Marching For Canto

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Yesterday was July 1st, what was meant to be a good opportunity for Hong Kong people to worship at the altar of the mainland, thanking its kind government for rescuing us from the slimy claws of those Limeys.

Marching

Instead it has become this; March Against Everything Day. Good on the Hong Kong people! This year the turnout was just incredible, like triple the last time I joined two years ago.

Ah-On (Andrew) and I joined in, but instead of calling for the resignation of our unpopular and unelected Chief Executive, we encouraged Hong Kong people to speak Cantonese and not use simplified characters:

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We had standing ovations along the way, and everybody wanted to snap a pic of the foreigners who apparently had no idea of what it said on the posters we were holding.

Snapping

That’s the impression I got at least, based on the amount of people who came up to me asking – in English – “Are you know what’s the mean?” The worst was a higher-ranking policeman who took the poster away from ah-On.

“Do you know what it says?”

‘係呀, 係我自己寫既’ (yes, I wrote it myself) I naturally answered in the language in which the posters were written.

“Yes, but do you know what it REALLY means?” No matter what we said to him in his own language, he pretended only to be able to speak English. I found this vexing.

Everyone who wanted to take a photo and all the newspapers (many) who wanted to interview us addressed us in English, explaining that although I may have written the posters, I wouldn’t actually understand Cantonese. After a while it got really tedious.

Scribbling

So there you have it; not even writing their own language and holding it right in front of their faces can get Hong Kong people to fathom that a whitey can understand Cantonese. So yesterday was a kind of victory as well as yet another gigantic slap in the face.

(It says on the posters: Support Cantonese, down with simplified characters! and: “Hong Kong people speak Cantonese. If you don’t get it, off you piss.”

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2 Responses to Marching For Canto

  1. paul says:

    like it Cecilie. If you kill a language you kill the people and their culture

  2. Kepha Hor says:

    I agree with the “Down with Simplified Hanzi!”==however I am a speaker of Mandarin and some Hakka. In many ways, traditional Hanzi are more expressive and, in a strange way, easier for an outsider to learn. It is noteworthy that those places in Sinitic Asia with the lowest rates of illiteracy have long been HK and Taiwan, where the traditional Hanzi rule.

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