In Hong Kong, in Australia and in Germany, three states face the same problem: there is a massive influx of a foreign people, whose cultures and ways of life are totally alien to their own, the people residing there feels theirs are being overwhelmed and pushed to the brink, and leftards who readily accuse those who want to defend their cultures and societies, of xenophobia, racism and fascism.
For Australia and Germany, it is a mass influx of Middle Eastern peoples, with their militant cultures and ways of life, in conflict with the open and innocent ones of the host’s. For Hong Kong, it is a mass influx of chinese who wants to partake of Hong Kong’s prosperity yet want to remake it in their own image, which is totalitarian and at odds with the freedoms, rights and rule of law that the locals have been familiar with for decades.
The difference is that Australia and Germany are both sovereign nations, its people and society is democratic, but Hong Kong have lost its sovereignty to china their overlord, and the political system is no longer democratic. The critical similarity between all three is the foreign influx contains critical elements of people who came to colonize the host state: challenging the established languages, socio-political systems, and cultural conventions.
The biggest issue however, and the focus of this article is the leftards. For when the localists in the said three states are up-in-arms for defending their languages, society and cultures, the local leftards and those around the world condemns them as fascist and racist, as well as xenophobic. The reality is hardly true.
Taking Hong Kong’s language as the primary focus, as a Hong Konger am I, we localists are militant in defending our Cantonese spoken language, our English as our second language, and the use of the Traditional or Proper Script of the Han written language (I use Han instead of chinese to cut the connection between the language to the state of china), as opposed to Mandarin or putonghua (china’s spoken language), and their ‘simplified’ or crippled written script.
The leftards in response condemn us of linguistic tyranny, of fascism and xenophobia, citing that the chinese coming into Hong Kong have their right to use their language, and localists’ insistence of having Cantonese, English and the Tradition/Proper written Han script is denying them their linguistic rights.
For those who are not familiar with the political-linguistic reality in Hong Kong, the ruling regime, one that is collaborating with china’s tyrannical regime, is systematically replacing Cantonese with china’s putonghua and crippled script in every major areas of Hong Kong society.
On TV, the china-friendly TV stations are using more and more putonghua in their programs, and occasionally crippled scripts would pop up in the subtitles. In the education system, where students once learned their first language in Cantonese and Proper Script, Hong Kong’s ruling regime made it that kids learn their language in putonghua instead, and made to learn crippled script as well as the traditional script. In public spaces, pro-china local councils and businesses are decorating with china’s crippled script instead of the Traditional/Proper Han written script.
The ruling regime cites that learning the Han language in putonghua is beneficial to kids in developing good writing skills, which tests have shown untrue, saying that Cantonese is too colloquial and thus confusing to students when trying to write, which is also untrue.
Instead, Hong Kong kids do not have time to develop their Cantonese during their critical time in connecting with the language, resulting in some kids now unable to connect a written word to the spoken Cantonese word, but to the putonghua equivalent. Already, many localists have noticed that kids of Cantonese speaking parents are now conversing with friends in putonghua, rather than Cantonese or English, prime example that the linguistic genocide is working.
The ruling regime also cites learning the crippled script in conjunction with the traditional script is beneficial in Hong Kong, whose ties and opportunities are claimed to be increasingly closer to china, that learning the crippled script allows kids to work and live in china in the future.
Of course, this is not true. Instead, kids are confused when writing, often forgetting which way of writing a word is the proper way, and which one is crippled script. Adults upon seeing all these crippled script around in public inadvertently used the same in their writing. Again, linguistic genocide at work. For Western audiences who still does not understand what is the problem, crippled script is akin to “txting” in English that people tend to use in mobile messaging and twittering.
Now imagine txting suddenly become an official way of writing English and the government is forcing teachers to teach txting as an official alternative to proper English spelling, and it becoming so prevalent that kid are forgetting correct spelling of words. It would be a nightmare for English teachers and the death of the English language.
On top of these, Hong Kong’s ruling regime are spreading propaganda that the world is rushing to learn putonghua and writing in the crippled script, ridiculing advocates against it as backward and narrow minded. The regime censors that the world in learning putonghua does it as a foreign language, not replacing their native languages with putonghua.
Written script changes organically through use and dis-use, because new experiences require a new word for it, and the new words or way of writing runs parallel with the mainstream until it falls from use or gains favor, all from the ground up and not ordained by a political power.
The situation runs deeper of course, but to dive into that is to be out of scope of this article. From this summary of the political -linguistic situation in Hong Kong, let’s return to our focus: the leftards.
These pseudo left wing, a.k.a leftards, in defense of this “putonghua-ization” and “cripplization” of Hong Kong’s primary language (Cantonese and Proper Script), says that language is just a method of communication, and as long as we all understand each other, what does it matter which spoken language we use, or which writing script we employ?
The more aggressive leftards will condemn the insistence on Cantonese and Proper Script’s mainstream use in Hong Kong is tyranny and imperialism that discriminates and rejects those who cannot speak Cantonese or had learnt the Proper Script. In concert with the genocidal ruling regime, these leftards would cite that the population of chinese ‘immigrating’ (should be colonizing instead) to Hong Kong is growing, thus Hong Kongers must be tolerant of this ‘minority’ and allow putonghua and crippled script to be more prevalent in Hong Kong, if not adopt its use entirely.
We must also put a mention of what is termed “pan-sina”, a faction that demands a unified china that includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, some dream of a democratic nation and some of the current status quo. Their argument is that china is of one unified culture and language, hence any deviations in language and any “dialects” (Cantonese is a certified independent language and not a dialect of another) should be discouraged or eliminated, in order to present an united front to the world (yes, these people think they are at war with the West and the world).
Now comes the article’s defense of Cantonese and Proper Script from the localist paradigm. The leftards views the problem out of context, their belief that the chinese in Hong Kong are a minority deserving of protection is erroneous, as there are literally BILLIONS of them within china. Many of them would move to Hong Kong if they could, and their tyrannical regime do not stop them doing just that if they applied for it, and when they do so they in droves, what minority are they, when Hong Kongers numbers are less than seven million?
If talking about minorities, why do they not advocate mainstream society employ English more often, as many Hong Kongers do not understand Cantonese nor putonghua, as they do not have Chinese ancestry? Hong Kong have a large population of Pakistani, Hindi and Bangladeshi, as well as conclaves of Nepalese and Japanese, why not have measures to protect their linguistic rights by changing the mainstream language to theirs instead?
The answer is that many local leftards in Hong Kong are also pan-sina nationalists, who abuse left-wing liberal values for their what is rightly fascist agenda, caring only for the chinese whom these leftards see as one of them.
For a multi-lingual society to function, it must have a dominant language, a lingua franca, by which everyone in that society employs to facilitate communication. If the said society is newly founded, the dominant language would be whomever possesses the majority, whereas in a society long existing, even if only for a century and not millennia, then it’s whatever the people already there have been using. If a newly arrived group comes demanding the existing society changes its linguistic and cultural characteristics to match theirs, then these new arrivals are colonists, not immigrant minorities.
Leftards of course would insist asking why we are adamant in having Cantonese and Proper Script, rather than putonghua and crippled script, accusing us of fascism and discrimination, saying that any language is as any other, with not one superior to the next. Our argument is that a language bears a culture, and a culture forms the language in which the culture is carried, they both exist in a mutually symbiotic relationship; therefore to lose our language we lose the soul of a culture, in turn the heart of society.
Altogether they make up our identity, telling us who we are individually and unite us as a people, and to remove that or replace that, we are robbed of our selves. It is not a case of which language or culture is superior, it is the right to exist with our own unique identity and mark upon existence, and the refusal to have it taken away by force.
Moreover, if leftards questions why the chinese coming to reside in Hong Kong must give up their culture and language and adopt ours, we ask in return, why should we give up ours to adopt theirs? If the former is linguistic imperialism or colonialism, then the latter must also be the same, and the leftards would be committing hypocrisy! A truly equalizing solution is to have no language at all, which is an even more ridiculous proposal!
Furthermore, we localists are not saying the chinese in Hong Kong do not have the right to use their language amongst themselves, or to form a media outlet that caters to their linguistic needs, or to educate their offspring in their language, or even about banning Hong Kongers from learning putonghua as a foreign language (but we do advocate banning the teaching of crippled script as its founding intention was as a political tool of control and censorship), we localists are only defending Cantonese and Proper Script’s long standing and established mainstream status, a lingua franca by which Hong Kong society communicates with, and in which Hong Kong constructed its socio-cultural identity and vitality.
We fight for Hong Kong and its people to exist as they had been for centuries and not be ethnically cleansed of what we are and be sinicized! The insistence for Hong Kongers to adopt chinese ways is the true fascism and imperialism on a genocidal scale!
If we indeed are xenophobic, we should logically be ejecting other ethnic groups out of Hong Kong too, but we do not. Instead we advocate these real minorities to be included in Hong Kong society, helping them fit in and contribute to Hong Kong’s prosperity, provided they also respect the mainstream’s dominant status (which they have been). Whereas these leftards and the ruling regime leaves these groups out of the picture when demanding “tolerance”, “equality”, “cultural pluralism” and “anti-discrimination”, what blatant hypocrites!
The underlying principles in Hong Kong’s political-linguisitic case can be applied to Australia and Germany’s problem with foreign cultural incursions and the plague of hypocritical leftards, whose mission is not to promote tolerance and acceptance, but through use of cultural imperialism forces people to be devoid of all trappings of civilization and identity, turning people into uncivilized drones!
1. chinese has been deliberately left un-capitalized, in order to express the author’s disgust at the nation and its people.
2. Leftard is a translation of a Hong Kong contemporary political term, a portmanteau of the words left and retard, to denote the idea that the person or people being described claims to be left-wing, but their assertions are at odds with what left wing ideology really proclaim; or the use of left-wing values so out of context that it ignores reality for the sake of supposedly universal values. The word in Cantonese is also a portmanteau using the Cantonese word for “left” and “plastic”, the latter a play on the word meaning the male reproductive organ, commonly used as an insult or defamatory manner.
3. When localists use “crippled script” to denote china’s so-called “simplified chinese”, it is referring to how the “simplified” way of writing words is like someone having their arms or legs removed, or had the original word’s intentions being crippled with the removal of its vital element, such as the word for “love” have the morpheme for “heart” removed in the “simplified” version, or the world for “produce” have the morpheme for “born” removed. It’s a commonly used argument against the crippled script, but doesn’t drive into the heart of the problem: linguistic/cultural genocide.
4. The crippled script was introduced in china after the communist party (de-capitalization intended) succeeded in chasing out the KMT Party out of the continent onto Taiwan. The communists wanted the illiterate populace to be able to read their propaganda, but unable to read undesired writings from the past and thus gain enlightenment and know to think for themselves, so they mixed some cursive script in use at the time with ones the communists have constructed themselves, then claim the new version assists quicker memory retention and learning.
The argument against this fallacy is that any language requires a long time of study in order for fluency and literacy, and the amount of time to learn on word using the Traditional Script is the same, no word can be learnt on sight.
Another defense of crippled script is that it reduces time in writing by a fraction of a second, but really, how important is a fraction of a second? Any normal writing would only take a few seconds longer in total, and in writing a long document, it’s only a few minutes. In the computer era, this defense is even more ridiculous as typing only takes a few touches of a keyboard.
Another defense of crippled script is that language evolves, but there is no scientific prove that it is better than the Traditional Script. Crippled script apologists would ridicule opponents by telling them to go back to writing in oracle bone script, the oldest version of writing in the region. The fallacy in this is that while writing have evolved since then, the words from that era remains with us still, such as the words for “one”, “two”, “three”, “ten”, “fire”, “water”, “sky”, “large”, etc., which have only been beautified but the ancient version would still be recognizable to the modern person.
The repository of words in any language are built up and disappears only through common dis-use or lack of use, but can still be re-introduced upon people finding the word usable, so the evolution of words is accumulative and not deductive.
Admittedly, some words in the Traditional Script are actually simplified version of an earlier version, it was created within the imperial palace or the republican government by the department responsible for monitoring language and education, but it gained popularity within the general populace over time because it either enhanced the meaning of the word, or because it still retain the intended meaning despite the morpheme’s simplification, and not because the political power forces the people to adopt its use.
Traditional Script also has its cursive scripts and short-hands, but that doesn’t mean the cursive scripts are mainstream, just as English have its cursive script but printing of words still remain mainstream, in order to maintain intelligibility.
5. The crippled script is a tool of political and ideological suppression, as well as cultural genocide, because the regime controls publications, and any ancient documents not translated into the crippled script would be inaccessible to the populace. This can control access to the past, and to prevent culture being passed on in the written words.