly believers in our Mission.
What was at our best times, a formidable team of 25 odd volunteers at LocalHood, committed and proactive, has unfortunately lost many of our lovely mates who have left the city during the covid era. Hong Kong is a transient city where most people stay for a limited time. Whatever ones expected time frame might be in HK, it is important to make friends, understand this city, have lovely experiences and importantly, leave a positive impact before we leave!
Pic: Some LocalHood Volunteers @ Oolaa, Central- 2022
The LocalHood volunteers' team is always welcoming of like-minded people who believe in our vision and want to make a positive contribution to their Neighbourhood. So if you are interested in joining our team or finding out more about it, do not hesitate to let us know. Click on this link: https://www.localhood.org/registration-form and one of our LocalHood team members will get in touch with you.