- Shopping in the antique shops.
Overview – Lascar Row
Lascar Row is the combined name of two streets between Hollywood Road and Queen’s Road Central in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, Upper Lascar Row and Lok Ku Road (Historically Lower Lascar Row). The immediate area is notable for its antique stalls.
Although 摩囉 is not in the Chinese dictionary, its meaning stems from the English word lascar. Derived from the Arab-Persian lashkar (military camp), it was used by the British to refer to South Asian seamen. The word 摩囉 comes from “Musselmen”, Muslims from the Middle East who traded in China. Early Europeans in Southeast Asia used mouro in Portuguese or morro in Spanish, and Musselmen gradually became “Morra”. “Row” derives from the row of houses which accommodated South Asian seamen.
The South Asian community had a small market. Since the 1920s it gradually developed as a market for a wide range of antiques, including obsolete electrical appliances. It and the neighbouring Hollywood Road became known as Antiques Street.
Cat Street derives from the sale by some shops of stolen goods, known as “mouse goods” in Chinese. With its lower prices, many were attracted to shop in the area. Shoppers who walked cautiously down the street while selecting their goods were likened to cats trying to catch a mouse. Foreigners, particularly, came to refer to the street as Cat Street.