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Media captionGlory to Hong Kong: Singing the town’s new protest anthem
The protesters in Hong Kong are embracing a brand new tune.
Glory to Hong Kong, a four-verse tune with Cantonese lyrics that references “tears on our land” and “democracy and liberty”, has been picked up in latest weeks by 1000’s of individuals gathering in buying malls, soccer match and parks.
It was written solely just lately by an area musician in his mid-20s, who solely needs to be recognized as “Thomas”.
He advised BBC Information Chinese language he hoped the tune would “unite Hong Kongers and enhance public morale”.
“I got here up with the melody… in early August. And from there I wrote the remainder of the tune,” he mentioned.
Regardless of the federal government scrapping the extradition invoice which sparked the preliminary unrest, the protestors are persevering with their motion, and have expanded their calls for to incorporate full democracy and an investigation into alleged police abuses.
Thomas advised the BBC “individuals have been rising drained and weary” after three months of protests, however that there is “now new vitality within the motion and protesters appear to have been re-energised”.
The place did the tune come from?
Singing has performed a big half within the protests since they started in June. The Christian hymn Sing Hallelujah to the Lord and Do You Hear the Individuals Sing? from hit Broadway musical Les Miserables have proved significantly common.
A number of individuals have additionally been writing and sharing their very own protest compositions, or sharing their concepts for attainable lyrics.
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A number of weeks in the past, Thomas posted the primary model of Glory to Hong Kong – typically translated as Glory be to thee, Hong Kong – on LIHKG, an area Reddit-like discussion board (hyperlink in Cantonese).
He mentioned he felt the necessity for a tune that captured the vitality of the protesters, so composed the marching-style tune.
“Within the Umbrella Motion [the 2014 protests] individuals sang pop songs and on the time I already felt that that type and rhythm did not actually seize the eagerness and pleasure of protests,” he mentioned.
“I wished to write down a tune displaying Hong Kong’s battle for democracy and freedom.”
And, after a couple of refinements to the lyrics, it grew to become a viral hit on-line and on the streets.
“We wanted a tune to attach,” mentioned a consumer on Twitter. “And this was the reply to that.”
Varied video variations at the moment are circulating, some depicting Hong Kong’s panorama, its Bauhinia flower image or protesters putting their fingers over their hearts.
Earlier this week, one video was even launched of a full orchestra and choir performing the tune, all sporting the fuel masks worn by protesters to guard in opposition to tear fuel, and performing amid clouds of smoke. It drew greater than 1,000,000 views on YouTube.
And at a soccer match on Tuesday, 1000’s of protesters booed the Chinese language nationwide anthem earlier than the beginning of the sport and as an alternative sang out Glory to Hong Kong.
Protesters at one mass singing occasion this week advised the BBC that they recognized carefully with Glory to Hong Kong.
“I lastly perceive why individuals from different international locations cry when singing their nationwide anthem,” one mentioned. “I really feel love and honour for Hong Kong.”
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Controversially, some have even mentioned they hoped it might grow to be a “nationwide anthem”. One individual advised the BBC the tune represented the voices of “all Hong Kongers”.
However pro-Beijing protesters countered that sentiment on Thursday, as they staged a flashmob-style occasion to sing the Chinese language nationwide anthem at a mall within the Central district.
A video confirmed individuals flying Chinese language flags and making an attempt to drown out the anti-government songs with their very own.
There isn’t any official English translation of Glory to Hong Kong. Thomas says no-one has but agreed on one.
However that has not stopped translations akin to this one, from being circulated broadly amongst social media customers on Twitter.
“I am joyful that my anthem has been accepted by the general public and I really feel numerous emotion once I hear my work being sung by individuals of all ages,” Thomas mentioned.
“However I hope that folks is not going to simply deal with singing however do extra to unfold the message,” he added.
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Reporting by the BBC’s Grace Tsoi in Hong Kong.