Sunday, October 26, 2014

From the land of Umbrellas

I live and work far from any of the protest sites. And I have a long commute, a hour door to door each way so on my one day off a week I don't like to travel far. Mong Kok is the most accessible for me, easier to get to and not as far as Admiralty so I have been there a few times over the past couple of weeks. The first time I went I was amazed by the sense of calm and community. But then there were the anti-protesters and the next time I could feel the difference.

Meanwhile I have been reading (special thanks to Webs of Significance and Fragrant Harbour) and hearing so much about the Admiralty occupy site from a variety of sources. I wanted to see the artwork, the long rows of tents, the study areas for myself. Every weekend since the movement started I have been either too busy or too tired. Today too, I wasn't really in the mood, I wanted to stay close to home, just run some errands, rest up for my next 6 day week. So glad I didn't give into that mood.

Admiralty is definitely occupied. If you asked me if you could buy a tent in Hong Kong a month ago I would have probably said "I doubt it." Holy cow, there are a ton of tents on the streets, who knew?
Visually, it is impressive in of itself, before you even start thinking of how people are voluntarily setting them up on asphalt or concrete and living in them for a cause they believe in.

I saw in person the signs and some of the artwork that I have seen either on tv, facebook, blogs or friends photos. And I have to say, seeing them in person is so much better. So if you are in Hong Kong and haven't been to any of the occupy sites, I highly recommend it.

Being an American I can't help but compare and contrast but again, many people have done this so well I am not going to rehash these things. But I do want to say that I loved all the art but there was one art that wasn't represented and that was music. In the US wherever there is a sense of community and common purpose, there are often jam sessions of musicians, a few guitars, some drums, whatever.  I know certain songs have been associated with the protests and when there is a mass demonstration they sing but no casual jam sessions. In fact it was generally very quiet, and that was even better.


  1. head over to admirality and there are concerts..

  2. Nulle, thank you for your comment. I was at Admiralty. There were no concerts at that time. It was Sunday afternoon, and very quiet. I did see two church services though, that was interesting.