Freedom may ring in our hearts & back in the land we left behind… but this July, the fireworks we watched from our highrise apartment weren’t celebrating anyone’s freedom. Quite the opposite in fact. For better or worse, on July 1st, 2012 our new city was ‘celebrating’ the 15th Anniversary of her handover from UK to Chinese control.
As in any political issue, there are mixed feeling on this topic. Many locals are not citizens of Hong Kong or China, therefore they don’t much care who controls this island city/nation/region. On the other hand, many who have been born & raised here, sorely miss “the way things were” & are finding the ongoing change too much for them. Still others are hopeful that new leaders will bring new beginnings.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was on hand to lead the main ceremonies. While in town he also swore in businessman CY Leung as the city’s new leader. Thousands flooded the streets in protest. This seems to be a season of learning their voice for the HK people. Every July 1st the protests become larger & louder. Who can know if anything is accomplished by the show of unrest & mistrust in the chosen leadership, or rather the method of choosing him, but I’m glad we stayed home for this… the pepper spray alone would have been a bit much for the kids I think. *grin*
There was also a parade, an impressive show by the Chinese Liberation Army, & of course… fireworks. – The Kwong boys love a great fireworks show, even if they aren’t the color of freedom, & no one does it better than the Chinese. We had braved the crowds for the Chinese New Year fireworks, so we went for the PJs version this time. All we could see from home was the red glow above the mountains that block our view of Victoria Harbor, but just like in the States, the TV closeups are always best anyway!
Pyrotechnics aside, this little family is grateful to be given the chance to live here – where so many are still searching for that peace within, & the One that brings it to all. We pray our choices, relationships & our very lives bring a little light to the places of this city that seem to
be overwhelmed with turmoil & confusion, constant change & unrest, even the places where the abundance money or lack of creates dungeons out of hearts & cages are turned into homes… We are so grateful for your prayers. Thank you for walking the journey with us.
A great summary of how things have been in HK for the last 15yrs: 15 things we love/hate about HK since the handover…
Stay tuned for pics of how we spent our first 4th of July in HK.