Hong Kong’s new rules have parents leaving Hong Kong

This CNN article details how some parents are planning to emigrate from Hong Kong because of new legislation stating pro-democracy teachings and materials are prohibited from the classroom. The first section of the article introducing how Sarah a mother of an eight-year-old boy and teacher prepares to leave her birthplace, Hong Kong. Sarah disapproves of the new law and fears that it will limit her child’s educational freedom. They plan to move to the United Kingdom even though the pandemic might limit their future job prospects. The article continues to detail information the law lists as “illegal ideas” and reforming the school system’s curriculum to “teach students a more balanced history of China” (Wang and Wright, 2020). Lastly, a discussion on the future generation of Hong Kong’s children is presented.

I have mixed feelings about this article and the situation in Hong Kong. First, I am reminded of a post I saw last year over the summer on Instagram. The post condemned non-Chinese people from commenting on the protests in Hong Kong because they were not Chinese and did not understand the events fully. Whenever, I read or share my opinion about issues in Hong Kong, China, or Taiwan that post lingers in. my mind and haunts me sort of. However, I believe people regardless of nationality have a right to stand with people experiencing injustices. Also, I believe in “minding your own business”. Currently, I am at the stage of my life where “minding your own business” and the silence that comes with that conflict with the need to take action. Secondly, this article makes me think of my friends whose parents were immigrants and left their home country to provide their children with better education and so on. I never had to leave my home country because of any laws or acts by the government that propelled my parents to move. Even moving states to find better schools or jobs was not a thought for them. The only thing I empathize with is moving house to escape gang violence. The situation in Hong Kong makes me think of a “what if”. For instance, “what if” people in the UK are unwelcoming to the immigrants from Hong Kong, and they are denied entry or job opportunities? Where would they go?  “What if” the world continues down this path of separation, violence, restriction, and so on? What happens then? I have questions and no answers. I was once told to ask questions but expect no answers; when there are no answers you must act.

Maya Sykes

2 Responses to “Hong Kong’s new rules have parents leaving Hong Kong

  • Miranda Doremus- Reznor
    6 months ago

    Wow Maya. Thanks for sharing. After reading I feel much like you, “All questions, no answers.” I see so many parallels between mainland China and wanting to teach patriotism with many of the criticisms teachers face in the U.S. Teachers are often criticized for being political, but what many don’t understand is that education is inherently political because of whose voices you elevate and whose you ignore or leave out.

  • Deniz Ortactepe
    5 months ago

    Maya – this is exactly why I am here in the States. I had a good job, a nice car, and a university subsidized apartment that I was paying less than $100 a month! And more importantly, I was with my family. But then this happened: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/24/magazine/the-era-of-people-like-you-is-over-how-turkey-purged-its-intellectuals.html
    And I wish your what ifs were just what ifs but they are not. Trump’s executive order precisely did what you are afraid of – shut down the country for immigrants like myself. The UK’s no different. I am married to a UK citizen, I get a six-month long tourist visa every time I visit my in-laws. And these people, including myself, can afford to move, or take that risk. Most people can’t. What all those anti-immigration supporters don’t understand is that people wouldn’t be moving out of their countries if the circumstances in their countries didn’t force them to.

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