The Fall Of The Hong Kong Lunch Singer

“The Fall Of The Hong Kong Lunch Singer,” published in Vagabond Journey on Apr. 8, 2013

“Why, why, Tell me why I can’t be a good girl?” Jia Hong sings at the Come On Lounge on Temple Street in Hong Kong on March 15, 2013.

As she belts out the lyrics, she gesticulates her arms passionately and looks directly into the camera. Two women in the crowd start dancing. Customers get up to put money in the tip box. By the end of the song she has earned over 500 Hong Kong dollars.

Jia Hong knows how to put on a show. She’s been doing this for over 20 years.

When she sits down after the song, she looks tired. “In the past, we didn’t sing on Temple Street,” she said. “We sing at Temple Street, because we have no choice. Lunches have closed. … Many of my friends do not want to sing here.”

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