Monday, August 2, 2010

Demonstrations to Preserve Cantonese Dialect

Hundreds in China's southern export hub of Guangdong scuffled with police at a weekend protest to support the local Cantonese dialect, a witness said, with a small group of reporters and protesters briefly detained by police.

Hundreds of police officers in Guangzhou have dispersed protestors who gathered to call for the preservation of the Cantonese dialect. The demonstration was held at the same time as a rally in Hong Kong. Televison footage showed several people being taken away in vans in Guangzhou. The protests were triggered by a proposal to switch all prime-time television programmes in Guangdong from Cantonese to Putonghua. The mainland authorities have described the movement as a "politically motivated campaign". About 150 people took part in the demonstration in Hong Kong. One of the local participants, Ip Ho-yee, said the action was also about free speech. Ms Ip said that since freedom of expression was suppressed on the mainland, the Hong Kong demonstrators would exercise their rights to free speech and assembly to protect the Cantonese language from any threat of elimination.
Hundreds of protesters talked tough in Hong Kong and Guangzhou yesterday as they rallied against what they say is the mainland's bid to champion Putonghua over Cantonese.

In a second weekend of protests in Guangzhou, clashes erupted between police and supporters of Cantonese...

The keep-Cantonese rally in Hong Kong was less confrontational.

Protesters in white shirts walked along Queensway - some chanting swear words - to demand the preservation of Cantonese. Among the banners and signs, a long white sheet was unfurled and carried to the entrance of the Central Government Offices...

2 comments:

beyondasiaphilia said...

Wow, thanks for the cool news--I have to say that I prefer Cantonese, but that's because my family speaks it (or Toi San, really) so it's more familiar to me. Plus I love all of the inventive cursing in Canto--it's one of the things I can actually make out when I watch HK movies : )

dleedlee said...

Ha, ha, same here, My dad busts out in Toi San hua on rare occasions with his older friends and it's like 'Whoa!'. But even he is picking up Mandarin these days from watching Chinese TV programming on cable.