Learning Cantonese: The Pillar of Shame at HKU

One direct consequence of Hong Kong’s so-called “National Security” law has been the suppression of all forms of commemoration of the June Fourth Tian’anmen Massacre, a suppression that constitutes implicit denial. Just before Christmas, on 23 December, authorities at the University of Hong Kong order the dismantling and removal of the June Fourth memorial sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt. Not long after, two other universities followed suit, removing other expressions of commemoration linked to the 1989 Pro-democracy Movement and effectively betraying the aspirations of their respective student populations.

Not surprisingly, this report on the removal of the Pillar of Shame by reporter 林彥邦 Lam Yin-pong at Stand News was itself removed from the web after police raided the offices of the organization and arrested both staff and members of its board. However, at the time of writing this, a back-up version was still available on YouTube.

In Chinese, the Pillar of Shame (was) known as 國殤之柱 gwok3 sēung1 jī1 chyúh5. In Cantonese, 殤 sēung1 is not seen very often. It means “to die young” and in the compound 國殤 has the sense of “national martyr”. The connotations of the term are linked primarily with mourning rather than with shame, which is why Lam has to explain the English meaning at the end of his report.

One useful grammatical point in this video concerns a special class of verbs known as verb-object verbs. A common instance is a verb like 睇書 tái2 syū1 = “to read”, where 睇 is the verb “to see” and 書 is the noun “book”. Since aspect markers are generally attached to verbs (or co-verbs), verb-object verbs have to “split” in two when this happens. For example, when the aspect-marker for “finishing” 完 yùhn4 is added to the verb 拆彈 = “to defuse a bomb”, the aspect-marker appears between the verb and its object: 拆完彈. In another example, when the marker 埋 màaih4 (according to Intermediate Cantonese by Yip & Matthews this can mean “in addition to all the rest”) is used with the verb 報警 bou3 gíng2 = “to report (an incident) to the police”, we get 報埋警.

On the vocabulary side of things, you’ll encounter a few uses of the verb 剷 cháan2 = to shovel; to level off. In this video, it seems to have the sense of “to scrape (away)”. I have also heard it in reports of traffic accidents, where it seems to mean something like “to plough into” or perhaps “to shear”. It can also be used in soccer to denote a sliding tackle, 剷球 cháan2 kàuh4.

Please scroll down if you want the transcription, notes and rough English translation. Otherwise, you can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese only). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

各位歡迎收睇 |《三分鐘時事杯麵》| 今集節目嘅首播日係聖誕節 | 首先祝各位聖誕平安 | 本來佳節當前 | 想講啲輕鬆啲嘅議題 | 但作爲香港人 | 去到一年最後一個禮拜 | 都仲係冇鬆口氣嘅空間

國殤之柱係丹麥雕塑家 | 高志活嘅作品 | [Caption: 國殤之柱製作者高志活] | 廿幾年嚟,一直都矗立喺 | 港大黃克競平台 | 去到 2021年12月23號凌晨| [Caption: 2021.12.23 凌晨「國殤之柱」被拆走] | 被港大校方漏夜拆走 | 其實國殤之柱一開始 | 就已經唔係好受港大校方歡迎 | 時間返到去主權移交之前

● 佳節 gāai1 jit3 = happy festival time; festival | ● 丹麥 dāan1 mahk6 = Denmark | ● 雕塑家 dīu1 sou3 gāa1 = sculptor | ● 矗立 chūk1 laahp6 = stand tall & upright | ● 凌晨 lìhng4 sàhn4 = in the small hours; before dawn | ● 漏夜 lauh6 yeh6 = the dead of night | ● 主權 jyú2 kyùhn4 = sovereignty | ● 移交 yìh4 gāau1 = to turn over; to transfer

Welcome everyone to 3-minute Noodle Current Affairs. [Because] this edition is appearing for the first time on Christmas Day, let me first of all wish you all a Safe Christmas. Given the present festival atmosphere [佳節], I had originally planned to talk about some fairly light topics, but in this last week of the year, we Hongkongers still had no space in which to take a breather [冇鬆口氣嘅空間].

The Pillar of Shame is the work of Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt.

Caption: Jens Galschiøt, Maker of the Pillar of Shame

For the past twenty years, it has stood [矗立] on the Haking Wong Podium at the University of Hong Kong, until the early hours of 23 December 2021, when it was dismantled in the dead of night by the authorities at HKU and taken away.

Caption: In the Early Hours of 23 December 2021, the Pillar of Shame is Dismantled & Removed

Right from the beginning, in actual fact, the Pillar of Shame has never really been welcomed by the authorities at HKU. [When we go back] to the time before the transfer of sovereignty . . .

1:00】最後一次六四晚會之後 | 港大學生護送國殤之柱 | 送去港大校園 | 但當時港大派保安阻止 | 拒絕開車閘,仲報埋警 | 港大學生、支持者 | 就同保安同警方對峙 | 爭執咗一輪,國殤之柱最終先入到校園 | 去到1998年9月 | 港大學生會投票通過 | 國殤之柱永久喺黃克競平台展示 | 時間去到今年嘅6月 | 有團體向警察國安處投訴 | 指控國殤之柱散播仇恨 | 可能違反國安法 | 之後港大校方就提出 | 要拆走國殤之柱 | 半年之後嘅凌晨 | 佢哋深夜喐手 | 港大校委會就解釋話 | 國殤之柱日久失修 | 可能有安全問題,亦都 [有] 法律風險 | 實際理由係咩 | 大家心中有數 | 要留意嘅| 係港大校委會主席李國章 | 12月19號立法會選舉投票日 | 佢投票嗰陣話,國殤之柱 | 嘅擁有權問題未解決

● 護送 wuh6 sung3 = to escort; to convoy | ● 阻止 jó2 jí2 = to prevent; to stop; to hold back | ● 車閘 chē1 jaahp6 = (?) traffic barrier-gate | ● 報警 bou3 gíng2 = to report (an incident) to the police | ● 對峙 deui3 chíh5 = to stand facing each other; to confront | ● 爭執 jāng1 jāp1 = to disagree; to dispute; to stick to one’s guns | ● 一輪 yāt1 lèuhn4 = roughly, “a round” | ● 永久 wíhng5 gáu2 = permanent; perpetual; everlasting | ● 展示 jín2 sih6 = to reveal; to show; to lay bare | ● 散播 saan3 bo3 = to disseminate; to spread |● 仇恨 sàuh4 hahn6 = hatred; enmity; hostility | ● 喐手 yūk1 sáu2 = to start work; to get to work; to take action | ● 日久 yaht6 gáu2 = with the passing of time | ● 失修 sāt1 sāu1 = be in bad repair; fall into disrepair | ● 心中有數 sām1 jūng1 yáuh5 sou3 = have a pretty good idea of; know fairly well | ● 投票日 tòuh4 piu3 yaht6 = polling day | ● 擁有權 yúng2 yáuh5 kyùhn4 = (?) the right of possession; ownership

. . . after the last June Fourth Candle Vigil [六四晚會], the students of HKU escorted the Pillar of Shame back to the HKU campus. However, HKU dispatched security guards to stop them, refusing to lift the road-barrier [車閘] and reporting the matter to the police as well. There was a confrontation between HKU students and their supporters with security guards and the police. It was only after arguing the matter for a while [爭執咗輪] that the Pillar of Shame finally entered the campus. In September 1998, HKU students voted in favour of the Pillar of Shame remaining permanently on display on the Haking Wong Podium. Moving along to June this year, certain groups [團體] complained to the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force, claiming that the Pillar of Shame incited hatred [散播仇恨] and that it “might contravene the National Security Law”. Afterwards, HKU indicated that it intended to remove the Pillar of Shame. Six months later, in the small hours of the night, the university took action. The HKU board explained that the Pillar of Shame had, in the passage of time, fallen into disrepair and this quite possibly was a safety issue. In addition, there were legal risks [風險]. What the real reason was is something you all have a pretty good idea about. It is worth noticing that when voting on polling day on 19 December, the chairperson of the HKU board Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said that the issue of who owned the Pillar of Shame had not yet been resolved . . .

2:00】似乎未有動作 // | 但係三日之後,港大就喐手 | 而李國章本身仲有一個禮拜就離任 | 到底係巧合 [呀],等拆完彈先至走人呢?| 港大拆完國殤之柱 | 兩日之内 | 中大搬走咗民主女神像 | 剷走嗮民主牆上面嘅文宣 | 嶺大剷走咗六四浮雕 | 同民主女神壁畫 | 噉到底又係巧合,有人驚「執輸」| 定係收到指示呢? | 港澳辦主任夏寳龍 | [Caption: 夏寳龍 | 當年超過2000間基督教堂十字架被移除] | 做浙江省委書記嘅時候 | 拆走咗2000座教堂嘅十字架或者建築 | 又係咪巧合嚟呢?| 高志活嘅國殤之柱作品 | 總共有六座 | 分別喺香港、意大利羅馬 | 墨西哥墨西哥城 | 巴西巴西利亞 | 丹麥哥本哈根同埋 | 德國柏林 | 國殤之柱英文叫做 | pillars of shame | 恥辱柱 | 當其他五座國殤之柱都安然無恙 | 香港呢一座就喺矗立咗廿三年之後 | 漏夜被人拆走咗 | 成日稱呼自己係國際城市嘅香港

● 離任 lèih4 yahm6 = to leave one’s post | ● 拆彈 chaak3 dáan2 = (?) to defuse a bomb | ● 趁勢 chān1 sai3 = to take advantage of a favourable situation | ● 剷 cháan2 = to shovel; to level off | ● 文宣 màhn4 syūn1 = (?) a written declaration | ● 浮雕 fàuh4 dīu1 = a relief sculpture | ● 執輸 jāp1 syū1 = to miss (a great opportunity) | ● 十字架 sahp6 jih6 gaa3 = crucifix |● 總共 júng2 guhng6 = in all; altogether |● 安然無恙 [ng]ōn1 yìhn4 mòuh4 yeuhng6 = safe & sound; (escape) unscathed

. . . and it seemed that no moves were yet being made. However, three days later, HKU [authorities] set to work and, a week later, Arthur Li Kwok-cheung left his post. Is that just a coincidence, only leaving when the bomb has been defused [拆彈]? Two days after HKU removed the Pillar of Shame, the Chinese University of Hong Kong took away its Goddess of Democracy and scraped away all the written declarations posted up on Democracy Wall. Lingnan University also scraped off its June Fourth relief sculpture as well as the mural of the Goddess of Democracy. Now was this just a coincidence, with people worried that they might “miss out” on “a golden opportunity”, or had they received a directive?

Caption: Xia Baolong Removed over 2000 Crosses from Churches

When he was secretary of the Zhejiang provincial party committee, Xia Baolong, [current] head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, removed over 2000 church crosses [教堂嘅十字架] or [other] structures. Is this [another] coincidence? Jens Galschiøt’s Pillars of Shame includes a total of six pieces [located in] Hong Kong, Rome, Mexico City, Brasilia in Brazil, Copenhagen and Berlin. In English, they are known as the “Pillars of Shame” (that is, chi yuk chue in Cantonese). When the five other Pillars of Shame remain unscathed, in Hong Kong — where the Pillar of Shame stood tall for twenty-three years before being taken away in the dead of night — couldn’t people bear keeping a place for even this work of art . . .

3:00】係咪連呢一件藝術品都 [做唔落] 呢?| 又或者,拆走恥辱柱呢件事本身 | 就已經係一個恥辱 | 今個星期講到呢個先 | 節目完之前,我哋花多少少時間 | 懷愐一下,喺過去短短呢幾日 | 我哋又再失去咗啲乜嘢

● 做唔落 jouh6 mh4 lohk6 = (?) cannot bear to do cf. Sheik Cantonese: 噉做會棒打鴛鴦,我做唔落 = Doing this would break the couple apart. I cannot bear to do it | ● 懷愐 wàaih4 míhn5 = (?) to cherish the memory of; to recall

. . . despite all the talk about being “an international city”? Furthermore [又或者], to dismantle and remove a pillar of shame is itself a shameful thing. Well, that’s it for this week, but before the end of the program, let us spend a little more time recalling what more we have lost within the short space of just a few days.

Learning Cantonese: Introducing the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament

The idea for a Hong Kong Shadow Parliament was first proposed in July 2020 in response to the collapse of democracy in Hong Kong. Not long after, the following video was produced to introduce the concept of the HKSP and the plan to hold a first round of public consultations. Apart from trying to imagine an effective solution to the acute political problems facing Hong Kong, the video also presents a wealth of useful political vocabulary presented in a lively and very accessible manner.

Please scroll down if you want the transcription, notes and literal English translation. Otherwise, you can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese and English). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

For more up-to-date information about the activities of the HKSP, you can check out their website here.

You can also listen to Simon Cheng Man-kit talking about plans for the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament in English here.

旁白:各位香港人 | 喺近呢幾個月嚟,香港嘅政治形勢進一步惡化 | 本土嘅民主運動亦步入寒冬 | 我哋希望,喺呢度提出一個嶄新嘅方案 | 繼續為香港爭取真正嘅民主 | 呢個就係香港影子議會

Caption: 香港影子議會

現階段秘書處係一個籌備工作小組 | 目的係公正咁研究同實施成立影子議會嘅計劃 | 第一屆影子議會誕生之後 | 秘書處將會成為影子議會嘅常設秘書處 | 而秘書處嘅秘書長就要承諾秉持公正而中立嘅原則 | 唔能夠作為候選人參加影子議會嘅選舉 | 喺呢條短片入邊我哋將簡單介紹五個問題 | 等你哋可以對香港影子議會有更清晰嘅了解

Caption: 什麽是香港影子議會?

● 形勢 yìhng4 sai3 = situation | ● 惡化 ngok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | ● 步入寒冬 bouh6 yahp6 hòhn4 dūng1 = lit. “to step into cold Winter” | ● 嶄新 jáam2 sān1 = brand-new; completely new | ● 秘書處 bei3 syū1 chyu3 = secretariat | ● 公正 gūng1 jing3 = just; fair; impartial | ● 常設 sèuhng4 chit3 = standing; permanent | ● 秘書長 bei3 syū1 jéung2 = secretary-general | ● 秉持 bíng2 chìh4 = to uphold; to hold fast to  (cf. 秉持公心 = to uphold justice) | ● 候選人 hauh6 syún2 yàhn4 = a candidate

Voice-over: People of Hong Kong! In recent months, the political situation in Hong Kong has further deteriorated and the local democracy movement has stepped into a frigid Winter. It is our hope that, [in] putting forward a brand-new proposal here, [we can all] continue to strive for true democracy for Hong Kong. This [proposal] is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament.

Caption: Hong Kong Shadow Parliament

In its present stage, the secretariat is a preparatory working group [籌備工作小組]. Its aim is to impartially research and to realize the scheme for a shadow parliament. Once the Shadow Parliament is born, the Secretariat will become a permanent secretariat [常設秘書處] of the Shadow Parliament, and the secretary-general of the Secretariat must promise to uphold both justice as well as the principle of neutrality. [Also, the secretary-general] cannot take part in elections for the shadow parliament. In this video, we will provide a simple introduction to five questions in order to give you a clearer understanding of the HKSP.

Caption: What is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament?

1:00】影子議會係一個反映香港人心聲嘅民間團體 | 而非另一種形式嘅官方機構 | 香港影子議會係一個充滿透明度、包容性、負責人嘅平台 | 讓民選代表可以喺國際上代表香港人自由發聲 | 影子議會旨在讓香港人能夠以自由同公平嘅方式選出佢哋嘅代表 | 但係影子議會唔係流亡政府 | 影子議會並唔會仿效一個國家嘅職能 | 去規管或者解決香港有關嘅問題同香港人之間嘅事務

Caption: 爲什麽我們現在需要影子議會?

香港民主運動嘅議會路線同街頭路線 | 已經逐漸失去法律所容許嘅生存空間 | 喺新冷戰時代嘅背景之下 | 國際戰線將會喺香港民主運動中 . . .

● 心聲 sām1 sīng1 = heartfelt wishes; aspiration | ● 透明度 tau3 mìhng4 douh6 = transparency | ● 包容性 bāau1 yùhng4 sing3 = (?) inclusiveness | ● 旨在 jí2 joih6 = for the purpose of | ● 流亡政府 làuh4 mòhng4 jing3 fú2 = government in exile | ● 仿效 fóng2 haauh6 = to imitate; to follow the example of | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 規管 kwāi1 gún2 = (?) to regulate

The HKSP is a civil [non-governmental] organization that reflects the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, not an official organ in another form. It is a platform with a high degree of transparency [充滿透明度], inclusiveness [包容性] and accountability. It will enable elected representatives to speak out freely on behalf of Hongkongers on the international stage [喺國際上]. The purpose of the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament is to enable Hongkongers to elect their representatives in a free and fair manner. It is not a government in exile, nor will it [seek to] emulate the functions of a state [in] regulating or determining issues relating to Hong Kong or in matters between Hong Kong people.

Caption: Why Do We Now Need a Shadow Parliament?

Hong Kong’s democratic movement has gradually come to lose any legally-sanctioned room in which to exist, both in terms of the parliamentary avenue and on the streets [議會路線同街頭路線]. With the advent of a new Cold War, the international front will play a more important role . . .

2:00】. . . 扮演更重要嘅角色

Caption: 影子議會的功能有哪些?

第一:提供一個安全嘅地方以民主嘅方式 | 表達全體香港人嘅真正聲音 | 第二:為被剝奪正當政治權利嘅流亡港人 | 提供一個繼續發聲嘅平台 | 第三:透過投票選出代表,賦權予海外嘅香港人 | 加强佢哋與本地港人嘅連結 | 第四:凝聚國際陣線 | 作爲香港民主運動中其中一股日益重要嘅變革力量 | 第五:讓香港人有一個自由嘅空間進行議辯 | 培養公共政策嘅分析能力同提供民主教育 | 第六:提供令一種視覺,令更多香港人 | 了解現實香港政府當中嘅問題同政治制度上嘅不足 | 第七:為國際 . . .

● 賦權予 fu3 kyùhn4 yúh5 = roughly, “to vest power in (sb.)” | ● 連結 lìhn4 git3 = to connect | ● 凝聚 yìhng4 jeuih6 = (?) (to make) more cohesive | ● 陣線 jahn6 sin3 = a front; ranks; an alignment | ● 變革 bin3 gaak3 = to transform; to change | ● 議辯 yíh5 bihn6 = (?) to discuss | ● 培養 pùih4 yéuhng5 = to foster; to train; to develop | ● 視覺 sih6 gok3 = vision (usu. in the sense of “eyesight”)

. . . in Hong Kong’s democratic movement.

Caption: What Will the Functions of the Shadow Parliament Be?

It can provide a secure place to express the true voices of all Hongkongers in a democratic fashion. 2. To provide a platform on which Hongkongers in exile who have been deprived of [their] legitimate political rights can go on having a voice [發聲]. 3. To give power to overseas Hongkongers by means of the election of representatives and to strengthen their connections with Hongkongers still in Hong Kong. 4. To make the international front more cohesive, so that it can serve an ever increasingly important revolutionary force in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. 5. To give Hongkongers a free space in which to debate issues [so as] to foster the ability to analyse public policy and to provide education in democracy. 6. To provide an alternative vision, enabling more Hongkongers to gain an understanding of problems with the current Hong Kong government and inadequacies in the political system. 7. To establish . . .

3:00】 . . . 陣線上嘅各方建立一個透明、包容、問責嘅機制 | 確保佢哋代表香港人嘅真正意願 | 第八:成為一個受大衆認可、支持嘅平台,確立同强化 | 各個倡議團體嘅民主正當性

Caption: 影子議會將在那裏舉行

對於影子議會秘書處嚟講 | 香港市民嘅私隱安全最爲重要 | 喺考慮到呢啲風險嘅情況下 | 影子議會秘書處會採取一切必要嘅措施 | 保障參與影子議會事務嘅市民安全 | 喺投票方面,由於喺香港設立投票站嘅風險太大 | 所以成個投票過程會喺網上進行 | 秘書處會同與遙距投票同網絡安全專家合作 | 建立一個安全嘅投票平台 | 我哋亦都會鼓勵香港人透過虛擬專用網絡 . . .

● 問責 mahn6 jaak3 = to call to account | ● 機制 gē1 jai3 = a mechanism | ● 意願 yi3 yuhn6 = a wish; a desire; an aspiration | ● 認可 yihng6 hó2 = to approve | ● 確立kok3 laahp6 = to establish | ● 正當性 jing3 dong3 sing3 = (?) legitimate cf. 正當 jing3 dong3 = proper; appropriate; legitimate | 倡議團體 cheung3 yíh5 tyùhn4 tái2 = (?) advocacy group cf. 倡議 = 1. to propose 2. initiative| ● 私隱安全 sī1 yán2 [ng]ōn1 chyùhn4 = (?) safety & privacy | ● 必要 bīt1 yiu3 = necessary; essential; indispensable | ● 遙距 yìuh4 kéuih5 = roughly, “[at a] remote [distance]” | ● 擬專用網絡 yíh5 jyūn1 yuhng6 móhng5 lok3 = virtual private network (VPN)

. . . a transparent, inclusive and accountable [問責] mechanism for the various parties in the international front in order to ensure that they represent the true aspirations of the Hong Kong people. 8. To become a platform approved of, and supported by, the general public, as well as establishing and/or strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the various advocacy groups.

Caption: Where Will the Shadow Parliament Conduct Its Affairs [舉行]?

With regard to the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament, the most important thing is the security of personal information of Hong Kong citizens. Bearing these risks in mind, the Secretariat of Shadow Parliament will adopt the necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens taken part in the work of the Shadow Parliament. With regard to voting, because setting up polling stations in Hong Kong is too risky, the whole voting process will the carried out on-line. The Secretariat will work together with experts on internet security and remote voting [同與遙距投票] to establish a secure voting platform. We will also encourage Hongkongers to [vote] by using . . .

4:00】. . . VPN | 喺影子議會選舉當中投票嘅 | 喺參選同代表權方面 | 影子議會秘書處承認 | 候選人喺香港進行本地工作嘅可能性較低 | 影子議會嘅候選人大多會身處海外國家

Caption: 影子議會將於何時運作?

作為同普羅大衆利益相關嘅問題 | 我哋將會確定具體嘅計劃之前 | 進行完整嘅公衆諮詢 | 喺呢個關鍵嘅時刻 | 我哋提出「香港影子議會」想法嘅雛形 | 希望可以為香港人提供新嘅憧憬、引發想像 | 並開始喺固有框架之外思考 | 現時喺國安法嘅陰影之下 | 香港人已經無法再喺體制内爭取到民主自由 | 希望影子議會能夠讓香港人繼續堅持住初心 | 為香港嘅民主自由繼續出一分力

● 普羅大衆 póu2 lòh4 daaih6 jung3 = the public | ● 代表權 doih6 bíu2 kyùhn4 = representation | ● 承認 sìhng4 yihng6 = to admit; to acknowledge; to recognize | ● 身處 sān1 chyu3 = in (some place) / to be in (adversity, a difficult situation, danger, turmoil etc) / to find oneself in / placed in / surrounded by | ● 確定kok3 dihng6 = to define; to fix; to determine | ● 諮詢 jī1 seun3 = to seek advice from; to consult | ● 雛形 chō1 yìhng4 = embryonic form | ● 憧憬 chūng1 gíng2 = to long for; to look forward to | ● 引發 yáhn5 faat3 = (in chemistry) initiation | ● 陰影 yām1 yíng2 = shadow | ● 初心 chō1 sām1 = beginner’s mind; one’s original intention | ● 出一分力 chēut1 yāt1 fahn6 lihk6 = (?) to make an effort; to make a contribution to

. . . a virtual private network when voting in elections for the Shadow Parliament. With regard to taking part in the elections and the issue of representation, the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament acknowledges that the possibility of candidates doing work in Hong Kong is low, and that the majority of candidates will be in foreign countries.

Caption: When will the Shadow Parliament Operate?

Since this is an issue closely bound up with the good of the general public, before we determine any specific, concrete [具體] plans, we will conduct a complete public consultation. At this crucial time, we are proposing the embryonic form of the idea of a HKSP in the hope of providing Hongkongers with something new to look forward to [新嘅憧憬], to spark [people’s] imaginations and to start to try thinking outside the box [喺固有框架之外思考]. At present, in the dark shadow of the National Security Law, Hongkongers can no longer struggle for democracy and freedom within the system, [and so for this reason] it is hoped that the Shadow Parliament can enable Hongkongers to maintain their original intention and to continue working towards democracy and freedom for Hong Kong.

5:00】影子議會秘書處將會負責進行公衆諮詢 | 成員將會包括政治組織成員 | 知名社運人士 | 政治人物 | 以及擁有跨光譜協調經驗嘅知名法律及政治學者 | 呢啲學者喺有關議題上嘅經驗 | 對公衆諮詢工作至關重要 | 佢哋能夠協助諮詢中立咁進行 | 以得出嚴謹並有代表性嘅諮詢結果 | 我哋將依據公衆諮詢嘅意見 | 釐定日後嘅時間表同路線圖 | 我哋並唔會同仍然有意喺體制内 | 爭取民主嘅同道互相競爭 | 我哋並冇企圖取代目前香港各級議會嘅職能 | 我哋會支持任何仍然喺體制内嘅民主力量 | 我哋亦並非要求民衆從體制内或體制外嘅「兩個議會」當中二選其一 | 我哋只係希望賦權俾香港人

● 協調 hip3 tìuh4 = 1. harmonious 2. to coordinate | ● 嚴謹 yìhm4 gán2 = rigorous; strict | ● 依據 yī1 geui3 = according to; in the light of; on the basis of | ● 釐定 lèih4 dihng6 = work out and stipulate (rules and regulations etc.) | ● 路線圖 louh6 sin3 tòuh4 = a route map; a roadmap | ● 有意 yáuh5 yi3 = 1. to be inclined to 2. intentionally; deliberately | ● 同道 tùhng4 douh6 = people engaged in the same pursuit | ● 企圖 kéih5 tòuh4 = to attempt; to try (usu. with a negative connotation) | ● 取代 chéui2 doih6 = to replace; to supersede; to supplant | ● 各級 gok3 kāp1 = all or different levels | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 二選其一 yih6 syún2 kèih4 yāt1 = (?) to choose between two options | ● 賦權 fu3 kyùhn4 = (?) to entrust with power

The Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament will undertake to hold public consultations, and its members will include members of political organizations, high-profile social activists [知名社運人士], political figures, as well as well-known legal and political scholars with experience of co-ordinating across the [political] spectrum [擁有跨光譜協調經驗]. With [their] experience on relevant issues, these scholars are of vital importance to the work of public consultation. They can help the consultation to be carried out with neutrality, thus achieving consultation outcomes that are both rigorous and representative. On the basis of the opinions [expressed] in the public consultation, we ill work out a timetable and a roadmap for the days ahead. Under no circumstances will we compete with those people who are still struggling within the system for democracy. Nor do we seek to supersede the functions of the various levels of council [議會] in Hong Kong at present. We will lend support to any force struggling for democracy within the system. We will not demand that people make a choice between councils/parliaments [議會] working within or outside the system. Our only wish is to empower Hongkongers . . .

6:00】提供多一種路徑能夠更安全同有效咁實現民主 | 關於選民同候選人資格 | 選舉制度同系統等等嘅問題 | 將會喺第一次公衆諮詢當中討論 | 如果你有興趣了解更多關於影子議會嘅細節同最新消息 | 歡迎參考影子議官方網站同社交媒體

我哋再一次感謝大家對香港民主運動嘅關注同支持 | 希望影片能夠清楚解釋影子議會概念 | 並且期待喺不久嘅將來能夠提供更多有關影子議會嘅最新消息 | 我哋會繼續努力為香港建立真正嘅民主

● 資格 jī1 gaak3 = qualifications | ● 參考 chām1 háau2 = to consult; to refer to | ● 期待 kèih4 doih6 = to expect; to await; to look forward to

. . . and to provide another choice [路徑] for the safer and more effective realization of democracy. With regard to [the question of who] is eligible to vote and to stand as a candidate, [as well as] the set-up and system [制度同系統] of the elections, [we will] discuss [this] in the first round of public consultations. If you would like to know more about the details or latest information regarding the Shadow Parliament, please refer to the official website of the Shadow Parliament and other social media sites.

We thank you again for your interest in the democracy movement of Hong Kong and your support. We hope that this video has given you a clear explanation of the concept the Shadow Parliament. We look forward to providing updates about the Shadow Parliament in the near future. [In the meantime,] we will continue to strive on behalf of Hong Kong for the establishment of genuine democracy.

Learning Cantonese: Hong Kong’s Stand News under Threat

The following short video on the crackdown on 《立場新聞》Stand News appears on the HK01 website here.

警方國安處星期三朝早 | 去到《立場新聞》副採訪主任 | 記協主席陳朗昇位於大圍嘅寓所蒐證之後 | 再帶佢去到佢屋企人喺大埔嘅寓所調查 | 佢未有被捕 | 另外,喺差唔多同一時間 | 國安處人員拘捕《立場新聞》| 六名現任高層或者係前高層 | 其中一名被捕嘅署理總編輯林紹桐 | 被帶到《立場新聞》位於觀塘嘅辦公室調查 | 據了解,林紹桐已經即時辭職 | 調查近四個鐘頭之後就將佢帶走 | 探員又喺辦公室撿走幾十箱證物 | 包括電腦同埋文件 | 之後有貨車運走 | 被捕人士中包括前總編輯鐘沛權 | 四名前董事何韻詩、吳靄儀、方敏生同埋周達智 | 佢哋涉嫌串謀發布煽動性刊物罪 | 喺成個行動入面 | 警方動員超過200人 | 探員離開現場之後 | 部分員工返去辦公室 | 另外,《蘋果日報》前副社長陳沛敏 | 喺大欖懲教所被捕 | 同樣係涉嫌串謀發布煽動刊物 | 據悉佢有份參與喺《立場新聞》撰文

● 警方國安處 gíng2 fōng1 gwok3 [ng]ōn1 chyu3 = National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force | ● 副採訪主任 fu3 chói2 fóng2 jyú2 yahm6 = deputy assignment editor | 記協主席 gei3 hip3 jyú2 jihk6 = chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association | ● 署理總編輯 chyúh5 léih5 júng2 pīn1 chāp1 = acting chief editor | ● 探員 taam3 yùhn4 = detective constable | ● 董事 dúng2 sí6*2 = a board member; a director | ● 動員 duhng6 yùhn4 = to mobilize | ● 撰文 jaahn6 màhn4 = (?) to write articles

Early this morning (Wednesday 29 December), after the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force visited the Tai Wai residence of Ronson Chan Long-sing, deputy assignment editor, they took him to the home of a family-member in Tai Po to carry out a search. He has not yet been arrested. In other news, at around the same time, personnel from the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force arrested six people who currently hold upper-level positions [現任高層] or who did so formerly, one of them being acting chief editor Patrick Lam, who was taken to the Stand News office located in Kwun Tong where a search was conducted. It is understood that Lam has already stepped down. After a search lasting nearly four hours, he was taken away. Detectives [探員] also examined and took away [撿走] several dozen [幾十] boxes of evidence, including computers and documents. Later, these were transported [from the scene] by truck. Those arrested include the former editor-in-chief Chung Pui-kuen as well as four former directors, Denise Ho, Margaret Ng, Christine Fang and Chow Tat-chi. They are suspected of conspiracy to distribute seditious publications. In the operation, the police deployed more than 200 people. After detectives had left the scene, a number of employees returned to the office. Furthermore, Chan Pui-man, former associate editor at Apple Daily, was taken into custody from the Tai Lam Correctional Institution. She is also suspected of conspiracy to distribute seditious publications. It is believed that she contributed articles to Stand News.

Hong Kong: Once in a Million Years

For the past two years, Hong Kong has been repeatedly in the international spotlight. A decisive clash between civilizations is the main reason for such world interest, the Chinese desperate to make good the wrongs done to it by the British Empire in the nineteenth century, while Western nations strive to preserve a remnant of threatened democracy. But I think something else ― and potentially far more important ― is ultimately at stake.

In February this year, Hong Kong’s Stand News produced a video entitled “If Today is the Last Day of Freedom” [假如這是自由的最後一天], about a number of dangerous “criminals” facing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. It begins with 24-year-old 鄒家成 Owen Chow, who uses his last free day to see a movie and get a new tattoo ― “If I’m put away, maybe sometimes I won’t be in control of my feelings, . . . Perhaps seeing this [tattoo] will calm me down a bit”. There’s 岑子傑 Jimmy Shum, who rolls his own cigarettes and wears rainbow shoelaces in his boots. There’s 袁嘉蔚 Tiffany Yuen, shown hugging her life-size Buzz Lightyear doll in anticipation of the loss of such comforts should she be taken into custody immediately. And then there’s 呂智恆 Hendrick Lui, one of the few individuals to be granted bail. Ironically, we see him at work on the street, encouraging passers-by to write letters to other Hong Kong democracy activists already behind bars.

These individuals are just a few of the 53 people arrested on 6 January for allegedly “conspiring to commit subversion”, a grave violation of the new National Security Law. Of these, some were released, while 47 were granted bail and told to report to their local police station on 8 April. However, at the end of February, they were contacted to report to police five weeks earlier than originally scheduled. They then appeared in court on the same day and, after a protracted hearing, most of them were denied bail and were taken into custody. At the time of writing, they are still in detention awaiting trial, scheduled now for November.

What was their offence? They had all taken part in peaceful and perfectly legal primary elections in July 2020 in an attempt to identify the strongest candidates for the Legislative Council elections planned for later in the year.

When Hong Kong reverted to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, it was written into the Basic Law of the Territory that gradual progress would be made towards granting Hongkongers the right to elect their own law-makers and even eventually their Chief Executive. However, a counterfeit system was put in place that meant most members of the legislative council were not directly elected, and that made it virtually impossible for pan-democrats to gain a majority anyway. Nevertheless, after the Million-people Protest March of 9 June 2019 and the months of demonstrations that followed, supporters of Hong Kong democracy scored a massive victory in the November 2019 district elections, and at that point a pro-democratic majority in the Legislative Council became practically thinkable. For this reason, not long after, the National Security Law was enacted and democracy was effectively criminalized. The promise of universal suffrage ― so long flouted and frustrated ― was finally openly broken.

The response from supporters of Hong Kong democracy was summed up by the writer 鄧小樺 Tang Siu Wa ― currently Chief Curator of the House of Hong Kong Literature ― who said in a video interview with Vision Times:

I hope that the international community will be able to make the Chinese people ― and make China as a whole ― regain some respect for what it means to make a promise. “One Country, Two Systems” is an international promise. Supposedly, it is a solemn promise. If a promise is being ripped to shreds, this can’t happen without any consequences, there ought to be consequences. Then all of us, [working] together, should make the people who broke their promise face up to the consequences. That’s how it ought to be.

Have you ever wondered what Hong Kong truly is? On my first trip there in 1998, my head was already filled with the usual misconceptions. The glossy Baedeker I bought to guide me on my journey only helped to cement the stereotypes: Victoria Harbour with its sky-scraping corporate architecture, and the shops of Kowloon, crowded ― just as Ainslie Meares once described it ― with groups of “jabbering tourists on their world cruise bent on buying junk”. Nothing could have been further from the truth. My small flat in the village of Cheung Shue Tan was just down the road from the pristine mountain streams and abundant wildlife of the Tai Po Kau nature reserve, and within easily travelling distance of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple in Sha Tin, where the gold-coated “diamond body” of its founder, Reverend Yuet-kai, can be seen in its glass case on the altar. Without realizing what was happening, I gradually came under the spell of the “Hong Kong Effect”.

I’ve spent the last ten years trying to clarify this phenomenon as it affects people from English-speaking countries. In a book called Hong Kong: A Moment in Time (1997), there’s a collection of one-line explanations gathered from many sources. For some people, the appeal is primarily energetic, and expressed in formulae such as “Hong Kong is all about living life to the full ― work hard, play hard, make money, spend money, nothing in moderation”. This view is often supported with evidence from fung shui, according to which the flows of ch’i concentrated in the Territory infuse this little corner with energy and vitality to a degree which perhaps nowhere else in China possesses, as Richard Gee puts it.

Other explanations build on this, suggesting the laissez-faire business attitude of the Chinese colony leads to a high degree of social autonomy which is remarkably enabling: “A unique, multi-national pin prick on the map which gives everybody a chance in life”. In some cases, Hong Kong even manages to transform people entirely, leading them to an identity they could have never have imagined for themselves back home. Take Gregory Rivers from Gympie in Queensland, who fell in love with Cantonese pop music while studying at the University of New South Wales. Eventually, he abandoned his medical degree and came to Hong Kong on a one-way ticket in 1987. He remains there to this day, having reinvented himself as 河國榮 Ho Kwok-wing, actor, singer and fluent Cantonese-speaker.

However, I think the most promising answer to the riddle is the following cryptic statement: “Hong Kong is a privilege of the twentieth century”. Privilege? Light is shed on this by 莫華德 Barbara Ward, another individual miraculously transmuted by Hong Kong. In Chinese Festivals, a book she worked on with the photographer 羅美娜Joan Law Mee Nar, she points out that contemporary, industrialised Hong Kong is also a centre of flourishing Chinese traditionalism, where the spectacular festival activities forbidden in mainland China ― including celebrations of the birthdays of the Sea Goddess Tin Hau and the Buddhist goddess of Mercy, Goon Yam ― unexpectedly live on. It may be that the profound stability of the Chinese ritual cycle facilitates Hong Kong’s high-degree of creativity, innovation and resilience, providing an optimal channel for social, environmental and technological change to happen without excessive turmoil or dislocation.

But there’s more to it than this conjunction of authentic tradition and sophisticated modernity. Another facet of Hong Kong’s privilege is that it has managed to fuse ― over more than 150 years of continuous effort ― two great but vastly different cultures. An enormous price has been paid for this in terms of human suffering, social injustice, and great divisions of wealth, opportunity and wellbeing, but the resulting hybrid is a priceless treasure, something both Eastern and Western, and at the same time neither Chinese nor Anglo-European ― an entity unique in the history of the world. To me, it is an attempt to imagine what the future could look like, beyond the self-enclosed, nation-obsessed, toxically “patriotic” states that most of us find ourselves caught up in today.

As Jan Morris reminded us in her 1998 book Hong Kong/Xiangang, China’s loss of territory to England as a result of the Opium Wars was utterly devastating. The then emperor Dao Guang, she writes, “was seen by courtiers, incredulously wandering his palace in the night, murmuring ‘impossible, impossible’, and repeatedly sighing”. Dao Guang’s lament continues to resonate loudly in the Chinese psyche, and is perfectly audible now in the People’s Republic of China. Yet, reasonable as they might seem, such claims to lost territory are questionable. The Hong Kong journalist 陳寳珣 Chan Bou-seun puts them into perspective in his novel Love Song for a Sinking Island [沒島戀曲] (2015):

Some said that Ah Cho had left Hong Kong and gone to Europe somewhere, and that he had changed his field of research to the sovereignty of nations and the constitution. He was writing a thesis on the subject of the creation and break-up of ancient Rome, with the purpose of looking into the legal principles behind why Italy did not announce that much of Europe and the Middle East was its own innate territory on the basis of the fact that these places had once been part of the Roman Empire. Over the course of history, in Europe, the Middle East and in Turkey, a succession of empires had emerged straddling a number of regions, and they had all ruled for many centuries. Why didn’t they go on carrying the historical burden of a unified nation and insist on revitalizing the territory of a Greece, a Rome, or an Ottoman Empire, instead of choosing the way of break-up and self-rule?

Here Chan suggests that the move towards “revitalization” is both imperialistic and anachronistic, for history has already shown that the time for empires is over. What 鄒家成 Owen Chow had tattooed on his right inner forearm on his last free day was the mantra Om mani padme hum in Tibetan script, a prayer for enlightenment and the cultivation of a new way of being. Rather than yearn for the past, let us continue to pray forwards for Hong Kong, neither “country” nor “system”, just an inspiring social possibility for the future that perhaps only comes to us once in a million years.

Learning Cantonese: 7.21 尋源 Seeking the Sources of 21 July

Yuen Long, c. 1960

This is neither pleasant nor easy watching, but if you are concerned about what is going on in Hong Kong then this Stand News video on the 2019 21 July Yuen Long Mob Attacks is essential viewing.

The “revised” view of the incident as a clash between protestors and pro-government forces is precisely what the video wants to challenge. This challenge involves four aspects, two of which are covered in this first part (the first 7 minutes). Firstly, there is the testimony of Mr So, who was attacked by a stick-wielding mob on his way home from work. Given the fact that he was unarmed and alone calls into question the idea that the attacks were an act of self-defence on the part of locals. Nothing about Mr So suggests that he was part of pro-Hong Kong plot to overrun Yuen Long in order to liberate [光復] it.

The second aspect is the influence of the pro-Beijing group “Safeguard Hong Kong” [守護香港]. One of the “men in white” [白衣人] was seen wearing a marshall’s token [糾察牌] on which the name of the organization was written. Also of possible relevance are the comments of 石鏡泉 Arthur Shek Kang Chuen who, at a large rally organized by Safeguard Hong Kong at Tamar Park on 20 July, urged members of the audience to find a cane rod or a length of water piping “to teach the kids a lesson” [教仔]. Also relevant here is the woman 李璧而 Sandy Li Pik Yee, the convenor of a pro-Beijing group called [珍惜群組], who led a small demonstration in Yuen Long on the night of the attacks and who, by her own admission, had worked as a marshall at Safeguard Hong Kong events. Recently, Sandy Lee also filed a complaint against Eddie Yip, the judge who sentenced seven of the men in white so far charged over the Attacks.

The third very important aspect concerns a poster allegedly circulated by protestors carrying the inflammatory wording “Capture Yuen Long and You’ll Gain the Whole Empire” [得元朗得天下]. In the second part of this video, we will see that evidence uncovered by Stand News shows that, although the origins of this poster are impossible to determine, its earliest traceable appearance was on a Weibo page called “Dust in the Wind” [風中微塵] run by a woman married to a Hong Kong policeman and known for her active support of the police force. The final aspect involves the role of certain organizations in the New Territories, especially the various Rural Committees [鄉委會] and also a “New Territories Working Group” attached to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government 中聯辦新界工作部部長, headed by a man called 李薊貽 Li Jiyi.

I hope to post the remaining two parts in the coming weeks.

Please scroll down for my transcription (unfortunately, the remarks of both Mr So and Sandy Lee are a bit unclear, so I have transcribed the Chinese subtitles as well), English translation and notes. You can view the video here (subtitles in English and Standard Written Chinese only). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


旁白:7.21 [七二一] 元朗襲擊事件兩周年 | 過去連儂牆已經空白一片 | 只係剩低每個月嘅21號 | 有大批警員駐守

蘇先生:(字幕)香港人沒有忘記7.21事件| 只係形式上不同了,不在牆上,在心中(粵語)香港人呢,都係忘記7.21呢件事 [呢] | 只係 [形式]可能 // 形式上唔同 [啦], 唔度,// 心入便咁樣

白衣人:(字幕) 不聽話就打

蘇先生:我最想知嘅唔係邊個打我 [嘛] | 我最想知嘅係點解會打 | 後邊 [邊]個 策劃成件事係點樣發生嘅

李璧而:(字幕)他們(示威者)吹得好犀利 | 說「得元朗得天下」| 整件事是爲了守護元朗 | 守護自己的家園而被迫還手 | 這就是真相(粵語) 佢哋吹得好緊要 | 話「得元朗得天下」| 成件事呢,[都係咗] 守護元朗[咋嘛] |守護自己嘅家園被迫還手 | 呢個就係真相

● 連儂牆 lìhn4 nùhng4 chèuhng4 = Lennon Wall | ● 空白一片 hūng1 baahk6 yāt1 pin3 = roughly, “completely blank” | ● 駐守 jyu3 sáu2 = to garrison; to defend | ● 策劃 chaak3 waahk6 = to plan; to plot; to scheme; to engineer | ● 家園 gāa1 yùhn4 = home; homeland | ● 還手 wàahn4 sáu2 = to strike back; to hit back; to retaliate

Voice-over: It is the second anniversary of the 21 July Yuen Long Mob Attacks. The Lennon Wall that was once here is now completely blank and the only reminder of the incident [只係剩低] is the large police presence [大批警員駐守] here on the 21st of every month.

Mr So: The people of Hong Kong haven’t forgotten the 21 July Yuen Long Attacks. It’s just that [we] remember it in a different form — not on a wall but in [our] hearts and minds.

Attacker: (Subtitles) If you disobey, we will hit you.

Mr So: What I really want to know is not who hit me. What I really want to know is why they did it, who the people were behind it were, and how it happened.

Sandy Lee Pik-yee: They (the anti-extradition protestors) were talking up things [吹] in the most exaggerated fashion, saying that if they captured Yuen Long they would then have taken all of China [得元朗得天下]. The whole incident was merely a matter of protecting Yuen Long. We were forced to protect our homeland. That is the truth of it.

【1:00】遭襲擊嘅市民: (字幕)不要打呀 | 只是放工回家呀 | 把眼鏡還給他

旁白:7.21 兩周年 | 事件由最初公認嘅白衣人襲擊市民 | 變成建制所講有「暴徒」| 帶人入元朗掀起雙方衝突 | 究竟7.21係點樣發生呢?| 白衣人背後有冇組織呢?| 「得元朗得天下」厘個消息 | 又係點嚟呢?| 立場新聞翻查當日嘅閉路電視同網絡片段 | 分析互聯網歷史數據,追尋新線索

Caption: 7.21尋源 Seeking the Sources of 21 July

旁白:做厨師嘅蘇先生 . . .

● 建制 gin3 jai3 = (a) pro-establishment or pro-Beijing (organization) | ● 掀起 hīn1 héi2 = to set off (a movement, etc.); to start | ● 翻查 fāan1 chàah4 = roughly, “to look through” | ● 追尋 jēui1 chàhm4 = to pursue; to search; to track down

People being attacked: (Subtitles) Don’t hit [us]. We’ve finished work and we’re just going back home. Give him back his glasses.

Voice-over: On the second anniversary of the 21 July Yuen Long Attacks, the incident has gone from being an attack on civilians by the men in white to what pro-Beijing groups [call] the taking of thugs into Yuen Long to provoke conflicts between the two parties [that is, pro-Beijing parties and pro-Hong Kong parties]. Why in the final analysis did 21 July happen? Was there a particular organization behind the men in white? And where did the news [concerning] the “capture of Yuen Long” come from? The Stand News [team] has looked through footage from closed-circuit TV and the internet from that day, and analyzed historical data from the internet in pursuit of fresh clues.

Mr So, who works as a chef . . .

【2:00】. . . 2019年7月21日,夜晚9點幾收工嘅時候 | 喺元朗鳳攸北街 | 被一班白衣人用藤條襲擊 | 一年後,警方先至安排認人手續 | 蘇先生兩次都認唔到

Caption: 蘇先生 | 7.21襲擊事件傷者 | Mr So | A Victim of the 21 July [Yuen Long] Mob Attacks

蘇先生: (字幕) 爲何事隔一年後才找我認人?| 一年了,甚麽記憶也衝淡了 | 怎會認到人?| 我自己嘗試過找線索找資料 | 方向是7.21(襲擊)前有一個小遊行 | 圍繞元朗行一圈 | 主題和之後的7.21襲擊都好相似 | 都是穿白色衫、手持藤條之類 (粵語)點解要隔咗一年先我認人呢?| 一年 [喇] 喎,我咩記憶都衝淡咗啦 | 唔會認得人 [吖] | 我自己我都 試過去揾一啲線索囉,揾一啲資料囉 | [主要] 方向就係因爲當時7.21之前係有一個叫做遊行仔咁樣 [啦],係呀 | 噉啊圍繞元朗繞 [轉一週] // | 其實個主題同 // 之後7.21襲擊都好相似 | 都係白色衫呀、可能攞啲,啫,藤條咁嘅嘢囉

● 藤條 tàhng4 tíu4*2= (a length of) cane | ● 認人手續 yihng6 yàhn4 sáu2 juhk6 = (?) an identity/identification parade | ● 衝淡 chūng1 daahm6/táahm5 = ① to dilute ② to water down; to weaken; to play down | ● 線索 sin3 sok3 = a clue; a thread | ● 圍繞 wàih4 yíu2 = round; around

. . . was attacked by a group of men in white wielding cane rods [藤條] some time after 9 p.m. on 21 July 2021 after work in Fung Yau Street North. A whole year went by before the police organized [two] identity parades, but on both occasions Mr So didn’t recognize any [of the participants].

Mr So: Why did a whole year go by [隔咗一年] before I was contacted about identifying suspects [認人]? A whole year! Any memories I had had begun to fade; it was unlikely that I’d recognize anyone. Off my own bat [我自己] I once tried to search for a few clues, a bit of material [UNCLEAR] the direction [of the search being] a mini-demonstration [遊行仔] that did a circuit of Yuen Long before [the] 21 July [Yuen Long Attacks]. The theme (?) of the demonstration was similar to that of the later 21 July Attacks. There were people wearing white and maybe some of them were carrying things like cane rods.

【3:00】根據鳳攸北街商戶提供嘅閉路電視片段 | 7.21當日下晝6點幾開始 | 有白衣人聚集同派口罩 | 直至8點幾,更開始有大批白衣人聚集 | 其中一支閉路電視影到 | 三分鐘内有大約二百名白衣人行過 | 差唔多8點嗰陣,仲有一個小型遊行 | 佢哋二、三十人住「保衛元朗 | 保衛家園」嘅標語同區旗遊行

蘇先生:發現咗另一個建制派人士呢 | 叫李璧而 [啦],係一個叫做「珍惜群組」嘅召集人 [啦]

旁白:蘇先生話,自己喺連登討論區 | 出貼討論呢個索,點知有網民留言 | 話有條片聽到李璧而

Gladys Hou 香港突發事故報料區


Gladys Hou Zone for the Reporting [報料] of Unexpected Incidents in Hong Kong (Screenshot from the LIHKG website)

I’m terribly worried!!! Could I please trouble you all to pass on this news: in Kai Tei in Yuen Long, there are large numbers of triad members wearing white, near the Western Rail Station, waiting to ambush protestors returning from demonstrations. They really could beat people up! This news is 100% definite. I ask you to spread [the news] widely, and tell fellow protestors [手足] to be careful and steer well clear of the area.

● 標語 bīu1 yúh5 = slogan; poster + here perhaps “a placard; a sign” (usu.  標語牌) | ● 連登討論區 Lihn4 Dāng1 tóu2 lèuhn4 kēui1 = LIHKG discussion area; meeting area | ● 嗌咪 = cf. 嗌 aai3 = to shout; to yell + 咪 māi1 = microphone (cf. 咪高峰 māi1 gōu1 fūng1)

Notes: LIHKG is a multi-category forum website based in Hong Kong. The website has gained popularity since its launch in 2016, and is often referred to as the Hong Kong version of Reddit (Wikipedia).  雞地gāi1 deih6 or Kai Tei (meaning “chicken land”) in English is located is a place in the south-east part of Yuen Long. The name derives from the fact that there was once a poultry market there that sold chickens and ducks.

Voice-over: On the basis of [根據] CCTV footage provided by traders in Fung Yau Street North, on the day of the 21 July [Yuen Long Attacks], from around 6 p.m., men dressed in white began to assemble and hand out face masks. This went on till around 8 p.m., when large numbers of men dressed in white joined those already assembled. One of the CCTV cameras recorded [影到] the approach of around 200 men dressed in white in the space of 3 minutes [三分鐘内]. At around 8 p.m., there was also a small-scale demonstration, of around 20 to 30 people. They held up placards on which was written “Defend Yuen Long, Defend Our Homeland” and Hong Kong flags as they marched.

Mr So: I came across another pro-Beijing figure by the name of Sandy Li Pik Yee. She’s the convenor of something called the Cherish Group [珍惜群組].

Voice-over: Mr So said that he posted something about this clue on a discussion forum on LIHKG. To his surprise, a netizen said that there was a video of Sandy Lee shouting [slogans] into a microphone.


旁白:而畫面見到呢一個男人 | 身上帶住「守護香港」嘅糾察牌 | 閉路電視亦見到呢個男人 | 曾經同一大班白衣人一齊出入

蘇先生:(字幕)這個人跟另一張相片中在九樓内 | 手持藤條影相的男子非常相似 | 「守護香港」糾察牌 | 我一看便記得之前一個「守護香港」集會 | 一班親政府人士在添馬公園舉辦集會 | 這些容易令人聯想,像所有東西都有關連(粵語)呢個人我原來同另一張相喺個酒樓度 | 唔知攞住藤條影相個係好似 | 「守護香港」個糾察牌 | ,我睇 . . . 記得就喺早排一個叫做「守護香港」嘅集會 [嘛] | 係一班,啫,親政府人士啦,舉行嘅集會,喺添馬公園 | 啫 // 呢啲 [咪] // 容易令人聯想到呢,[或者] 原來,啫,好似所有嘢都有關係嘅

旁白:喺7月20號守護香港大聯盟 | 攪嘅撐警集會上,石鏡泉咁講:| 屋企有藤條呀?(有 !). . .

● 糾察 gáu2 chaat3 = to maintain order at a public gathering | ● 早排 jóu2 pàaih4/páai4*2 = a while ago; a few days ago | ● 親政府人士 chān1 jing3 fú2 yàhn4 sih6 = pro-government people cf. 親 = in favour of; pro- | ● 聯想 lyùhn4 séung2 = to associate; to connect in the mind

Sandy Li Pik Yee: (Subtitles) Yuen Long’s Army of Defence, [its] Volunteer Army

Voice-over: In one moment in the footage [畫面], a man is visible wearing [身上帶住] a Safeguard Hong Kong marshall’s tag [糾察牌]. In the CCTV footage, this man was also seen coming and going with a large group of men in white.

Mr So: This man resembles a man in another photograph [taken in a] restaurant. I’m not sure [唔知] if he is the same man, the one holding a cane rod. [As for] the Safeguard Hong Kong marshall’s tag, I think [我睇] I remember a while ago there being a rally for Safeguard Hong Kong, a bunch of people who are in favour of the government, and they held this gathering in Tamar Park. These [UNCLEAR] can easily be linked up in one’s mind — it seems as if all these things are somehow connected.

Voice-over: Safeguard Hong Kong held a rally in support of police on 20 July. At this rally, Arthur Shek Kang Chuen made the following comments: “Do you have a cane rod at home? (Crowd: Yes!)

【5:00】(字幕)屋企有藤條呀?(有)| 找藤條出來!找長一點來打仔!| 屋企沒有藤條如何呀?| 我們去五金鋪,買直徑 20 毫米的水喉通 | 我們要來做什麽?教仔(粵語)石鏡泉:. . . 攞 [條] 出!揾長 // 打仔! | 屋企冇藤條點呀?| 我都去 // 間五金鋪,買條 20mm 嘅水喉通 | 我哋要 // ?[啫],教仔

旁白:石鏡泉之後撤回言論同致歉 | 表示不贊成任何暴力 | 並且事前對7.21 襲擊毫不知情 | 守護香港大聯盟回覆我哋話 | 喺7.21冇舉行任何活動 | 又話,「守護香港」字樣喺2019年嘅時候 | 「黑暴分子」都有使用 | 叫我哋問「黑暴分子」點解要策動當晚嘅暴亂

李璧而:(字幕)這牌我也有 | 在添馬公園做保安,是大型活動 (粵語)呢個牌我都有 [啦] |  呢 // 保安,// 喺添馬公園做個大型嘅活動吖嘛 | 噉呢,就係,呃 . . .

● 五金鋪 ngh5 gām1 póu3*2 = hardware store | ● 水喉通 séui2 hàuh4 tūng1 = usu. a length of metal water piping | ● 撤回 chit3 wùih4 = to retract | ● 致歉 ji3 hip3 = to apologize; to express regret | ● 毫不知情 hòuh4 bāt1 jī1 chìhng4 = completely unaware of (the facts of a case or the details of an incident) | ● 字樣 jih6 yéung6*2 = printed or written words | ● 策動 chaak3 duhng6 = to instigate; to engineer; to stir up | ● 暴亂bouh6 lyuhn6 = a riot; a rebellion; a revolt

Arthur Shek: Take out [your] cane rods, a nice long one, and beat the brats! Don’t happen to have a cane rod lying around at home? Then we’ll head off down to the hardware store and buy a length of 20mm water piping [水喉通]. What for? We want to teach those brats a lesson.

Voice-over: Arthur Shek later retracted his remarks and issued an apology, expressing [the view] that he did not condone violence of any kind, and saying that he had no prior knowledge of the 21 July Attacks. Safeguard Hong Kong responded to our questions, saying that they did not organize any activities on the day of the attacks, adding that the words “safeguard Hong Kong” were also used by “black violent elements” [黑暴分子] in 2019. They told us to go and ask those “black violent elements” why they instigated that evening’s riot [暴亂].

Sandy Li Pik Yee: I’ve got one of those tags. I worked as a marshall at the big event held at Tamar Park which was organized by . . .

【6:00】. . . (字幕)是何律師(何君堯)舉辦的 | (記者:是守護香港大聯盟舉辦的)| 是守護香港大聯盟 . . . 記錯了 | 這牌 . . . 我也有份做糾察 (粵語)何律師攪嘅嘛,噉 [因為] . . . |(記者:// 香港大聯盟攪嘅) | 啊,啊,守護香港大聯盟,係,[記錯咗, 記錯] | (係,係)| 咁樣呢,就,呃,呢個牌,我都有一份糾察 [喇]

旁白:我哋訪問到7.21白衣人襲擊前 | 喺行帶頭嘅李璧而 | 話,當日遊行係元朗一班街坊自發攪 | 同守護香港大聯盟 | 或者其他建制組織都冇關係

李璧而:(字母)這些糾察牌與當日無關,沒必要掛上 | 我不知道爲何他會掛上,我不知道 | 大家是鄰里,不能排除他 | 一起來幫忙控制秩序,不奇怪 | 7.21那晚我們一班人約在這裏 | 在這裏張貼橫額,物資放這裏 | 我看見他們預備了藤條(粵語)呢牌唔關 [嗰件事,我想話] (記者:哦)亦都冇必要掛喺度 | 噉我唔知點解佢會掛喺度呢,我唔知 [喇] // | 大家鄰里呢,當日嚟講唔係 // 佢就 | // 幫手控制個秩序,都唔奇嘅 | 7.21嗰晚呢,// 我哋呢,都成班呢,就約咗喺呢一度 | ,我哋呢,就貼橫額,喺度貼。嗱,啲物資呢,就擺 [到] 呢度嘅 | 噉 // 佢哋 // 見到佢哋呢,就係,呃,呃,預備咗啲藤條,我見到 . . .

● 自發 jih6 faa3 = spontaneous | ● 橫額 wàahng4 ngáak6*2 = horizontal hanging placard; banner; streamer | ● 鄰里 lèuhn4 léih5 = neighbour | ● 物資 maht6 jī1 = (?) goods

Sandy Li Pik Yee : . . . [Junius] Ho [Kwan-yiu], the lawyer organized. (Reporter: That event was organized by Safeguard Hong Kong.) Oh yes, Safeguard Hong Kong. My memory is playing tricks on me. Now as for this tag . . . I’ve also worked as a marshall.

Voice-over: We spoke with Sandy Li who marched at the head of the protest before the 21 July Attacks by the men in white. She said that the march held on that day was a spontaneous event organized by a residents’ group in Yuen Long and that it had no connection whatsoever with Safeguard Hong Kong or any other pro-Beijing organization.

Sandy Li Pik Yee : This tag has nothing to do with the march. There was no need to wear it here. I don’t know why he was wearing it. We are all local people. Perhaps he was helping out with the crowd control [控制秩序] — there’s nothing odd about that. On the night of 21 July, the whole lot of us gathered here, put up banners. We put them up here. Various other bits and pieces [物資] were put here. As for those [men], I saw them coming prepared with cane rods, and when I saw them . . .

【7:00】(字幕) . . . 我問,為甚麽會預備藤條?| (他們指)示威者有槌子之類的武器 | 他們被迫守衛家園 | 你們卻說他們是黑社會 | (示威者)不入元朗有怎會有此事?| 今次希望大家要明白 | 其實看看網上之前的資料 | 「得元朗得天下」. . . 嘩,真的嚇死人(粵語)我 // 點解你預備藤條嘅 | // 對方呢,話,呃,呃,嗰啲,嗰啲武器有鎚仔、有 // 吖嘛 | 佢哋被迫守衛家園 | 而你哋話佢哋,呃,咩?,呃,黑社會 | 你唔入嚟 [點] 會有嘅事呀? 係咪先?| 所以呢,今次我 [哋]希望大家要明白到呢 | 呃,其實睇翻網上呢,以前嘅網上嘅資料 | 「得元朗得天下」,嘩,真係呀嚇死人呀,真係

旁白:李璧而話,7.21前夕 | 網上流傳「得元朗得天下」嘅圖 | 佢哋知道有人要入元朗「光復」| 所以先至集合出嚟守衛元朗

李璧而:(字幕)之前(有圖)刻意放大這些字 | 令到我們都很擔心 | 因爲這張海報,他們這樣鼓吹 | 整條街都站滿白衣人 (粵語)[佢] 之前呢,[就] 刻意呢,就放大呢啲字呀 | 噉呢 // [講真呢],我都好擔心呀 | 因爲 [嗰] poster 啦,同埋佢哋咁樣吹法啦 | 呢度成條街全部白雪雪

● 預備 yuh6 beih6 = to prepare; to get ready | ● 鎚仔 chèuih4 jái2 = roughly, a little hammer | ● 係咪先 haih6 maih6 sin1 = don’t you agree with me? | ● 前夕 chìhn4 jihk6 = eve | ● 流傳 làuh4 chyùhn4 = to spread; to circulate | ● 光復 gwōng1 fuhk6 = to recover; to liberate (lost territory)

Sandy Li Pik Yee: I asked them, why have you come prepared with cane rods? They replied [that the protestors had] weapons [such as domestic hammers [UNCLEAR]. They were forced to protect their homeplace. You people, on the other hand, say they are — what was it, again? — triad gangsters. How could anything [like that] had happened if you hadn’t come [to Yuen Long], right? And so for this reason, this time I hope everyone will be clear about this. Actually, if [you] go back and look at the internet, at material on the web from before, [you’ll see an image saying] “Capture Yuen Long and You’ll Gain the Whole Empire”. This really gave [us] a terrible scare, really.

Voice-over: Sandy Li said that on the eve of 21 July, an image circulated over the net [bearing the words] “Capture Yuen Long and You’ll Gain the Whole Empire”. It was only after they learned that people wanted to come to Yuen Long to “liberate” it that they banded together to safeguard Yuen Long.

Sandy Li Pik Yee: Before, they deliberately enlarged these words. To tell you the truth I was really worried. Because of that poster, and the way they were talking things up [吹法], the streets here were just a whole mass of white [成條街全部白雪雪].

To be continued . . .

Learning Cantonese: 捐窿捐罅 or “Every Nook and Cranny”

Every language has its rare species, words and phrases that only crop up once in a blue moon. The last time I heard the idiom 捐窿捐罅 gyūn1 lūng1 gyūn1 laa3 was in a TVB news report in 2019. There, it was described a small robot-like device that could operate “in any nook or cranny” [噉,好處係佢可以捐窿捐罅]. But here in this recent report from HK01, it has finally come back to me again, but the context is quite different: speaking out for democracy in Hong Kong.

According to 《香港粵語大詞典》, 捐窿捐罅 means “to go into each and every corner” [走遍每一個角落] while Sheik Cantonese has “[to sneak in and out of a hole] to search high and low for a place”. When Figo Chan calls on people to 捐窿捐罅去發聲, we can guess that he wants them to make their voices heard in whatever gaps or cracks they can find . . . This certainly adds to our understanding of the nuances of the expression. Of interest too is the fact that the video subtitles write it as 瓹窿瓹罅, using the rare character 瓹 gyūn1 which means “a hole in a basin to let the water out” [盆底之去水孔].

Although this report lasts for just over a minute, it contains a number of other very interesting things, including 較早前 = (?) “a while back; some time ago” and the two 4-character phrases 秋後算賬 = “to square accounts after the Autumn harvest” and 義無反顧 = honour permits no turning back.

You can view the video here. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


多名民人士 | 被指前年10月1日 | 組織及參與未經批准集結 | 案件禮拜一喺區域法院開審

案中10名被告個承認一項 | 組織未經批准集結罪 | 佢哋較早前抵達法庭時候 | 已經預告會認罪

陳浩桓:希望呢,大家呢,緊無論係6月4 | 定係7月1 | 定係其他日子 | 都可以捐窿捐罅去發聲 | 可以捍衛我哋嘅自由、民主同埋公義

何俊仁:今日,政府秋後算賬 | 要將我哋係禁於牢獄 | 然後,使到市民要滅聲 | 但係,我同大家講 | 我哋唔會後悔 | 我哋絕對義無反顧


記者:曾藹豪 | 攝影:洪業銘 | 剪接:袁柏謙

● 泛民 faan3 màhn4 = pan-democratic | ● 開審 hōi1 sám2 = to hold a court hearing | ● 較早前 gaau3 jóu2 chìhn4 = ? cf. 較早時 = a while back; some time ago | ● 預告 yuh6 gou3 = to announce in advance | ● 認罪 yihng6 jeuih6 = to admit guilt | ● 嚟緊 làih4 gán2 = (forth)coming | ● 發聲 faat3 sēng1 = usu. “to make a sound”; here perhaps “to make a noise or “to make one’s voice heard” | ● 捍衛 hóhn5 waih6 = to defend; to guard; to protect | ● 公義 gūng1 yih6 = justice | ● 秋後算賬 chāu1 hauh6 syun3 jeung3 = to square accounts after the Autumn harvest, that is, wait until after a political movement is over to settle accounts with the leadership or the masses; bide one’s time to take revenge; wait until sth. is over to settle accounts with | ● 禁於牢獄 gam3 yū1 lòuh4 yuhk6 = (?) to be put in prison | ● 滅聲 miht6 sēng1 = (?) to extinguish all dissent cf. 滅 = to destroy; to extinguish | ● 義無反顧 yih6 mòuh4 fáan2 gu3 = honour permits no turning back; be duty-bound not to turn back | ● 初心 chō1 sām1 = beginner’s mind; original intention; first desire | ● 長存 chèuhng4 chyùhn4 = to live forever

A number of pan-democrats figures [泛民人士] were accused of organizing and taking part in an unauthorised assembly the year before last on 1 October. The case was heard at the District Court on Monday.

The ten people accused admitted to the charge [承認] of organizing an unauthorised assembly. Earlier, when they arrived at the court, they had already indicated that they would plead guilty.

Figo Chan: Regardless of whether it is 4 June or 1 July or any other forthcoming date, [we] hope that all of you can make a noise in any nook of cranny you are able to get into [捐窿捐罅] and that you can defend our freedom, our democracy, and our justice.

Albert Ho: Today, the government is engaged in settling political scores and will lock us up in prison. After that, dissent from ordinary people will be extinguished [滅聲]. However, I say to you all that we have no regrets and that in our case, absolutely, honour permits no turning back.

Richard Tsoi: Our original intention has not altered. Our faith will live forever.

Hong Kong Flow

“Highest good is like water [上善若水],” it says in Chapter VIII of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, and it is a wonderful thing to read the phrase quoted again here, 2500 years later, in the 創刊宣言 or “Publication Manifesto” of a new Hong Kong magazine called 《如水》[Flow HK].

The purpose of Flow HK is 通過歷史論述、理論框架以及對未來路線的思考,我們希望連結每位參與這場光復運動的香港兒女,為他們作思想充權 — that is, “By means of discussions of history, theoretical frameworks, and a consideration of future ways to proceed, we hope to connect with every daughter and son of Hong Kong who is taking part in this movement to liberate Hong Kong and to empower them intellectually”, and anyone concerned for the fate of Hong Kong will be stirred by the words 在每個漆黑無聲的夜晚,不要忘記還有人從未放棄心中所有 — “In every pitch-black night in which nothing stirs, one must not forget that there are still individuals who have never given up on what they hold dear in their hearts”.

The theme of the first issue is 絆 buhn6, a verb that usually means “to trip up”, and which occurs in the compound 絆石 or “stumbling block”. It seems like a fairly reasonable place to set out from. For more information, you can visit the Flow HK website here.

Please scroll down for the Manifesto with an English translation and notes. If you wish to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


《創刊宣言》| Publication Manifesto


● 共同體 guhng6 tùhng4 tái2 = community | ● 傀儡 faai3 léuih5 = a puppet; a stooge | ● 日益趨厲 yaht6 yīk1 chēui1 laih6 = gets fiercer by the day | ● 不計其數 bāt1 gai3 kèih4 sou3 = countless; innumerable | ● 強行 kéuhng5 hàhng4 = to force | ● 威權 wāi1 kyùhn4 = authority; power | ● 收窄 sāu1 jaak3 = to narrow | ● 歷史試煉 lihk6 sí2 si3 lihn6 = (?) an historical test/trial | ● 流散於各方 làuh4 saan3 yū1 gok3 fōng1 = to scatter in all directions | ● 維繫 wàih4 haih6 = to hold together | ● 承傳 sìhng4 chyùhn4  = (?) to inherit & to impart cf. 傳承 chyùhn4 sìhng4 = to impart & to inherit

We live in the best, and the worst, of times. Over the course of the past resistance, we have seen the boundless possibilities of the Hong Kong people, and this has also enabled us to have some fond imaginings about the Hong Kong community. However, the repression carried out by the Chinese Communist Party and its puppet authorities [政權] in Hong Kong is getting fiercer by the day, and the number of those who have bled or who have been charged with a criminal offence because of their resistance or their political views is too numerous to count. In the wake of the Chinese Communist Party’s forcing of the passage of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has now truly entered an era of authoritarian rule [威權時代], and even though many acts of resistance opposing totalitarian power have been initiated among the common people [民間], the space of freedom for people in Hong Kong is constantly being narrowed down. Faced with this unprecedented historical test, we (people who have left Hong Kong and now live in various countries around the world) are determined to try and hold together this unique community [made up] of Hongkongers, in the hope that we can impart and hand on the sparks of resistance.


● 焗促不安 guhk6 chūk1 bāt1 ōn1 = cf. 局促不安 = feel ill at ease | ● 重新思索 chùhng4 sān1 sī1 sok3 = roughly, “to rethink” (cf. 思索 = to ponder; to think deeply) | ● 初心 chō1 sām1 = one’s original intention (Sheik Cantonese: 初心 is a Japanese term that means “beginner’s mind”) | ● 取其義 chéui2 kèih4 yih6 = roughly, “to take as its meaning” | ● 靈巧 lìhng4 háau2 = dextrous; nimble; skilful; ingenious | ● 強權 kèuhng4 kyùhn4 = power; might | ● 甚或 sahm6 waahk6 = even; (go) so far as to | ● 擴散 kong3 saan3 = to spread; to diffuse | ● 通澈 tūng1 chit3 = ? (cf. 通徹to understand thoroughly) | ● 容器 yùhng4 hei3 = container; vessel | ● 地緣 deih6 yùhn6 = relations formed through geographical links; geo- (as a prefix) | ● 格局 gaak3 guhk6 = a pattern; setup; structure | ● 論述 leuhn6 seuht6 = to discuss; to expound

In such an uneasy political environment, we can rethink the “original intentions” of the movement: “to be like water” [如水]. “To be like water” means that when the water goes into a cup or glass, it takes the form of the cup/glass, and when it goes into a jug [壺] it adopts the shape of a jug. The reason why the anti-extradition movement was able to achieve a breakthrough was precisely because activists [抗爭者] were able to respond with ingenuity to the tactics of those in power, just like water — capable of being both firm and stable [堅穩], and flowing like water, and even able to evaporate and vanish away into thin air [擴散而去]. But following on from the constant escalation in repression on the part of the regime, if we wish to go on in the spirit of being like water, we must first gain a thorough understanding of our containers, that is, the state of affairs in which we find ourselves and the global setup [世界格局]. Whose discourse is it that constitutes the Hong Kong and the Hongkongers we are to have in our minds? To what extent is our “common knowledge” saturated with the mindset [意識] of a Chinese communist colonial Hong Kong?


● 清空心智 chīng1 hūng1 sām1 ji3 = (?) to empty one’s mind | ● 審視 sám2 sih6 = to examine; to scrutinize | ● 未圓之處 meih6 yùhn4 jī1 chyu3 = roughly, “those places which are not satisfactory” | ● 摒棄 bing3 hei3 = to discard; to reject; to throw away; to abandon | ● 考證 háau2 jing3 = usu. textual criticism; textual research | ● 拷問 hāau1 mahn6 = usu. “to torture” (?) to interrogate

If we wish to be like water, we must first empty our minds and scrutinize ourselves for blind spots and imperfections [未圓之處]. That does not mean that we should try to go beyond history or set aside all the old intellectual frameworks. The opposite is true: we must once again examine [考證] history, criticize the utterances [論述] of the existing power structure, and establish our own discourse about this community, in order to reflect on future possible ways forward. Where does the long river of Hong Kong first begin to flow, and in which direction ought it to flow [next]? This is how the present era interrogates [拷問] us.


● 知所進退 jī1 só2 jeun3 teui3 = roughly, “know when to advance and when to retreat” | ● 任 yahm6 = to let; to allow; to give free rein to | ● 單一規範 dāan1 yāt1 kwāi1 faahn6 = roughly, “a single standard/norm” | ● 鐵則 tit3 jāk1 = an iron rule | ● 束縛 chūk1 bok3 = to tie; to bind up; to fetter | ● 奉為圭臬 fuhng6 wàih4 gwāi1 yiht6 = hold up as a model | ● 相左的異議 sēung1 jó2 dīk1 yih6 yíh5 = lit.  相左 = conflict with each other + 異議 = objection; dissent| ● 送葬 sung3 jong3 = to take part in a funeral procession; to attend a funeral | ● 合作基礎 hahp6 jok3 gēi1 chó2 = a foundation/basis for co-operation | ● 攜手 kwàih4 sáu2 = ① hand in hand ② to co-operate | ● jaahk6 = to benefit | ● 川流不息 chyūn1 làuh4 bāt1 sīk1 = flowing past in an endless stream; never-ending | ● 對撞契合 deui3 johng6 kai3 hahp6 = lit. 對撞 = colliding + 契合 = to agree with; to tally with

When unable to flow, water becomes turbid; when able to flow, it is never stagnant. If, during key moments in the days to come, we wish to be able to be like water — knowing when to advance and when to retreat — we cannot allow any single norm [單一規範] to become an iron rule with which to limit ourselves. When those holding power hold up telling lies as a model, as a matter of course [往往] they brutally obliterate any views that object to their own, and take part in the funeral for the possibility of the development of freedom among the people. If collective movements are to succeed, it is indispensable for public groups to seek out bases for co-operation and directions for development. Highest good is like water — only as long as we put ourselves to one side in the course of the revolution and advance hand in hand can we benefit the community we so deeply love. At the same time, it is only as long as we are willing to positively discuss issues affecting this community together that the vitality of the Hong Kong community can be maintained, providing intellectual nutrition to future movements.


● 政治寒冬 jing3 jih6 hòhn4 dūng1 = roughly, “a severe political Winter” | ● 剛強 gōng1 kèuhng4 = firm; staunch; unyielding | ● 不屈 bāt wāt1 = unyielding; unbending | ● 破除 po3 chèuih4 = to do away with; to get rid of; to eradicate; to break with | ● 夢魘 muhng6 yím2 = nightmare | ● 辯論 bihn6 leuhn6 = to argue; to debate | ● 抹殺 mut3 saat3 = to remove from evidence; to expunge; to suppress; to wipe out, to obliterate (also written 抹煞) | ● 建構 gin3 kau3 = to construct | ● 整合 jíng2 hahp6 = to reorganize & consolidate | ● 面向 mihn6 heung3 = ① to turn in the direction of; to face ② be geared to the needs of; to cater to | ● 論述 leuhn6 seuht6 = to discuss; to expound | ● 連結 lìhn4 git3 = to connect | ● 作思想充權jok3 sī1 séung2 chōng1 kyùhn4 = (?) to carry out ideological/intellectual empowerment | ● 弘揚 wàhng4 yèuhng4 = to develop & expand

Faced with this severe political Winter, Hongkongers must be flexible like water, and they must also be staunch like water, striving to do away with the Chinese nightmare. When political power obliterates all space for public debate, we cannot choose silence, we Hong Kong people who are scattered abroad as well as those who deeply love Hong Kong. We have decided to make use of those spaces for freedom outside of Hong Kong to construct and maintain a medium for the public discussion of Hong Kong, as well as to reorganize and consolidate discussions geared to [面向] [issues such as] politics, history, society and culture for Hongkongers inside and outside Hong Kong. By means of discussions of history, theoretical frameworks, and a consideration of future ways to proceed [未來路線], we hope to connect with every daughter and son of Hong Kong who is taking part in this movement to liberate Hong Kong and to empower them intellectually. In the course of human history, we would like to develop and amplify the voice of Hongkongers in their quest for freedom, as well as let the world come to see Hong Kong.


● 轉捩點 jyún2 liht6 dím2 = turning point | ● 失根的浮萍 sāt1 gān1 dīk1 fàuh4 pìhng4 = roughly, “duckweed which has lost its roots/identity” | ● 白白流逝 baahk6 baahk6 làuh4 saih6 = 白白 = in vain; to no purpose; for nothing + 流逝 = (of time) to pass; to elapse | ● 漆黑 chāt1 hāk1/hāak1 = pitch-dark; pitch-black | ● 心中所有 sām1 jūng1 só2 yáuh5 = roughly, “that which is in one’s heart/mind” | ● 憑藉 pàhng4 jihk6 = to rely on; to depend on | ● 夙願 sūk1 yuhn6 = a long-cherished wish | ● 跨 kwāa1 = to cut across; to go beyond | ● 呼聲 fū1 sēng1 = a cry; a voice | ● 召喚 jiuh6 wuhn6 = to call; to summon  | ● 挺身而出 tíhng5 sān1 yìh4 chēut1 = step forward bravely; come out boldly | ● 不負 bāt1 fuh6 = (?) not to betray | ● 獨裁暴政 duhk6 choih4 bouh6 jing3 = cf. 獨裁 = dictatorship + 暴政 = tyranny; despotic rule | ● 破土而出 po3 tóu2 yìh4 chēut1 = (of a seedling) break through the soil | ● 遊子 yàuh4 jí2 = a person travelling or residing in a place far away from home | ● 解困 gáai2 kwan3 = to resolve difficulties | ● 希冀 hēi1 kei3 = to hope for; to wish for; to aspire to

Notes: ① The expression 是故 has the meaning of “for this reason” in Standard Written Chinese. ② I’m not exactly sure what 勢要 sai3 yiu3 means in the phrase 勢要讓獨裁暴政在這代終結. Usually, 勢 refers to “momentum” or “tendency”; it can also mean “state of affairs; circumstances”.

History is now at a turning point, and a revolution in thought is in the process of taking place. Hong Kong is the Hong Kong that belongs to the Hong Kong people — we have no wish to become [like] floating duckweed that has lost its roots, and for this reason we will absolutely not allow Hong Kong to slip out of our hands to no purpose. In every pitch-black night in which nothing stirs, one must not forget that there are still individuals who have never given up on what they hold dear in their hearts [心中所有]. Before the coming of the dawn, we will keep one another company through the long night, and with written words give expression to both our faith and our perseverance, providing in the darkness of night a basis for our common hopes. The striving for democracy and freedom is the long-cherished wish of Hongkongers cutting across a number of generations, and we are convinced that the pursuit of determining our own fate is something that History calls on us to do [追求命運自主是歷史的呼聲]. History is summoning us, so we must come out boldly, not betray the age, and continue the momentum [勢要] by which dictatorship and tyranny is coming to an end in this era. We look forward to the fruits of democracy breaking through the soil of Hong Kong, [so that] those residing far from home may return, and those in difficulty may resolve them [so that] together Hongkongers can build a beautiful new Hong Kong, as soon as possible. This is our shared aspiration.

Learning Cantonese: 2021 香港約章 Hong Kong Charter 2021

“Hongkongers are a unique community with their own distinctive culture, history, experiences and values. We shall maintain our unique identity and continue to create its timely significance to perpetuate these precious characteristics; our identity, history and cultural values shall be respected and safeguarded, in writing and in recording, to be preserved in multiple ways to counter the biased perspectives fabricated and propagated by the authorities” — these are the opening sentences of the next part of the Charter, simply entitled 香港篇 Hēung1 Góng2 Pīn1 or “Hong Kong Section”.

I will tackle the remaining two parts of the Charter (dealing with mainland China and the international community) in another post, but you can view the entire bilingual document here, together with some information on the initiators. For other help with the Chinese, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


7.  香港人是一個獨特的共同體,擁有獨特的文化、歷史、經歷以及價值觀。我們應該維持獨特的身份認同,持續創造其時代意義,以傳承這些珍貴的特質;我們的身份丶歷史和文化價值應該受到尊重、保護,以各種方法書寫、記錄、保存,抗擊官方諱言捏造的史觀。

8.  香港人有權決定香港的前途和事務,包括民生丶政制丶憲制等改革。同時,香港人應享有民主、自主和自由的制度:民主包括由人民直接選出丶沒有篩選的政府和議會;自主包括本地事務免受中共干預;自由包括《世界人權宣言》丶《公民權利及政治權利公約》和其他國際公約內列明人民應享有的政治丶社會及經濟權利。

9.  香港政府應實行三權分立,司法丶行政及立法機關互不統屬。法治制度應以限制公權力、彰顯公義為最高原則,法官判決應合乎人權及法治的標準,另外本地最高法院應享有憲法解釋權,不受中共干預。

10.  港版國安法是侵害港人言論自由、人身安全、政治自由的惡法,理應馬上廢除。政府應停止以言入罪、釋放在囚的政治犯,並保障所有港人遊行、示威、結社、出版、言論的權利,並撤銷所有針對流亡人士的政治檢控。

11.  中共肆意侵蝕香港公民社會,破壞各個專業領域的價值、原則以及道德,逼使有良心的香港市民臣服於他們無理專橫的管治。我們呼籲市民盡量捍衛自身底線,不與政權同流合污。

12.  在中共的直接指揮和港府官員盲從上意下,警隊已淪為極權打壓市民訴求和權利的武器。警政系統必須改革,在人民充分的監督及授權下,建立真正為民服務的治安自理體系。

● 共同體 guhng6 tùhng4 tái2 = community | ● 身份認同 sān1 fán6*2 yihng6 tùhng4 = (?) identity cf. 身份 = status; identity + 認同 = to identify | ● 傳承 chyùhn4 sìhng4 = to impart & to inherit | ● 抗擊 kong3 gīk1 = to resist; to beat back | ● 諱言捏造wáih5 yìhn4 nihp6 jouh6 = ? cf. 諱言 = dare not or would not speak up + 捏造 = to fabricate; to concoct; to trump up | ● 事務 sih6 mouh6 = affairs | ● 世界人權宣言 sai3 gaai3 yàhn4 kyùhn4 syūn1 yìhn4 = the Universal Declaration of Human Rights | ● 公民權利及政治權利公約 gūng1 màhn4 kyùhn4 leih6 kahp6 jing3 jih6 kyùhn4 leih6 gūng1 yeuk3 = the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights | ● 三權分立 sāam1 kyùhn4 fān1 lahp6 = separation of powers (i.e. the legislative, executive and judicial powers) | ● 統屬 tung2 suhk6 = ① subordination ② to be subordinate | ● 公權力 gūng1 kyùhn4 leih6 = (?) public rights | ● 彰顯公義 jēung1 hín2 gūng1 yih6 = cf. 彰顯 = to bring out conspicuously + 公義 = justice | ● 解釋權 gáai2 sihk6 kyùhn4 = right to interpret | ● 理應 léih5 yīng1 = ought to; should | ● 以言入罪 yíh5 yìhn4 yahp6 jeuih6 = roughly, “to regard speaking out as a criminal offence” | ● 結社 git3 séh5 = to form an association | ● 撤銷 chit3 sīu1 = to cancel; to rescind; to revoke | ● 檢控 gím2 hung3 = to prosecute | ● 臣服於 sàhn4 fuhk6 yū1 = to submit oneself to the rule of; to acknowledge allegiance to | ● 捍衛 hóhn5 waih6 = to defend; to guard; to protect | ● 底線 dái2 sin3 = the base line; the bottom line | ● 同流合污 tùhng4 làuh4 hahp6 wū1 = wallow in the mire with sb.; to associate with an evil person | ● 上意 seuhng6 yi3 = (?) the wishes/will of those higher up  | ● 授權 sauh6 kyùhn4 = to empower; to authorize | ● 治安自理 jih6 [ng]ōn1 jih6 léih5 = ? cf. 治安 = law & order

7.  Hongkongers are a unique community with their own distinctive culture, history, experiences and values. We shall maintain our unique identity and continue to create its timely significance to perpetuate these precious characteristics; our identity, history and cultural values shall be respected and safeguarded, in writing and in recording, to be preserved in multiple ways to counter the biased perspectives fabricated and propagated by the authorities.

8.  Hongkongers shall have the right to determine the future and affairs of Hong Kong, including any social, institutional and constitutional reforms. Hongkongers shall enjoy a democratic, autonomous and free system. Democracy entails a government and legislature directly elected by the people. By autonomy, it means local affairs are free from the Chinese Communist Party’s interference. Freedom entails the provision of social and economic rights for the people as stipulated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

9.  The Hong Kong government shall implement separation of powers. The judiciary, the executive and the legislature shall not be subordinate to one another. The legal system shall have restricting public power and manifesting justice as the supreme principles. The judges shall adjudicate in accordance with human rights and the rule of law. The highest court shall enjoy the power of interpretation of the constitution.

10.  The Hong Kong National Security Law is a draconian law that violates Hongkongers’ freedom of speech, freedom of the person and political freedom, and shall be repudiated immediately. The government shall stop criminalizing speeches, release all political prisoners and guarantee Hongkongers freedom of demonstration, protest, association, publication and speech. The government shall drop all charges against the political exiles.

11.  The Chinese Communist Party has been arbitrarily encroaching on Hong Kong’s civil society, destroying the values, principles and moralities of each professional sector, and forcing conscientious Hongkongers to submit to its despotic governance. We urge citizens to hold their bottom line, resist association with the Chinese Communist Party and its evil deeds.

12.  Under the Chinese Communist Party’s direct orders and the blind submission of Hong Kong officials, the police force has become an arsenal used by the totalitarian regime to oppress people’s aspirations and rights. The police system must be reformed. A democratic policing system, which truly serves the people, has to be established under the people’s supervision and with the people’s mandate.

Learning Cantonese: Democracy as “Subversion”

Heartbreak and outrage for the families of the 47 individuals accused of “subversion” for taking part in a peaceful political poll. You can watch the video here (there are no subtitles), or scroll down for the transcript, English translation and notes. Since this video was first aired, four of the accused have since been granted bail, including Hendrick Lui Chi Hang.


● 劉頴匡女友 Emilia Wong

呢啲(保釋)條件基本上係已經係非常之嚴苛、苛刻,嚴格,基本上被告、啲政治犯,要遵守呢一啲保釋條件,實際上佢哋係等於,我覺係等於,社會性死亡,根本上呢,佢哋唔會喺公共領域上面存在喇,基本上係等於唔再存在個社會咁滯 // [有]嗰啲保釋條件係令到佢哋。


● 嚴苛 yìhm4 hō1 = harsh (administration of law) | ● 苛刻 hō1 hāak1 = harsh | ● 嚴格 yìhm4 gaak3 = strict; rigorous; stringent | ● 公共領域 gūng1 guhng6 líhng5 wihk6 = the public domain/sphere | ● 咁滯 gam3 jaih6 = almost, nearly | ● 政權 jing3 kyùhn4 = regime | ● 法庭嘅程序 faat3 tìhng4 = (?) the procedure of the court; court procedure | ● 夾埋 gaap3 màaih4 = ① to collude; to conspire ② to pool together | ● 遲吓 chìh4 háah5 = (?) later | ● 夠膽 gau3 dáam2 = courage; (?) to be brave enough | ● 寄予 gei3 yúh5 = to place (hope, etc.) on/in | ● 厚望 háuh5 mohng6 = great expectations | ● 撐住 chaang3 jyuh6 = to put up with; to keep up| ● 崗位 gōng1 wái6*2 = a post; a station

● Emilia Wong, girlfriend of Ventus Lau (劉頴匡 Làuh4 Wihng6 Hōng1):

Basically, these (bail) conditions are extremely harsh, stringent, strict. Having to adhere to these bail conditions basically makes the defendants — the political prisoners — in actual fact tantamount to dead in a social sense and, basically, they cannot exist anymore in the public domain. Basically, it is tantamount to their virtually [咁滯] no longer existing in society anymore. // the bail conditions have already made them.

What exactly is this regime afraid of? [Are they] afraid of dead people continuing to endanger national security? The so-called “procedure” of the court in these past four days [呢咁多日] is, from my perspective, is a piece of theatre that everyone has performed in collusion. Fundamentally it is a pre-written script. So, when you ask me if I have faith in the appeals [which will be heard] later [遲吓], I don’t have the courage to have any hopes for it, because it is nothing but play-acting. Everyone just has to keep on going. There’s nothing else one can say. We just go on at our posts, supporting both ourselves and the people nearest and dearest to us.

● 呂智恆養母 Elsa

【1:24】呢 47 個人,全部都係為我哋香港,// 香港 // 而家就係被 // 呢個政權,係將我哋香港搞壞咗 . . .


● 教導 gaau3 douh6 = to instruct; to teach; to give guidance | ● 良好 lèuhng4 hóu2 = good; well

● Elsa, foster mother of Hendrick Lui Chi Hang:

All these 47 individuals have [acted] for our Hong Kong [UNCLEAR]. Now // by this regime // has ruined this Hong Kong of ours . . .

My whole family, my husband, we have all given him proper instruction. He is a fine young man and what he has is only love, and the pursuit of justice. He is a credit to me.

● 梁國雄太太陳寶瑩


律政司提供嘅材料呢,係非常之薄弱,// 但係,令,要令到被告要係還押三個月,就話係進 // 一步證實到呢,而家嘅司法制度呢,基本喺國安法嘅之下嚟講,係完全呢,係一個我哋言論嘅保障,我哋亦都,都完全冇埋喇。我想提一點就係,好多被告,啫,佢,佢哋接受嘅嚴苛條件,係寧願[係將] 犧牲佢哋嘅言論嘅自由,自己言論嘅自由,但係法官呢,都係唔會接受,啫話呢,根本上呢,我係對於未來嘅審訊亦都係毫不樂觀嘅。

● 審訊 sám2 seun3 = ① to interrogate; to try ② a trial; a courtroom hearing| ● 出奇 chēut1 kèih4 = ① unusually; extraordinarily ② extraordinary | ● 司法制度 sī1 faat3 jai3 douh6 = the judicial system | ● 扭曲 náu2 kūk1 = to distort | ● 顛倒 dīn1 dóu2 = to turn upside down; to reverse | ● 律政司 leuht6 jing3 sī1 = Department of Justice | ● 法官 faat3 gūn1 = a judge | ● 毫不 hòuh4 bāt1 = not in the least; not at all

● Chan Po-ying (Chàhn4 Bóu2 Yìhng4), wife of “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung (Lèuhng4 Gwok3 Hùhng4):

There’s nothing extraordinary at all about the result of the trial. It’s what we expected. Because we know with the introduction [立咗] of the National Security Law, the judicial system of the whole of Hong Kong has become completely distorted, and has been turned completely upside down.

The material provided by the Department of Justice was extremely meagre // but it has caused the defendants to be detained for three months, which further proves that the present judicial system under the National Security Law has basically, has completely, is no guarantee of our freedom of speech, we have none at all now. One point I’d like to mention is that many of the defendants accepted some harsh (bail) conditions, preferring to sacrifice their freedom of speech, their own freedom of speech, but the judge couldn’t accept this, and this means that, fundamentally, I am not in the least bit optimistic about the future court trial.

● 岑敖暉太太余思朗

【2:56】警方呢,係提早咗個幾月進行呢個拘捕嘅行動呢,將 47 名被告全部帶上法庭,進行 4 日嘅審訊,而期間呢,佢哋係禁止任何家屬,係任何家屬,係一庭度旁聽,呢個係我哋權利,但係我哋冇。各被告呢,喺 4 日審訊以嚟,係冇見過、完全冇見過自己嘅親人。

另外,控方而家係要求呢,將審訊押後成 3 個月呢,去進行搜證,對所有嘅被告同所有被告家屬講呢,都係非常唔合理,唔合比例,同唔公平嘅,我喺度表示,我係非常傷心同憤怒嘅。最後呢,想呼籲大家,繼續支持佢哋。香港加油,香港人加油!

● 禁止 gam3 jí2 = to prohibit; to ban; to forbid | ● 控方 hung3 fōng1 = the prosecution; the prosecuting party | ● 押後 [ng]aat3 houh6 = to postpone; to adjourn | ● 搜證 sāu1 jing3 = cf. 搜 = to search + 證 = evidence | ● 唔合比例 mh4 hahp6 béi2 laih6 = out of (all) proportion, cf. 比例 = proportion

● Yu Si-long (Yùh4 Sī1 Lóhng5), wife of Lester Shum (Sàhm4 Ngòuh4 Fā i1)

The police carried out this arrest operation three months earlier than [originally planned], and took all 47 of the accused off to court for a trial lasting four days, during which they forbid any family member, any family member, to listen to the proceedings in Courtroom 1. This is our right, but we did not have it. Since the trial [began] four days ago, we have not been able to meet with any of the defendants, and they have not had any opportunity [完全冇] to see their own family.

Furthermore, the prosecution has demanded that the trial be adjourned for a whole three months while a search for evidence is carried out. This is totally unreasonable for the defendants as well as for their family members. It is also out of all proportion and unfair. Here I would like to say that I am extremely saddened and angry. Finally, I would like to call on everyone to continue to support them. Hong Kong Add Oil! Hongkongers Add Oil!

● 朱凱廸太太區佩芬

【3:50】呢個係一班改變香港,改變香港政治,亦都係改變香港我哋一個現狀嘅一個…香港去一個倒退政治現狀,倒退我哋言論自由一個嘅重要嘅案件,我希望世界各地,亦都希望香港人,我哋一齊去繼續關注。同埋作為一個家屬,我就好希望,呃,我哋除咗傷心、除咗憤怒之外,我哋要堅強,除咗我哋自己堅強,我哋嘅,我哋嘅丈夫,我哋嘅妻子,我哋嘅仔女,我哋嘅,呃,學生,我哋嘅朋友,啫,喺呢一個,呃,收押所裏面嘅人,嘅朋友,佢哋全部都要繼續係好堅強,同埋大家我哋而家係同坐一 [條] 船,我哋希望可以同舟共濟 . . .

● 倒退 dou3 teui3 = to go backwards; to fall back | ● 堅強 gīn1 kèuhng4 = strong; firm; staunch | ● 收押所 sāu1 [ng]aat3 só2 = reception centre (here referring to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, where the defendants are being held), literally “place for receiving the detained” | ● 同舟共濟 tùhng4 jāu1 guhng6 jai3 = cross a river in the same boat — people in the same boat help each other

● Au Pui-fan (Āu1 Pui3 Fān1), wife of Eddie Chu (Jyū1 Hói2 Dihk6):

This is a group of . . . that is changing Hong Kong, changing Hong Kong politics, as well as changing our current situation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is headed for a backward falling political situation, and they are pushing back [倒退] the important case of our freedom of speech. It is my hope that [people] all over the world, as well as the people of Hong Kong continue to keep a close eye on this. In addition, as a family member, I hope very much that apart from sadness and outrage, we must be strong. Apart from being strong ourselves, our, our husbands, our wives, our sons and daughters, our students, our friends — our friends inside the reception centre — all of them have to be strong. Now all of us are sitting in the same boat, [so] let us hope that we can all help each other.

我們必須在一起 | We Must Be United



● 審判 sám2 pun3 = to bring to trial; to try | ● 被告席 beih6 gou3 jihk6 = the defendant’s seat; the dock| ● 甘願 gām1 yuhn6 = willingly; readily | ● 盡一己之力 jeuhn6 yāt1 géi2 jī1 lihk6 = to do all one can cf. 一己 = “oneself” and 盡力 = “do all one can; try one’s best” | ● 水火 séui2 fó2 = extreme misery | ● 行事磊落 hàhng4 sih6 léuih5 lohk6 = (one’s) behaviour/conduct is open & upright | ● 義人 yih6 yàhn4 = ? cf. 義士 yih6 sih6 = a person who upholds justice

My friends, we are well aware that this present major political trial represents and enormous blow to us all. This is the biggest political trial in Hong Kong’s history, and the 47 individuals who stand in the dock come from different political parties and social sectors [界別]. Some are young and some are old, and some of them are unknown to one another, [but] at a time of great difficulty in Hong Kong they chose to take part in a poll for the LegCo elections and were willing to face unknowable political risks, not for the sake of fame or personal gain but in the hope of doing all they could to save our city from extreme misery. As people, they are honest, their conduct is open and upright, and as upstanding citizens [義人] they are worthy of our respect.


● 當權者 dōng1 kyùhn4 jé2 = someone who is in power; someone who holds power | ● 撲殺 pok3 saat3 = (?) to pounce on & kill off | ● 囚禁 chàuh4 gam3 = to imprison; to put in jail | ● 磨損 mòh4 syún2 = ① wear & tear ② (?) to wear down | ● 斷絕 tyúhn5 jyuht6 = to break off; to cut off; to sever | ● 懲罰 chìhng4 faht6 = to punish; to penalize | ● 歷史關口 lihk6 sí2 gwāan1 háu2 = historical juncture | ● 應對 ying3 deui3 = to reply; to answer; a response

No one could have expected that those who hold power would charge all those 47 people with “conspiracy to commit subversion” in order to crack down on [撲殺] this democracy movement. By putting [democracy supporters] in prison, [the people in charge] hope to wear down their wills, and cut them off from participation in politics, handing them the greatest penalty, while giving the people of Hong Kong the greatest warning. We stand at an important historical juncture. How we respond to this major trial, what we hold onto, what we retain, will have a decisive influence on the political development of Hong Kong as well as how future generations [後人] will come to see us.


● 真相 jān1 sēung1 = the real/true situation; the real/actual facts | ● 鏡頭 geng3 tàuh4 = ① camera lens ② a shot; a scene | ● 善用 sihn6 yuhng6 = (?) to use properly; to make proper use of | ● 時事 sìh4 sih6 = current events; current affairs | ● 懷憂 wàaih4 yāu1 = (?) to harbour worries; to worry cf.  懷 = to keep in mind; to cherish (a positive emotion); to harbour (a negative emotion) | ● 立志 lahp6 ji3 = to resolve; to be determined; to endeavour | ● 臉書 Líhm5 Syū1 = Facebook | ● 懼於 geuih6 yū1 = to fear/dread to do = | ● 評論 pìhng4 leuhn6 = a comment; a commentary; a review

What are we able to do? Journalists can record the real historical facts for us. Documentary film-makers can capture [留下] invaluable scenes for us. Those of you working in the legal profession can make proper use of your speciality to help out as much as you can. Teachers can tell their students about what is happening in Hong Kong right now. Parents must not be afraid to talk about current affairs with their children. Those engaged in study [正在讀書的] [should] endeavour to become individuals with both si seung [ideas] and lei seung [ideals]. And users of Facebook must not be afraid to share various reports and commentaries.


● 用心 yuhng6 sām1 = diligently; attentively; with concentrated attention | ● 可著力之處 hó2 jeuhk6 lihk6 jī1 chyu3 = (?) areas in which one can make an effort, cf. 著力 jeuhk6 lihk6 = to put forth effort; to exert oneself | ● 堅韌 gīn1 ngahn6 = firm & tenacious | ● 退一萬步 tēui1 yāt1 maahn6 bouh6 = even if (such and such were the case); this term appears to imply a high degree of concession | ● 不屈的姿態 bāt1 kūk1 dīk1 jī1 taai3 = ? cf. jī1 taai3 = attitude; pose + bāt1 kūk1 = unyielding; unbending| ● 砥礪 dái2 laih6 = ① to temper ② to encourage

It is my belief that, as long as we are diligent, there are areas in which each of us can exert ourselves and live our lives with a little more tenacity [堅韌]. And even if we accept that is true that we cannot make any immediate changes to the current situation, by living our lives with an unyielding attitude, we ourselves will become different. If we live our lives differently, Hong Kong will also change accordingly, and because we all live on the same patch of land, we see each other, and encourage one another.

這樣的審判,雖然對我們是難以言說的折磨,但同時也是一個重要的契機,讓政權的不義暴露於天下,讓世界更同情我們的處境,也讓我們更加團結。 我們可以傷心,可以憤怒,但不要絕望,不要放棄。我相信,這也是此刻正在受苦的四十七位朋友對我們的期望。我們要和他們一起,寫下這歷史的一頁。

● 難以言說 = nàahn4 yíh5 yìhn4 syut3 = indescribable | ● 折磨 jit3 mòh4 = to cause physical or mental suffering; to torment | ● 契機 kai3 gēi1 = turning point; juncture | ● 暴露 bouh6 louh6 = to expose; to reveal; to lay bare

Although a trial of this kind is an indescribable torment to us, at the same time it is an important turning point, exposing the government’s injustice for all to see [暴露於天下], helping the rest of the world to feel greater sympathy for our plight, and bringing us even more closely together in unity.  We are allowed to feel sadness. We are allowed to feel outrage. But we must neither despair nor give up. Our 47 friends, who are now undergoing hardships, are expecting this of us, I believe. Together with them, we must write this page of history.

Professor 周保松 Chow Po-chung

This article originally appeared on Stand News here.