Facts Behind Hong Kongers plan ad to insult mainland ‘locusts’ (Updated on Feb 1st)

According to AFP

A bitter war of words between Hong Kongers and mainland Chinese heated up Thursday as southern city residents sought funds to insult their neighbours as “locusts” in a front-page newspaper ad.

The purpose of the ad is not “to insult (Mainland Chinese) as ‘locusts'” but to request the government to stop birthright citizenship through amending the Basic law since the influx of Mainland pregnant women accelerate the collapse of both pubic and private health care systems of Hong Kong.The following footage is taken from Hong Kong Apple Daily and the organiser was interviewed through telephone.

And according to the organiser of this newspaper ad compaign, the definition of “locust” is

(*I think they use a very wrong word that makes people think it is name-calling rather than protecting themselves form the adverse effect of mass immigration. )

Even the Facebook page of the campaign uses a picture with locusts all over (public) hospitals. (*the logo of Hospital Authority)

This ad even appears on Chinese porn site ThisAV.com!


10 thoughts on “Facts Behind Hong Kongers plan ad to insult mainland ‘locusts’ (Updated on Feb 1st)

  1. Is “Broken” Chinese characters a way that people often refer to Simplified characters? Or is it only now that they use this term?

    • It should be “handicapped” character. (殘體字). I grabbed this translation from the others. I am going to correct some. It is a widespread name in both Taiwan and HK.

  2. It’s all a bit racist. The poster uses innuendo to imply that mainlanders, and, potentially, those not born in Hong Kong, are not “people”. It’s the sort of language used by undemocratic organisations in other countries. In my view, attempting to change the Basic Law on this question is neither desirable nor feasible.

    • How the heck is it “racist”?

      You can call it “discrimination”. You can call it “prejudice”.

      But calling Chinese hostility to other Chinese “racist” is just removing all sane reasoning from the word.

      Don’t cheapen words with real meaning just because you think they are stronger and more emotive words to use.

  3. an important step, I’m all for the advertising campaign. but i agree with the above about putting “people” in inverted commas like that – the first step to degeneration and losing credibility is when you label others as sub-human / less-than-people. (think about all the times it has happened in history..)

    also, i think “handicapped” is not a good word. although i can’t read the characters for a literal translation, it would be better as “disfigured” or even “mutilated”, which implies that something violent has been done to the characters. “broken” is even better,( although i do appreciate the need to use a strong a word as “handicapped”.)

      • I didn’t mean “you”, I meant “one” / “anyone”. I know you are just translating and am very grateful for it!! 🙂
        looking forward to more news!

  4. I think “handicapped” and “broken” is a subjective word that was chosen deliberately to show the discontent of simplifying the characters by the Communist Chinese government. Simplified is a more objective word. The formation of Chinese characters is very sophisticated and those who studied the history and etymology of the language would understand and respect it. Therefore, it is called h- or b- characters for a reasons that reflects the sentiment. Yet, one cannot ignore the fact that the simplified version does help making Chinese easier for others and therefore, making cultural and economic exchange possible and faster.

    • What do they call Traditional Chinese in Chinese? It’s called “Complicated Chinese”. Traditional Chinese is the written form of Chinese that has been used for thousands of years.

      The Handicapped Chinese was created by a small group of communists, who instead of improving the country’s educational system and investing money in educating people, hastily created a written language during the “cultural revolution” when a lot of educated people were “punished”. It completely ruined the root of Chinese language itself and it’s partly because the KMT uses Traditional Chinese,I believe.

      If you look at one example: the character: Love
      愛 (Traditional) vs 爱 (Handicapped)

      In the Handicapped version, there is no HEART in Love!!!

      Perhaps it makes learning Chinese easier for foreigners but if Traditional Chinese was still (used to be used by the majority of Chinese) the official language across China, and China was a very strong country economically and became the leader of the world, foreigners will still learn the language. Right?

    • A piece by a professor in HK, probably can help you understand more : )

      Stop Using Simplified Chinese Characters in Public Notices and Signboards.
      Help Conserve the Endangered Orthodox Chinese Language in Hong Kong

      The simplified Chinese writing system was created in the 1950s and imposed upon the Chinese public by the communist government of China through legislation, media control and publication laws. The set of simplified characters were derived from popular shorthands and synonyms or designed
      by government linguists. The changes made are analogous to merging such syllables as “key-“, “quay-“, “kea-“, “cay-” and “kee-” into 「ki-」, spreading it through the press and the education system, and then banning the original spellings from all public spaces.

      The simplified Chinese writing system was created largely without regard
      to the expressiveness and structural aesthetics of Chinese characters in use since the Han dynasty (206 BC -220AD). The cultured consider it a crude
      set of shorthands. Most linguists outside Mainland China consider it a
      political tool for cutting the link of Chinese people from their
      historical roots, rendering historical accounts and ancient literature confusing if not incomprehensible, just as Shakespeare would appear if it were littered
      with 「thru」, 「ki」 and the like.

      Hong Kong and Taiwan are two major Chinese societies that use the orthodox Chinese writing system and free from direct communist rule (so far!). Hong Kongers (and their neighbours from Macau) speak Cantonese whose metre is close to their ancestors’ in the Tang dynasty a millenium ago. But same as the mainlanders, the Taiwanese people speak Mandarin (“Putonghua”), which is a form of spoken Chinese mixed with Mongolian and Manchu languages in
      the recent dynasties. If you don’t know what that means, imagine Britain
      being taken over by invaders and the English word 「thrust」 considered too
      difficult and thus “reduced” to 「fuss」.

      That is to say, Hong Kong is the only place in the world that preserves
      both orthodox spoken Chinese and written Chinese. Yet some shops and
      organizations have started to use simplified Chinese in public signboards
      and instructions in reaction to the influx of tourists from China. We ask
      these shops and organisations to switch back to orthodox Chinese as a
      respect to the endangered languages of Hong Kong. In fact, Mainland
      Chinese tourists do read traditional Chinese, sometimes with the help of
      contextual cues and intelligent guessing, as it has always been.

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