英文

Coming Up for Air : There is still much to be thankful for

【明報專訊】Thanksgiving is a major holiday that is celebrated in the United States on the last Thursday of every November. For most families Thanksgiving is a time to reunite and reminisce. A tradition that many still observe during this holiday is the tradition of "giving thanks" — when relatives and friends gather around at the dinner table to tell each other what they are thankful for, before they start chowing down on the food in front of them.

For this piece, I asked some friends and family members here in Hong Kong what they are "thankful for" this Thanksgiving. This is what they had to say:

• All the writers — those who speak truth to power — those who tell amazing stories — those who use their words to create hope and meaning and wonder ◄Jenny Smith, historian and co-founder of Bleak House Books

• 1. Food, food and more food 2. Good health 3. Books ◄Charlie (age 8), junior bookworm in residence at Bleak House Books

• School ◄Ida (age 6), our other junior bookworm

• People being kind and decent despite everything ◄Angel, resident bookworm no. 1 at Bleak House Books

• Still being able to do some usual things, like reading, in the city of my birth ◄Aggie, bookworm no. 2

• The spirit of perseverance to hold on to what is just and fair, and doing the right thing for our future ◄Maylene, bookworm no. 3

• Nature, which alleviated the weight of the presence of the "invisible enemy" ◄Rachel, bookworm emeritus at Bleak House Books

• Still being able to think and make plans for what l want to do ◄Louise Law, local writer, publisher at Spicy Fish Cultural Production 水煮魚文化

• Memories ◄Gene Krell, Creative Director

• Our young readers who always let me see the hope and love surrounding ◄Sharon Chan, bookseller and founder of Mount Zero Books 見山書店

• Not killing my family, despite we are all bounded at home by the stupid COVID-19. And not going crazy because I cannot go anywhere outside of Hong Kong to rewind from the nonsense of the stupid government ◄Amy, bookseller at 見山

• My family, all of friends and clients who always support me ◄Don Mak, local artist/illustrator and founder of Don Mak & Co. 麥東記

• The pockets of the city that can be only found in Hong Kong, preserving time and place as they evolve, the bookstore owner who holds my paperbacks and zines, and the moments of normalcy we can find ◄Tiffany May, reporter for The New York Times

• My parents and the parents who came before them ◄Yeung, bookseller at Art and Culture Outreach 艺鵠

• All the smiles I met with, including my own :) ◄Mimi, bookseller at Art and Culture Outreach 艺鵠

• I am thankful for finding Hong Kong years ago and being allowed to stay, and for this city being a place where people of all ages, origins and occupations can meet and mingle freely ◄Pete Spurrier, publisher at Blacksmith Books

• Being healthy and capable of pursuing simple life ◄Stephanie Chow, chef and founder of Choco Duck Bistro in Cheung Chau

• I would like to thank God for letting me to meet my better half this year. That is a milestone of my life ◄Wai Wai 慧惠, local artist/illustrator

• Having a heart that can love, and be loved, encountering my dogs and cats, and being an illustrator ◄Maoshan Connie 貓珊, local illustrator

• Being able to enjoy Hong Kong's extensive country parks and the beautiful autumn weather ◄David Bellis, local writer, historian, author of Old Hong Kong Photos and the Tales They Tell

• Members of the literary, cultural, and translation community both in Hong Kong and overseas who continue to carve out time to maintain and nurture meaningful and important discussions ◄Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, professor of English at Hong Kong Baptist University

• Good health of one's loved ones. Anything beyond that is bonus ◄Antony Dapiran, local writer, author of City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong

• The tenacity, courage and the spirit of Hong Kongers ◄"Uncle Bruce"

• Love, goodwill, family ◄Ye Olde Bookseller

As grim and dark as things are there is still much to be thankful for. We might not know what tomorrow will bring or whether the many things we are thankful for now will continue to exist. But we will always have each other — friends, family, neighbours — and our memories. So Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 'Till next year.

■by Albert Wan

​Albert is the co‑founder and proprietor of Bleak House Books, an English language bookstore in San Po Kong.

(Email: albert@bleakhousebooks.com.hk)

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