Hong Kong protest scene

When I started writing the first part of this post, I didn’t anticipate that I would be writing a part two. Yet here I am, because the sheer longevity of the movement (following the legacy of the Umbrella Movement) has created a jargon of its own.

First, let’s delve into the differences within the pro-democratic faction. Because if you thought protesters were all as united as they seem, you’re in for a bit of surprise…

Deep divisions

Last time, I talked about the two main factions, yellow (pro-democracy) and blue (pro-China). But divisions within the anti-government faction runs deep, and have been so for years.

To approximately describe an individual’s position on the political spectrum, the same way you say ‘moderate left’ or ‘far right’, we use nuances in the colour. 淺黃 cin2 wong4 (light yellow) would describe someone who opposes the authoritarian government, but holds values such as nonviolent protest and peaceful resolution, for example. 深黃 sam1 wong4 (deep yellow) would refer to someone supporting anything from violent protest to independence.

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Lennon Wall at the Hong Kong International Airport.

It’s been over a year since Hong Kong’s latest fight for freedom began. Over this period, the movement has come to develop its own lingo. If you have tried to figure out what people are talking or writing about the protests, you might be confused by the vocabulary that’s missing from dictionaries.

I initially created the ‘Bel Canton‘ section on this blog precisely for something like this: to document the ever-changing Cantonese language, and to keep you, lovers of Cantonese-speaking culture, up to date. Now, let’s tread some dangerous ground, and find out what these *ahem* pesky troublemakers *ahem* are babbling behind your backs!

The Factions

Hong Kong, like many other societies, has been rapidly polarised over the past years. Today, instead of left- or right-leaning political views, there are colour-based factions.

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