The People's Republic Turns 60
|Our Correspondent||May 12, 2009|
It's time to show off your patriotic credentials by celebrating 60 years of freedom and democratic reform in China. AsiaExpat Columnist Jon Marsh takes a politically incorrect view of how the Hong Kong government doesn't plan to mark the occasion.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong SAR Government will co-operate with various sectors of the community to launch a wide range of interesting celebration activities for the participation and enjoyment of everyone in Hong Kong.
Apart from celebrating the 60th National Anniversary, it is hoped that the public, through participating in the celebration activities, will gain a deeper understanding of China's current situation, developments and achievements, so as to heighten their civic and national awareness, international horizons and global view (for more details see www.gov.hk/nationalday60).
To broaden participation, the government is encouraging different sectors in the community to organize their own celebrations and has asked people to do their patriotic duty by putting on a series of events to mark the occasion. After consultations with all relevant stakeholders, those under consideration include:
Just 40-odd years after the first man walked in space, patriots are still celebrating the glorious success of last year's Shenzhou manned space mission that achieved something or other. Don't miss the visit to Hong Kong of the Yuanwang-6 space tracking ship, which, er, tracks space ships and other important stuff. Fun for all the family. Sort of.
Swim for Victory
Relive the illegal immigrant experience and show your love for the motherland by doing what so many of your parents and other relatives did – the Mirs Bay Swim. Paddle for your life from a deserted cove in Guangdong and don't stop until you get to Hong Kong. Bonus feature: A chance to get up close and personal with live sharks in their natural environment. Don't forget to bribe the People's Liberation Army on the way out!
Another favourite with illegal immigrants of yesteryear. Slip over the border fence into Hong Kong and play hide and seek with the police. If you reach the urban areas without being caught you get to stay and live in a hut – just like your relatives did all those years ago. This event was enormously popular in the 1960s and 1970s but was abandoned in 1980 when too many people wanted to play.
Relive the excitement of the Cultural Revolution by dressing up as a Red Guard. Hurl abuse at innocent academics and then force them to wear a dunce's cap and make self criticisms. Still want more? Send your enemies to work on a pig farm for a year or smash some priceless antiques to pieces!
Get rid of all those old pots and pan and stay in shape with that special Great Leap Forward diet – tree bark, roots and leaves. Shed 10 pesky pounds in a week and destroy the economy at the same time!
Tanks for the Memories
Army open day: Dress up in an army uniform and get to sit in a real PLA tank. All those June 4 memories will come flooding back just in time for the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
What's in a Name?
Hurl insults (egg tarts will also be available) at effigies of the last governor Chris "Fei Pang" Patten in the gardens of Government House and win a prize. One point for "tango dancer", two for "a drooling idiot" and three for "a prostitute for a thousand years".
Cadre Capers, Party Favours
Be a Communist Party cadre for a day. Feast on eight-course banquets at public expense and then experience the thrill of selling a peasant's land to a property developer. Hurry – tickets for this special event are selling out fast.
Pretend to be a sycophantic senior Hong Kong government official on a duty visit to Beijing for the day. Practise that deep bow and don't forget to bring your own shoe polish and brush! Warning: You may have to stand in the corner if your performance isn't good enough, just like Donald Tsang in real life!
It's a Riot
Dig out that Little Red Book from the back of the cupboard and hit the streets – just like 1967. Head for the old Bank of China building in Central and chant anti-colonial slogans. Police baton charges will be held every other Tuesday at 10.30am and 4.30pm, weather permitting.
Write a poem criticising the Dalai Lama and win a free trip to Tibet. Suggested titles include: The Dalai Clique Confuses Right and Wrong, The Scum of Buddhism and Splittist Sourcerer.
Rennie's Mill Romp
Re-enact the 1996 eviction of the last KMT diehards at Rennie's Mill. Cheer and jeer as the running dogs are sent packing and then marvel at the sterility of concrete towers of Tseung Kwan O that replaced the nationalist slum.
Closing ceremony: Kung Fu Pandering (it's a sell out!)
To bring the curtain down in style, Superstar Jacky Chan will address his thousands of adoring fans on the subject of freedom, democracy and making inane statements at business forums. Other stops on his speaking touring include North Korea and Myanmar.
Jon Marsh writes the Spike column that appears twice a month on the AsiaXPAT website (www.asiaXPAT.com)