Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP
Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

World Refugee Day: where the word ‘refugee’ came from

  • The French ‘refugié’ originally referred to the Reformed Protestants who fled persecution in 17th century Catholic France
  • It is a tragic irony that, Hong­kongers, many of whom are descendants of 1950s refugees, may yet be compelled to seek refugee status elsewhere

Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP
Chinese refugees arriving in Hong Kong, in May 1962, ask for food. Photo: AFP
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Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim has worked in Singapore, Britain, Amsterdam and Sri Lanka, and until June 2018 was Associate Professor and Head of the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, where she still holds an Honorary position. She now is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. She is co-editor of the journal Language Ecology, founder of the website linguisticminorities.hk, and co-author of Languages in Contact (Cambridge University Press, 2016).