In this episode, we're joined by Jan Gube, an Assistant Professor at The Education University of Hong Kong, whose research focuses on the interplay of diversity, race, and ethnicity in curriculum and pedagogy. Jan's family moved to Hong Kong in the 70s, with his father starting his career as a musician and his mother initially working as a domestic helper before transitioning to a bank. This has shaped Jan's identity as a cultural chameleon, navigating between his Filipino heritage at home and the predominantly Chinese external world.
Our conversation delves into Jan's formative years, where we explore his educational journey. His father's determination led to Jan studying in a Chinese medium school, emphasizing the pivotal role of language. We then touched upon the educational experiences of other members of the Filipino community who attended English Mode of Instruction (EMI) schools. We also discussed the challenges Jan confronted while adapting to a Cantonese-taught educational environment.
In our concluding segment, we extend the conversation to the broader implications of language policy in Hong Kong, We explore how language policy impacts the sense of belonging and identity, especially for Filipino, and by and large, students from “ethnic minority” communities who are required to learn Cantonese. Finally, we revisit the impact of Jan's thesis, discussing the contradiction between the multicultural school environment where he conducted his research, and the less diverse surroundings beyond campus. In contemplating how students grapple with this difference, our discussion addresses the nuanced intersection of education, diversity, and identity in Hong Kong.
The NEXUS Podcast is run by Ahnaaf & Michelle from Nexus: The Belonging Research Network! We discuss topics relating to language rights, migration, identity and so on. From the linguistic struggle of unaccompanied migrant children in Finland to the identity crisis of Hong Kong's third culture kids, we invite different guests in each episode to share their stories on belonging on our Main and Mini series.