|Professor Kong Qingdong|
Following the incident on the MTR where a Hong Kong man argued with a mainland Chinese woman over eating in the carriage, a professor from Peking University and 73rd generation descendant of Confucius Kong Qingdong lashed out at Hong Kong people on a TV show, calling them dogs, thieves and bastards. View the video here.
Dressed in a black mandarin jacket and a red scarf slung around his neck, Kong insisted that Chinese people speak Putonghua and others who do not are dogs.
"Mandarin speakers don't have the responsibility and necessity to speak the other dialects... You don't have the responsibility to speak Northeastern dialect, Sichuan dialect, Beijing dialect, Tianjin dialect, right? You may only excel in the dialect you grew up with and your homeland's mother tongue.... But everyone has the responsibility to speak Mandarin," he says.
He continues his rant saying when Chinese people get together they must speak Mandarin. And if people refuse to speak Mandarin, Kong calls them "bastards".
"Let's say Hong Kongers. You say they are Chinese. As I know, many Hong Kongers don't think they are Chinese. They shout, 'We are Hong Kong. You are China'. That is a bastard."
He describes these people as "dogs", claiming "they aren't human".
While he is making these incredulous statements, the young female host sits uncomfortably in her seat, feeling like she has to go along with what he says.
Then he drags Lu Xun into the argument, saying these kinds of people [Hong Kongers] were criticized by the literary giant.
"They get angry when people don't know how to look at traffic lights or defecate on the streets. In front of imperialism, these people are dogs. In front of Chinese these people are dogs."
And he goes on about how even though Hong Kong has returned to China, "there are still many running dogs" and that the quality of Hong Kongers is among the worst in China.
Kong accuses Hong Kong people, particularly tourist guides of being thieves, lacking morals and cheating people out of money. He goes on and on.
Perhaps we should start our rebuttal by stating that Kong recently handed the Confucius Peace Prize to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin via two young blond Russian women.
How Putin is "peaceful" is questionable after he crushed anti-government forces in Chechnya and jails his political rivals; having two Russian exchange students picking up the prize on the prime minister's behalf hardly seems official.
Next Kong obviously only sees things from Beijing's point of view rather than the country as a whole. Of course he expects everyone to speak Mandarin because he probably doesn't understand any other dialect. While it's true most younger people speak only Putonghua, isn't it culturally disappointing they don't know their own dialects? Why this insistence on homogenizing one's language? Cantonese is a Chinese dialect. What's wrong with that?
While Hong Kong was colonized by the British, they set up some good systems including a civil society with rules to follow.
People should not be defecating in the streets or in the MTR because it's unhygienic. We usually do our business in a place called washrooms.
And yes we follow traffic lights for our own safety and for traffic flow so people can get from A to B efficiently to minimize accidents.
As for tourist guides, Kong should look to his own backyard at all the unscrupulous practices on the mainland, including getting kickbacks for taking tourists to silly "Chinese medicine shops" or "factories" selling silk, cloisonne and jade. He should be horrified by the conditions these so-called artisans have to work in. We get taken to tea shops or dried seafood places and get the "bait-and-switch" tactic on us so after having paid lots of money we leave with low-grade products.
Finally as a descendant of Confucius, shouldn't Kong be more of a gentleman and take the high road by not wading into this debate?
His revered ancestor must be rolling in his grave.
In any event Hong Kongers immediately sprung to action and protested against Kong's comments. They led some pet dogs to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government and carried signs saying "We are not dogs".
Kong has helped create an even greater divide between Hong Kong and China; his chauvinist beliefs have put a damper on what should be festive new year's activities.