some unorganized stuff about hong kong
‘What is postcoloniality?’
Recently preparing for an exam in decolonization. It says, poscolony refers to the condition of the post-independence period of colonies, which makes me laugh. Although I appreciate that this program made a lot of efforts in decentralizing Europe through large content on the African continents, the ‘postcolony’ I was familiar with is simply left out from the discussion.
2017 in the strange colony that never gains independence, I met Tsang.
We did a project together on pro-Beijing protest in British Hong Kong. I remember clearly that his English is REALLY BAD. In the Q&A session, he just switched to Cantonese and started explaining the collective nostalgia Hong Kongers hold towards British Hong Kong, with an example of the ‘Festival of Hong Kong.’ The professor asked each of us, ‘do you think the colonial government makes Hong Kong a better place?’ He answered, ‘the colonial government binds Hong Kongers together.’
The prof later tried to explain colonialism is a bad thing. The mainland students sitting on the front looked super funny, watching us being lectured on ‘common sense.’
In mainland China, is it not the same that colonialism or imperialism binds Chinese together? Being a ‘ half independent’ state is weighed as national pride. When they speak of Imperialism, they think of the Nanjing Massacre or the burning of Yuan Ming Yuan, they think of the barbarianism of fascists, the moral superiority of China simply because ‘we never colonized anywhere’. I remember my ex, once told me, ‘now that we had the power, we still did not do any harm to other countries like the Americans.’
Hong Kong is the periphery of periphery, there is no place for it to go.
They don’t share the same hatred towards the Japanese or the Americans, they don’t share the same kind of national pride as Chinese. But still, they are legally defined as Chinese.
During the protest, one of my friends started selling flags to protestors. He stored a lot of national flags in his room. On the street, we saw young people waving flags, among which the most irritating and were also given criticized harshly by media, was the British national and the British Hong Kong flag. My mainland friends named them as ‘colonial nostalgia’, to describe how Hong Kongers fantasize their time under colonization.
Do Hong Kongers really want to go ‘back’ to the rule of UK?
After the 2020 National Security Law, the whole Hong Kong society is in depression. I still lived on campus, along with only a few students that either did not want to go home or prefer to go to class, just like me. I bumped into Tsang almost every week. He was always holding a book, sometimes literature sometimes philosophy. .
One night I stopped him and we finally had a conversation. I told him I am leaving, and he said, right, Hong Kong is never your home. I was expecting him to be leaving as well, that is the norm among almost all of my intellectual Hong Kong friends.
Many Hong Kongers left to the UK, either as British Nationals Overseas, students, or asylum seekers. I left, not to the UK, after all, I had not much to do with neither Hong Kong nor the UK. Home is not a place, but a space that exists inside me. I moved, and bring it along with me.
But Tsang had no where to go, Home is in Hong Kong, he said.
‘I will Teach. Hong Kong needs me.’