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Hikikomori

  • Date Submitted: 05/13/2014 06:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.1 
  • Words: 309
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Good afternoon everyone. Today I would like to talk about helping hidden youths in Hong Kong to come out of their shell. The recent murder cases involving Hong Kong youths have undoubtedly left people shaken and caused many question to what has gone wrong with our society. Discussion have primarily been about the hidden youth in Hong Kong, which means those who are neither in education nor employment, and spend most of their time surfing the net and playing video games. Typically, they have poor social skills but very active in the cyber world. Although the murder cases are not certainly extreme, the underlying issues must be taken seriously.

The phenomenon of hidden youths has drawn attention in japan and Britain for over a decade. They are called hikikomori in Japan who has completely withdrawn from society for more than six months. Psychologists are even proposing to add this to the list of recognized medical conditions. In Britain, young people aged between 16-26 who would become a source of social unrest are called neet, which means not in education, employment or training. However, in Hong Kong there are no systematic research into this phenomenon, but there some figures may give us idea of the problem. Our youth unemployment rate of 9.3 percent was higher than Singapore and comparable to Japan and Korea, which is 8 and 9.6 percent respectively.

Yet, numbers alone do not reveal the mental stresses young people face. They are unable to establish themselves properly in society, even though some of them may have high academic qualifications, their strengths are underdeveloped, their interest under-recognized, and they have no one talk to. Their withdrawal from society is a loss to us.

So how can we mitigate the problem? Tapping into the interests of hidden youth is surely the key to their recoveries.

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