Chan Lok Hang (陳樂行) is the initiator of the Cantonese movement in Hong Kong and also the chairman of Societas Linguistica Hongkongensis (SLHK). Since establishing SLHK in 2013, he has been dedicated to promoting the protection of Cantonese and Hong Kong’s language and culture.
Chan Lok Hang is well-known for his research on the language policies in the Chinese language curriculum of Hong Kong’s primary and secondary schools. In 2014, he investigated documents related to Chinese language teaching from the Education Bureau and exposed the fact that the bureau referred to Cantonese as a “non-statutory Chinese dialect.” As a result, the Education Bureau issued an apology, raising awareness among Hong Kong citizens about the suppression of their mother tongue. He also identified various problematic teaching materials, such as a television program called “Heart-Stirring” which portrayed Cantonese as a demonic force seeking to unify the world under the Yue dialect. Eventually, Hong Kong Educational Television stopped broadcasting these problematic indoctrination videos.
During his university years, he did not overlook the policy in Hong Kong’s tertiary education institutions that required students to study Mandarin in order to graduate. He initiated a student referendum at Hong Kong Baptist University, demanding the abolition of this mandatory Mandarin requirement. This sparked a new wave of Cantonese movement in academia and inspired students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the City University of Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to follow suit. In 2018, while interning at a hospital in mainland China, he was reported and threatened with death by individuals close to the Beijing government, which forced him to return to Hong Kong. This incident received widespread attention from the public and heightened the sense of crisis regarding the preservation of Hong Kong’s language.
However, he has not stopped advocating for Cantonese. In 2020, he and his colleagues from Hongyuexue collaborated with various sectors to organize community activities promoting Hong Kong’s language and culture. These activities included the first-ever Cantonese Song Historical Museum Exhibition, Cantonese Language Historical and Cultural Exhibition, and Cantonese language classes. During the pandemic, he successfully secured funding of over a million dollars from the district council, distributing epidemic prevention supplies to assist the underprivileged in Hong Kong during the crisis.
Currently, he works as a teacher of Cantonese and Chinese language subjects. In addition to his work in Hong Kong, he has also visited educational institutions and Cantonese language groups worldwide, aiming to unite the world in safeguarding the power of Hong Kong’s language—Cantonese and traditional Chinese characters—so that our precious language and culture can be not only preserved but also flourish.