Rally for the Cantonese language in Hong Kong

Rally for the Cantonese language in Hong Kong

The objections to Guangzhou officials' plans to remove Cantonese broadcasts from TV have spilled over into Hong Kong
cantonese language guangzhou
Learning Cantonese might become little more than a quaint hobby in Guangzhou if officials have their way.

The recent proposal by an official in Guangzhou to remove Cantonese broadcasts from Guangdong TV has upset more than a few Hong Kongers. A pro-Cantonese demonstration has been planned for August 1 in Hong Kong, echoing the recent action of Cantonese-speakers in Guangzhou. An event poster states: "If you want to shut us up, we will speak Cantonese even louder."

Despite Verna Yu's recent op-ed piece which exposed the many Hong Kong parents who prefer to raise their children in an English-language environment to give them an edge when competing for a place at international schools, Cantonese remains central to the cultural identity of the tens of millions of people in the world who claim it as their mother tongue. The support for the language is especially apparent here in Hong Kong where we grew up with Stephen Chow's classic Cantonese jokes, lived through the Examinations and Assessment Authority's past attempt to introduce "vogue-words" into their exam papers, and have countless Canto-pop songs, with their ryhming, punning lyrics, stuck in our heads.

The protestors on August 1 hope that the expressive and colorful Cantonese language won't be lost for future generations. 

Rally to protect the Cantonese language

Demonstration begins at Southern Stadium in Wanchai at 2pm.

Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

Read more about Maggie Hiufu Wong
CNN Partner Hotels

Destination Berlin

World War II bunker and former margarine factory among cutting edge venues in ever-changing city