The year’s greatest football – and musical – protest

Back in June, Hong Kong football fans started booing – and I mean booing – China’s national anthem as a way of protesting that country’s rule of the province.

FIFA, being FIFA, decided to fine the Hong Kong FA for those boos and demanded they never happened again.

So how did Hong Kong fans react last month? By doing this:

Hong Kong fans 'boo' the Chinese national anthem March of the Volunteers before a football/soccer match

Yes, amazing!

FIFA has unsurprisingly launched an investigation.

Recently, I met a student from Hong Kong at one of my book talks who told me that many people there actually consider their ‘national anthem’ to be a cheesy pop song called Below the Lion Rock (rather than China’s March of the Volunteers).

Performed by Cantopop legend Ramon Tam, it’s the theme tune to a 1970s TV show and it has the sort of appalling lyrics you’d expect of the theme tune to a 1970s TV show (“In life we’re sometimes glad / But we’ll also be sad”) so it’s somewhat surprising it’s become a rallying cry, especially for pro-democracy protesters.

But if you don’t believe me, here’s a video of said monstrosity set to a montage of last year’s Hong Kong student protests. I hope someone re-edits it to cut in those kids holding up the “Boo” signs!

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