It has been reported by Hong Kong media that Harrow International School Hong Kong plans to cancel teaching the traditional written script as part of the school’s Chinese language curriculum. Instead, it will only teach the so-called “simplified” one from now on. In its notice to parents, the school stressed that the cancellation was to better facilitate students’ language learning without the difficulty of having to deal with both systems. The school also claimed that doing so would allow students to better adjust to living in the post-2047 Hong Kong, where the school “foresee” will be fully integrated into China’s existing language system.
I, a Hong Konger and a parent, am aghast and disgusted that Harrow International School Hong Kong is willing to become a willing participant in China’s cultural and linguistic genocide of Hong Kong’s native culture. The purpose for the creation of this “simplified” script – which many Hong Kongers have nicknamed “crippled script” – was supposedly to raise China’s popular literacy levels at a time when the general populace was illiterate, but the real reason why it was implemented was that it allows the communist regime to better control people’s access to historical writings and truths. For a dictatorial regime such as the Chinese communist party, total control of the people’s access to the truth is necessary, and in a time when the people has yet to familiarise themselves with historical writings by the great minds of the past, what better way is there to exercise that control than to introduce the people to another system in the name of “raising literacy level”? By doing so, the Chinese communist party can allow the people to read the dogma that it wants them to, while severely limiting their access to other information that would expose the communist party’s dogma to be false. It also limits people’s ability to learn about their authentic traditions, as they are allowed to know only what the communist party says is “tradition”. In China, much of the past has been strangled by the communist party. Younger generations in Hong Kong, however, can still access these traditions because they can learn to read and write in the traditional written words. By making students learn only this “simplified” script, the school is thus assisting the communist regime in completing its mission to wipe out people’s access to their traditions, historic knowledge and information about the past.
I’m sure that the school would respond with the argument “but China uses the simplified script, so learning the Chinese language must reflect this fact as our local students are ‘Chinese’”. While many Hong Kongers may agree with the claim that “Hong Kong locals are Chinese”, I’m sure the school is also familiar with voices of rejection that have been on the rise throughout Hong Kong. I would lay aside that argument here. My retort to the above argument, should the school actually agree with my supposition, is my demand to know why Hong Kong people cannot continue to use traditional script while officially being part of China? The above argument is akin to saying that the Welsh people should not learn the Welsh language because they are part of the UK, where English is the official language. It is as preposterous as to say that anyone who speaks English as his/her first language must be Anglo-Saxon.
As for the suggestion that teaching simplified Chinese script would help local students adjust to a post-2047 Hong Kong, as the school predicts that by that time, the simplified script would have been the only written language system used in Hong Kong, who and what gave the school the authority to make such a bold claim? Why can’t Hong Kong continue to use the traditional written words after 2047? How dare the school make that decision not just for its students, but their parents and Hong Kong society at large as well?
Many local Hong Kong parents chose to send their children to international schools in order to escape from the Chinese communist party’s indoctrination and brainwashing propaganda, thinking that international schools would teach their children universal values of freedoms and rights. Yet how ironic and horrifying for the Harrow International School Hong Kong to partake in that indoctrination!
A concerned Hong Konger and parent