A symposium on the Chinese roots of Hong Kong culture (香港文化中國根) was held in the former British colony under the auspices of the Hong Kong China Institute for the Humanities and Economic Research, the Zhejiang Institute for the Humanities and Economic Research, Zhejiang’s Entrepreneurs Association and Education and Training Department.
According to Hong Kong news website Wenweipo, experts that took part in the symposium stressed the “Chinese roots of Hong Kong,” while also acknowledging its multicultural development.
As a global financial centre, over the last century Hong Kong incorporated Chinese and Western culture, the scholars who took part in the event argued. However, the roots and the origin of Hong Kong are “inextricably linked to the blood vessels of the Chinese nation’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture,” Wenwepo quotes them as saying.
The symposium emphasized the fact that despite all the changes that have occurred in the past the customs, festivities and religious traditions of Hong Kong have been preserved.
The city should focus on uniting modernity and a sense of history, and anew seek its Chinese cultural roots, they said. Traditional culture can further be useful to the development of Hong Kong’s society and economy. The scholars concluded that Hong Kong should boost the fundamental elements of the “Chinese nation’s cultural self-esteem.”
The symposium is yet another attempt by the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities to promote cultural nationalism in order to instill in the minds of the Hong Kong people a sense of ‘Chineseness’ as a means of obtaining their allegiance to Beijing’s one-party state.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s emphasis on ‘patriotic education‘ as well as China’s recent decision to extend its revised national anthem desecration law to Hong Kong, which makes disrespect for the anthem a crime punishable with up to 3 years in prison, are all signs of China’s overall strategy of extinguishing Hong Kong’s uniqueness through state-sponsored nationalist ideology.
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