On March 31st 2012, a new shopping mall called “Popcorn” was opened in Tseung Kwan O. There is a French cafe by the French chain agnès b called agnès b. café l.p.g, which also has branches in high class shopping malls like IFC. A netizen found that menus inside are only in English and simplified Chinese.
拉菲爾法比奧: Simplified Chinese has Invaded Tseung Kwan O. Hurray!
The menu of agnès b. café in the newly opened shopping mall “Popcorn” is only in simplified Chinese and English. There is no traditional Chinese. Hongkonger, continue to get Mainlandised.
I will upload pictures when I get home.
Sandwich in Cantonese is “三文治” (“three literal” literally, Cantonese: ʃam mɐn tʃi; Mandarin: san uən tʂ‘ʅ) and “三明治” (“three bright” literally, Mandarin: san miŋ tʂ‘ʅ; Cantonese: ʃam miŋ tʃi), the Mandarin usage, is used in here. I was told that the transliteration was based on maritime English “sammich”. “三文” (three literal) was taken from the idea of “Trinity”(三一) to make the loanword more meaningful and elegant. From the viewpoint of Cantonese phonology, the pronunciation of “三明治” is more difficult than that of “三文治” because there is a faint glottal stop in 明 during fast speech. (*Thanks Robert Charles Lee for info) Butter is called “牛油” in Cantonese while Mainland Mandarin “黃油” is used in here.
Salad in Hong Kong Cantonese is “沙律” (Cantonese :ʃa løt; Mandarin: ʂa ly) while “色拉” (Mandarin: sɤ la; Cantonese: ʃik lai), the Mainland Chinese name, is used in the menu.
The photo uploader said satirically that he didn’t know what “色拉” was.
拉菲爾法比奧: Today, when I first saw “色拉”, it was so f**king familiar that I almost didn’t know how to order food.
Get a rough knowledge of Tsueng Kwan O before reading netizens’ comments.
The “A” bubble is where “Popcorn” is located,”P” means “public housing” and “S” means “government subsidised housing”. Tsueng Kwan O (the bay of Commander, literally) is a relatively young “new town“. The two “P” sites on top are the oldest public housings in there, which were built in the end of 1980s. Hence, this region has more residents who were born in the 1980s. It was once seen as a grassroots area. After 2000s, more and more private housing were built in the South of Tseung Kwan O.
Northern Tseung Kwan O is composed of public housings that were built in the late 80s and early 90s.
Southern Tseung Kwan O is composed of public housings that were built after 1997 and “luxurious” apartments.
The following is an episode of Education TV that was watched by people who were born in the late 1970s and 1980s. The title of the song is “Ever Changing Hong Kong”.
flaneurhk: 1988, P.4 (*P stands for Primary School) Social Studies
First Seminar, Episode 13, The Face of Hong Kong
It was last aired in Nov 1994. In 1995, social studies and health education were merged to become general studies. This episode is composed of several rewritten Cantopop songs that portrait Hong Kong, her economy and urban life. The way of expression was ahead of time and many older teachers couldn’t accept it. It can’t be denied that this is the collective memory for Hongkonger who are now in their 20s and 30s. This must be one of the top episodes that gives everyone a deep impression.
unclemau: Cherish British Hong Kong.
Tour of the “Popcorn” by Unwire.hk
The reason why expensive shops appear in a shopping mall which is surrounded by public and government subsidised housings is…
含家散: That shopping mall doesn’t want “public housing boys” like us. (*People who live in public housing always refer themselves as “屋邨仔/妹” (public housing boys/girls).
好笑到含撚呀: Popcorn is for Mainlanders.
啍!: You think this is for Hongkonger? It is for Mainlanders. It is normal to use simplified Chinese. Hong Kong businessmen have no dignity.
採蜥淘象: Enthusiastically celebrate that the people of Tsueng Kwan O are successfully liberated. (*He posted with simplified Chinese character.)
哈: They obviously think that you poor thugs can’t afford to eat in there.
靈靈發: They completely ignore the existence of Hongkonger.
The above photos are being shared crazily on Facebook. A Sai Kung (*Tseung Kwan O is part of Sai Kung District) based politician, Gary Fan, observed in there and posted more photos of the cafe.
Chocolate in Cantonese is 朱古力 (Cantonese: tʃy ku lik; Mandarin: ʂu ku li) and 巧克力 (Mandarin: tɕ‘iau k‘ɤ li; Cantonese: hau hak lik), the Mainland usage, is used in here. Iced beverage is usually written as “凍飲” or “冷飲” in Hong Kong usage while Mainland Chinese usage “冰飲” is used.
Gary Fan: Against agnès b.café in the newly opened Tseung Kwan O shopping mall “Popcorn”. It only has English and simplified Chinese menu. Discriminate Hongkonger! For Hong Kong customers, boycotting is the best way to against it. I call for everyone to boycott agnès b. café!
I need traditional Chinese menu
Scholar Wan Chin: agnès b. café uses simplified Chinese in residential area, which is humiliating the dignity of Hong Kong culture. Everyone please don’t tolerate. Take action to defend the dignity of Hong Kong. We all have been humiliated enough. It’s time to act now. Fellow Hongkongers, let’s shout, “agnès b., brand of shame!”
Comments from Facebook
Wong: Deanie Ip said Hong Kong these days was just a large shopping mall for others. You think these stores are for Hongkonger? Of course they serve Mainland Chinese first.
Li: These foreign brands use Mainland Chinese characters and phrases to please Mainland Chinese tourists and don’t respect local culture. I won’t buy from these brands because this is the home field of Hongkonger.
Tang: To be frank, I think that Hong Kong has been under invasion all these years. First, resource invasion. Second, cultural invasion. Third, political invasion.
Ranger: Doing business in Hong Kong and using menus that Hongkongers don’t understand. What’s the intention? Go back to China to open stores.
Yiu: I hate these people the most. Why do they have to yield to Mainlanders? Every place has her own language! Don’t need to yield to them! Are you with me??
Lo: Mainlander will treat Tseung Kwan O as their own place and regard Hongkonger as foreigners. Strong country will kick us out and we can’t enter.
Ela: Just last Friday a friend went to Domani (tel 2111 1197), an Italian restaurant in Pacific Place, Admiralty, and the Taiwanese manager, after a chat with a snobbish Filipino(?) receptionist, went up to my friend and told her something about the reservation but refused to speak in Cantonese. Pointing at a Chinese flag he told my friend in Mandarin ‘HK is in China’. These foreigners come here for work and then tell us what to do and what language to do it in! My friend immediately brought this to the attention of the Italian manager Stefano (email@example.com) and complained to Pacific Place as well. Any advice on how to pursue this?
agnès b café just apologised and promised to change the menu back to traditional Chinese before netizens carry out further actions.
However, the apology is not well received.
Eric: Even a cafe from France has to be the running dog of the Communist Party. Pathetic.
Janet: No one expects them to write in 8 languages. However, if you open stores in other places, you should respect local culture. Isn’t it a common sense? Hongkongers can answer what is “色拉” (“colour pull” literally)? What colour are they trying to pull?
Chris: Don’t French always defend their language culture snobbishly? Why do you humiliate others’ language cultures? Which one are you serving, Hongkonger or Mainlander? If the answer is Mainlander, f**king go to China. Don’t f**king go to Hong Kong.
From Sharp Daily,
The Home Field of Hongkonger
Use Simplified Chinese
On April 3rd, agnès b café changed the menu to traditional Chinese and Cantonese usage.
On Jan 10th 2012, a photo of a government poster that is in simplified Chinese was shared on the internet and stirred anger among netizens. Apple/Sharp Daily reported it and later the poster was taken down.
On Jan 24th 2012, a Citi Bank’s simplified Chinese advertisement was painted with “大69”, which means “Mainland dog”.
Wen Yunchao, the winner of French Republic’s Human Rights Prize 2010 and now lives in Hong Kong, criticises Hongkonger for not accepting simplified Chinese.
The heart of Hongkonger is so fragile that they can’t accept the unintentional use of Simplified Chinese.
He continues to criticise Hongkonger on Google+
low self-esteem syndrome
King Wolffy: It is just that simple. When in Rome, do as the Roman do. Using traditional Chinese is a “basic civility” when one comes to Hong Kong. Using both traditional and simplified Chinese is OK too.
Astrophel Lim: It is so funny. If you only use Japanese to do business in China, will Mainland Chinese get angry? Mainland Chinese is like that. They don’t respect their culture and switched to use “handicapped” character. However, they rush to say that not using “handicapped and evil character” is low self-esteem. The lowness of Mainland Chinese culture makes one speechless.
Slacker Ki: I also don’t understand why Mainland Chinese love saying that Hongkonger view themselves as higher class. To be honest, I don’t think I am high class. It is just Mainland Chinese lower than low.
Astrophel Lim: It matches the national situation of China. They will say others are wrong no matter what.
Gary Fan’s latest political declaration
Block Double Negatives (Anchor baby)
Against Mainland Chinese Self-Drive Tour to Hong Kong
Protect Traditional Chinese
I am Hongkonger
Title: Under the Hand of Enemy
Picture 1: Today, “Defend Traditional Chinese Character”
Picture 2. Five years later, “Defend Cantonese Language”, with sign written in Simplified Chinese character
Picture 3: Ten years later, “Defend Cantonese Culture”, with sign written in simplified Chinese character and Mandarin pinyin
Picture 4: Fifteen years later,
Mother: Son, what have you learn today? (in Cantonese and the speech bubble is in traditional Chinese)
Son: Mom, what are you talking about? (in Mandarin and the speech bubble is in simplified Chinese)
The success inspires netizens to complain others companies that use simplified Chinese. On April 7th, a photo of someone flipping the bird to the simplified Chinese banner of Hong Kong-style fast food chain, 美心 Maxim’s (they also use Mandarin pinyin “Meixin” as well) was shared on the internet and the uploader urged other netizens to send complaint emails to the chain.
畫松: [shared picture] Maxim’s solicits customers with Simplified Chinese, betraying the core value of Hongkonger.
The picture was downloaded from the internet. I hope the photographer would not mind. In here, I hope everyone can send an email and this would be reported by newspapers.
則卷千兵䘙: Now, many big companies, chain stores and restaurants use simplified Chinese to solicit customers and this is raping one of the core values of Hongkonger. In recent years, these kinds of scum companies just want to profit from a specific kind of foreign customer. They don’t want to serve Hongkonger at all. They should just give up Hong Kong market and directly do business in the original place of this specific kind of foreign customer.
agnès b (They had made same mistakes before. Even though they have changed the menu, I still advise you to boycott them.)