Many activists in Hong Kong have dared to confront police during recent pro-democracy demonstrations. In fact, more than 500 protesters stood their ground against authorities by refusing to leave a sit-in in early July and were arrested for it.
But some of those same people are struggling to muster similar courage at the dinner table to argue with their parents about political reform.
The older generation tends to support the status quo; they believe protests and occupations will bring political and economic instability. The younger generation are determined to fight for genuine democracy risking their future careers. This tension is usually reflected in conversation during family meals.
China has promised Hong Kong a direct vote for the next chief executive in 2017 instead of election via committee, but insists that a committee approve the candidates. Former British colony Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China and enjoys a high level of autonomy from the communist country under the idea of “one country, two systems.”
Given that China considers “love of country” to be an important criteria for Hong Kong’s administrators, according to a recently released white paper from the government, protesters suspect Hong Kong will only have pro-Beijing candidates to choose from, defeating the purpose of a direct vote.