A gaggle of Hong Konger Canadians has launched a nationwide marketing campaign within the hopes of constructing their mark on the 2021 census and inspiring the federal authorities to acknowledge “Hong Konger” as an official identification.
The #IAmHongKonger marketing campaign calls on members of the diaspora to pick Hong Kong as their ethnic origin within the long-form census and to record Cantonese as one in every of their spoken languages at dwelling within the short-form model.
Marketing campaign organizers say they need their distinctive identification as Cantonese-speaking Hong Kongers acknowledged in Canada.
“We have to actually uphold our identification, as a result of we aren’t the identical as Chinese language,” stated Henry Lam, who moved to Vancouver along with his husband six years in the past.
Each 5 years, Canadians are invited to take part within the census to supply data on socioeconomic and demographic developments that may affect future coverage choices.
WATCH | #IAmHongKonger organizers wish to make assertion on 2021 census:
Hong Konger wasn’t offered as an choice within the 2016 census, and officers say anybody who famous it on the shape would have been grouped as Chinese language.
Lam stated that may have an effect on authorities providers for Cantonese-speaking Hong Kongers.
“After they ship out a survey to me, they solely give me simplified Chinese language, a.okay.a. Mandarin, so it isn’t our studying language in any respect.”
Census now contains Hong Konger as ethnicity
The director common of this 12 months’s census says Hong Konger is now included as an ethnicity on the shape.
“By no means has [there] been extra want for disaggregated knowledge — knowledge that does not lump folks collectively,” Geoff Bowlby stated.
Bowlby stated he believes there’ll seemingly be sufficient of a response to supply data particular to the Hong Kong diaspora.
Lam’s husband stated that along with the sensible goal of higher authorities providers, China’s actions in Hong Kong have given Hong Kongers in Canada a political motivation for the marketing campaign.
“We do not wish to be erased,” Man Ho stated. “That’s what the Chinese language or the [People’s Republic of China] is attempting to do, they usually wish to preserve town however take away the folks.”
Protests towards governments in Hong Kong and China swelled in 2019, and Beijing clamped down on expressions of anti-government sentiment within the metropolis with a brand new nationwide safety regulation.
Leo Shin, an affiliate professor within the Asian research division on the College of British Columbia in Vancouver, stated China and its supporters may be aware of an official distinction in census knowledge.
“Given the kind of hyperconnected world that we stay in? Little doubt it is going to be seen,” he stated. “I believe there will probably be some reactions — perhaps not essentially from the federal government, however from the netizens to make this a political challenge.”
For Lam, it is about greater than politics.
“We do not need our identification to be pale in our technology, as a result of I’m not positive for the way forward for Hong Kong.”
He stated the census marketing campaign is a strategy to help buddies protesting again dwelling.