The focus of this study was to explore the relationship between culture and children’s development, and to suggest that inquiry into narratives is a way of understanding how children live and develop in a cultural sense. The article begins by inquiring into the nature of culture in the Hong Kong context and explaining the ways in which it might affect children’s development. The second part of the article reviews both Chinese and Western theories, and examines what philosophers and child psychologists have attempted to explain and debate regarding children’s development. This inquiry addresses the relationship between culture and various contexts of development (e.g. family, school, and religion) because it is believed that both culture and contexts of development impact on a child’s way of thinking and behaving. Copyright © 2004 Symposium Journals Ltd.