People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang
People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Hong Kong’s Tiananmen remembrance: where the word ‘vigil’ comes from

  • The modern-day meaning of ‘vigil’ as a stationary, peaceful demonstration in support of a particular cause didn’t develop until as late as the mid-20th century
  • It stems from the same Latin word meaning ‘watchful, awake, alert’

People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang
People raise their candles at Hong Kong’s June 4th vigil, marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang
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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).