Spirit of Bauhinia : flower power reinvented in HK
Updated: Jul 11
The Bauhinia is a symbol of Hong Kong (HK), seen on its flag and on government buildings of course. It is timely to consider the meaning and symbolism that such flowers have for people. The Bauhinia blakeana needs human hands to be propagated, and some people consider the bauhinia an inauspicious symbol for a city built on mixed Chinese and British heritage.
In our blog '612 Hong Kong is still revolting' we posted the Apple Daily 15 June 2021 photo below of HK people leaving tributes in memorial to Marco Leung Ling-kit who sadly passed away on 15 June 2020 by suicide. The point we made then was that the HK police, despite prohibiting public protest on 16 June 2021, did not stop the public tribute on 15 June 2021 to mourn the 1 year anniversary of the death of Marco Leung.
Chow Tsz-lok (pictured below) passed away some 20 months ago, but recently, with no police around at the place where he died, someone was able to leave flowers for him and mourn his passing.
Reddit Chow Tsz-lok fell from a parking lot under suspicious circumstances.
At the parking lot where he fell and died, there were flowers placed at various spots, including a yellow origami flower. His death was treated as an accident and lead to an inconclusive coroner's inquiry.
Fast forward to 1st July 2021, and events have taken a rather different turn in HK as it is aptly described by the Wall Street Journal. It's so much worse now in HK than it ever was in 2019.
SUICIDE ATTACK ON HK POLICEOFFICER
"HONG KONG—Few people appeared to notice the middle-aged man as he walked up to one of dozens of police officers patrolling one of Hong Kong’s busiest streets on the July 1 anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule.
"The 50-year-old man dressed in gray pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed the officer in the back. As the officer staggered toward colleagues, the assailant stabbed himself in the heart and collapsed as officers rushed to subdue him. He died a short time later.
"The evening attack, which was partly captured on video, signalled a potential shift to more extreme tactics by some government opponents, as police enforce China’s national-security law that has all but eliminated avenues for political dissent.
. . . . . o o o o o . . . . .
Following the death of Mr Leung Kin-Fai and the hospitalisation of the injured Police officer, there was a natural outflow of public and private emotions - it was a momentous news event.
Like other places in the world, where events have ended the lives of people who are otherwise considered innocent vicitms of circumstance, or even for those who are masters of their own fate, the deaths touch many people. It's not always a natural disaster that leads to tragedy - sometimes events are man made.
To name but a few: 9/11 (2001), Surfside, Florida (July 2021), Ethiopia's Tigray famine (July 2021), Bhopal gas leak (1984), Grenfell Fire, London (2017)
People remember the names of those who have fallen.
The flowers you can see in the image below are for one unfortunate woman, Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a UK police officer. It's very disturbing to many that an elite member of the security force in London should be of such character.
So, the response of HK citizens should never have been unexpected by the HK Government, and yet so befuddled and caught up in their politics are they, that what ensued is nothing short of a shame. The ego of the HK government and the HK Police clearly got in the way of rational thinking, and any sense of basic humanity.
When words fail, flowers will suffice.
Twitter On the 2nd July 2021 many citizens showed up outside the SOGO Department Store in Causeway Bay with white flowers, hoping to pay respect to the late Mr. Leung Kin-Fai. Police immediately took away the white flowers and charged people (mourners) with violations of the [social distancing regulation] 599G ordinance, a HK$5k fine.
Reddit A family of four in HK with tribute flowers for Mr Leung was surrounded by police.
We should remind you that under current social distancing regulations that were originally intended to combat Covid-19, it is illegal for people to gather in groups of more than four.
Reddit A Secondary School student alone with tribute for Mr Leung was stopped and ID checked four times by HK police.
Reddit A lone woman in HK carrying white flowers as tribute for Mr Leung was surrounded by police.
Reddit HK policemen illegally confiscated (i.e. steals) Mr Leung's memorial flowers from a lone mourner.
Twitter Photo 1 of 2: In Causeway Bay this woman placed her chrysanthemum flowers on the ground and was then surrounded by police. She knelt down and cried out emotionally 'what did I do wrong?
Twitter Photo 2 of 2: In Causeway Bay the same woman placed her chrysanthemum flowers on the ground and was then surrounded by police. She knelt down and cried out emotionally 'what did I do wrong?' Here are all the police watching one woman!
Source: Reddit u/miss_wolverine. Police arbitrarily harass, stop, and search people and even confiscate memorial flowers intended for Mr. Leung.
Lately HKPF have become data gatherers for the HK government, recording names, phone numbers and personal details of any one deemed to have potentially "crossed a red line". It is all part of adding to HK's climate of fear and intimidation - in contrast to Chief Executive Carrie Lam's claim that people of HK still enjoy freedom.
Reddit Police removed white flowers left as tribute for Mr Leung by mourners. ‘The whole van is full of flowers!’ a policeman said.
Twitter On the 7th day (頭七) of the anniversary of the death of Mr Leung Police presence, uniformed and plain clothed, outside SOGO Causeway Bay to stop HKers public mourning : Many uniform police are the 'elite' special forces blue berets.
Reddit HK police threatened this woman and her white flowers with NSL (below)
Source: Stand News https://m.facebook.com/standnewshk/photos/a.720050934747196/4325771624175091/?type=3&source=48 Today at 5:30pm by SOGO, yet another citizen with white flowers was stopped by HK police. The police told her "everyone knows what your white flowers meant!"
The police warned her that, she could be charged with National Security Law and inciting violence if she speaks with any reporter. They also said if she starts to pray, she would be considered as inciting others to follow her behaviour. She was then told that, if she puts the flower on the ground, she would be ticketed for littering. (A $1500HKD fine, so roughly $200USD).
She showed up with white flowers because it was the 7th day after Mr. Leung's death as per the lunar calendar. (It is believed in Chinese culture that on the 7th day, the soul would return to visit their loved ones.)
Seriously, there are 8 cops in just one photo. Imagine many more on the street. Ridiculous!
We owe thanks to social media reports and commentary these days, as investigative journalists, the likes of whome were once employed by Apple Daily, have had their wings clipped!
Twitter On the 7th day anniversary (頭七) of Mr. Leung's suicide attack, police officers wearing tactical vests are guarding this single electric box, a spot popular with citizens who laid down white flowers of tribute in memory and respect for the deceased.
Reddit u/MistyMystery This woman was stopped by HK police for carrying a bunch of Garlic Chives outside SOGO.
Source: Stand News
Brief translation + explanation: Today July 7 is day 7 (頭七) of Mr. Leung's death. As per Asian customs, the dead soul would return on day 7 of their death to see their loved ones once more before leaving to start their next life. The HK police stopped and questioned her on why she was carrying so much chives. At some point the woman became agitated, took a flower out of her purse and started praying and bowing on the spot, and claimed to be frightened. She was eventually released after the HK police officers gave her a verbal warning. She refused to comment to the reporter and went inside SOGO afterwards.
u/MistyMystery: Meaning behind the garlic chives (internet slang): 割韭菜 - means to reap people; chives refer to the Chinese commoners who are easily deceived and exploited by CCP and rich businessmen in China; used to be most commonly used in stock market context. https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E9%9F%AD%E8%8F%9C
u/MistyMystery: My own guess: The woman in the photo didn't comment on why she was carrying chives, but I think she was probably carrying it to be sacarstic, implying that the HK polices are chives that would eventually be reaped by the HK government.
If a leading member of the CCP or HK government passes away, we would no doubt be commanded by authoritarians to show our loyalty, to line up in the street, and to bring flowers!
If we choose to bring garlic chives, there is nothing the government can do about it
HK people already know the power of flowers, their symbolism and meaning.
R.I.P. Love & light, Leung Kin-Fai
Jeremiah B & Pepe.
CCP please answer all of the following UN letters sent to you:
Mandates of the UN Special Rapporteur 28 June 2019 (On 12 June 2021 protest)
See our related Blogs:
R.I.P. Alex Chow Tsz-Lok. Love and light always!
R.I.P. Leung Kin-Fai 梁健輝