A Place Called Home
Today my city is fighting, hurting, tumbling, crying, fuming as I sit here and watch. I read article after article on what is happening 20 minutes away from where I am, high up on the 26th floor of a quiet apartment block, and I scream inside. I don’t know how to feel. I feel a tightness in my breath and in my head, I don’t know how to react… as I read about how what I believed to be a beautiful city is turning into chaos, a place that has failed to learn from the past and has dispatched its own police officers to douse my friends and neighbours in tear gas, I don’t know, I simply do not know. There are so many cries ricocheting off social media, voiced by the people I see everyday; we share the common heart chords and the will to help, but I feel so powerless… what can we do? What are we expected to do?
It pains me to see how within the past 48 hours, what connected us as a city has been broken in a way that will never be repaired. For the past few months, I saw Occupy Central as a distant spectre hovering constantly over our heads, close yet still so far. As the months passed I began piling article upon article, whisper upon whisper, about this ‘movement’ somewhere beyond my reach, for it seemed too distant to be real and I realized I didn’t have the heart to care so much anymore.
But I have never been more wrong.
I have only lived in the world for sixteen years. You may call me naïve, for I certainly am; I find myself speaking about things I feel unqualified to speak about, and in the vast expanse of what we know as ‘the world’ and all the myriad connections and fibres that link us all together country by country, continent by continent, I can hardly find the ability to place myself on the infinite mess of our human map.
But when I watched my mother tear up on the bus as we passed the growing throng of protestors earlier this afternoon, as I watched the reactions of someone who has seen what I have only imagined and never felt, I realized that although I constitute an eight millionth of the city of Hong Kong, I am a bigger part of my city than I feel myself to be. And for this reason I stand with the hundreds of thousands of those who are currently on our streets, crying yet still striving on as warriors. I stand beside them to let them know that I commend their bravery; bravery that I, as the sixteen year old cowering in her room, only wish I had.
I am far from being a politician; in fact, I dislike engaging in politics. But democracy is so important. Democracy is a term that has earned the respect it has only because of the tears, sweat and blood people have sacrificed out of love. Those who are calling out now are the ones who love our city the most, and in her bosom I know she swells with pride.
To those who are on the streets: you are the guardians of Hong Kong and I respect you with all of my heart. Stay safe.
Hong Kong, I love you and I will stand beside you. Although a blog post in the world of a million, trillion blog posts means virtually nothing, this is my single cry to the world: I cannot do anything to change everything, but if there’s one thing I can do, it is to touch another common chord and pass on the whisper I have left silent for too long.
HK926… pray for Hong Kong.
For more information about what is happening here in Hong Kong, take a look at these links: