21 years on

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I was seven years old in 1989 and yet I remembered seeing the Tank Man on telly. It left such an impression that when I finally stood at the square in 2004 (my first time in China at a ripe old age of 22), I was overwhelmed by the historical significance of being actually there in person: the very venue where Red Guard fanatics waved crimson books at Mao… and its proximity to where blood was shed years later in the tumultuous summer of ’89.

Despite pro-democracy agendas of the various activist groups present at Victoria Park, I’m touched by how 150,000 Hong Kongers (or so the organizers say) from all walks of life have come together for the event – young, old, very pregnant and with kids in tow. Singaporeans, I guess, still have a long way to go in this respect. I left the park with two songs in my head, wondering about the mainlanders in today’s crowd – are they ordinary Chinese nationals or outspoken individuals already on the party’s radar ? Not that it matters, of course.

2 Thoughts on “21 years on

  1. I was there last night too, but pretty far back. I decided to brave the crowds and have a look at this event and it’s heartening to see such fervour and passion. I was sitting next to a middle-aged couple who may have known victims ‘cos they knew every song by heart and the woman shed tears when the wreath was brought to the stage.

    Annoyingly, behind me and my friend were three teenage girls who were probably only there ‘cos their teacher wanted them to go, ‘cos they were so disrespectful – they were chatting non-stop about inconsequential things like Facebook and their mobile phones!

    Anyway, you’re not old lah. You’re still in your 20s. I’m in my 30s leh…

  2. admin on June 5, 2010 at 6:08 PM said:

    Ack, thankfully people around me were more considerate and took the event more seriously. I was contemplating whether to go or not and eventually headed there on my own. Glad that I did.

    p/s Lol ! I can’t help feeling old at times.

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