注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

人在风中

爱上抽风……

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

每一天都要活出自我本色!!!

网易考拉推荐

Obituary - Elsie Tulead  

2016-01-02 17:20:48|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

From missionary to firebrand
Elsie Tu, campaigner for the people of Hong Kong, died on December 8th, aged 102

HAD you visited the squatter slums of Kai Tak in Kowloon, Hong Kong, in the 1950s, a curious sight might have met your eyes. Among the thousands of tiny dilapidated wooden huts, crammed with refugees from newly communist China, threaded with muddy paths where adults clopped in wooden sandals and children splashed in storm-drains, a prim Englishwoman would be picking her way with care. Her fair hair was brushed in an immaculate shape, her flowered dress suitable for Cheltenham; a large handbag was on her arm. Her large eyes and prominent teeth gave her a look of keen concern.

Her name then was Elsie Elliott. Later she was Elsie Tu. Under both names she was a formidable advocate for the rights of the downtrodden in Hong Kong, shaming and tormenting the police, the Legislative Council and successive British governors for more than 30 years. Wherever second-class citizens—that is, Chinese—lacked transport, housing, education, fair wages or a voice, she would be there, on their side.

Hong Kong in those days had no social welfare. It was run by British officials and rich businessmen for themselves alone. The poor Chinese who wandered into her tiny church had boils from malnutrition and fungus-encrusted feet; she set up a clinic to treat them. Children, desperate to learn, sat in the street devouring cheap comics; in 1954 she set up Mu Kuang Middle School, which grew from a 30-desk army tent, flapping in winds and summer downpours, to a seven-storey block with 1,300 pupils by 2015. Buying land and buildings, hurdling regulations and dealing with the Education Department introduced her to Hong Kong’s subculture of corruption, in which the ba wong, or triads, extorted protection money from every hut-dweller and even from street hawkers; in which everyone expected backhanders; and where the police were up to theirkhaki shorts in the narcotics trade.This transformation surprised even her. She had arrived in the colony in 1951 as a meek missionary’s wife from the north of England, ready to support her husband, Bill Elliott, in the saving of souls. The merry notes of her piano accordion rang out then over the huts of Kai Tak, inviting everyone to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Otherwise she made no noise, for women in the Plymouth Brethren were consigned to silence. But gradually, surrounded by such privation, she grew restless. Eventually she left both the Brethren and her husband. Christian witness, to her, meant being “good and useful”, the motto she had adopted as a timid, studious schoolgirl. It meant speaking out, too—even, as her pacifist father had hoped, getting into politics.

Her relentless exposure of the police, in reports and letters to the South China Morning Post (her favourite, “restrained” modus operandi), became an all-out war, especially when after 1963 she sat on the Urban Council. In 1966, when she campaigned against a fare rise on the Star Ferry linking Hong Kong island and Kowloon, the police accused her of inciting violence among the protesters; she proved them liars and became wildly popular, as well as later winning the CBE for her anti-corruption efforts. To her backers she was invaluable, a British gadfly with pretty good Mandarin and passable Cantonese, who could intercede easily with those in power and could neither be silenced nor deported.

Love and politics

The authorities themselves, in the governor’s office and on the Legislative Council (where she also sat, from 1988 to 1995), were less certain what to make of her. She had no stated ideology, beyond “justice for the people”, but was scornful of the favours shown to Taiwanese and would not censure China. In the run-up to the handover of the colony to China in 1997 she attacked the “disgraceful” reforms belatedly introduced by the British, and belittled the self-styled democrats who attacked the Basic Law agreed on, with some input from her, with the Chinese. In 1995 she lost her seat at the age of 82 to a “pro-democracy” candidate whose hand she refused to shake.

Her motivations were in fact rather simple. She hated colonialism, believing that it brought out the worst sort of arrogance in the British. She championed the Chinese because, to her, they were its victims. But she embraced them, too, because she fell in love with—and, in 1985, married—a Chinese patriot from Inner Mongolia, Tu Hsueh-kwei. He had joined her church and co-founded her school; they had taught each other their respective languages. She called him “Andrew” after the apostle who cared for the needy. Through him she absorbed the philosophy and poetry of China, the songs of the Beijing Opera, the habit of patience and an enhanced sense of racial injustice. In return he supported her in every way he could—except publicly, which might have meant deportation.

With him she experienced a strange reversal of her first role in Hong Kong. Then, as a missionary wife, it was she who had been silent and second-class, reduced to making the refreshments at meetings. Now it was Andrew who would greet her, after another rowdy day on the Legislative Council, with a cup of tea just as she liked it. But then, reverting to the natural shyness she always felt she had, she would say “Thank you, husband,” and sip demurely, as if the order of things were not inverted; and as if she posed no threat to anyone.


  评论这张
 
阅读(39)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017