Discrimination – a term being abused in HK and the importance of safeguarding Cantonese

Language is a key to not only civilisation, but also racial identity. It somehow put restrictions on the way you think.

As many know, Cantonese (UN recongised it as a language a while back) and English are the two official languages in Hong Kong. The majority of us speak both, mostly Cantonese in daily use. An interesting thing is, many Cantonese words used in Hong Kong (some in China use Cantonese, mainly in Guangdong) is derived directly from English. We also very often incorporate English words in our conversations too. Taxi drivers in Hong Kong can often speak a bit of English despite most of them have received very limited education.

So, as a newbie in Hong Kong, one would certainly be prepared to learn Cantonese – may not be fluent, but you should at least respect the local languages here.

If you are prepared to go to a local school, you will expect to be taught in Cantonese and English. That requires no explanation nor does it constitute any sort of discrimination.

Below are two clips with English subtitle:

Do you honestly think that using Cantonese for interviewing kindergartens in Hong Kong can be seen as discrimination? In universities, English is typically the language being used in lectures. Some courses, however, use Cantonese due to what is being taught at the course. If one choose to take up the Cantonese language lecture (there’s a Mandarin one, because there are too many Chinese studying in HK), could you blame the lecturer for using Cantonese as the medium of instruction? What I don’t understand is why did the university provide a Mandarin lecture specifically for Chinese students? It’s like an international student from France who study in the UK and he/she would naturally expect all lectures to be taught in English.

Discrimination is being used so very often in Hong Kong, particularly by the Chinese students and new immigrants. The thing is, many of the immigrants from China back in the days (early 40s to 60s), they only spoke their own dialects. They did, however, tried very hard to fit in and because they know if they didn’t fit in and learn the language, they would not be able to live in Hong Kong and find a job. This is simply logic. My parents, for example, were not aboriginal Hong Kongers. They also emigrated to Hong Kong decades ago (to flee from the Communists, of course). They never expected to not speak Cantonese and be able to survive in Hong Kong.

By having more and more Chinese immigrants who refuse to speak our language, Hong Kongers will become the minority and Cantonese will soon be lost. A language with thousands of years of history, yet has been modified over all these years. Cantonese in Hong Kong, in particular, changes rapidly – mainly due to the influence of British English and the colonial time.

One thing you’re probably not aware of if you do not read and write Cantonese, there are increasing number of terminologies have been changed into the Mandarin version, and are broadcast via TV channels (news and drama), radio channels, as well as newspapers. People are not aware of them if they’re not careful – 打造, for example, literally means “hit make”, is a term that’s been widely used in China. It is a newly created term to replace many words in Chinese languages, including ” 建造 (construct)”, “建設(build)”, “創造(create)”, etc.

This is a subtle change, but day by day, this kind of changes in use of word, replacement of terms will have tremendous impact to a race. Below is an abstract from the book 1984:

“It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word, which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ‘good,’ for instance. If you have a word like ‘good,’ what need is there for a word like ‘bad’? ‘Ungood’ will do just as well – better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of ‘good,’ what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and all the rest of them? ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning or ‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality, only one word. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.’s idea originally, of course,” he added as an afterthought. (1.5.23, Syme)

As I said up front, language in a way constructs the way we think…

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.” (1.5.23, Syme)

Just leave this to you to think…

Over and out!

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Calling folks from Virginia! I have bad news for you…

Calling folks from Virginia! You are being f—ed by (Mainland) Chinese! It’s only a metaphor! Sorry, please don’t get offended.

I’ve just finished reading an article, and it reminds me of something that I always want to tell people in Virginia state…

Translating names from western languages into Chinese languages is certainly very difficult. I dare say it’s an art! if you use one wrong character the meaning of the name is completely and instantly changed and can become a joke.

Do you know your state HAD a beautiful name in Cantonese? But do you know because of China’s invasion and expansionism, Virginia has become a cursed state? Let me tell you why…

Virginia is “translated” Cantonese as “維珍尼亞洲” – its Romanisation is “Wai4 Zan1 Nei4 Aa3 Zau1”, the meaning of each character:

維:maintain, preserve, safeguard

珍:precious, valuable, rare

尼:(originally) close, near; (derived meaning) Buddhist nun

亞:second, Asia

洲:state, continent

The “Cantonese translation” is very pretty when you pronounce it, and it kind of make Virginia a precious state based on the meaning. In fact, people often associate the characters above to beautiful things.

When we look at Mandarin version of Virginia, you will see this: 弗吉利亞 – in Mandarin, it’s Fu2, Ji2, Ni2, Ya4, Zhou1, here’s the meaning of each character:

弗:negative, not

吉:luck

The rest is the same as Cantonese’s.

Here’s the catch:

If you read the name in Mandarin “Fu Ji Nei” goes together is the same as “unlucky”. Fu sounds kind of like the F word to non-English speakers (maybe to English speakers too). The character 吉 share the same pronunciation as 㓤, which means poke… Now Virginia has become a virgin who gets f—ed and poked in Mandarin, it’s a bit nasty isn’t it?

Do you really still want to learn Mandarin because it’s the mother tongue of 1.3 billion people (if you’ve been to some remote provinces in China, you’d realise that Mandarin actually comes in SOOOOOO many different forms)? Please you need to ask yourself… How many people can speak English, both first or second language?

Over and out!

 

Erasing HK Race – First Start with Killing Cantonese

According to the Statistics Department, the percentage of Hong Kongers who can speak Mandarin went up from 25% in 1996 to 50% last year, but the percentage of Hong Kongers who can speak Cantonese (our official language and mother tongue) fell!

China’s invasion or colonisation plan is progressive yet in massive scale:

– Make sure that the people of Hong Kong feel (or fear) that without China, Hong Kong cannot survive

– Once this concept is embedded in the majority of the Hong Kongers (in fact the whole world), they can begin ordering the HKSAR government to “promote” the importance of Mandarin

– If you’ve read ancient Chinese poems, especially Tong poems, you’ll find that they rhyme a lot better if you read them out in Cantonese than Mandarin. Mandarin, is really not a Chinese language, it is the language that was modified based on Manchurian’s mother tongue in Qing. The Chinese back in those days for some reasons prefer to change their own language and appearance (having queue – aka men’s ponytail), and call it “Chinese” so that they don’t feel as bad (Hey! they’re Chinese too, they didn’t invade us, it’s just a change of emperor). Nowadays, Chinese language is taught in Mandarin in HK! Even the government’s website has changed – official languages used to be (as far as I remember) Cantonese and English, but now it says Chinese and English. This may not really mean anything to the non-Chinese speaking community (as they’d say “Cantonese is Chinese too!”), but Cantonese is a language (UN already recognised it!) and that HKers’ mother tongue really is Cantonese. It’s almost like British learning French back in the old days because it’s “the upper class” language (not that Mandarin is upper class by any means) – ridiculous! English is no longer being valued these days, because the whole world is evolving around China, according to China and the western world and of course the HKSAR government. Also, China sees every single British heritage (in fact anything that’s related to the post-handover time) is a disgrace to them, they have no intention for HKers to speak good English – they don’t care if HKers lose their competitiveness because HKers are never one of the Chinese in their eyes. The result is the appalling standard of English, particularly the younger generation.

– Erasing your language is only the beginning. You must have read about how great China is when it comes to censorship. There’s a book on Hong Kong history, the (traditional) Chinese version is being censored and a revised version was published and all the “non-censored” copies were recalled. Now that the English standard is low, the Chinese version available is censored, the Hong Kongers is prevented from reading the real history. Clever, hey?

Another thing I want to point out is that, there are 150 (yes, one hundred fifty) Chinese from across the boarder who can immigrate to Hong Kong EVERY DAY! After 16 years, there are approximately 870,000 Chinese who now call themselves Hong Kongers. Bear in mind, though, Hong Kongers cannot get a China citizenship nor the PRC passport. 870,000 is around 12% of Hong Kong’s current total population!

Imagine, say for example, you’re American…

You walk into your local grocery store, the shop owner and staff there all speak to you in Spanish and when you ask them to speak English, they were in awe.

When you tell foreigners who’re visiting America that you’re from America, and he/she response “Isn’t America part of Mexico?” When you explain that they are two separate country (alright, Hong Kong isn’t independent yet, but give it time), “But your country’s soil is connected to the Mexican soil!”

When your government tell you, Spanish is very important because the amount of trade and the increasing number of Mexican immigrants, you need to accommodate them so all American have to adapt Spanish as their main language.

How’s that make you feel?

To make it worse, you are a loyal countryman, and pay tax on time, never ask anything from government (social benefits, etc), and because of the influx of immigrants who have low (or no) skills, and cannot find job in your country. Your government spend your tax money to provide these foreigners everything they need: medical, education, social welfare, etc. while you are earning so little that you could just pay tax and live a everything bear minimum life (don’t even think about buying a flat)… You call for help and complain about exploitation, these immigrants turn around and tell you “you have to accommodate us, we share the same ethnicity! You should speak our language too because we are so important to your country” and then apply their entire family and sometimes folks from the entire village to move into your country and do exactly the same thing.

Imagine all these have been happening in your country for 16 year. At start this happened slowly but now your neighbouring country is speeding this process up.

You become the minority of your country, yet have to support the majority who invade your country! Shouldn’t you stand up and tell the world that this cannot go on? Even shut down the government and gain your rights back and protect your children from suffering even more server consequences that await them?

Over and out.

Beijing Woman Slams Hong Kong Movie “Vulgaria”

Vulgaria, a locally produced comedy filled with hilarious satire. The focus of this movie is about “how hard it is to be in the movie industry” – behind the glorious surface of the entertainment industry, it is actually very tough.

For some reason and not sure when, swearing is no longer accepted in Hong Kong movies. Since when thugs speak without swearing is beyond me, but this is how ridiculous the censorship in Hong Kong has become – one step closer to China, perhaps.

This movie won a lot of support from the Hong Kongers because characters in this movie seem much more alive and real than many Hong Kong-China joint productions. Hong Kongers can relate themselves and believe that those characters actually exist! It may not be an Oscars grade, according to netizens and commentators, but very real Hong Kong story, a hysterical mocking/reflection of the movie industry and, most importantly, funny.

Image

Hong Kongers think that nothing is wrong for locally produced movies targeting the locals. Many also agree that swearing exists in every corner in the world, and shouldn’t be made a huge fuzz about such – swearing is quite common in movies made by the West. Many audiences said they enjoyed the laughs and find it a unique movie in the current market, which is dominated by well funded movies targeting the China market, meaning censorship (nothing bad about China and there are cases whereby movies have to “change” history to praise China) and not “real” enough.

A Peking (Beijing) young woman wrote a critic piece about this movie, slamming how “vulgar” this movie is (the movie is called “Vularia”). Hong Kongers think that she’s using a very political view on her critic piece instead of approaching it from an art appreciation/critic point of view. Her piece won her the Gold ADC Critic’s Prize (cash award of HK$50,000) – the judge panel was found to be closely connected to the China government and the writer. Bottom of this blog post is an English report for your reference.

Her prize caused massive public discontent in Hong Kong, mainly against her not-art-critic view point on the movie, and fuels Hong Kongers’ worry about China’s propaganda and plan to colonise Hong Kong by penetrating into Hong Kong – legal system (recent prosecution of protesters who joint a rally approved by the government), education (national and moral education), clean government (Chief Executives and many other influential figures in Hong Kong are alleged to be underground Community Party members), the influx of China immigrants, the increasing use of simplified Chinese characters in the public, the use of Putonghua (Mandarin) in school instead of Cantonese (the native language of Hong Kong – for the record, Cantonese is recognised by the UN as a language and over 100 million people in the world are using it) etc. This time, is the arts space and movie industry.

According to some, this kind of penetration programme is a technique the China government has been using in the past 60-plus years since it was established.

The freedoms in Hong Kong, a land with a history of over 170 years, is being eroded ever since the handover of sovereignty back in 1997.

Critique of Critic’s Prize Award

Written by Alice Poon (潘慧嫻)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s award of a Gold ADC Critic’s Prize (the first of its kind) to a local journalist Jia Xuanning for her critical essay on the film “Vulgar Comedy” (“低俗喜劇”) has stirred up much controversy. The essay itself is under caustic attack from liberal-minded Hong Kongers.

Here are translated excerpts from another retort article by an InmediaHK writer:-

“I have commented from a cultural viewpoint. Now let me give a critique on the latter half of the essay from a social viewpoint.  The essay points out [the Mainland may well act as Hong Kong’s benevolent master, but it has not won Hong Kongers’ heart. On the one hand Hong Kongers bow to the Mainland’s economic prowess, while on the other refuse to let go of their residual sense of superiority on the mental level. This paradoxical mentality is like the psychological struggle of the film’s character played by Du: he shows an obsequious smiling face, while at heart he feels he’s being raped; they feel alienated from the mainlanders’s ‘inferiority’, yet they are being naturalized and glossed over. In the face of the Mainland, Hong Kong senses a loss of self-esteem and a collapse of the last line of defense with no power to retaliate, and in the end the already sickly relationship between the two places will only exacerbate.] (I’ve quoted this from the original essay, to avoid being accused of taking remarks out of context.) Jia’s essay smacks of imperialist mentality, full of condescension, insinuating that Hong Kongers are subservient to money, that being rich is almighty (as implied by ‘benevolent master’). Yet, Jia does not have a clear perception of reality. To say that Hong Kongers are jealous of mainlanders’ wealth is pure conjecture. According to IMF data, Hong Kong has a GDP per capita of close to US$36,000, while the Mainland’s figure is around US$6,000. Hong Kong is the Mainland third largest export partner (the first two being the European Union and the United States). The PRC’s Commerce Department data shows that Hong Kong’s investment in Mainland China amounts to US$600 billion, i.e. 46 percent of all of its foreign investment. As is apparent from data of different sources, the Mainland has to rely on Hong Kong.”

筆者已經批評《從》的文化觀點,今批評文中後部的社會觀點。文中指「大陸可以做香港的恩主,卻無法收服港人的心,港人臣服於大陸在經濟層面的強盛,卻又決計不肯放棄精神層面殘存的優越感,這種一邊依賴、一邊排斥的矛盾關係,令港人對大陸的心態正像片中杜汶澤那樣掙扎:表面曲意賣笑,內心卻感到在「被強姦」;既不能認同大陸人的「低質素」,又在被不斷同化與浸淫。當香港在大陸這個「他者」面前,感到尊嚴流失、底線崩塌又偏偏無力還擊時,病態的中港關係便愈演愈烈。」(此處為原文,免得指筆者斷章取義)。賈氏的文章充斥帝國主義者的心態,如君臨天下的駕馭港人,以為有錢大晒,暗指港人為奴才(恩主的暗示)。然而,賈氏沒有看清現實。若果論香港人妒忌大陸人有錢,卻是無中生有。根據國際貨幣基金組織的數據,香港人均本地生產總值為近三萬六千多美元,而中國大陸為六千多美元,香港的人均本地生產總值足足多大陸六倍。香港為中國第三的出口顆伴(依次為歐盟,美國),達近百分之十四。根據中華人民共和國商務部外國投資管理司的數據,香港對大陸的投達近六千億美元,佔中國境外投資的百分之四十六,為各國最高。從各方面的數據,大陸都必須依靠香港。當年戈爾巴喬夫說俄羅斯的經濟改革比大陸更困難,因為沒有香港。

“Even without mentioning the mutually beneficial economic co-operation, the Mainland is still indebted to Hong Kong from the historical standpoint. During the Great Leap Forward when 30 million Chinese were starving to death (I do not know whether Jia has read about this part of Chinese history?), Hong Kongers selflessly extended help to the Mainland. More recently, whenever there were natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, Hong Kongers, apart from donating money generously, were involved in a series of rehabilitation hope -projects. On the other hand, the so-called tourism benefits brought about by the individual travel scheme are only concentrated in sales of luxury goods and local properties, to the detriment of local small and medium businesses. The real effect of that scheme is to enrich the few conglomerates; it does not benefit the average citizen at all. Indeed, citizens have had to bear the negatives, like street congestion, bad behaviors of travelers, parallel trades and a whole lot of resource distribution problems. I would urge Jia to take a fuller view of facts before writing, and would beseech the award panelists to use their common sense in making judgment.”

先不論互惠互利的經濟合作,從歷史看,大陸仍是虧欠香港。當年大躍進餓死三千萬人(不知賈氏讀中國歷史時有沒有這段歷史?),香港人無條件接濟大陸。改革開放後,中國發生的天災人禍,例如華東水災,四川大地震等,香港人捐了無數的資金,還有一系列的希望工程。大陸有錢人不做的,香港人全都包了上身。然而,自由行帶來的所謂消費,高度集中在奢侈品和樓,排斥了本地的中小企業。而掌控奢侈品的,卻是本土大財閥,自由行的結果就是助長財團,一般市民根本不能得益。另一方面,一般市民卻要承受負面的外部成本,例如阻街,自由行影響市容的行為,水貸問題和一系列資源分配問題等等。請賈氏寫文章前,好好看清現實,並請評審員判斷時,運用你們的常識。

“On another issue, the essay mentions that the film ‘Vulgar Comedy’ discriminates against mainlanders because one of the characters in the film played by Cheng mocks at mainlanders, which reflects a fear that Hong Kongers harbor. First of all, the film is not discriminatory towards mainlanders, as that character is a nouveau-riche plebeian and is not representative of all mainlanders. What the film tries to mock are the philistine habits of some nouveau-riche commoners – it does not amount to discrimination. However, what Jia says about Hong Kongers’ fear is correct, but for the wrong reason. Starting from the day of the handover, the Central Government has constantly been chipping away Hong Kongers’ freedom, trying arrogantly to domesticate Hong Kong with the Mainland’s officialdom way of handling things. It even mentions co-operation of the three powers. Now Hong Kong enjoys less and less freedom. Dissidents are suppressed. A society attuned to lies is in the making, thanks to the Central and Hong Kong SAR governments. The freedoms that we enjoy are a natural endowment – they are not granted by the Basic Law. We are being robbed of those freedoms. Certainly we have good reason to fear.”

此外,文中提及《低》歧視大陸人,因為鄭中基所演的角色是嘲弄大陸人,反映出香港人對大陸的恐懼。她的說法部分正確。第一,《低》並沒有種族歧視,因為鄭中基所演的角色是大陸的暴發戶,而非指所有大陸人。《低》所嘲笑的,是大陸暴發戶的惡俗,並不構成種族歧視,而且,若果將暴發戶英雄化,恐怕賈小姐亦不能接受。賈氏所說香港人對大陸的恐懼是正確的,不過卻是錯的理由。自主權移交後,中共不斷壓制香港人的自由,妄圖以大陸官場的方式同化香港,更提出所謂三權合作。現今香港的自由越來越少了,反抗者被打壓,變成謊言社會,全都是中共和港共政府所造成。我們所享的自由,理應是天賦,不是《基本法》賦予的,中共像強盜般奪去,港人當然恐懼。

“What should have been an arts critique essay turns out to read more like a social commentary, full of political motives. I cannot but be baffled as to why such an essay could be selected for an award. Is it proper for the Arts Development Council to be thus politically charged? Why has this Council in Hong Kong become so like the Propaganda Department in directing ideology? If such an essay is worthy of an award, then participants in the next competition will probably slant their essays towards ideology. I would rather watch vulgar films than read a work of venomous lies.”

一篇藝術評論文章,竟然寫了社會評論那樣,而且充滿政治動機,令筆者不得不擔心為何《從《低俗喜劇》透視港片焦慮》一文可以得獎。藝發局是否有政治的含義?為何一個香港人的局變成中宣部那麼,指示意識形態?若果這文章可以得獎,那麼下一屆的藝術評論參賽者則可能朝此意識形態寫文章,只怕不久香港爆發一場文化大革命,藝術品服膺於政治命令。我寧可睇低俗的作品,也不想看惡毒的謊言。