Cantonese is not just Hong Kong’s mother tongue, it is a part of the city’s living culture
I am writing in response to Laurent Li’s letter (“Cantonese is the mother tongue of Hong Kong, no matter how much Mandarin you hear”, May 8).
If a person talks to you in a language that you can understand, it registers in your brain. But if someone talks to you in your mother tongue, it touches your heart.
It is apparent that Cantonese is the mother tongue of Hong Kong people. As we know, language is a part of culture. We need culture as we need air to breathe. Culture is unique and important to every country and every city.
Although the use of Cantonese is not limited to Hong Kong people, we have our own accent, words and expressions, which are different from those of Cantonese speakers in Guangdong province or Macau.
Mandarin and English can never replace Cantonese in Hong Kong. The language is one of the cultural symbols of Hong Kong.
Please love Cantonese and Hong Kong. We should be proud of Cantonese as our mother tongue. If someone says he loves Cantonese, reply “So do I!” with a sense of pride. Treasure our culture by loving it.
Cedar Ma, Tseung Kwan O