Newsletter No. 478

8 478 • 19.5.2016 ’ 口谈实录 Viva Voce 本刊由香港中文大学资讯处出版,每月出版两期。截稿日期及稿例载于 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at . 碧桦依教授 Prof. Raees Begum Baig • 社会工作学系助理教授 • Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work 你的中英文名字是否有特别意思? 父亲是巴基斯坦人,Begum Baig是姓,第一个字是用以识别 为女性。名字Raees在巴基斯坦语解作rich(富足)。母亲是香 港人,碧桦依是她纯粹按音译而来的,感谢她译得那么诗意。 混血儿的身分对你念书和工作可有影响? 从小学至中学念的是女校,校内亦有其他少数族裔学生,当中 也有混血儿,未有受到特别对待。不过,由于自己是回教徒, 而小学和中学分属基督教及天主教学校,所以需要回避某些 宗教仪式和习俗如祈祷、跪拜神像等。也因这样的背景,我 的敏感度会较高,反映在生活细节,像吃饭时,会问大家有否 不爱吃的东西,工作时如处理族裔、文化差异及性别研究等议 题,会从多角度出发。这是正面的帮助,但也是双刃刀,我怕 会被定型─只做少数族裔及移民的研究。 生于斯长于斯,少数族裔身分给你的经验是促使你念社 工系的原因吗? 倒不是。准备升读大学时,少数族裔议题还未流行。我自小 已是女童军和服务队成员,喜欢参与社会服务和与人接触, 所以便想到念社工,既能认识不同议题,又可服务市民。 毕业后能学以致用、实践理想吗? 社工分作微观与宏观两大类,前者以前线个案工作为主,后者 则是组织、社区及政策倡议的工作,也是我较喜欢的。2004年 毕业后到了香港人权监察工作,虽然它不算是社福机构,但要 做很多社区教育和倡议工作,特别是要用简单易明的方法, 向基层人士解释人权公约和相关法例的含义,念书所学在此 便派上用场。 为何又重回校园念博士? 一直都有志攻读博士的,只是觉得才大学毕业,人生历练仍欠 火候,故决定先工作,确定专研兴趣所在才深造。此外,在香 港人权监察期间,不断写了很多建议书、报告,甚或提供给少 数族裔的宣传教育套,又与其他团体、政治人物、政府官员沟 通联系,进行游说。这是一个难得的学习过程,我想何不把它 系统地记录下来,既检视社福界如何处理人权议题的历史, 也留下这重要的记忆,所以再次回到校园。 你最关心哪些社会问题?为什么? 全民退休保障,这是人口老化最基本的保障。香港在二三十 年后要面对老年化的高峰期,必须有长远的规划,任何小修 小补,或是短期措施,都解决不了问题。现时讨论的焦点又往 往集中于钱的问题上,忽视了过程中衍生了很多歧视和分化, 举例说,在现有的强积金制度下,低收入者供款少,回报自然 有限,形成恶性循环,他们始终停留在低收入阶层。全民退休 保障的目标应是缔造一个较完善的社会。 另外,就是少数族裔问题。当提及南亚裔人士和难民,大家不 期然会有负面的刻板印象,如何消除歧视,避免族群间的矛 盾日益加深,值得关注。身为回教徒和少数族裔,我对性别、 宗教及少数族裔关系的研究亦深感兴趣,计划开展关于回教 女性受压迫及对性别看法的研究。 是什么令你转到中大任教? 机缘巧合。之前曾在社工系任兼职教师,得知有空缺,于是试 着申请。2014年8月加入中大。相对于非政府组织,大学有更 大的研究空间和弹性,让我触碰不同的议题。 网民称你为「女神」,有什么看法? 没有特别的看法。似乎女性出现于镜头前都被称为「女神」 了。对女性看法以样貌为先,不是香港独有的,世界各地都一 样。我认为某程度上是一种歧视,转移了视线,忽略了本来应 带出的讯息,淡化了女性付出的努力。 Are there any special meanings to your Chinese and English names? My father is a Pakistani. Begum Baig is my surname, the first word identifying me as female. My name Raees means ‘rich’ in the Pakistani language. My mother is a Hongkonger. 碧桦依 is the Chinese name she has given me, based on her transliteration of the original version. I owe her thanks for such a poetic-sounding name. Has your mixed-race identity affected your school and work experiences? I went to girls’ schools, both primary and secondary. There were other ethnic-minority students in my schools, including mixed-race ones, and I received no special treatment. However, given the fact that I am Muslim, while my primary and secondary schools were Christian and Catholic, respectively, I had to avoid certain religious rituals such as praying and kneeling before icons. Such background has given me greater sensitivity to certain things. For example, I would ask others if there is any food they do not like. At work when I handle ethnic, cultural difference and gender issues, I take a multi-perspective approach. But this could cut the other way. I am afraid of being cast into doing only ethnic minority and immigrants research. You were born and raised here. Have your ethnic minority identity and experience prompted you to study social work? Not really. When I was preparing to enter university, ethnic issues had not gained popularity. In my younger years, I was a Girl Guide and service team member because I liked to participate in social services and come into contact with people. That was why I thought of studying social work, as it would not only expose me to different social issues but also let me serve others. After graduation, were you able to practise what you learned and realize your ideals? Social work practices are of two major types: micro and macro. The former centres on frontline cases, while the latter focuses on organizations, communities and policy advocacy work, which is also what I prefer. After graduating in 2004, I worked with Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor. Although it could not be considered a social welfare organization, it did a lot of community education and advocacy work, especially in explaining to the grassroots the implications of human rights instruments and related laws in simple, intelligible language. So what I learned in the classroom could be applied there. Why did you go for a PhD? I had always aspired to do a PhD. But at first I felt I lacked life experience and so decided to work and further my education once I had determined what my research interests were. Besides, when I was working for Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, I had drafted plenty of proposals and reports and even publicity and education kits for ethnic minority groups. I also liaised and communicated with other groups, political figures and government officials to carry out lobbying. This was a precious learning experience. So I thought why not have it recorded systematically. Not only would it provide the social welfare sector with a historical view on how to handle human rights issues, but also leave a document of such important memories to posterity. So I decided to return to campus. What are the social issues that concern you most? Why? Universal Retirement Protection (URP). This is the most fundamental protection for an ageing society. Over the next 20 to 30 years, Hong Kong’s age-related problems will reach its peak, which calls for long-term planning and bold moves now. The focus of the ongoing discussions is always on money. No one pays attention to the discrimination and antagonism that may result. For instance, the existing Mandatory Provident Fund system is a vicious cycle where low-income earners who make lesser cash contributions and hence get lesser returns would be trapped forever. The goal of URP should be to foster a better society. Another issue is ethnic minorities. Whenever South Asians and refugees are mentioned, negative and stereotyped impressions would be formed in one’s mind. How to eliminate discrimination and avoid increasing conflicts between ethnic groups are issues worthy of our concern. As a Muslim and an ethnic minority, I am deeply interested in research on gender, religion and inter-ethnic relations. I plan to commence research on the oppression facing Muslim females and gender perceptions. What made you come to CUHK? It was a matter of coincidence. In the past, I taught part-time here. When I heard of a full-time vacancy, I applied for it. In August 2014, I joined CUHK. Compared to the NGOs, the University offers greater room for research and the flexibility to cover different topics. You have been called a ‘goddess’ by netitzens. How do you feel about that? I have no special feelings on this. It seems that all females appearing in front of the camera are called ‘goddesses’. When it comes to women, looks always come first. This happens everywhere around the world. To a certain extent, I believe this is a kind of discrimination, as it diverts the focus away the core message and trivializes the efforts of women. Photo by ISO staff