Sukhpreet Singh  

15:30 - 20:00 

“I was born in Hong Kong, spent my early years in India and moved back to HK as a young child. The primary school that I attended was full of ethnic minority students and only in secondary school did I have the chance to study Chinese properly with my local peers. In Hong Kong, not many ethnic minority kids get the opportunity to study Chinese, many of them are excluded from local kindergartens because their mother tongue is not Chinese. It makes it so difficult for them to fully immerse in local culture - they don’t speak Cantonese at school, at home or on the streets; they just don’t have the chance to practise. This has a knock-on effect on their education opportunities, job prospects and overall quality of life. I strongly believe that ethnic minorities should be given equal access to education from a young age, and that the education system should support that rather than create more obstacles. Many of us are born and raised here, we have Hong Kong friends and we’re Hongkongers - so why can’t we learn Chinese? 



“Here at IBEL, we try to break the cycle of this language based exclusion. I work as a part time tutor for ethnic minority kids between 6-13 years old. We help them with their homework, language assignments and also organise field trips and activities - theme parks, rugby training, museum visits, cultural events…We want to help our students not only thrive academically but also to develop well-rounded soft skills. Each activity gives them the opportunity to use their Chinese to interact with the community. When the kids first join our classes they sometimes really struggle, especially with Chinese writing, because they have no one to help them at home or at school. Once, I was tutoring a kid who had to prepare for his Chinese dictation. He said that he couldn’t pronounce or read any of the words - so I sat down with him to write the meanings and tones down for him, and we went through it all together. He was able to read everything after our session - it’s these small shifts that I see in our students that bring me a lot of fulfilment.”

”When people ask me where I’m from, it’s always hard to answer - I’m a Sikh, Punjabi, Indian Hongkonger. If I identify with only one aspect of this identity, there is bound to be someone who thinks that I’m lacking a sense of belonging to another community. I am happy to say that I have different, interconnected identities, and that I speak Punjabi, Hindi, English and Cantonese fluently. I’m just a regular Hong Kong guy. Outside of tutoring I also work part time at a convenience store, and help out at my dad’s grocery store. I love to play basketball, football and take the ferry to Cheung Chau! Ethnic minorities are also Hongkongers, we have a strong sense of belonging to Hong Kong, we do speak Chinese and want to speak Chinese - so try to engage with us and don’t assume that we are strangers!”





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