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Education

Cantonese is Hong Kong’s link to its past and the future

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2018, 2:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2018, 2:44pm

I refer to your article on Hong Kong officials allaying concerns over whether Cantonese could be considered the city’s mother tongue (“Should Mandarin replace Cantonese in Hong Kong? No, says Carrie Lam”, May 3). 

I think every language is a “vehicle of culture”, and must be preserved. Once even a regional dialect disappears, the culture it supports will also fade out.

Cantonese has a longer history than Mandarin. It represents a multitude of ideas, customs, social behaviour, values and beliefs to Hong Kong citizens. The government cannot let Mandarin replace Cantonese, as it involves the traditional culture of Hong Kong. It is preposterous for us not to retain a strong attachment to Cantonese, given that its value is impossible to dispute. 

Also, many people in Hong Kong have lately raised concerns about the mainland government tightening controls on Hong Kong. 

This is all the more reason we should never overlook the negative effects of the demise of an endangered culture: that would break the connection between us and the next generation in Hong Kong. 

Harmoni Wong, Shek Yam