• Mon
  • Apr 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:52am
NewsHong Kong

Two very different New Year messages: CY Leung and US Consul General Clifford Hart release videos

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 January, 2014, 6:41pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 February, 2014, 8:30am
 

Poll

  • CY Leung's: 24%
  • US consulate's: 58%
  • Neither: 19%
1 Feb 2014
  • CY Leung's
  • US consulate's
  • Neither
Total number of votes recorded: 200

Two contrasting messages were delivered on video this Lunar New Year.

On the one hand, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took the opportunity to mark himself out as a man of the people by getting his hands dirty mixing traditional turnip cakes with a group of chefs using ‘recycled’ ingredients before eating them with elderly residents in need.

His oft repeated theme was ‘sharing’ – a message that could well be levelled at Hong Kong’s wealthy elite. With its soft focus and warm fuzzy colours Leung’s video is a fine example of how to project soft power, inspired perhaps by Xi Jinping’s undoubtedly spontaneous visit to Beijing restaurant serving squidgy savoury buns last month.

On the other hand, US Consul General Clifford Hart, takes the Year of the Horse a bit too literally in his message. Featuring Hannah the Horse, a finger puppet of the US government who wants to join the consulate’s car sharing scheme as a “one-horse power; green alternative, the lengthy video message appears pitched towards Hong Kong’s under fives in both tone and delivery.

The consul and members of his staff address the diminutive equine puppet as if it were an applying for a green card. It tries very hard to tick all right boxes as Hannah endures a series of stilted interviews from staff as she does her best to prove her value.

She eventually faces Hart, who practices his Cantonese and appears to offer her a job as his chauffeur. No expense spared in this Hollywood production.

 


Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's Lunar New Year speech

This is my second Lunar New Year’s message to the people of Hong Kong since being appointed chief executive and, in common with previous years, my wife Ching-yi and I decided to mark the occasion by making a short film.

When we were considering what style of movie to make, my colleagues suggested it should involve real people and welcome the Year of the Horse with a balance of optimism and caution.

One of my most fond memories of celebrating Lunar New Year during childhood is enjoying the seasonal food. When I recalled hearing about voluntary organisations in Hong Kong that avoid waste by recycling food and donating it to people in need I decided to make the film on the theme of ‘sharing’.

After contacting one of the organisations concerned, Ching-yi and I found ourselves working as volunteers in a kitchen preparing turnip cake, one of the most traditional new year’s delicacies. When our work was finished we joined elderly members of society at the community centres around the city to enjoy the cakes. It was very enjoyable to talk with them over lunch in the run up to Lunar New Year and we were almost unaware of the cameras rolling in the background.

Shooting went smoothly – relaxed and without drama – and the film turned out a success. It was a pleasure to share the food we had helped prepare and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voluntary organisation we worked with and all the others involved who offer help to those in need at this time.

While we celebrate the Lunar New Year with our families, I hope everyone will share their happiness with people with need. May we all enjoy love and warmth in our home of seven million people during the Year of the Horse.

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This article is now closed to comments

yellow_lynx_cat
In Chinese New Year you never told people to eat leftovers and ate like beggars. This is the wrong tone and mode.
Hollander323
Yellow, you are a hateful person, and you particularly hate CY for some reasons that I cannot understand. Your are bogged down in your hate to such depth that you lost yor conscience. I feel sorry for you!
johnyuan
To yellow....
.
Your posting inspired me the thought that most of the middle class in Hong Kong are set into like eating leftovers from the few privileged for their livelihood. You may disagree since 50% of the population owns their flats which at the highest value in the world. There is a difference between having one’s wealth (a paper value) locked in one’s flats then from the privileged whose wealth are much more and liquidable. The latter easily can be your boss handing out crumbs from the wealth you help to create. But you can’t do the same because there is no opportunity for you to do the same.
.
CY Leung’s is not belittling the poor. He is using thinking outside the box to save resources and helping the unfortunate. It takes tremendous courage to bend tradition especially in the Chinese New Year celebration. You can disagree and you will get a negative view. If you see what I see, you get an admirable positive view in helping out the poor in whatever way.
dienw
My earlier comment: "this piece sounds like it was written by a People's Daily hack" has been removed, perhaps by the hack?
carmeledwin
kung Hay Fat Choi! May our Chief Executive, Mr. C.Y Leung be successful in the fight against poverty! This was the best Chinese New Year Message I had seen from a Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
On the other hand, I find the American Consul General's message to be childish and immature. Mind you, this is typical of the United States Government.
Hollander323
It's a bit disappointing for some people not being able to find some traits of a wolf in CY!
HaHaHa! Kung Hei Fat Choy to you !
johnyuan
CY Leung’s out of the box from a traditional Chinese New Year greeting but brought a message that bounty should be shared. Food are not wasted but diverted to the people not as fortunate. It needs not always forcing the wealthy but sharing a sense of care by all of Hong Kong can bring happiness to the giver and receiver. May success bestow upon CY Leung’s fight on poverty in Hong Kong throughout his CE tenure. Hope the 50 years anniversary of this month of US President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty’ which had lifted millions of American out of poverty gives inspiration to CY Leung’s courage.
johnyuan
This home made video for the Chinese New Year celebration despite a low budget production but packed with lot creativity in introducing year of the horse. Good and loving humor but overlaid with practical reality about keeping our air clean. The Consul General Clifford Hart demonstrated his skill and knowledge of his familiarity in local culture, very impressive.
asiaseen
That US Consul's video I think is the most embarrassingly awful production I have ever seen. To describe it as infantile doesn't even come close...
chuchu59
The 3 interviewers looked like they were members of the mafia LOL.

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