Pride of Place: Nathaniel Mong

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]

Nathaniel Mong_Pride of Place.jpg

Sow a seed. We’ll reap later…

At 8 o’clock, I am standing here in Tamar, looking at the rays of green laser light flashing across the harbour. Looking back, I see a cluster of skyscrapers shedding different colours as if every building is singing in a choir, singing the best song for Hong Kong.

I still cannot believe I live in a beautiful yet turbulent city.

The building of the new government headquarters resembles a door. Perhaps it leads me to a heart of caring for Hong Kong. Going through the door, I, as a secondary-4 student, joined the demonstration against the Moral and National Education here in Tamar for the first time. I sat right outside the headquarters, waiting for the start of the demonstration. That day, 100,000 demonstrators sprawled across Tamar. We chanted the same slogans; we made crosses with our hands; we sang the same song. There was a bond between us as if we all knew one another well.

The government heard us, and they decided to shelve the plan.

After hearing the news, I immediately smiled, and I was propelled to join other demonstrations in an attempt to reshape Hong Kong. I am proud of being a Hongkonger as we are willing to speak up for ourselves.

Two years later, we moved outwards. This time, we occupied Harcourt Road and Lung Wo Road. We surrounded the government headquarters in hope of gaining genuine democracy. I was there after the relentless police threw tear gas at the demonstrators. The tear gas clouded our vision and our future. I decided then to join the movement so that there would be one more voice. I sat down in the road which was clear of traffic. The atmosphere was convivial yet anxious. But the other sides of Hongkongers loomed. Our creativity blossomed—we have different art pieces made during the occupation. A statue of liberty was erected there. There was also a colourful wall carrying the hopes of optimistic Hongkongers. Our selfishness vanished—people now shared the resources and their knowledge with others under the yellow tents. We stopped at Tamar, halting our busy lives.

The sky there was blue.

It has been four years, Hong Kong hasn’t changed much. The roads once occupied are now busy again; people resume their hectic lives; the lawn outside the government headquarters is untrampled. I look at the skyscrapers again—they are still glowing in different colours. Perhaps I should also sing harder for Hong Kong so that it continues to shine with pride.

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Nathaniel Mong.jpgNathaniel Mong is a student of the Department of English and Department of Education. He’s hoping to graduate in 2021.

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