All I know is things were never be the same
People always ask me two things about this part: Why go to HK and what was it like?
And like most things in this world “It’s complicated” is the answer that brings more questions than answers.
First off, I have family across the Chinese Diaspora: Some I know - Mainlanders, Taiwanese, Westernized and then some I’ve heard about but never known – Indonesians, Hong Kongese, more Westernized. Family is complicated.
As I’ve learned more about my family and myself I’ve come to realize that what happens around the world shapes my own identity and its perception whether I actively participate or not, so I want to be an active participant – to see with my own eyes, to feel, to hear, to experience and ultimately come to my own conclusions.
Now what’s HK like? All I can say that it’s different from everything I imagined. On one hand as I was surrounded by the smell of tear-gas and angry chants right outside of my hostel there were moments I thought “this is it…something’s about to happen,”…yet things would quietly dissipate as my tears dried and I could breathe safely again. On the other hand, the same day I arrived there was a video trending of someone being set on fire not 1 mile from where I was. Coming from a country of known police brutality and at times violent protests, I was surprised by how different things felt in HK to me. Only in Asia would you see some random European backpackers feel completely safe approaching police casually and having a fun time while stoic Hong Kongers are fighting for their freedom. Nonetheless don’t forget people are fighting for their future. Everyone from middle schoolers to grandmas are taking a stand. And while I have no idea how to judge the movement, the problems, or the solutions all I know is that history is being made.
Things will never be the same.