It is a ritual corporal punishment imposed by Hong Kong male university students on their fellows on campus. “Con”, a verb or a noun, is used to describe an action of imposing Happy Corner on somebody. Three to four executors are needed to carry out Happy Corner. First, they grip the victim’s torso, arms and legs, and lift him up in the air. His front body should be facing upward as if he is lying on a hammock. Second, his legs will be split horizontally. Third, the executors will find the nearest pole-like object, such as a lamppost (sometimes, it can be the threshold of a door) and bump his nut (genitals) against it. Forth, the executors swing his body to the pole, like a pendulum, and keep bumping. The action will persist until the executors and the onlookers are satisfied. It is possible that the ritual will last for more than 5 minutes.
A Happy Corner will usually happen in the following situations:
1. On somebody’s birthday. The friends of the target person’s will con him to celebrate his birthday. A modified version of the birthday song will be sung, “Happy Corner to you. Happy Corner to you. Happy Corner to (Name). Happy Corner to you.”
2. In the hostel. It can be launched anytime without any reason. Just for fun. It is pretty scary when a group of savages ambush you in the staircase, or break into your room, then pull you out and treat you as a prey. Normally, they will sing an unofficial song of their college in which they take pride when "conning" somebody.
Advanced Happy Corner
- X Con
It is the highest level of punishment. When two people are being punished, instead of bumping them into two poles individually, the executors slightly tilt the victims' torsos, and bump them against each other, Nut-to-nut. The combination of the postures looks like an “X”. That is why it is so called.
- Rotational Con
Instead of swinging the victim and bumping his nut, the executors pivot his body with a pole between the split legs as the axis of rotation.
The Usage of the Verb “Con”
It is derived from the phrase “Happy Corner”. They extract three of the letters in the word “Corner” to form a new word.
If you want to trigger a Happy Corner, you should say :
"Con 佢(keoi)" (It is a mix of English and Cantonese)-- It means "Let’s con him" or "Let’s bring joy to him". If you want to know why Hong Kong people always mix Cantonese with English, please refer to my article entitled Add Oil---It is not that detailed though. I would try to write another writeup about this issue.
Honor or Sexual Harrassment?
Happy Corner is actually not that violent as you might imagine. The executors of course would spare their efforts. Most of the time, the subjects enjoy the process of being "conned". Some regard it as an honor to receive this ritual from their friends. However, some do not feel comfortable with it and consider it as sexual harassment. The universities have held seminars concerning the issue to educate students not to sexually harass their fellows. Nevertheless, the culture of Happy Corner seems to be unstoppable. It still prevails, especially in hostels, bringing "joy" to a lot of students who need to be relaxed.