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身分 Identity

2016/3/31 — 12:46

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法律嚴謹界定身分,但「身分」卻是難以捉摸,充滿曖昧和矛盾的事物。

國家有國籍法規定誰是她的國民。在香港特別行政區,「香港永久居民」才是最重要的身分。《基本法》列出六大類別,屬於這六大類別,就是「香港永久居民」,永久居民有權在香港居留,不能被遞解出境。無數人為了爭取這個身分而打官司,上訴到終審法院。在終極判決之後,全國人大介入,以無上權威推翻判決,先前勝訴的人,又再失去這個身分。

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但特別的是,長期居港並以此地為家的外國人,跟中國人一樣可以是香港永久居民,中國國籍並非香港永久居民的必要條件,理由在於香港特殊的歷史和存在已久的多元化社會結構。自百多年前,不同種族、社羣、國籍、宗教、語言的人,已經陸續從世界各地來這裡貿易、工作、定居。他們當中有波斯人、葡萄牙人、英國人、印度人、巴基斯坦人、尼泊爾人和俄國人;他們參與成立香港第一間大學,有份建築這個小島上無數樓房、橋樑、道路;他們在這裡留下了足印,積聚成豐富的文化,令香港成為中國境內沒有一個城市可以相比的獨特都城。

甚至從中國大陸來港的中國人,也不是一般的中國人;他們不少因為內地戰亂、飢荒、貧困和政治迫害逃難來港;他們對故國的文化承傳感情深厚;他們堅毅耐勞,珍惜香港的自由空氣和法治給每個人的保障,讓他們有休養生息和尋求發展的空間。

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香港的多元文化特色,從她的建築物、典章制度、日常應用語言、食譜和衣飾隨處可見。香港特色也在每個香港人的身分認同表露出來。「香港人」這個身分與法律無關,不受法律定義的約束與限制。我們既非中亦非西,既是中又是西。一個人是不是永久居民由法律決定,但是不是香港人則由個人選擇:選擇認同這個地方,她的核心價值、她的前途命運,選擇以此地生活文化的方式表達自己,選擇以此為家,就是香港人。

但香港人對香港身分認同,感受複雜矛盾。殖民地時代常懷愧疚,因為雖然港英管治可算優良,但殖民地主義也是道德所不容。而且,香港表面上風平浪靜,到底是「借來的時間,借來的空間」,多美好也不踏實。在許多人心目中,這裡不是真正的家鄉,家鄉在遠處,在遙遠的年代,在發黃的照片背後。記憶是身分十之八九:自己的記憶、親人的記憶,我城的集體記憶;而記憶總是苦樂參半。

可是,一旦遭到外來衝擊,這個飄忽矇矓的身分認同忽然就清晰確實起來了,忽然變成要拼死衞護,沒有了就活不下去的東西。一九八零年代初,中英兩國就香港前途談判的時候,戰後在香港出生長大的一代和他們逃難而來的父母輩,就是忽然醒覺,急起自我反省:什麼是這個城市對我們最重要,不能失去的特點?這一代人向全世界發出呼聲:縱使主權轉易,香港的特質也不可以改變!

主權交還十七年後,正當一九九七年後出生的一代步向成年,這個身分認同的呼聲又再震動世界。中國領導人無法理解為何「人心尚未回歸」,為何香港人不但沒有安於認同全國一樣的「中國人」身分,反而公然懷念過去的香港。官員越刻意推銷與大陸經濟融合、與大陸一致化的政策,香港人對自己的身分及這個城市的特質就越着緊,越擔憂會被無情消滅。直至那年九月,年輕一代的呼聲迸發:讓我們自主命運!自己香港自己救!「雨傘運動」於是便在世人面前展現,抗議的標語佔滿了平日見慣的街道。

二零零八年,正當歷代在香港的少數族裔羣體越來越被忽略之際,香港特區通過消除種族歧視的法例。但這項法例缺陷太多,功效成疑。然後,在佔領的異常時間異常空間,一小隊少數族裔青年自動發起遊行,宣示他們是雨傘運動的一份子。他們的隊伍,不停有中國及外國人加入,不住壯大。他們的行動比法例更加聲音響亮。

然而,核心問題仍在:我們是誰?我是誰?「香港人」的元素是什麼?「香港人」存在嗎?他的存在合理合法嗎?有關係嗎?這個身分避得開、否決得到嗎?在平常自在的日子裡,我們樂於選擇凍「0」(檸)茶、菠蘿包、茶餐廳作為代表香港身分,但身分之為物,就是不時會令人不自在,而正是在那些最不自在,甚至徬徨苦惱的時候,我們最感覺到我們身分的存在,發現我們擁有和失去它也同樣深受困擾。

2015年12月28日

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Law provides the hard edge of identity, but identity is fluid, ambiguous and ambivalent.

A state defines its citizens by nationality law. In Hong Kong, the most fundamental legal status is that of the Hong Kong Permanent Resident (HKPR). He alone enjoys the right of abode here. The Basic Law sets out an attractive list of rights and freedoms to which he is entitled; it also states in no uncertain terms only a person who falls into one or the other of 6 specified categories has that status. Numerous court cases have been fought to establish whether a person falls inside or outside these categories, some going to the highest court of the land. Even after the highest court had given its judgment, the National People’s Congress saw fit to step in  to re-interpret the law in order to give it a narrower meaning and put that beyond challenge.

It is evidence of Hong Kong's unique history and make-up of its community of long-standing that to be a HKPR a person is not required to be Chinese. A non-Chinese person who has long resided in this City and taken it as his or her home, is every bit a HKPR as a Chinese national born in Hong Kong. It is only right that this is so. From more than a hundred years ago, Parsees, Portuguese, British, Indians, Pakistani, Nepalese and Russian, had been coming here to trade and some eventually to settle. They had helped found the oldest university, build all manners of civil engineering works, grand or everyday, and the multi-culture they had brought with them had enriched the life and culture of Hong Kong, and made it a City like no other city in China.

Even the Chinese here are like no other Chinese. For, many of them came here as refugees from the mainland of China, fleeing from the turmoil of war, hunger, poverty and political oppression. They had brought with them a spirit of endurance as well as a deep love of the Chinese cultural heritage, even as that heritage was being systematically destroyed in the Cultural Revolution which swept the mainland. They value the freedom and the protection of the rule of law that Hong Kong provided.

This multi-culturalism coloured Hong Kong's identity. One can see it in buildings, in institutions, in the languages of daily communication, in the wide variety of food and fashion, and above all, in the make-up of the identity of the individuals, the “Hongkongers”, an identity which is beyond and above the law and defies and eludes its careful definition. We are neither Chinese nor Westerner, and we are both. One may be HKPR by law but is a Hongkongers only by choice: by choosing to identify oneself with this place, its core values and its destiny, and express oneself in ways which are characteristic of its life and culture.

But a Hongkonger's identification with Hong Kong is seldom unalloyed. In the colonial days, it was tinged with guilt and ambivalence: the government may be benign but colonialism was indefensible. It was also troubled by a sense of impermanence, and because permanence and reality are inextricably linked, also by a sense of unreality, that one’s real home was elsewhere, some other land, maybe some obscure village, and some other era, recent or remote, from which one's ancestors issued. Identity is nine parts memory: one's own, one’s family's, and the collective memory of the City, and the memory is not all sweet.

And yet, when came under threat, this illusive and ambivalent identity suddenly hardened into the core existence which we must give all to preserve. In the early 1980s, the Sino- British negotiation over of Hong Kong made the post-war generation as well as their parents sit up and examine in their own hearts what were the most valuable characteristics of the City without which life would be intolerable. They asserted that the change of sovereignty should not alter the Hong Kong way of life. And their collective voice was heard all over the globe.

That passionate cry of identity under threat was heard around the world again 17 years after the return of sovereignty, just as the generation born after 1997 is reaching adulthood. China was bewildered and dismayed that “the people's hearts have not undergone reunification”. Rather than readily accepting their identity as Chinese like the rest of the nation, increasingly there was reaching back into memories of a different Hong Kong. As the conscientious political programme

of homogenization and economic connection with the mainland was pursued, the anxiety of people in Hong Kong for their own identity and the uniqueness of their City heightened, until that day in September they cried out in anguish: Let us be masters of our own fate! It is our job to save our City! And the world knew the Umbrella Movement which spilled into the much portrayed streets.

As the ancient ethnic minority communities dwindled and felt squeezed out, a law against racial discrimination was passed, a law so imperfect that its effectiveness was questioned. Yet, in the remarkable time and space of Occupy during the Umbrella Movement, a small band of young people from these communities decided to declare their identification with the fight for Hong Kong’s future by holding a demonstration under the Umbrella banner. Their walk swelled with Chinese and non-Chinese. That gesture spoke louder than the law.

But the central, crucial question remains: Who are we? Who am I? What makes up a “Hongkonger”? Does he or she exist? Does it have a legitimate existence? Does it matter? Can that identity be eluded or denied? In times of comforting ordinariness, one half frivolously points to one’s taste in hot lemon tea, sweet buns and char chaan tang — the tea house in Hong Kong style. But it is the nature of identity that it cannot always be comfortable, and it is in those moments of exquisite anguish that one becomes most acutely aware of one’s identity, that one can neither live with it nor without.

This 28th Day of December 2015 

(原文刊登於 2016 WYNG 大師攝影製品展覽目錄/Originally posted on 2016 WYNG Masters Award catalog)

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