Wednesday, 10 June 2015

China-Hong Kong Metaphors

Thousands protested during the Umbrella Movement, but to what end?
Tonight a friend of mine was telling me some visiting journalists asked her how things had changed since the Occupy protests last fall and she replied, "Everything and nothing".

And that really does sum up what happened after the protest sites were cleared away in mid-December.

For 79 days we ranted and raved, occupied four districts, forcing traffic in these areas to a trickle, but when the protests were over, nothing happened.

Beijing remained as aloof as ever, proving to us that it had no patience for temper tantrums, and nor did it care to have a dialogue with us.

In fact, China suggested nationalistic education should be further enforced because the protest indicated Hong Kong people had no understanding of the mainland, blaming the education system.

But there will come a time one day in Hong Kong where no one will know traditional Chinese characters, which is a frightening prospect. Will people still speak Cantonese? The city will become like every other mainland Chinese metropolis, but not without us being dragged, kicking and screaming.

Or should we just save our energy?

My friend also said the mainland-Hong Kong relationship has been coined as one between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law: We mutually dislike each other but we have to live under the same house, whether we like it or not.

Hong Kong's lawmakers will vote on the political reform package next Wednesday and we already know the outcome.

So why wait for it to play out in slow motion and instead figure out what the next step is?

It seems either way we're playing the losing side of the game and Beijing is keen to keep it that way, as it is the mother-in-law in the relationship...

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