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To discourage this sense of disassociation from China, one easy and simple step that can be taken into consideration is to make putonghua/ mandarin the only official chinese language in HK by abolishing the cantonese language's current official status, the sooner the better. Differentiation of language introduces the unseen barrier and encourages disassociation within the group. Differentiation is the very characteristic of western culture, the root for resulting in the many different languages and countries in Europe. Chinese culture works from the opposite perspective, we favour assimilation and believe unity is power. Because of such value and belief, China has remained more or less intact and growing in size over the last 2000yrs since the first emperor Qin accomplished the first unity in central China. |
The British intentionally went against the tide to make cantonese the official chinese language in Hk in 1972 and at the same time prohibited the use of mandarin in Hk. Before this ill-motivate language policy was implanted, mandarin had already been widely accepted as the official Chinese language in the other 3 major chinese communities (ie mainland China, taiwan and Singapore). Despite Hk then was made up of a >90% cantonese population, the dominant medium in Hk's music, tv and movie productions during 1950s-early 1970s was also mandarin. After the British's twisted work, cantonese became the only chinese medium in Hk media broadcast by early 1980s. However, the international schools in Hk have always taught mandarin instead of cantonese to the children from the affluent families, even during the colonial old days. Wicked, isnt it?
It's more than obvious that having cantonese as the official language in Hk is in conflict with Chinese interest. It has caused many unnecessary disputes and a great deal of inconvenience for the many non-cantonese speaking chinese. It's also responsible for hk students appalling chinese competence. now hk is back to China's reign, Chinese should not continue paying the price for foreigners intentional wrong on us. One country comes before 2 systems. Given Hong Kong's important role for China's development, given the obvious ill intention by the Brits, amendment should be made to hk's language policy, mandarin should be made the only official chinese standard in Hong Kong, the sooner the better for both hk and China. media should press on to spread the message