Kind words for tough times: 4 Cantonese phrases Hongkongers are using to support dancers injured at Mirror concert

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  • On social media, concerned netizens have been writing thoughtful messages for those affected by the accident at the local boy band’s performance in the Coliseum
  • Learn these terms to console and take care of others during difficult situations
Yanni Chow |
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A few thoughtful words can go a long way when someone is facing challenges. Illustration: Shutterstock

Hong Kong has been gripped by shock at the injuries that happened during the concert of local boy band Mirror.

While an investigation into what caused the accident is still pending, Hongkongers have been sending support to the injured dancers and their family members. On social media, some concerned netizens use popular sayings from local films to express encouragement and care.

Check out four Cantonese phrases you can use to console, support and take care of others during difficult situations.

Critically injured Mirror dancer Mo Li has ‘woken up’, father reveals

1. We’re all in this together

Cantonese slang: 避唔到一齊捱 bei6 m4 dou3 jat1 cai4 ngaai4 (bay-mm-dou-yuht-cai-ai)

Literal translation: “Cannot avoid suffer together”

Meaning: an inspirational phrase used to express that even if it is tough to continue doing something, you can do it with support from others. The line originated from One Second Champion, a 2020 Hong Kong film about boxing starring singer Endy Chow Kwok-yin.

Example: I know a lot of us have been feeling stressed and upset by what happened, but it’s OK – bay-mm-dou-yuht-cai-ai.

2. Strongest support; backup

Cantonese slang: 最強後盾 zeoi3 koeng4 hau6 teon5 (jui-keung-hau-tun)

Literal translation: “Strongest back shield”

Meaning: a friend or group that provides support for someone or something

Example: My family is my jui-keung-hau-tun because they never turn their backs on me no matter how bad the situation is.

Who are your ‘jui-keung-hau-tun’? Whether it’s friends, family or even classmates, it’s important to build strong relationships with people you can trust. Photo: Illustration

3. Check in with someone; announce your safe arrival

Cantonese slang: 報平安 bou3 ping4 ngon1 (bo-ping-on)

Literal translation: “Report safe”

Meaning: a phrase used to tell loved ones that you are safe through a call or message. In the past, it was just used to announce whether someone had arrived safely somewhere. Now, it also refers to checking in with people on social media to see if they are OK.

Example: Let’s give them some space after the accident – they will bo-ping-on when they feel better.

4. Health is wealth; your health and safety must come first

Cantonese slang: 人無事先做到世界 冠軍 jan4 mou4 si6 sin1 zou6 dou3 sai3 gaai3 gun1 gwan1 (yuhn-moh-see-seen-joh-dou-sai-gai-goon-guan)

Literal translation: “People safe to be world champion”

Meaning: a phrase that conveys the message that you cannot achieve anything if you do not have your safety and health. The line originated from Initial D, a 2005 Hong Kong film based on the hit Japanese street racing manga of the same name.

Example: Don’t worry so much about getting back to work that you don’t take care of yourself – yuhn-moh-see-seen-joh-dou-sai-gai-goon-guan!

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