Transit entertainment

Transit entertainment

Tung Chung students are bringing smiles to the faces of idling travellers at the Hong Kong International Airport


Tam Hiu-fund and Mok Lee-lee find their job rewarding.
Tam Hiu-fund and Mok Lee-lee find their job rewarding.
Photo: Edward Wong
Cammi Chan Man-man never feels bored at the job she has worked in for the past four summers. What keeps her going is the satisfaction she gets from providing some enjoyment to people waiting at the airport.

The 18-year-old teaches handicraft skills to children who are travelling with their families during the summer holiday. In peak holiday season, passengers sometimes have to wait hours before boarding - on rare occasions even days, when bad weather causes flight cancellations.

That's when the Form Five student and 50 others from seven Tung Chung secondary schools get to work. As volunteers they perform music shows, dance and handicraft workshops at the airport, bringing joy to arriving travellers and entertainment to idle passengers waiting to board their flights.

Cammi invites bored children to join her in a cosy, colourfully decorated play corner beside a departure gate, where she and her fellow student ambassadors show people how to make necklaces and bracelets. Even some adult passengers join in the fun.

'Some passengers have to wait long hours for their next transit. They may be new to Hong Kong and unfamiliar with the Hong Kong airport. Although not strictly part of my job, I go and talk to them and show them how to get to nearby shops and restaurants,' she says.

Cammi and other students have been recruited under a programme called Summer Fiesta, which has been held every summer since 2003. It is organised by the Airport Authority and NGOs Sheng Kung Hui and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. The programme recruits Tung Chung teenagers to promote community bonding.

Tam Hiu-fung, 18, sings in a-cappella shows to delight incoming passengers at Arrivals. He says he not only enjoys providing some entertainment to travellers but also having the chance to work in what is the landmark of the district he grew up in. 'The airport is a symbol for the Tung Chung district. Many people working in the airport, airlines' ground staff and pilots are based in Tung Chung. And it is great I am working together with other Tung Chung residents in this fiesta,' he says.

Compared with other satellite towns, Tung Chung is new. It came into being with large public housing estates in the late 1990s, when construction of the Chek Lap Kok airport began. Because of its low rents and more relaxing way of life, the new town attracted residents from different districts, including young couples, new immigrants and low-income groups.

Another student who sings in the a-cappella shows, Mok Lee-lee, returns to Tung Chung to take part in the fiesta even though she has moved to Sham Shui Po. She previously lived in Tung Chung for six years, and says she treasures the bond she built with residents of the North Lantau town.

'Even after I moved away I still clung to my memories of Tung Chung. My best friends are the primary classmates I met in Tung Chung. I still come back to see them every week,' Lee-lee says.

'Most residents here were [originally] from different districts ... We built our community together and formed bonds. People here tend to treasure the friendships we built up in this community.'

The fiesta runs until August 29. There are a-cappella galas, a children's orchestra, jazz performances and handicraft workshops. Magicians and yo-yo players showcase their skills and airport ambassadors dressed in costumes cruise around with trolleys to deliver souvenirs.



To post comments please
register or

1 comment