HONG KONG – More than ever football fans in Hong Kong did not feel like listening to the Chinese national anthem.
Thousands of people in the Hong Kong stadium turned away from the field on Tuesday when the Chinese anthem played before. A World Cup qualifier against Iran, with the song drowned out with Boos. Many Hong Kong people have never been proud to hear the song – the semi-autonomous territory does not have its own anthem – and certainly not, as the mass protests for democracy continue for a fourth month.
But on Tuesday in the stands and in the concerts of the stadium hordes of fans sang over and over again a song that had been written less than three weeks earlier and that some demonstrators had charged as equivalent to a national anthem. And over the next two days, more than a dozen Singalongs took place in shopping malls across the city, some of which attracted thousands of people.
Some protesters said the Cantonese song makes them feel how people abroad feel when they hear their own hymns: a sense of collective pride in their homeland. Many young demonstrators found contempt for China, based on what they see as the ever-increasing influence of Beijing since it regained control of the territory from Britain in 1997.
"The song seems encouraging for Hong Kong," said Milton Wong. 31, a music sponsor who participated in non-violent protests. "And I hope people will act with this courage."
The emergence of the song reflects the broader movement: largely overcrowded, but reliant on the expertise of professionals in many fields.
A composer named Thomas who did not share His surname first released an instrumental version and text on Lijkg on August 26, a forum used by demonstrators, and asked others to record themselves to sing it. He collected audio from Google Drive and put it together like a choir singing. He adapted the texts to the suggestions in the forum.
The song was then uploaded to YouTube on August 31, . It contained English subtitles and rousing scenes from demonstrations, eg. B. Crowds separating from an ambulance, a child chanting, and a banner hanging from a mountain. The composer recruited video editors and musicians to create new versions.
Singing was part of the demonstrations from the beginning: The hit "Do You Hear the People Sing?" From "Les Misérables" and the interpretation of "Sing Hallelujah to the Lord", a hymn of the American composer Linda Stassen of 1974. were the most popular.
And it's not the first music to come out of Hong Kong's protests. For a long time, demonstrators have been wearing "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies", a Cantonese-language rock song by Beyond band, at democracy-friendly rallies. In 2014, "Raise the Umbrella," a collaboration of several Cantopop stars, became the unofficial anthem of the Umbrella Movement, a month-long demonstration of democracy. The song was voted Hong Kong's Favorite Song of the Year. Lo Hiu Pan, who composed "Raise the Umbrella," said on Thursday that although his song had benefited from work with star singers, a new song should not be a poppy ballad to make the mainstream popular in Hong Kong. Just talking to the political experience of the moment is enough to catch fire and connect people, adding that "Glory to Hong Kong" is "powerful."
"Sometimes a photo, a comic, or a song can spread the message even more useful than a long article," he said.
Ng Kwok Lun, a 30-year-old videographer, was one of hundreds of people singing the song on Tuesday in the city center of Tuen Mun, a mall. He said he felt "a great sense of belonging" that he had never felt when he heard China's anthem "March of the Volunteers." 76 percent of respondents said they were Hong Kong while only 23 percent were Chinese
"I do not think the stories in the lyrics mean anything to me," he said of the Chinese anthem. "But when I hear the song from Hong Kong, I understand every word in the texts. It is reminiscent of everything we have done in recent months and how we come here.
Tiffany May contributed to the coverage.