Remember the joy you felt blowing soap bubbles when you were young? This Sunday from 4-5pm, you can relive your fondest childhood memories by joining the Global Bubble Parade Hong Kong, which will be making its way from Edinburgh Place to Tamar Park.
This year for the first time, Hong Kong is joining 71 other cities to be a part of the world’s biggest celebration of happiness. The Global Bubble Parade is an event which aims to use bubbles, a symbol of childhood joy, to promote positivity and social inclusion. It was founded by the 100Happydays Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to make the world happier. Each year, they invite cities all over the world to host their own parade for free.
The project was introduced to Hong Kong by 22-year-olds Astor Wong Nga-yee and Alyse Hung-yu, who realised after returning from studying in the United Kingdom that the pace of life in Hong Kong is too fast.
“When we are accustomed to running, sometimes we forget that we can take a break,” said Hung, whose fast walking pace was at first mistaken as running when she was living overseas.
“But we should stop and give ourselves some space to be more aware of our emotions. That is the core message that we want to spread through hosting the event,” said Wong.
Another reason for hosting the Global Bubble Parade in Hong Kong, they added, is to boost the popularity of the scheme in Asia; only eight Asian cities are part of the global event this year.
“Asians are usually more emotionally reserved. We don’t always prioritise happiness or give it its deserved importance,” Wong said.
So when a friend of the pair, who works for the Global Bubble Parade organisation, called for more cities to join the parade, they immediately formed a team, recruiting Astor Wong’s high school friend Cindy Wong Hei-tung and Hung’s colleague Forrest Cheung Tin-wai, in order to bring the parade to the city.
“Through hosting the bubble parade in Hong Kong” said Hung, “we would like to take the first step in creating an environment where people can be more aware of the importance of happiness, so they can apply it to their every day lives.”
Explaining why the organisation’s initiative takes the form of a parade rather than an event at a fixed venue, Cindy Wong told Young Post that a parade is the perfect representation of the organisation’s motto: “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”.
“We hope those who come and take part in the parade will take away the message that it’s the tiny things in daily life that make us happy, and when we start to take notice of these things, our lives become more fulfilling,” said Astor Wong.
“Happiness is a choice”, Hung added, “It depends on the perspective you take. You can choose to look at the positive sides of things.”
Having just stepped into the job market, and admitting to feeling overwhelmed by work and the prospect of building a career, the four had a message for Young Post readers: “it is okay to not stretch yourself to the limit all the time, and you can relax and make the choice of being happy”.
Moreover, happiness should be something that comes from within.
“While praises from our parents, peers, and teachers can be a source of happiness, it is an external happiness which comes from others,” Astor Wong said. “But we don’t have to rely on compliments to be happy; we can appreciate ourselves. We can be the masters of our own happiness.”
Happiness is, however, more than just a thought.
“It is an action. You have to do something to create happiness”, the team told Young Post. “The Bubble Parade is our form of taking action. We hope that people will act themselves, and in doing so, discover that happiness is all around them.”
As a self-funded project, the team asks participants to not only prepare their own soap and bubble kits, but also bring extra to share with fellow marchers. The Global Bubble Parade website contains some fun tips for assembling the perfect bubble kit or even making your own DIY bubble blowing wand, so participants can be well-equipped and ready to show off their expert bubble blowing skills.
Beyond the event, the team hopes that people will find their own ways to promote the idea of building and sharing happiness, because no matter our age, race, gender or religion,“we all deserve happiness.”