A New Year’s message to Hong Kong: let us celebrate our diversity

Hong Kong has a lot going for it. Victoria Harbour is world renowned, a natural and man-made haven that has sheltered a variety of merchantmen from stormy weather.

The city of the same name, once perched precariously on the steep slopes of mountains that rise majestically from the South China Sea, now stands a beacon of modernity — and yet, between its towering skyscrapers, streets and alleyways full of business, life continues.

Then there is Kowloon, the sister city across the water, built in the shadow of the Lion Rock. It is a city developed along connections, between roads that once ran from the waterfront fort to the colonial boundary, and others that long ago linked local settlements and clans to the North. Through its heart runs the first boulevard in China, Nathan Road.

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Tolerant, diverse, multicultural: People are at the heart of the Hong Kong story

Evan reflects on The Hong Kong Story, a documentary produced just before the 1997 handover. It documents a different city, one not defined by the flag but by its people. It was a city that recognised its diverse ethnic, cultural and national identities, not only among western immigrants but also among its Chinese community. This was the Hong Kong that Evan remembers.

編按: Evan 於本文回顧於 1997 年回歸前拍攝的「香江故事」。該片記錄了一個與現在截然不同的城市,一個不是由旗幟而由其人民定義的城市。這個城市不僅承認其來自西方的移民,也承認了華人社區中的民族多樣性、文化和民族特色。 Evan 認為這才是香港。

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As Catalans call a referendum, we dare not risk China’s wrath in Hong Kong 加泰羅尼亞人號召公投,但香港人不敢這樣做

Evan looks at the parallels between the Catalan referendum and the 2014 poll, and the following Occupy protests. Whilst he sees many similarities, he stresses that there is a fundamental difference: the relationship of Hong Kong people with our national government is defined by fear. We dare not have a referendum. And our “pragmatism” is not pragmatic, but really a sign of oppression.

編按:Evan 審視加泰羅尼亞公投、香港 2014 年民意調查,以及之後的佔領行動,雖然從中看到很多相似之處,但 Evan 強調兩地人民有根本區別:香港人與政府的關係是由恐懼所決定的,我們因此不敢公投;我們所謂的「實用主義」並不務實,而是真正被壓迫的跡象。

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The Eurasian Face

“Where are you from?”

As a Eurasian I am often asked this question. I do not believe it is because I am for any reason particularly noteworthy in either my looks, habits or actions. I’ve tended to be one for blending in to a crowd. I do not stand tall, model-like, proclaiming my desirability with a toothy smile and tight jeans. So it pains me to admit it’s unlikely to be a chat up line.

And the question where I am from is often followed by a guess.

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Britain may regain some dignity by speaking up for Hong Kong 英國為港發聲或仍能挽回一些尊嚴

編按:方禮倫在本文指,當年英國政府很可能不期望「中英聯合聲明」得到兌現,但仍執意與中國簽署聲明。 他認為,儘管看似無能為力,但英國有法律和道德上的義務維護聲明。為港發聲不僅可使英國在北京獲得更大的尊重,也表現出英國人的價值觀。

Evan writes that it was likely the British government knowingly signed the Joint Declaration with no expectation of the treaty being honoured. He argues that whilst Britain may seem powerless, it has a legal and moral obligation to call out a wrong. Doing so would not only likely earn Britain greater respect in Beijing, but also represent the values of the British people.

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Coming back homeless 回來也無家可歸

編按:方禮倫曾患嚴重抑鬱,掙扎兩年,差點死去,他在本文述說人與人之間的信任和破裂,也談及他在香港感到日漸失去自己的家園。他問前任特首梁振英,北京指「雨傘運動」受到外國勢力擺佈,但有拿出證據嗎?為什麼「一國兩制」竟滋生出本土派和愛國派的極端分子,抱著種族主義和仇外心理,好勇鬥狠?這些心態本不屬於他視之為家的香港。英文原文在中文譯文之下。

After a two year struggle with severe depression that very nearly ended his life, Evan writes of the break down in relationships and trust, and the sense of losing his home, Hong Kong. He asks the city’s former Chief Executive, CY Leung, where is the promised evidence of foreign interference that Beijing blames for the Umbrella Revolution? And why has “One Country” politics fostered a patriotic and localist extreme that is racist, xenophobic and aggressive, and thoroughly alien to the Hong Kong that was his home? English original text is below the Chinese translated text.

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Some Thoughts on Hong Kong and Nationalism

There is a common complaint among some of my friends on the Mainland that Hong Kong people are arrogant, that they consider themselves different from their comrades on the Mainland, and that they are letting down their nation. It is a complaint that I am always careful to hear out, but also to address.

I begin by asking whether they think Hong Kong people are, in their arrogance and attitude towards their nation, different from people in China? The answer is always yes. At which point I ask them to define a nation. By this point most people see where my questions are leading, and the complaint is usually dropped. Sometimes, to highlight the folly in what is not only flawed understanding of nationhood but a shameful and positively 19th century attitude towards race, I asked them whether they consider me Hong Kong Chinese? It is not polite courtesy that ends the conversation there, but often embarrassment in their position.

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