Hong Kong youngsters are failing to take pride in China’s history

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 4:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 7:50pm

October 10 marked the 106th anniversary of China's 1911 revolution. For decades, Chinese people had fought so hard to gain national dignity, democracy and civil liberties, and also better livelihoods.

As a Hongkonger, I am so proud that this is the place where the father of the nation, Sun Yat-sen, found the inspiration to make the tremendous changes China needed and establish it as a republic.

Sun studied the ideas for modernising the nation while in the then-British colony and founded the first revolutionary group Xingzhonghui (the predecessor of the Kuomintang).

It saddens me when I realise that many local teenagers are becoming less aware of their nation’s history and equating that with their resistance against the policies of the central government. This attitude has also led to tensions between them and mainland tourists.

Politicians and sections of the media which demonise China should share the blame. They have taken the naturally rebellious attitude of youngsters, distorted it and turned it into a hatred of the nation, despite the rapid pace of China’s economic development.

We should not forget how, with our open economy and political environment, the city has benefited as a conduit to the mainland. If we want to democratise Hong Kong, it must be done in a rational way and can then be held up as an example to the central government.

Adolescents should study history and see how the revolutionaries of 1911 were inspired by feelings of patriotism. These youngsters should care about the country’s culture and celebrate the progress it has made. It is important to teach Chinese studies in local schools.

There is a lot of room for improvement in China, but surely it is best to discuss rationally how to help change it.

Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay