Among his many roles, 關則輝 Mr. Kwan Chuk-fai is currently Chairman of the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (Labour and Welfare Bureau), a position which indicates something of his concern for social justice. In this interview with Candy 車淑梅 Chea Shuk Mui, he says some interesting things about the shape of a human life, and the need in one’s later years “to build for significance” rather than to stay rigidly focused on personal success. He even talks about the meaning of life:
噉中間叫乜嘢呢，係叫做 build for significance ，啫話有啲咩重要呢，有啲咩係我認為人生嘅， 咦，佢意義喺邊度呢？咩叫快樂呢？會問多好多呢啲嘅。噉你會諗吓，我點樣回饋社會呢？點樣去幫身邊嘅人呢？Ah 有啲咩我應該多做呢？咁樣。好啦，七十五歲以後呢，其實基本上你係留低一個人生嘅軌跡啦，嗄。 啲人諗起，呀呢個人，拜拜咗之後，其實我印象對佢係咩嘅呢咁樣。呢個係一個，啫你留低啲乜嘢精神面貌呀，嗄。噉我覺得呢， 人生係，都係約略咁樣嘅 . . .
So what is the middle stage called? It is called “build for significance”, which involves what I think is important, in what I think the meaning of human life resides. What is that thing called “happiness”? Lots of questions like this tend to get asked. And so you will begin to wonder about what you can do to give something back to society. About how you can help the people close to you. About what should do more of. Things like that. So that, OK, when you reach the age of 75, you have left a kind of track in life. When you’ve said bye-bye and shuffled off, people will think back and say to themselves, this is the impression I had of him. It’s a question of what kind of “spiritual appearance” you will leave behind you. And this is roughly what I think human existence is about.
There is plenty here for the learner of Cantonese. There are a couple of uses of that versatile aspect maker 住 jyuh6, as well as the final particle 噃 bo3. In terms of the vocabulary, you will hear the verb 湊 chau3 used in two different ways, as well as an unusual expression based on the English word “level”, 升「呢」sīng1 lē1. Other items of interest include 涉獵 sip3 lihp6 = (?) to dabble in, 司儀 sī1 yìh4 = master of ceremonies, 祖屋 jóu2 ngūk1 = ancestral home, and 均真 gwān1 jān1 = fair and just, as well as the four-character phrases 成家立室 sìhng4 gāa1 laahp6 sāt1 = to get married and establish a home, and 洗滌心靈 sái2 dihk6 sām1 lìhng4 = to cleanse one’s soul
Be sure to use the Sheik Cantonese website to check any item in this text: you can find their on-line Cantonese dictionary here. I will try to add more to the transcription in the coming weeks. In the meantime, any corrections or suggestions are welcome! This material is invaluable for learners of Cantonese, and it would be terrific if we could make it absolutely perfect.
To hear the interview, please click here.
車淑梅：一個人，又或者一個嘅機構，甚至乎一個政府是否成功呢，我相信公關嗰個嘅能力是否夠強係非常非常之重要嘅。噉今日呢，呢位嘉賓，嗄 . . .【2:00】好犀利呀，嗄 . . . 噉多年嚟，大家都睇住佢，海陸空三軍，佢都係曾經涉獵過嘅，可以話呢，海陸空嘅大公關。而家呢，就係社會投資共享基金委員會嘅主席啦 ， 咁 ，佢亦都係香港公共關係專業人員協會嘅會員喎， 仲係呢，就喺恆隆地產集團傳訊及投 . . . 記者關係嘅董事嚟㗎。我想大家已經知道佢係邊位喇。冇錯，係我哋嘅大公關關則輝先生，早晨！
● 公關 gūng1 gwāan1 = public relations
● 海陸空三軍 hói2 luhk6 hūng1 sāam1 gwān1 = the navy, the army and the air force; it seems that 陸海空三軍 is also used. I am not sure what the phrase means in this context; perhaps it goes with the verb 涉獵 sip3 lihp6 to suggest that he has tried a lot of different kinds of work.
● 涉獵 sip3 lihp6 = (?) to dabble in; to dip into (not always with a negative connotation)
● 踏腳石 daahp6 geuk3 sehk6 = stepping stone
Continue reading “Hong Kong Footpath: Interview in Cantonese with Kwan Chuk-fai (Part 1)”