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Hong Kong March: celebrate what makes Hong Kongers unique 

This blog is authored by Sean, from the Hong Kong March Organising Committee

Last week marked the end of Hong Kong March (HKM). It is a month-long festival in celebrating Hong Kong culture and 2024 marks the second edition of this festival of food, culture and language. This year, along with over 20 partnering organisations, we hosted over 45 Hong Kong cultural events, across more than 16 cities across the UK, including Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Reading and Glasgow. Additionally, over 60 businesses set up by Hong Kongers who have settled in the UK became partner merchants and offered various discounts throughout March. 

The name Hong Kong March also connotes Marching Forward, bonding people together. March can also be read as a procession, an activity that is very representative of Hong Kongers’ pursuit of Freedom and Democracy. 

This year's HKM theme is 'Meet Your Hong Kong Night-bourhood'. Often, people’s first impression of Hong Kong is the iconic Victoria Harbour and neon-lit cityscape. But in reality, many of those neon-signs have long been replaced, and the city is neither vibrant nor free anymore. We prepared the iconic lively nights and daily lives of Hong Kongers to be experienced in the UK, introducing Hong Kongers who speak Cantonese, write in traditional Chinese characters, eat dim sum and fish balls and drink Hong Kong style milk tea. 

One of the visions for the festival, is to offer opportunities for the residents in each city to learn about and understand Hong Kong’s unique culture and customs, and ultimately to appreciate and support the struggles and resolve of Hong Kongers. We also envisioned Hong Kong March to play a part in encouraging Integration of Hong Kongers in the UK. By encouraging Hong Kongers to invite their neighbours and friends to join HKM events, it also serves as a platform for Hong Kongers and others to get to know each other and build a stronger community bond. 

But Hong Kong is not just about lively nights. When values once treasured by Hong Kongers are being eroded in Hong Kong, when the beloved culture risks being replaced and history being rewritten by the authorities, Hong Kong diaspora groups like us need to uphold our values, defend our culture and preserve our histories; and furthermore, use the freedom that we enjoy to promote them to others, tell our stories and the reasons why we left our home.  We believe this is as important, and can always complement, advocacy works of other Hong Kong diaspora groups. 

A Poem About Hong Kong March:  

With 6000 miles between us and the home we left behind, 

We are now striving to build a new one. 

Change is not easy,

but we are getting there. 

Hong Kong March, 

where becoming is believing. 

Come and join us, 

to celebrate what makes us unique, 

to explore our culture. 

We are Hongkongers. 

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