Is ‘gweilo’ offensive? How Hong Kong natives, expats and experts feel about speaking at the heart of the court case


Are Hong Kongers rude when referring to Caucasians as gweilo? The term, which translates to “ghost man”, has been in use since at least the 16th century, when the Chinese in the Pearl River Delta first encountered Westerners and were impressed by the pale color of their skin.The name has stuck and remains in wide use in the city. Now, an ongoing case before the courts has put the word in the spotlight, igniting the discussion about his offensive: a British engineer is asking for compensation and a …


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