People Living Underground, a review of All's Right with the World written by Mr. Liu Rui Shao
Original Chinese version published by Hong Kong Daily News
English translation published by Edwin Mak on his blog, Faster than Instant Noodles
English translation by Mei Ko
英文翻譯刊載於Edwin Mak的部落, Faster than Instant Noodles
People Living Underground
by Liu Rui Shao
As many people would acknowledge, Hong Kong is a paradise of prosperous economics sharing international reputation. Nevertheless, life in the paradise includes people who are blissful to enjoy the fortune, also people who work diligently but unable to share same blessing. Those unfortunate are the people living underground while happiness already abandoned them. They are the people have no choices but live on social welfare.
Recently, one director filmed the documentary All's Right With The World recording those miserable stories of various plights. I emphasize the word 'recording the truth', that is, 'recording' preserves the truth and bears more significance than the word "presenting the truth". In the documentary, an sorrowful grey-hair madam can not cope with her druggie son's corpse due to finance difficulty; "Whatever!" (she said) the house is even too small to place the cremains jar.
Another old man with distinct cheekbones usually carries poisons for any anxious moment to commit suicide. His relationship with family is extremely intense, and once nearly killed his family member. Life is somehow monstrous to them, drive them demented and desperate. The reality lies in the stories is so true, so honest and so frightening.
They are one part of 500,000 people who rely on Hong Kong social welfare; every life holds their own deplorable stories. I just cant help but wonder how many people's stories could be far more tragic than theirs.
Even people who don't live on HK social welfare don't necessarily guarantee a well-being life. According the current research, there are about 1.3 million people living on the edge or below the poverty line. The smiles on their faces quickly fade away resembling the fireworks on the Victoria Harbor. Some social workers said, there is even no flash of smile on many people's faces.
I have worked in journalism for thirty-five years, and always remind myself "don't be numb" How can human call themselves human if they were so apathetic as dead wood?