The singer, still holding his guitar, calmly answered a few questions from the police, and then smiled and asked the onlookers to sing together. The bald policeman standing opposite the singer pointed at the singer, trying to intimidate him to not sing again. The singer ignored him. He started to play his guitar. People applauded and began to sing Glory to Hong Kong together.
Then a police car came with its siren blaring, and another group of police officers got out holding circular shields. Some of them were officers with relatively high official ranks. Some people shouted: “Do we want so many police officers?”
The Hong Kong youth sang Do You Hear the People Sing?, one of the most classic songs in the musical Les Misérables staged in London in 1985. This song has several Chinese versions — the mainland version, the Taiwan version, and the Hong Kong version.
After more police arrived, the singer maintained a calm look on his face and he started playing the guitar and singing in English again. The onlookers immediately sang along.
The police stood around discussing countermeasures. The singer continued to play and sing, and the people sang along. After singing, onlookers applauded and cheered.
The singer continued to sing passionately in English, swaying his body gently, brushing back his hair from time to time. Passers-by kept putting money into the guitar case on the ground, including a middle-aged foreign lady.
A policeman was on the phone. After the singer finished another song, a police officer talked to the singer, who was listening quietly without saying a word. If he did not leave, the crowd would not leave.
At this time, more than a dozen riot policemen in khaki clothes arrived. The crowd booed. However, this riot police team did not come over but stood on the opposite side of the road.
The singer began to sing again and appeared unmoved. His calm demeanor and peacefulness inspired the citizens on the scene. Some young girls turned on their mobile phone lights and waved, and more people turned on the glow of their mobile phones and waved together.
After singing for a bit longer, the singer said the next song would be the last one. He pointed to the police officers as if saying that they had restricted him to only a few pieces. He sang the English version of Glory to Hong Kong first and then he invited everyone to join in. It was the third time that the singer sang this song that day.
The solemn, majestic, affectionate, dignified, and vigorous singing echoed on an ordinary street in Zhonghuan Road and echoed over Hong Kong.
After the singing, the people shouted slogans: “Recover Hong Kong, revolution of the times”; “Five key demands, not one less”; “Hong Kong people, keep it up!”; “Free Hong Kong.” The scene was enthusiastic and shocking.
The young singer packed up and prepared to leave, and the people gradually dispersed.
The team of riot police with round shields across the road were waiting.
A big youth walked up to the singer who was squatting on the ground to pack his things, patted him on the shoulder. The singer stood up, and the young man gave him a big hug.
A policeman continued to “educate” the singer. The singer drank water and listened without responding. After a few minutes, the singer picked up his guitar and left with his belongings. A group of citizens waiting for the singer said goodbye to him with applause.
Many netizens posted their comments online.
“The unity, bravery, and justice of Hong Kong people moved me to tears. I am proud of the Hong Kong people!”
“When a regime is afraid of even a song, then it’s too late!”
It was the most authentic voice of the Hong Kong people. Looking at the people caught on camera, they were from different social backgrounds, of different ages and genders. When they sang Glory to Hong Kong together, everyone had a touching smile on their faces.
This folk singer, his kind smile, and his beautiful singing voice will become popular as an Internet celebrity worldwide.
Yes, this short story in Central Hong Kong, only lasting 40 minutes, tells people just as those foreign tourists said: “Ugliness can do nothing to kindness.”
See Part 1 here.
Translated by Joseph Wu and eEdited by Helen