The heart-stirring rhythm "” "Glory to Hong Kong"

Published by: Cherry Lee, King Woo / Hong Kong Baptist University | 22-Oct-2019
The months long unrest in Hong Kong came with a huge amount of cultural output, among which is an anthem created to lift to protestors spirits during their fight.
Address: Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
Dubbed the new, unofficial anthem for Hong Kong, the heart-stirring march "Glory to Hong Kong" has motivated and touched the hearts of protesters, inspiring them to join choruses in shopping malls around Hong Kong.

The lyrics have been translated into different languages, including English, Japanese and Korean. Videos showing flash mob-style performances have reached more than 2 million views on Youtube in a month.

The tune is the creation of a musician working under the pseudonym, Thomas, who we contacted by LIHKG. "I created this song to boost morale and to enhance cohesion among the people," Thomas said.

"My faith ( in the movement) inspired me to write the song. I want people to keep their heads up together and I want everyone to know that we are fighting hard for liberty and freedom," Thomas added.

"The song not only talks about the old days when people used to chant about the 'Spirit of Lion Rock', but it also refers to a new generation of Hong Kongers, and their sacrifice for liberty and rights," he said.

Thomas said the protests are no longer just about opposition to the extradition bill, but also symbolize Hong Kongers' fight for freedom, liberty and universal suffrage.

"Most people in Hong Kong support the protesters by buying them safety gear such as helmets and gloves, but these gear can barely withstand the violence. As a musician, I can write a song to strengthen people's faith because having a strong faith is invincible," he said.

Some say the song is a better way to express political aspirations than violence.

"The song comes at a time when the activists want to have space to express their sentiment rather than just fighting the police. I believe people are afraid of 'Mainlandization', that is, their personal liberty and freedom will be eroded by mainland China," said Cheung Chor-yung, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong.

"This song reflects the core values of Hong Kong, such as freedom, justice and a democratic society, which encourages people to show their solidarity. However, mainland authorities will not welcome this since it shows political separation and Beijing will censor the song and all of its performances. I believe Beijing authorities will do so perhaps through education or legislation," he said. Even singalongs in shopping malls, Dr. Cheung said, could be perceived as challenging the mainland government.

A middle-aged woman with pro-China views, who asked to be identified only as Ms. Yung, said protesters have seriously harmed harmony in the community. But when Ms. Yung heard people singing "Glory to Hong Kong", she changed her mind, saying that singing peacefully it is like "spiritual sustenance".

"Singing this song out loud is better than having conflict with the police," said Ms Yung.

The four-stanza song has united thousands of protesters all over the city and includes common protest chants, such as "Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our time".

"This is such a catchy song, and it definitely boosts our morale and brings us together," said Ms. Chan, a protester who participated in the Pacific Place singalong and asked not to reveal her full name. "It shows all of the protesters yearn for the day when we have liberty and freedom."

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