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'Marching for Our Beloved’ sung in Hong Kong’s protest

'Marching for Our Beloved’ sung in Hong Kong’s protest

Posted June. 17, 2019 07:50,   

Updated June. 17, 2019 07:50


A voice singing a Korean song filled the Charter Garden in Hong Kong Friday (local time), where some 6,000 mothers and Hong Kong citizens (according to the organizer’s estimate) gathered to protest against the extradition bill.

According to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper and videos uploaded on YouTube, a woman appeared on stage with a guitar in the middle of the protest, and sang “Marching for Our Beloved” in Korean and Cantonese. “This is a song that represents Korea’s pro-democracy movement in Gwangju. If you’ve watched Korean films like “The Attorney,” “A Taxi Driver,” or “1987: When the Day Comes,” you would know what I mean,” the woman said. “This song is also what Seoul citizens sang when a million of them gathered at the Gwanghwamun Plaza in 2017 to oust (the then-President) Park Geun-hye.” “We could say a good song lasts long and doesn’t fade away,” she added.

“I wrote Cantonese lyrics for the song following the Umbrella Revolution (of 2014),” she said, singing the song in Cantonese with changed lyrics and also the original one in Korean. The rally’s participants followed the dance, and gave her support by clapping aloud and holding their phones high with flashlights on. In the latter part of the song when lyrics go as “We are marching on, keep faith n follow us,” citizens let out a huge cheer.

“Marching for Our Beloved” was written in 1981 for a spirit wedding of activist Yoon Sang-won, who died in the Gwangju Democratic Movement, and his beloved Park Gi-soon, a labor rights activist who died a couple of years before him. The song had its lyrics written by novelist Hwang Sok-yong, derived from a poem of activist Baek Gi-wan, and was composed by Kim Jong-ryul, who was a student at Chonnam National University.

Ga-In Koo comedy9@donga.com