Hundreds of Hong Kong residents line up outside the British Consulate General for hours each day to leave flowers and handwritten notes in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.
The outpouring of collective grief following her death last week is perhaps the most vehement in the former British colonies, where mourning is generally suppressed. It sees it as a form of protest against the increasingly intrusive control of communist-controlled Beijing.
Some Hong Kongers feel nostalgic for the past ‘Golden Age’ of Britain’s less-than-fully-democratic colonial rule. That’s when the city of about 7 million people achieved its status as a world financial center and tourist destination.
The Queen’s death aroused interest in British memorabilia among other things.
In Hong Kong, it is affectionately known as “si tau por”. She is pronounced “Shi Tao Por” in the local Cantonese dialect, meaning “boss lady”.
“When we were under her rule, we used to call her ‘si tau por’. It’s just a way of showing her respect. There was a feeling of tenderness from her.” She wasn’t a boss above you,” said resident CK Li, who waited in line for more than two hours to pay her respects.
Another resident, 80-year-old Eddie Wong, said he was there “out of a real feeling”.
“Hong Kong people love her,” Wong said.
“Because when we were under her rule, we enjoyed democracy and freedom and were very grateful. I want to say goodbye to ‘si tau por’ in heaven.”
With the July 1, 1997 takeover, China promised to leave Hong Kong’s Western-style civil liberties and institutions intact for at least 50 years. Many who grew up in the Old Territories grew up wanting greater freedom.
But after months of anti-government protests in 2019, Beijing tried to stamp out public dissent by imposing tough national security laws on the city.
Media outlets deemed overly critical of Beijing were forced to shut down, and dozens of activists were arrested. Massive protests have ended. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have chosen to move elsewhere, such as the UK or Taiwan.
So far, authorities have allowed the orderly and solemn display of respect to continue.
“I think some people go there not for nostalgic reasons, but as a sort of protest now that dissent has been suppressed,” said John Burns, professor emeritus of politics and public administration at the University of Hong Kong.
“For example, some people who subscribe to the universal values that Britain upholds and were incorporated into the Bill of Rights at the end of colonialism can participate in this as a form of protest.
Former Democratic Party chairman and former lawmaker Emily Lau said sentiment in Hong Kong was running high given the city’s political climate and its struggles in the fight against COVID-19.
“Some people are genuinely nostalgic and sentimental about the Queen, but others are unhappy with the current situation in Hong Kong,” Lau said.
“I can’t rule out that some people have taken this opportunity to express it,” she said.
At the same time, Hong Kong celebrities have come under scrutiny for their reactions to the Queen’s death, and have drawn criticism if they are seen as overly glorifying her reign or British rule in general.
A commenter on a mainland Chinese social media site said veteran actor Lo Kaying posted a selfie outside the British consulate on Instagram, saying, “Hong Kong was a blessed land under her reign.” I slammed it with a caption.
Law, who was heavily criticized for attributing Hong Kong’s prosperity to British rule, deleted the post and released an apology video on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo. appealed to the people
“I am Chinese and I will love my country forever. I am sorry,” Lo said.
Not all Hong Kongers are sentimental about British rule. Some resent London’s decision not to grant them full British citizenship and instead give them British overseas passports before handover. is not.
“Britain took away the rights of people born in Hong Kong before 1997. They didn’t protect those rights,” said Leslie Cheung, who said she had no plans to pay tribute to the Queen.
“When the British government discussed Hong Kong’s future with China, Hong Kongers were cut off from the discussion,” he said.
Some people in Hong Kong see the city as an increasingly prosperous city, and the colonial government honed its legacy with new parks, railroads and other modern amenities during the final decades of British rule before its return to China. We focus only on
According to Burns, British rule of Hong Kong has brought some benefits to Hong Kong, but colonialism is ultimately detrimental to its hegemony and racism.
“When you talk about the benefits of colonialism, you can’t just talk about the last 10 or 20 years in Hong Kong,” he said.
“You have to see the whole.”
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/human-interest/hong-kong-grief-for-queen-seen-as-dissent-c-8269918 Hong Kong’s grief mourning Queen’s death seen as objectionable