Esteemed author deserves better

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 February, 2001, 12:00am

I am writing to express my disappointment over the frosty reception author Gao Xingjian received at the hands of the SAR Government recently.

As an English teacher at a local high school, I was pleased to discover that my students felt a genuine sense of pride over Gao winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. In spite of his being forced into exile, my students still regarded him as one of their own.

After all, this was a fellow Chinese who had overcome great adversity to become an internationally recognised artist.

Perhaps they too would feel inspired to pursue the arts and enrich their own lives through his example.

But an educated, inquisitive population is precisely what the government in Beijing, and now unfortunately in Hong Kong, seems to want to avoid.

By not welcoming Gao, the Government not only neglected a perfect opportunity to promote literacy and the arts within the local community, it also projected an image of Hong Kong as uncouth and ill-mannered.

I can only hope that my students see beyond the vulgarity of this Government's actions and will be inspired to reach for Gao's artistic heights rather than fear having their wings clipped for the good of the state.