Canto-pop – Wedding Invitation Street

Canto-pop back in the 80s was so much more diverse than nowadays. Songwriters and lyric writers used to incorporate their political stand and observation of the social issues in their work. Beyond and Tak Ming Pair are two bands that are renown for such work. Sam Hui is another significant figure in this as well, just like the song I posted before.

Double Happiness, as many of you know, is a symbol in Chinese language that represents marriage. There was a small area in Wan Chai that was famous for the trade of printing wedding invitation, hence, it’s nickname Double Happiness Invitation Street. Unfortunately, in the name of urban renewal, this area was torn down and a number of lifeless skyscrapers were built and the area was turned into a Soho style zone. I can’t even imagine how difficult it is for the shop owners who practically raised their families by running a joyful business in the area, as for the couples who went to the area to make part of their lifelong memories together this is another loss of “collective memories”.

Double Happiness Invitation Street”, a more recent Canto-pop sung by Kay Tse is supposedly a love song, but a netizen did some magic by using some footages and created a new video, which remarkably made the lyrics resembles some of the local Hong Kongers’ feelings for the British rule and their discontent about the China governance. Instead of taking the face value of the lyrics, one can see the metaphors.

The netizen who created this video did a fantastic job on translating the lyrics, but I think a few tweaks would, perhaps, help translate the meanings better. Below is my translation, hope you’d enjoy before I go on further about my thoughts:

Double Happiness Invitation Street

Let go of the flowers you’ve planted, takeoff again and forget about your dreams

Don’t look back at the dusty wedding invitation, you’re about to move

If one manages to build, one must accept that it will fall eventually

In reality, there is not a type of stability or happiness that last for eternity

Same as this area, which was seen as the best in the world

But, out of the blue, all the units in the area are vacant and almost taken over by crows

The good times don’t last forever, whatever goes up must come down

The one you love, probably won’t be with you for the rest of your life

Perhaps, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Forget about the one you loved, the one whose name was hot-stamped in gold on the wedding invitation

The wall where the framed weeding picture was hung and the beautiful era will be torn down tomorrow

Forget about the home you once had, the little dining table, the sofa, the fridge and the two cups of breakfast tea

The sweet time was on lease, when the time is up it would have to be returned, correct?

It could not be delayed until the next generation, right?

Forget about the sand castle you built, the castle in memory will collapse in an instant

When facing the deserted land, you ought to learn to let go and move on

Tiles cannot resist abrasion, window frame cannot imprison the sunset

Is love enough to bound two forever?

Would another sigh of sorrow help?

Forget about the one you loved, the one whose name was hot-stamped in gold on the wedding invitation

The wall where the framed weeding picture was hung and the beautiful era will be torn down tomorrow

Forget about the home you once had, the little dining table, the sofa, the fridge and the two cups of breakfast tea

The sweet time was on lease, when the time is up it would have to be returned, correct?

The time will surely come. Please don’t be afraid.

Please let go of the keys (this line was not translated in the video clip, no reason was given by the creator of this clip)

Interesting to listen to the song with this video.

Many called the Hong Kongers, who miss the good old days when Hong Kong was under British rule, the British running dogs. They claim that Hong Kong is enjoying more freedom and democracy than when we were under the British rule. They even said “the Brits treated the Hong Kong people like dogs. What have they ever done to you that makes you so grateful for them?”

Before I say anymore, here’s a little clip I’d like to watch.

I am not saying that the Brits did nothing wrong, and frankly speaking Hong Kongers were always inferior to the Brits in Hong Kong. However, are things really that different nowadays? The Chinese are treating Hong Kongrs as some sort of debtors who must repay their debt. The debt we have to repay is the prosperity and freedom we enjoyed during British rule. Why is that our fault for China to suffer from Mao’s dictatorship? Why is it our responsibility to support China for eternity? As if the people of Hong Kong had not helped China enjoy – the amount of money and supplies we provided to our so-called relatives from 50s to 70s, and the investments Hong Kongers have made in China throughout the entire time.

The British government was trying to prepare the Hong Kongers for democracy, it was China who banned this and made sure that it would not happen even after the sovereignty was handed over. China has denied Hong Kong’s promised fully democratic election for both the governor/chief executive as well as the legislature.

The people of Hong Kong did not know better about democracy during the British rule, but now many have understood more and more about it. Another important thing is, Hong Kongers finally understand that a totalitarian communist country would never ever “give” us freedom and democracy. That’s why many of us do different things to try wake up the others. What is wrong to fight for democracy? What is wrong for even fighting for independence? Isn’t that human rights to choose what government they should have? The UN wants to decolonise the world, and ensures colonies to have self-determination. What about Hong Kong? What did the world do? What did the Brits do? What did the Chinese do?

Hong Kongers also are guilty. If we had fought for democracy instead of “accepting our fate”, none of China’s colonisation could have happened.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s