If you’re curious about events in Hong Kong recently–you’re not alone! It’s complicated and messy. I’m sure you’ve already seen some news about it. But I’m just going to share the most uplifting part of it from my own experience.
With well over a million people, and perhaps 2 million, it was the largest protest march in Chinese history. They were mostly youth and young adults, but there were also many families, and I even saw many mothers and fathers carrying small children and pushing strollers. I guess history books will call it the 16 June 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protest. But I’ll call it the “Hong Kong Father’s Day March”.
I stood on a bridge, and watched wave after wave of people pass by. It was truly incredible. Watch drone footage from the SCMP.
I actually didn’t realize how historically big the march was until after I left. On my way home, I noticed all the dads who were carrying their kids or pushing them in strollers. It’s incredible that so many fathers and mothers chose to celebrate Father’s Day in this way!
Because most traffic routes had been changed for the event, I walked to Star Ferry towards Tsim Sha Tsui. On my way, I talked with a father and son who had just finished marching. This father told me that the march was much bigger than when he’d marched in Hong Kong’s 1989 protests.
In 1989, there were Chinese pro-democracy marches all around the world, with the largest ones in Hong Kong. And until this summer, Hong Kong’s biggest march had actually taken place one week before the Tiananmen Square Incident. On May 28, 1989, roughly 1.5 million people marched on Hong Kong Island, to support China’s growing democracy movement.
After the ferry docked in Tsim Sha Tsui, I needed to wait to meet up with my wife, but the father and son had to go catch the bus. They were smiling and running, and the son was literally skipping along. It’s such a fitting memory, for the “Hong Kong Father’s Day March”.
As I watched them go, I though about all the political uncertainty in Hong Kong. But if parents and children are willing to walk together, they’ll be able to face anything.