Photo credit: Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images. Hongkongers stage a dramatic protest by forming human chains up two of the most prominent peaks surrounding the city, now emblazoned with LED lights that read, “Free HK.”
It’s no secret that many Hongkongers, especially young people, are no fans of the Chinese national anthem. The proposal of the Hong Kong government last year to impose a penalty on anyone who “sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner, or insults the national anthem in any other manner,” was met with a great deal of grumbling. And last Tuesday, thousands of protesters booed the anthem as it played at a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iran.
So Hong Kong protesters wrote their own anthem. Called “Glory to Hong Kong” (願榮光歸香港 yuàn róngguāng guī xiānggǎng), the piece “did not exist a few weeks ago” and “was crowdsourced/workshopped online,” according to Antony Dapiran.
- The earliest version of it, by local musician “Thomas dgx yhl,” was released August 31, followed by an English version on September 7.
- The song was re-released on September 11 with a slickly produced and striking music video of an orchestra of protesters in full gear, cut with footage of demonstrations in the streets. Here is an English translation of the lyrics.
By now, thousands of protesters know the anthem by heart, and on September 11 sang this song in shopping malls as the primary mode of protest. Partially, this was because some groups of protesters called for a temporary cessation of street protests out of respect for the 9/11 anniversary in the U.S., the Hong Kong Free Press says.
But while protesters stayed off the streets out of respect for the anniversary of 9/11 in the U.S., Chinese state media China Daily went full post truth and posted a shocking photo on Facebook of the World Trade Center in New York in flames 18 years ago, with the caption, “Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks in Hong Kong on September 11.” No attacks or attempted attacks were confirmed.