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A meaningful guide about Tin Shui Wai, HK

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If you want to find a good book better understanding about Tin Shui Wai, one of the towns located in the northwest Hong Kong, here is one although it's available in Chinese only. The book includes maps, interviews with people as well as history and development in that area.

因為提供相片的關係,得悉近來出版了一本有關天水圍的書,名為《天水人志:天水圍綠色生活手記》,雖然以天水圍社區的永續生活方式作為出發點,但對於深入了解我們第一印象為「悲情城市」的天水圍,包括很少接觸的人,特別有幫助。

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The pocket book slightly larger than a postcard does provide a lot other than sightseeing spots for tourists. It shows there is something worth noticing in a ‘clean’ and ‘tidy’ urban area. It also tells us that people can still cope with the problematic consumer society to have their own lifestyles, say DIY daily necessities.

《天水人志》十分輕巧,它只比一張明信片略大。它內附地圖,但不是一本景點書,它告訴讀者天水圍除了看來「整齊」的規劃外,有什麼我們很常忽視的地方。儘管城市發展只鼓勵消費、沒有特色的連鎖商店,人們仍有自己的方法來滿足生活所需。

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There are some takeaway points for me after reading the book:

但是在讀畢本書,我相信不只有了解遠在新界西北的一個社區,也對於自己和社會的了解也有莫大的裨益和啟發:

  • The book said the natural environment and the human interact with each other and they should live in coexistence. I also think people with different lifestyles and businesses should be encouraged, but in our society most of us only pursue the stable office life rather than support others to seek other possibilities.

在序中提到:「天、水、人,各有其職志,是自古而有的智慧。」不止是這三者之間,其實人和人之間本來就不同,按照自己的獨特性而發揮所長,每個人應該有自己的事業,而不是人云亦云追求眼中所謂最穩定的辦公室工作。只有多元,才能互相啟發,發現個人與社會更多的可能性。但是安穩趨同的想法,卻造成社會的停滯。

  • Many people keep complaining there are limits within themselves and from the society so that they can't do what they like, rather than looking for solutions. Everywhere in Tin Shui Wai is planned and there are various restrictions for people in the community. In most cases they need to rely on consumption for daily life, but some of them try their best to make for themselves by thinking and living outside the box.

很多人都會埋怨社會環境局限、個人能力不及。埋怨或抱怨不是不好,它是一個讓自己尋找問題的訊號,但一旦發現問題後,就應該去尋求解決問題的方法,而不是等待別人給自己的機會。天水圍社區各部分到處都是限制,搞個大笪地、開小店幾乎沒可能,到處都只能讓人依賴消費所提供的有限度選擇。但是有不少天水圍的居民突破了消費的框框,自己手作日常生活的用品、玩具。要改變現狀,就先要自己來。

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  • Sometimes we need to be curious about something around us, as some people just know the milk is from bottles but not cows. We easily get everything through shopping. We just know these are what we can or should get, without understanding how and even asking why. So start with why now!

英文有一句話,大意是有些人只知牛奶從玻璃瓶而來,卻不知道從牛來。在城市有不少事物皆可透過消費垂手可得,我們沒有思考或探索過其來源和製造過程。我們以為很多事情都是理所當然的,但同時變得麻木、不會去珍惜,好奇心也會失去。只知道理所當然的事就是我們所追求的WHAT,卻忘了HOW甚至問「為什麼」(WHY)甚至尋找意義。日常生活中多點問「為什麼」然後尋找答案,能對事情產生好奇甚至同理心,而不是空洞的判斷。

  • Interaction with people is necessary but the chance is usually rare in a big city. The importance is that people are happier and being inspired throughout the process. The public space does play a role.

人與人之間的互動不只是緣份或人情味,甚至有受到幫助的機會。而是互相的交流和啟發。當在公園見到有人自製電動玩具巴士,你會和他交談了解,因為可以自學自製而受到啟發,而你也許有一些事情同時啟發了他。社會的設施有時局限了人的緣份,而公共空間更不只是休息和運動的場所,更是尋找緣份、受民間智慧啟發的地方!

More details about the book

Hong KongAlvin CTin Shui Wai