Perspectives on the Umbrella Movement and the Adaptation of the Song “Do You Hear the People Sing?” Among Chinese University Students in Hong Kong

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Wai-Chung HO, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
Songs are often associated with a movement of social change or government and social oppression. For almost three months in late 2014, the Umbrella Movement, with its name derived from the recognition of the umbrella as a symbol of defiance and resistance against the Hong Kong Government, involved mass civil disobedience. The 2014 Hong Kong Class Boycott campaign, respectively known as the 922 Class Boycott (which university students participated in from 22 to 26 September) and the 926 Class Boycott (which secondary school students participated in on 26 September), led a strike against the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress’s restrictions on the nomination system for the election of the Chief Executive in the 2016 and 2017 Hong Kong political reforms. Using a case-study approach to the Cantonese adaptation of the song “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the musical Les Misérables, this study will examine Chinese undergraduate and postgraduate students’ (with a mix of participants from Hong Kong and Mainland China) perceptions of the political and social contexts in Hong Kong. The analysis of the paper will include a video assignment of this song that was a course requirement for students who were undergraduates attending the General Education course entitled “Music, Society, and Culture” in the first semester of 2014–2015, and postgraduate students participating in the master’s course entitled “Psychology and Sociology of Music” in the second semester of 2014–2015, both of which were offered by the Department of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University. The findings and issues raised in this study will be useful for further research on how to improve and strengthen the learning outcomes of higher education in the humanities and social sciences and to introduce university students to different forms of social awareness, cultural expression, and other values education.