Update to my last post:
As a American, who spends about 3 months a year ever since I was a baby in Hong Kong and China as well as Los Angeles, I’ve always noticed the tension between the Mainland and Hong Kong. Although I’m only 23, I remember the days when HK was distinctly British, when the subway only made announcements in English and Cantonese, and excuse my french, you were the sh*!, when you spoke English (i.e. better service, etc).
As a journalist, I thought I would simply be an observer, someone objective, attending just another candlelight memorial. After all, I was just there to get a story and to see what all the fuss was about. Because I usually do not visit Asia until July, I’ve never been in Hong Kong for the annual vigil. Wow did I not know what to expect. I mean I know Hong Kongers love their protests but this was so peaceful and such a big turnout. There was some people screaming earlier in Causeway Bay before we were let in and a huge group of students blocked the streets of North Point after we got out to make a statement, but other than that the vigil itself was very calming and civilized. I was really touched by the hoards of people at the end, that went around and scraped the candle wax off the floor so that it wouldn’t stain the floor. I joined in with a coin and helped clean up a bit.
To my surprise, the memorial was quite emotional. I found myself unknowingly singing along and lighting a candle with the crowds. There were certain times during the night where I had to take a step back and not get too caught up with the people that were there. It was hard but in the end, I had to remind myself that I was a journalist. I do believe that a journalist shouldn’t get too wrapped up in their story, but I also feel that knowing and living the story and the history also makes a story THAT much better. Overall, I wouldn’t regret the night. I wish I could have helped them format their presentation better but overall I was quite moved that so many people cared and that so many non-Hong Kongers were there.
According to media sources, more than 150,000 people attended the event. It was a madhouse. It was just so inspiring to go around talking to people and seeing why after 22 years since the event occurred they decided to come out and bring their children, significant others and grandchildren with them. I did do a story that night but have yet to edit it. I know, I’m horrible. I’ve been trying to catch up on some projects here and there and have put that on the back burner for now. I hope to post it soon. But I hope my pictures were inspiring.