My Year of the Python in Hong Kong
by Ho Ming Li

Ho Ming Li, March 26, 2013

It is the Year of the Snake, and here at ActiveState, the snake in question has always been Python. The Year of the Snake heralds a great year ahead for the Python community. Fourth blog of a series celebrating the Year of the Python. 

Year of the Snake in Hong Kong

In February, I took two weeks off work, and I returned to Hong Kong where I was born. I was there during a very special time of the year, the Chinese New Year, and I got to celebrate the year of the snake with my friends and family.

Chinese New Year is a big deal. Everyone look forward to this important holiday. It is a time for gathering, happiness, and renewal. Beyond that, another reason people look forward to Chinese New Year is that they get a week off work. With everyone preparing for the New Year and visiting common traditional places, the streets are busier than ever. Hong Kong is an energetic and lively city.

No matter where you are in Hong Kong, you will hear the welcoming noises of drums and symbols from lion dances that represent an exceptional business for the coming year. In almost all districts of the city, the lunar New Year flower markets sell snake-themed plushies and beautiful blooming flowers to celebrate the New Year.

A Journey into My Family’s Traditions

During this trip, I also had a chance to understand what I had left behind, rediscover traditions, and truly appreciate what we don't usually see in Vancouver. I have lived in Vancouver for over 16 years, and when I am downtown, I am always impressed by the high-tech, sleek, glass towers. But in Hong Kong, it is different. My eyes are more drawn towards the back alleys, the old and worn-out buildings, with air conditioners sticking out of the built structures. I very much enjoyed engaging and participating in the rich traditions of Hong Kong, and I had the great pleasure to visit the Che Kung Temple , the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree , and the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

My family celebrates several traditions for Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We typically eat a vegetarian meal in the morning, and we feast on a variety of meat dishes the very first evening. Then we take turns visiting family members and friends for several days to exchange greetings and new year wishes. We celebrate with candies, gifts, and red packets for the young ones.

What About Python?

What does this all have to do with Python? During my trip, I took a lot of pictures, and I have created a photo gallery for my Instagram Hong Kong images. The stack you ask? uwsgi, Python, Django, and I included both the TN3 and galleria javascript for the photo gallery, all running on Stackato.

I did not study computer science, nor am I in a development role at ActiveState. But it is really just that easy to start developing on a platform like Stackato. Getting started with Python web development on the Django framework is simple, even for non developers.

Pinax-project-account makes it even easier to include account management with Django projects. I leveraged the project and got going right away. The source of my project can be found on github.

Discover Hong Kong

What I enjoyed the most about my trip back to Hong Kong was to find myself in the the same place as my family. I thoroughly appreciated reconnecting to my traditional roots. If you have the opportunity, definitely make your way to Hong Kong during Chinese New Year and experience what the Hong Kong culture has to offer. 

Hong Kong is a multicultural city, and has something to offer to everyone, old and young, traditional and modern. Whether you enjoy the peace and quietness of the outdoors or love the glamorous city life, Hong Kong delivers.

Photos by Ho Ming Li

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Ho Ming Li joined ActiveState as a Sales Engineer. He has diverse experience in the software industry with past roles in development, quality assurance, release management, and professional services. With education in both technology and businesses, he aspires to be a tech guy with business sense, aiming to deliver business solutions through awesome tech products. When he is not in front of a computer, he plays a variety of sports and enjoys the outdoors.