Hong Kong government poster

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From Donald Clarke:


The large characters at the bottom say:

Zhēnxī Xiānggǎng zhège jiā 珍惜香港這個家 ("Cherish Hong Kong, this family")

Don remarks:

I think the tweeter is right – this is not a visual that evokes warm and fuzzy feelings. I thought you might want to comment on the font, which seems spectacularly ill chosen for this purpose. It seems very aggressive. They should have used a sans serif font – something like this: 珍惜香港這個家. What they have reads like a sergeant-major barking orders at you. My guess is that nobody gave the question of font style any consideration.

It's almost incredible that the government produced this poster as a public service announcement to help heal the wounds of troubled Hong Kong.  The comments to the Tweet give some insights into how it happened.


  1. Philip Taylor said,

    September 13, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

    It is well worth throwing the image URL (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEURZQjVUAEUHgV.jpg) into the Google image search engine and asking it for "Visually similar images". It returns (among other things) posters of Day of the Dead, Condemned Women, No Shields All Guts, Seven Samurai and The Velvet Vampire !

  2. ycx said,

    September 13, 2019 @ 5:14 pm

    To me, it looks at first glance like a parental figure strangling their child, which is very appropriate given the current events.

  3. John Rohsenow said,

    September 13, 2019 @ 6:07 pm

    "… it looks at first glance like a parental figure strangling their child, "
    or at least scolding/ admonishing a willful/disobedient child (sic).
    Can one ORDER someone to "cherish" a family? 珍惜這個家 ("Cherish this family") I mean this as a linguistic question about the verb 珍惜.
    ALSO, it doesn't seem to me to strike the right note, as "cherishing HK"
    is exactly want they protesters are doing. I don't see any implication in the slogan. or poster that HK is part of China. Am I missing something?

  4. Bathrobe said,

    September 14, 2019 @ 12:10 am

    珍惜 is fine in Chinese. It means to show care for something important and valuable, and yes to cherish. And it can be used in the imperative.

    Why not in English, too? 'Cherish your family', 'cherish your friends'. These sound ok to me.

    As for whether protesters are cherishing HK, well, that's a bit subjective. I've run across plenty of examples where Americans regard being 'patriotic' as not criticising or exposing the flaws of their own country, almost a 'my country right or wrong' attitude.

  5. David Marjanović said,

    September 14, 2019 @ 2:22 pm

    The reflections on the glass in this particular photo make it look much worse than it would otherwise be, I think. The scene itself looks like medical care to me… though that doesn't seem to be intended either.

    The characters are so large they merge. Can they be read from the other side of the street?

  6. Philip Taylor said,

    September 14, 2019 @ 4:09 pm

    Looking at the full-size image, I don't see medical care — the woman is wearing a short-sleeved speckled green loose top, the items in the background on the racking don't look medical, and the child seems to be smiling as he has his cheeks lovingly gripped. I see it as a mother playing with her son.

  7. Fluxor said,

    September 17, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

    The poster is part of a messaging campaign by the HK government which also includes a video ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCOe4t_KgjA). The muted colour scheme is similar to the video and, I believe, is meant to emulate a faded photo and evoke a sort of happy nostalgia. I don't see anything sinister in the poster. Font seems fine to me as well.

    For those that interpret the poster otherwise, I wonder if they also hear HK police speaking Mandarin as well because it suits their political viewpoint.

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