Food selfies and pictures are nothing new in the world but Hong Kong has thousands of people who can probably be called professional photographers specializing in food just based on the amount of food pictures they take.
Those who take food pics excessively call themselves foodies or food bloggers, “食家” in Cantonese. The entire city is food crazy and with lots of food photos on all sorts of social media and hashtags to go with it. Most people are baffled as to why these people take a picture of their food and upload posts of it before commencing eating. Here are some reasons why Hong Kong citizens do these.
They have deep cultural ties to food.
Hong Kong people loves food and their love for it can be traced back to their Chinese ancestry. Chinese have an old saying “民以食為天” which translates literally to “people regard food as the sky.” This was made stronger by the Chinese belief that ‘sky’ gives rain which grows food to sustain humanity. This makes food not only crucial not only in the survival sense but also in cultural sense, going as far as regarding restaurants as ‘heaven’ and taking photographs of food as their proof of their enjoyment of heaven.
Eating (and taking pictures of the food you are about to eat) is one of the best pastimes in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong doesn’t offer much outside activities, especially of the nature tripping and adventure type with hiking, sport centres and beaches being the most outdoorsy activity you can engage in. They do however make up for being less outdoor-oriented by having restaurants that offer great food at cheap prices. The photo before and after decimating said food to be posted and shared with friends is just the cherry on top of your cake.
Photo sharing is fun (and free)
Food photos are not meant to be stored as internal memory in your phone forever, it is meant to be shared with the world and to make your friends jealous of your food experience. Photos are mostly shared on Facebook, Instagram or Foursquare with hashtags and links of the names and addresses of the restaurants. Some used creative captions or just reviews of said food and often tag their friends in it. This is also a way to express themselves, flash their social status and show self-identification via photo sharing in social media.
Hong Kong citizens mostly eat out.
Most Hong Kong citizens have a busy life schedule juggling social life, work life and sleep, leaving time for food preparation little to none. Eating out then is the best way to solve the problem. Eating out after work and during weekends has then been a recent trend, a developing culture. Snapping food photos has evolved to a daily habit to Hong Kong people, as it’s a really good way to spend their time after their tiring work.