Every year on the same day in June, tens of thousands of us gather at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to commemorate June 4, 1989. Tiananmen Square. We each light a candle, just like this one, and unite in silence.
Remembering matters. While we should celebrate economic prosperity and societal development, we must not forget events that brought us to where we are today. I can only speak for my own city, or country, I guess. But past atrocities committed everywhere in the world, especially atrocities at the hands the same country’s very own government since those are often the histories suppressed, need to be documented, learned, pondered upon as cautionary tales. Let history not repeat.
When this candle is lit, the crowd usually looks down into the flame, the heaviness of events 25 years prior weighing on its collective psyche. No one speaks. If you were among us, you’d notice the silence, dots of flames forming a sea of light. You might likewise be lost in contemplation of history, and succumb to the serene calm.
I grew up not appreciating Cantonese pop (Canto pop). Lyrics were cheesy, melodies repetitive, MTVs tacky.
Not Beyond’s songs. They’re timeless. The content dreamy, encouraging, brave. 海闊天空 (Beyond the seas and skies) is a song played often during the protests. I’m filled with an equal rush of hope, sadness and energy when I hear it. If you grew up in Hong Kong, if you know this song, upon hearing 海闊天空 you too may uncontrollably mumble along.
Why are Hong Kong students on the streets? Why aren’t university students and high-schoolers attending classes, and instead studying on make-shift tables on the once busy streets of Hong Kong? Why are they camping out on tram tracks and bus routes instead of sleeping at home? A lot of them 15 to 18 year olds. The best time of their lives. A time for learning, choosing their majors, going out with friends. What are they doing hogging the streets and disrupting quotidian life? Continue reading →
28 September 2014, Admiralty. Students and citizens continue protests, donning gear such as raincoats, goggles and face-masks, just like yesterday. But today, in addition to pepper-spray, police use tear-gas. The protest calls for democratic elections and true universal suffrage to take place in 2017.