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Thousands Protest ‘Brainwashing’ in Hong Kong

Thousands Protest ‘Brainwashing’ in Hong Kong

 

Organizers said that as many as 90,000 protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to protest the introduction of “national education” classes in Hong Kong. The demonstration was organized by parents, teachers and students’ groups, who are all concerned that the new curriculum will serve as a form of brainwashing in favor of the Chinese one-party system.

China’s education minister Eddie Ng told organizers on Saturday that any demonstrations would not slow down the process of education reform in Hong Kong. Despite this foreboding remark, marchers wove their way through the streets on Sunday holding banners and chanting slogans such as “No thought control!” and “Preserve one country, two systems!” The New York Times reports. They eventually made their way to the new government headquarters.

Hong Kong has played a unique role in the fabric of China. It was a British colony until 1997, when it was reintegrated into the Chinese system. During that transition, the metropolis was able to retain many of its civil rights, as well as multiple political parties and commercial and social transactions, therefore granting Hong Kong a “one country, two system” policy.

Now many citizens of Hong Kong feel that they are not particularly close to mainland Chinese culture. Earlier this month protesters took to the streets to demand better political options and to end corruption both in Hong Kong and throughout China. The Washington Post points out that residents of Hong Kong have increasingly lost faith in the one-party system based in Beijing.

The central education ministry has affirmed that they want students in Hong Kong to learn more about the Chinese system and to feel more connected to the mainland. Critics partaking in the march on Sunday say that the new curriculum is like brainwashing, and will only serve to encourage one-party rule.

The New York Times notes that the new education materials will include a handbook entitled “The China Model,” which portrays the Communist Party as unified, progressive and united, while it will downplay much of the brutality of the regime over the last 60 years.  One protester stated her concern about the new education initiative, which is set to begin later this year in schools throughout Hong Kong:

Young children really listen to and believe what their teachers say to them… Their early role models affect them greatly. Some people say we must have national education, but what kind do we need?

The protesters included many families and the demonstration remained peaceful for the most part. Very few pro-China demonstrations occurred on Sunday but one official for the China Civic Education Promotion Society did ruffle some feathers on Saturday before the protest by stating:

A brain needs washing if there is a problem, just as clothes need washing if they’re dirty, and a kidney needs washing if it’s sick.

The statement by Jiang Yudui highlights exactly why so many protesters took to the streets demanding freer education and separation from the central Chinese government; many are terrified that their children will be brainwashed and forced into a system they disagree with. Despite the massive protest Beijing’s government has remained staunch on their national education plans.

 

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Photo Credit: HKFotoPoint

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40 comments

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8:55AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Impressive. Thanks!

5:07PM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

Hong Kong will be sucked in...

3:15PM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

Sounds like Beijing should get the people in Hong Gong to inspire the people in China. Hong Gong sounds like a go getting do it sort of place and draw all sorts of people to it.Of course that would threaten the powers that be. It would be better if they all moved ahead instead of backwards like they seem like they are trying to make them do.

11:47AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

The powers that control the world have been trying to brainwash and indoctrinate the masses for many years. For the most part they haven't succeeded in it yet but then again these guys have planned this since 1780. Let's see how the pundits in Beijing react to this demonstration.

10:35PM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

oh please; we've been brainwashing kids in the U.S. for over a century. In our high schools, we teach the kind of history that, if you don't go to college or continue your studies yourself, you end up with a very closed version. It's the one subject that has to be completely re-taught it has so many inconsistancies.

7:53PM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

Thanks

11:24AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

good for them, the government shouldn't be allowed to do this to kids or adults

3:45PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

At least, they are still allowed to protest in Hong Kong!

3:21PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

In 1987 as part of a Biofeedback/cultural exchange trip I made with my then employer to Taiwan and Hong Kong, I was charmed and delighted to meet so very many wonderful people I will never forget. I was there for only 2 weeks, but amazingly it has remained a highlight of my life.
I join with all the unknown hero's and heroines in Hong Kong, and mainland China who protest for more freedom.
If we don't stand up for freedom, for dignity, for our basic human right to want health, well being and happiness, we could lose them.

3:12PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Good for them! They need to take a stand and make their voices heard loud and clear against systematic brainwashing.

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