A jumble of feelings seeing your home brutalised

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    I was a first generation, born and bred Hongkonger who emigrated to a different country whilst a teenager. While I’ve been aware the news of the unrest in HK and followed it as it came up on my newsfeed, I stumbled across a recent video of a woman in the process of being arrested, including sufficient context leading to her arrest. Briefly: she went down to the lobby of her apartment building, the police who entered the building previously told her she was under arrest. The woman listed her name, her phone number, contact details of her father, and stated that she did not currently have any injuries nor was she contemplating committing suicide. One policeman was seen gripping her hair and dragging her out of the building, in response to her request to walk on her own.

    I feel rage as a result of the combined sense of helplessness and horror, at a face I could easily relate to and the solidarity demonstrated by the person taking the video, who asked her for those contact numbers so as he could follow up for her. The humanness of that gesture feels so familiar, and consequently heartbreaking.

    I, along with many no doubt, feel trapped in the middle: I have felt the blunt of covert, overt agression due to my ethnicity, but feel I have no voice to proclaim that my home and my childhood was a unique experience being cognizant of my cultural heritage (Chinese) while not feeling connection to the China as the world knows it.

    I remember that we would roll our eyes at the approach of 1997, when the local TV channels would host shows from the mainland and when at school randomly we were now told to learn the Chinese National Anthem.

    I have no ill will towards any party involved, but rage that in this point of history, that this is happening which is meaningful to me because of my early life.

    Good people of TinyBuddha, how do you deal with that rage and desperation?


    Dear gia:

    I am not clear about the nature of your “rage and desperation”, and that “jumble of feelings”- you saw a video of a policeman mistreating a woman in Hong Kong,  “gripping her hair and dragging her out of the building”. Can you elaborate on how you feel about what was done to that woman, about it having been in HK, where you no longer live, how you felt about HK before leaving, and now?

    And how you would like to feel?


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