This blog is authored by Chloe Cheung. She is the Communications and Media Assistant for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.
This Tuesday, the the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation organised a Lunar New Year reception, heralding the onset of the Year of the Dragon. The symbolism of this auspicious creature, steeped in themes of strength, courage, and prosperity, filled the air with anticipation.
As the MC of this event, I was glad to have had the opportunity to guide the assembled guests through this meaningful occasion. There was a joyous atmosphere, and a palpable sense of community as the evening began.
This was not just a typical gathering of Hong Kongers, ready to discuss hardships or challenges, but we arranged for Hong Kong culture and traditions to be part of the evening. This was to be an uplifting and inspiring gathering.
We partook in the ancient tradition of Fai Chun writing, inscribing messages of hope and blessings for the coming year. Many of the Politicians who attended were delighted to take away some of the artwork for their offices, with blessings of success, fortune or happiness. Hearing traditional Cantonese Opera, further enriched the evening, and added another sense that Hong Kong had come to London.
In this photo: me standing with Mark Sabah and Jim Shannon MP
Yet, amidst the festivities, it was crucial to acknowledge those who cannot share in our revelry. In my opening remarks, I emphasised the importance of remembering those who are unable to share in our celebration. Allow me to quote:
Our hearts and minds are with the countless political prisoners who endure the oppressive grip of the CCP. We cannot turn a blind eye to the struggles faced by thousands of Hong Kongers who have moved to the UK, separated from their families and homes by vast distances. The uncertainty looming over their eventual reunion casts a sombre shadow over what should be a time of unity and celebration.”
Personally, I consider myself fortunate to have my family by my side here in the UK, affording me the freedom to speak out without fear. Yet, I am acutely aware that many others are not as fortunate.
As the evening drew to a close, I invited all the guests to “commit a crime” and join in breaking Hong Kong’s notorious National Security Law by singing a rendition of "Glory to Hong Kong''. This struck a chord deep within us. It was an emotional moment for many Hong Kongers in the room. This anthem, banned in Hong Kong, carries an emotional resonance that transcends its melody. The fact that we were singing this song within the halls of Parliament imbued it with an additional sense of gravity, offering a glimpse of what liberation for Hong Kong could resemble.
A resolute declaration comes to mind: "Fight on, I will work tirelessly and stand against the CCP at every turn."
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a Happy Year of the Dragon. 恭喜發財，GONG HEI FAT CHOI !!