Awaiting a Democratic Hong Kong
Today, I was eating ice cream with a friend by the harbour. I showed him where the water line used to be when I was growing up and how the land we were standing on at that point all used to be water. I said, "over there too." Pointing at the convention center. "It is where they signed the handover agreement." I told him. "Before that, when it was a construction site, my friends and I broke into it and got really drunk inside because we thought the whole thing was so crap, that these two countries where dictating what our future is, and here was where it was going to be, so before they got there, we were going to have a party, kinda a every day resistance kinda thing."
"You weren't happy about the handover." He said,
"I thought it was good the British left, but I was also angry that we did not get to be on our own. I thought they should have had a referendum and let us choose our own fate."
Then I told him about the way we viewed Hong Kong, China, why Tiananmen was such a terrible terrible thing and how it dashed our hopes of a less opressive china, and how it put fear into us, and how this election is going to be so important because if we win all the open election seats and manage to get democratic party supporting members in the functioning constituencies then maybe we would be able to get a majority, and how the turn out hopefully will be massive and it was such a truly important election and been such an important year politcally over here.
And he said, "So you don't think of being in China. It's like two different countries. You write on the address Hong Kong, China, but being here, nobody thinks of this being part of the country. With all that history, a people cannot suddenly overnight think of themselves the same way and just turn over. Hong Kong was always separate from the mainland."
I never really thought about it in that way, that we were always an independent state of our own, although we were under british rule, we were still our own place. We never felt like we were part of china, and the truth is we still do not really think of ourselves as China, because here we have free speech and a free economy, here we are a first world rather than a developing world, here we have our own culture and ideas, entertainment, and fashion, something completely outside of China, or Taiwan or Japan, that is purely Hong Kong. That is OURS, and no matter how the borders are redrawn, we will always remain our own.
"So you think of yourself as different country? No?" He said.
"I know we think of ourselves as one people. Chinee people are always together that way. Hong Kong, China, Taiwan.. and we have different system from China, so it makes us different. That's why they call it, one country two systems right? And well as for the country. I guess it is like three countries, but not in a politically reconized way. But if we get universal suffrage, if we get to rule ourselves, and choose our own leaders and China can respect our autonomy, then it will be like three coutries, like really three countries..."
"So it's a hope."
"Yeah... Maybe it will happen. Wait. It will happen. Three countries of one people. I would like that."