Photos: Samuel Wong/Watershed Hong Kong
A group of dedicated history enthusiasts are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong by mingling with Hongkongers, dressed as living monuments.
Photo: Watershed Hong Kong.
Watershed Hong Kong organiser Kevin Ng told HKFP that the group portrays the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp, which was formed from local men during World War II.
See also: The WWII sacrifice of ‘Free French’ defending Hong Kong
“If you forget history, you can’t build your own identity,” he said. “Knowing the past is the way to build the foundation of citizenship.”
Hinnes Chan: “Hong Kong was living in a critical time 75 years ago. The defence forces bravely fought and sacrificed all they had. Time flies, but norms remain. It’s my honour to join this event to recall our collective memories with such a passionate group of people. The meaning of history is not just about archives, but also the inheritance of spirit and inspiring to the next generation. The event is our tribute to our war dead and proof of our love for Hong Kong.”
Each uniform cost around HK$2,600.
Trautman Chan: “As a social worker and social work student, I notice that our generation are not familiar with our history. I hope the event can establish a collective identity and experience for our community. The most important thing is remembering those who served and sacrificed for our freedom, that they will not vanish from our memories.”
After a bloody 17-day battle in 1941, the city was handed over to the Japanese invaders on Christmas Day at the Peninsula Hotel.
Paddy MacBruce: “I’m a teacher and my personal interest is history. After getting Hong Kong permanent residence, it’s my duty to teach Hong Kong history in a way that engages students, and what better way than to experience it?”
The group will gather again at Exit A3, Wanchai MTR at 11am on Christmas Day.
See also: The Fall of Hong Kong: 75 years since Japan took the city
Duncan Chan (2nd left): “I am a history teacher and I long wished that history could go beyond textbooks in a way people can experience and feel. It’s my pleasure to join this meaningful event which pays tribute to the heroes who safeguarded our homeland, and to enhance public interest in this part of history.”
Victor Yu: “Always be proud of your homeland. I am a history student. I always feel thankful to soldiers who fought for Hong Kong. Without their contribution, it would be impossible for us to enjoy the peace we have now. We share the same Hongkonger spirit in the same place, but in a different era only. I wish to try my best to inherit their spirit of treasuring Hong Kong. We live in Hong Kong and love Hong Kong. Thus, we are Hongkongers.”
Photo: Anders Cheung.
Follow Watershed on Facebook or Instagram.