Lessons in patriotism
It seems that the people of Hong Kong are overly simplistic about patriotism.
For patriotism to thrive, one should think of one's country - China in our case - above all else. A patriot is one who is prepared to die for one's country when necessary, like the US soldiers in Iraq.
Patriotism should be the theme of every national endeavour - in education, the civil service and in public gatherings. Unfortunately, none of this seems to be happening in Hong Kong. Many years after the handover most Hong Kong people think only as citizens of a city and not as proud citizens of China.
Patriotism begins at birth. The birth of Hong Kong as a liberated city belonging to China on July 1, 1997, should have been an occasion for patriotic fervour, but it was more of celebration and entertainment.
In order to inculcate a sense of patriotism among Hong Kong people, I suggest that the singing of the national anthem of China be made compulsory at all public functions and school assembly meetings.
A system of compulsory military service for two years for all youngsters as soon as they reach the age of 18 should be implemented under the supervision of the People's Liberation Army. This training will instil a sense of belonging to the motherland.
Singapore has compulsory national service for all male citizens as soon as they reach the age of 18. Youngsters in Singapore have a sense of pride in being Singaporean. Though Hong Kong itself does not have a military, the PLA can help us.
Before crying for full democracy, let us show that we are patriots by developing schemes aimed at strengthening national spirit.
ANNA NAIDU, Mid-Levels