A group of Hong Kong youngsters hold a poetry reading and concert to mark China’s Youth Day on April 2, 2022. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

On Monday, a group of Hong Kong youngsters held a poetry reading and concert to mark China’s Youth Day, held every May 4.

The event was held by the Hunan Youth Association of Hong Kong and a community volunteer team from the New Territories. Many young people from the city attended the event, held both online and also live at the Sunshine Plaza in Wan Chai.

The event was co-organized by the Greater Bay Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong alumni group of the Communication University of China, and various youth associations, with the support of the Hunan Fraternal Association of Hong Kong and the Hunan Sunshine company.

Many young people from the city attended the event, held both online and also live at the Sunshine Plaza in Wan Chai

Youth Day commemorates the May Fourth Movement, which took place in 1919 against the then-Chinese government’s weak response to the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. The treaty granted Japan concessions in China that Germany had lost through its defeat in the war. The movement marked the beginning of China’s new democratic revolution.

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In the beginning, the host broadcast a film about May Fourth to explain its origin and spirit of “patriotism, progress, democracy, and science”.

The performers then read poems in praise of youth by Chinese writers such as Li Dazhao, Lu Xun, and Wang Meng.

Eighteen musicians played Chinese and foreign classics music, including March of the Volunteers, Defending the Yellow River, Katyusha, and The Internationale.

A video call was made on-site with Chen Yong, a National People’s Congress deputy, Hong Kong lawmaker, and vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. Led by Chen, the youth leaders raised their hands to make an oath.

The event ended with the melody of the anthem of the Chinese Communist Youth League.

Many young people at the event said it was inspiring to attend such a meaningful and innovative concert after Hong Kong had just gone through such a challenging time, and the classical music encouraged them to restart their lives after the pandemic.

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Sharon Sun, chief convener of the event, stressed that it is necessary for Hong Kong youths to revisit the May Fourth spirit on the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Youth League.

She pointed out that the core of the May Fourth Spirit is patriotism.

When the fifth wave of the pandemic hit Hong Kong, the central government gave Hong Kong full support with supplies, medical aid, and the construction of isolation facilities, and laid the foundation for the anti-pandemic victory, inspiring patriotism among the people of Hong Kong.

On May 2, 2021, various youth associations in Hong Kong also jointly organized Youth Day activities, including visiting the Cenotaph monument in the Wu Kau Tang Martyrs Memorial Garden and paying tribute to the village’s martyrs of World War II.

Sun said she hopes that the activities will help more young people in Hong Kong understand the country’s history and development, nurture the new generation to love the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, and inspire them to defend “one country, two systems” and achieve a national renaissance.