21 August 2019

Survey Findings on Views about the Ancestral Home
Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK



A telephone survey was conducted from 19 to 30 July 2019 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views on their ancestral home. A total of 94.3% of the respondents knew where their ancestral home was; 58.1% of them said that they had never gone back or had not gone back in the last three years. 

Major findings are summarised as follows 

A total of 94.3% of the respondents knew where their ancestral home was. The major ancestral home of these respondents was in Guangdong (84.5%), Fujian (5.1%) and Hong Kong (2.1%). Those who said that their ancestral home was in other provinces of the Mainland and other places were 6.8% and 1.2% respectively; 0.3% answered that they did not know the exact location of their ancestral home. 

Of those who knew the exact location of their ancestral home (excluding those whose ancestral home is Hong Kong), 58.1% had never gone back to their ancestral home (30.9%) or had not gone back in the last three years (27.2%). 30.9% answered that they had gone back one to five times in the last three years, 6.4% had gone back six to ten times, and 3.0% had gone back 11 times or more. The major reasons for going back to ancestral home was to ‘visit relatives, pay a New Year call, celebrate a festival, or participate in a banquet’ (66.4%); ‘visit an ancestor’s grave’ (40.4%); and ‘travel’ (25.4%). 

In general, 35.0% of the respondents said that they had no interest in their ancestral home, 34.1% showed interest, and 28.8% answered ‘average’. Of those who knew the exact location of their ancestral home (excluding those whose ancestral home is Hong Kong), 48.7% said that their sense of belonging to the ancestral home was ‘low’ (12.9%) or ‘very low’ (35.8%); 27.2% answered ‘average’; and 20.6% said that it was ‘high’ (12.9%) or ‘very high’ (7.7%). The mean score on the sense of belonging to the ancestral home is 2.42 (on a 5-point scale). 

When asked about their sense of belonging to China, 41.5% said that it was ‘low’ (14.3%) or ‘very low’ (27.2%), 33.5% answered ‘average’, and 22.0% said that it was ‘high’ (12.5%) or ‘very high’ (9.5%). The mean score on the sense of belonging to China is 2.62. Regarding their sense of belonging to Hong Kong, 77.4% said that it was ‘high’ (29.5%) or ‘very high’ (47.9%), 16.0% answered ‘average’, and only 5.7% said that it was low’ (2.9%) or ‘very low’ (2.8%). The mean score is 4.18. 

In this survey, a total of 752 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 37.1%. The sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 3.52 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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