Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, October 18, 2019 06:12:23 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Hong Kong's Agitation

Not For Only Economic Or Foreign Interference

By
10th-Oct-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Chris Lonsdale :
Hong Kong is descending into violence, from which return is difficult. To get out of our current quagmire, we need to better understand its origins.
I want to address what I believe are the core drivers behind the present tensions in Hong Kong. I'm talking about the drivers that bring millions of people, young and old, from all walks of life, onto the streets. Ultimately, it's not "the economy" or the US State Department.
The core issue can be summed up by two words: "fear" and "identity". Let's start with fear. Remember, a substantial portion of the Hong Kong population are refugees who came to Hong Kong in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution, or who are their descendants. The people who made it to Hong Kong were running from the massive violence and instability that destroyed the lives of millions of people in China.
Exposure to this sort of terror leaves deep psychological scars. In the healing work that I have done over the past few decades, I have discovered that the trauma which happens to one generation can be passed down to the next.
So, when we see hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people on the street, protesting against "China", and asking for "independence", we may wish to consider that we're actually observing the victims of trauma and their descendants crying out in fear because they honestly believe the source of their trauma is about to re-enter their lives.
It's important to understand that these reactions are not rational. Quite clearly, the China of today is very different to the China of the 1960s, and the probability of another Cultural Revolution in the near term is extremely low. China's current situation does not suggest that anything like this is likely to develop in the foreseeable future.
However, if we understand that we're dealing not with issues that have a present-time rational basis, but the natural result of psychological scars, we have a chance of taking action in an appropriate way to move beyond the current conflict.
The second dynamic playing out in Hong Kong is one of identity. And here I'm talking about "identity" as a psychological construct. It's how we unconsciously view who we are, and it includes our values, behavioural norms and the internal image of who we are.
The mass of people making up the population of Hong Kong over the past 60-70 years are those who moved here, or their descendants. In moving to Hong Kong over those decades, the people who came here decided (at least unconsciously) to take on a new identity - one specific to Hong Kong.
This included accepting a British administration, driving on the left hand side of the road, the rule of law (under British common law) and various elements of thinking and being that were at least in part British.
So, we can say that immigrants (or refugees) that came to Hong Kong from China chose to become "British". Clearly, it was "British" with special characteristics, because life in Hong Kong is nothing like Britain, but it was also very much "not China". And this became the identity of Hong Kong people.
Subsequently we had the Joint Declaration and the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty under the "one country, two systems" concept in 1997. And this, I believe, is where the problems we see today were seeded.
People whose identity was very much "Hong Kong" or "British", suddenly found themselves reclassified as Chinese. This was done without their consent. Which meant, in effect, that they had been "sent back" to the place from which they had originally run from in fear.
Britain has a great deal to answer for here, because it could have offered full British citizenship to any Hongkonger who wanted to move to Britain. Those who remained in Hong Kong would be choosing to go back to China.
Britain did not do this, of course, which fundamentally left Hong Kong people in a situation where they feel they have been forced to take up a mainland Chinese identity again - which is something that, in their deep psyche, they had originally rejected for the reasons I stated above. This lack of choice about one's identity is something that can induce new trauma, or trigger trauma that is already present.
Clearly "one country, two systems" was designed to overcome this problem. However, the nature of psychological scars is that they can be triggered by the smallest of signals. You will know what I mean if you have ever pushed somebody's buttons by mistake.
To get beyond the current impasse in Hong Kong, we need to start addressing some of the deeper psychological issues underpinning the craziness we now see. This means getting into meaningful dialogue, characterised by deep listening, and going deep down the rabbit hole until we create the insights we need to get out of the current mess.

(Chris Lonsdale, psychologist, linguist, educator, entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator and corporate adviser)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Tackle urban poverty with well-designed safety nets


A WORLD Bank report stated that most of the urban poor are deprived of the government's social protection benefits. There is a large gap in allocation under social safety net, though the pace of poverty reduction has slowed and the ratio of extreme poverty edged up in urban areas after ...

Cricket »

Tamim Iqbal unlikely in T20 series in India


Bangladesh Opener Tamim Iqbal's return to International cricket is likely to be delayed as he suffered a muscle strain on the right side of the rib.The injury also forced him to sit out from the second round of the National Cricket League (NCL) in which his side Chattogram Division is ...

Entertainment »

Bindu Kona’s Krishna Leela


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Among the present generation’s singers, Bindu Kona has been entertaining the hearts of many music-lovers by virtue of her melodious voice and stage performances. It is said that when Bindu Kona gets microphone on her hand on the stage, she becomes a different ‘Bindu Kona.’ While performing ...

International »

HK lawmakers dragged from chamber as leader heckled for second day


AFP, Hong Kong :Pro-democracy lawmakers were dragged out of Hong Kong's legislature by security guards on Thursday after they heckled the city's pro-Beijing leader for a second day running, the latest outburst of political rancour in the strife-torn city.Chief Executive Carrie Lam has faced an outpouring of anger from her ...

International »

Diplomatic stalemate fuels dangerous Saudi-Iran standoff


AFP, Abu Dhabi :The dangerous rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, played out in proxy wars and mystery strikes, is destined to fester as long as neither reaches across the gulf that divides them, observers say.At the Beirut Institute Summit in the United Arab Emirates this week, heated sessions dominated ...

City »

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal brought out a silent procession on Dhaka University campus on Thursday demanding trial of killers of Abrar Fahad and release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia.


Editorial »

Stringent measures needed to bring onion prices at tolerable level


THOUGH the prices of onion decreased slightly in the last week following adequate supply in markets, consistent open market sale (OMS) and monitoring by the government, it's again showing upward trend due to syndicated activities of some unscrupulous traders. The business syndicates defying government's monitoring allegedly playing tricks to make ...

Football »

FIFA president 'disappointed' by empty stands at Koreas qualifier


AFP, Seoul :FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was "disappointed" after attending a historic but bizarre World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea that had empty stands and no live broadcast.The rare match in the North Korean capital ended 0-0 on Tuesday, with Infantino one of the few people ...

International »

Debating Democrats blast Trump, demand his impeachment


AFP, Westerville :Democratic White House hopeful united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the ...

Entertainment »

Crown of ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019’ unveiled


Entertainment Report :A franchise of Miss Universe, ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019 was unveiled its prestigious crown (Tiara) on Tuesday with the presence of top 10 contests of the beauty pageant. The event was held at the Amisheé Fine Jewelry flagship store in the capital’s Gulshan area. Two judges of this ...

International »

Qatar rules out possibility of war between US and Iran


AFP, Doha :Qatar's defence minister ruled out Wednesday the possibility of a war between the United States and Iran amid rising tensions in the Gulf following attacks on oil tankers.Doha is an ally of Washington, but also has good relations with Tehran that has helped it overcome a political and ...

Editorial »

Anti-Corruption Commission must prove its success by conviction


The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation against 43 people involved in illegal casino businesses. A senior ACC official told the reporters that they had obtained evidence against these 43 people to be involved as bigwigs in illegal casino operations, who included ruling party stalwarts and former and serving government ...

City »

Newly formed Convening Committee of Bangladesh Ainjibi Forum placing floral wreaths on the Mazar of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman in the city on Tuesday. Convener of the committee Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossian was present, among others, on the occasion.


Football »

Ayhan equaliser forces France to wait for Euro 2020 spot


AFP, Paris :France drew 1-1 with Turkey in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday in a match played against a backdrop of diplomatic and security tensions after Paris condemned Ankara for its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.Substitute Olivier Giroud headed in from a corner to put France ahead on ...

Cricket »

ICC increases prize pot for Women's T20I World Cup by 320%


In a major boost to women's cricket, the ICC has decided to increase the prize money by 320% for the upcoming T20I World Cup which will be held in Australia.For the event in Australia next year the winners and runners up will now receive $1 million and $500,000 respectively; five ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news