After a hard day’s work petitioning a pro-Beijing government for democratic reform, the last thing you need is your parents on your case.
Alex Chow Yong-kang, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and prominent student leader, spends his days organizing the Occupy Central demonstrations, and rallies huge crowds with oratorical flair on some nights.
Despite publicly promoting the pro-democracy cause with great zeal and energy, Chow simply can’t convince his parents, who are “pro-establishment moderates,” that the Umbrella Movement is on the right track.
“They bombard me with phone messages … and send me articles that call for a halt to Occupy,” the 24-year-old comparative literature and sociology major told the South China Morning Post.
“I feel so much pressure!” said Chow.
At least his parents inquiry about his health and general well-being. Anti-Occupy Central folks are far less concerned about his person.
A few weeks back, a lady confronted Chow at a bus stop, and chastised him with very colorful language.
Chow remained calm throughout the incident, which was captured and uploaded to Youtube, and did not respond in kind.
“It’s actually interesting to watch the video from a third-person perspective,” Chow said.
“I’m also sorry for the man who backed me and also got scolded.”
This isn’t the first time the University of Hong Kong student has expressed empathy for his fellow man first in the face of personal adversity.
Chow was arrested for partaking in an unscripted act of civil disobedience following the conclusion of the annual July 1 pro-democracy march.
The pro-democracy protesters held a seat-in on a road in Central District, locked arms, and chanted: “Our own government, our own choice.”
The Hong Kong police moved in to break up the peaceful seat-in, and arrested 511 protesters.
Although Chow was one of the 511, he did not build himself up as a martyr of sorts.
Instead, his thoughts drifted to the people.
“There were tattoo artists, massage therapists, construction workers, engineers, teachers, photographers, retired civil servants.
“I really felt sorry for them,” Chow wrote a few days later in an online forum.
Perhaps one day, Chow’s parents will recognize their son’s compassion for all Hongkongers, and allow him some peace at home.