Hong Kong School Girl

Photo Story by Richard Stum

Print Share

    Lai Sau Kyun joined the Church with her family in 1974. Today she is the first counselor in the Sham Sui Branch Primary of the Hong Kong District. Life has changed for the Lai family. (In Chinese the last name precedes the surname.)

    Brother Lai is a member of the branch presidency, and his oldest son is a full-time missionary. For Sau Kyun, activity night, family home evening, branch outings, and Church socials have replaced television.

    “Most of my social life is in the Church. We have more than 50 young people in our branch,” says Sau Kyun. The majority of members in the Hong Kong district are recent converts, 13 to 19 years old, who are given many opportunities to serve in the Church auxiliaries.

    Like most other young members of her branch, Sau Kyun attends a Protestant secondary school. After graduating, she may attend Brigham Young University or Ricks College and then return to Hong Kong.

    Photos by Richard Stum

    Attending nine 45-minute classes every day, students have a year-round schedule. Although Sau Kyun prefers biology and mathematics to chemistry, she is a good student in all classes

    Hong Kong is a British colony, and all school texts are in English. English is spoken in the crowded classes in Sau Kyun’s 1,500-student school

    Sau Kyun studies 14 subjects—English, physics, Chinese history, Bible, economic public affairs, modern mathematics, geography, world history, chemistry, music, biology, arts, physical education, and Chinese literature

    Students wear school uniforms and line up for buses. Many take the bus to and from school and also ride home for lunch

    Sau Kyun enjoys school and her friends but realizes there are only two local colleges in Hong Kong. She and many other LDS youths study English so that they may attend Church-sponsored schools and return to work in Hong Kong

    Physical education is stressed as an important part of a student’s development. The academic load each carries is stiff and demanding. P.E. class serves as a welcome break from confining classroom routines

    To attend her Lutheran secondary school, Sau Kyun must pay tuition and books. The school is known for its superior educational standards

    The Lai family spend an evening together in scripture study. Sister Lai is the Relief Society homemaking counselor and a member of the district Primary presidency. Her daughter, 13, is assistant secretary in the Young Women organization

    Family home evening for the Lai family often includes recreational activities such as basketball. Sau Kyun, like other Hong Kong youths, enjoys swimming in the Pacific, movies, picnics, sports, and excursions to the New Territories, a farmland area of Hong Kong

    Far right, Mei Kyun, Sau Kyun, Fu To, and Kwok To, a full-time missionary, sing a hymn during family home evening. The temple is the lesson subject, and family members will display many photographs. The Lais know the meaning of temple marriage and work to serve each other and build the Lord’s kingdom. They realize their knowledge will enable them to work for the greatest blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ

    Brother Lai goes over some basketball fundamentals with Mei Kyun. Western clothing is prevalent among all generations in Hong Kong. Traditional costumes are worn primarily during ceremonial programs or dances.

    The Lai family enjoys lunch together (clockwise, Fu To, Mei Kyun, Sau Kyun, Brother Lai, and Sister Lai). “Our great hope is to share the gospel with others,” says Brother Lai