“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
Thus spake Cicero a very long time ago. He was right on the money. When it comes to killing off Cantonese language and culture as well as making crippled characters the written language of Hong Kong, it’s not the mainland hordes who will do it, but Hong Kong people themselves. Half brainwashed from birth, half lazy and complacent and always doing what’s more ‘convenient’, they will sleep Hong Kong into being an unimportant backwater of a mighty empire yet again; this time China. The Chinese government will applaud this wildly behind the scenes while setting up ‘Cantonese Culture Centres’ for mainland tourists where the locals will perform happy Canto-dances twice a day, dressed in colourful Hello Kitty costume and singing traditional Cantonese tunes with Mandarin lyrics.
It’s happening right under our noses. The last year or so I haven’t once been complimented on my Cantonese by some local without it being immediately followed by “Can you also speak Mandarin?” and the local trying to converse with me in that awful language. When I refuse, pointing out that (paraphrasing the illustration above) 香港人講廣東話，聽唔明就返鄉下 (Hong Kong people speak Cantonese, if you don’t understand it then bugger off back to the sticks) they laugh, before going on to explain how much more “useful” Mandarin is and how Cantonese is too difficult for me.
Yesterday I was shopping in CitySuper when the guy next to me said 你中文講得好好。(Your Chinese is very good). I answered with the usual 冇你咁好 (not as good as yours). At least he told me this in Cantonese; normally people say it in English, thinking I can’t possibly understand the language I’m speaking.
He then corrected himself. “Well, of course not 中文 (Chinese), but 廣東話 （Cantonese).”
No, it’s Cantonese that’s 中文, I pointed out.
That’s when he superciliously switched to English. “No, only Mandarin is ‘Chinese’. It’s the national language. Cantonese is just a dialect.”
With traitors like that in our midst, and they seem to be the vast majority, who needs to worry about enemies at the gate? Hong Kong people will orchestrate their own downfall for the sake of convenience and appeasement.