方禮倫:Emigrating to the UK 移居英國

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圖片來源:路透社

Many Hong Kong people are considering emigrating to the UK. As a Hong Konger who moved to the UK two years ago, under perhaps not dissimilar circumstances, this is my advice to those about to embark on a similar journey.

Firstly, acknowledge why you are leaving Hong Kong and why you are moving to the UK.

Leaving my home and family, and being dislocated from my roots and from city I loved and a people with whom I identified, was the most difficult and momentous decision of my life.(註 1)I did not want to move to UK, nor did I see either advantage nor opportunity in moving there — quite the opposite in fact. I have no immediate family in the UK, and few friends and acquaintances.

I had not decided to move to the UK, rather I had decided to leave Hong Kong.(註 2)

I no longer believed Hong Kong represented me, and no longer believed it to be a place in which to raise a family. The issue was not material, but one of values.(註 3)

It is tragic that at the root of what pushes many Hong Kongers to leave is not dislike of Beijing, for which I have very little feeling, but rather our love for Hong Kong — not as a city, but as a unique, free and as a truly Chinese society.(註 4)

I had lived in the UK before, as a student. But this time would be different. I knew, unless Hong Kong is to have a very different future, which alone I have no right to expect, I would not be returning home. I may visit, but I would experience Hong Kong and relate to it as a visitor.(註 5)Having lost a home, I was building a new home in the UK.

This leads to my second reflection: setting expectations.

Only with honesty as to why we are emigrating can we understand what our old home will continue to mean to us and how we will relate to our new home. The UK is not merely our place of refuge, from where we might return home in better times. It is wrong to expect the UK to be our new Jerusalem, rather we must make the effort to make the UK our home — to become not Hong Kongers in Britain, but British Hong Kongers.

In providing a means to residency, and for many a route to citizenship, the UK welcomes Hong Kongers not to rebuild Hong Kong in Britain, but to become British, and to find in British nationality, society and institutions the liberal and pluralistic values that have been so eroded in Hong Kong.(註 6)

We arrive in the UK not as victims in need of pity, but as people who have made a conscious decision to make the UK our home. Emigrating is not a fancy nor a phase, but a commitment.(註 7)

Being conscious or from where we came, and holding realistic expectation as to where we are now heading, is to be mentally prepared to confront the challenges of emigration.

British society is more multicultural, inclusive and tolerant than Hong Kong. There is a depth to Britain that can be equally daunting and bleak as it can be illuminating and rewarding. Having the right mindset can make all the difference.(註 8)

陶傑點評

英國政府宣佈,到目前為止,持 BNO 移民去英國、行使居英權的已經超過 2 千人

移民英國之前,應該慎重考慮清楚。方禮倫以過來人的身份,向香港人建議:移民是一個重大的決定。與其說選擇英國,不如換一個角度思考:是非要離開香港的時刻到了,不要想「移居英國」,而是「必需離開香港,因為香港的生活方式變了,不再適合我」,這樣會令自己好過一點。

人生總會有換位思考的時候。若你感到苦惱,換一個角度,或許會真正的走出一片新天。

1.

  • 作者離開香港,也有連根拔起的苦惱。離開家庭,離開一群早已認同了的朋友,是生命中最困難而重大的決定。許多人或許沒有想過:去了另一個國家,你平時交往的親友都不在咫尺了,是否用 Facetime 和短訊群組就可以取代?

2.

  • 作者反省後認為:與其說決定去英國,不如說是決定離開香港。

3.

  • 為甚麼?在換位思考之下,作者告訴自己:香港不能再代表我了,而且我不再相信這是一個我適宜養大下一代的地方。這不是一個物質問題,而是價值觀的選擇。換言之,不要以為去了英國,收入減低,就是唯一的損失。許多西方大企業的中國代表派駐北京,年薪比在美國或倫敦高幾倍,但他們都知道,北京不是他們能長期寄養一個家庭的地方。美國前駐中國大使駱家輝,也曾一度一家五口喜氣洋洋的搬來中國,卻又敗興而歸,便是一例。

4.

  • 作者深掘一層:因為太愛香港,眼見香港變質變味,不再是一個真正自由的華人城市,所以要離開。這一切,其實與喜歡或厭惡北京當局並無關係。這一點非常理性的思考,不是很多人能想通。

5.

  • 作者以前曾在英國讀書,重回英國也知道要重頭適應,但 having lost a home,這次重來,因香港毀家之痛,將來即使回香港,也是以訪客的身份。這一點真令人悲從中來。

6.

  • 作者呼籲:移居英國的香港人,千萬不要以在英國建立一個「香港城」為職責。既然得到英國籍,在那邊就要成為英國公民。英國公民的意義,就是你雖然來自香港,也要在英國重新尋回香港逐漸失去的多元和自由價值觀。這樣就可以將「香港人」的身份,逐漸過渡而融入成為「英國人」。

7.

  • 移民因此不是一種想像,也不是人生的一個階段,而是一種承諾。這裡的英文名詞,作者用了 Emigrating,而不是 Emigration。兩者有何分別?Emigrating 指決定移民的那一步、收拾行李,義無反顧一個動作。Emigration 只是一個國家的移民政策,或現象。英語層次的分別在於此。

8.

  • 移民本身會為人生帶來挑戰,而 Immigrating 是與家庭商量過之後的重大決策。作者最後指出樂觀的前景:其實英國比香港更寬容、更容納不同的文化,而且有自由。當香港死了,香港在英國重生。這一點奇異的輪迴,令人想到,1842 年之後到 1997 年之間,英國與香港的緣分,只要你心清目明,其實還沒有割斷。

陶傑英文遊花園

香港和台灣,面臨世紀的變局。海外華人居住西方國家,也數目龐大。如何提升英文程度,克服文化隔閡,加強英文能力,在亂世中至關重要。

許多華人都有合理的職業或專業的英文程度,但如何在原有的中學文法訓練基礎之上,探討高層次的英語文化和表達方式,以備融入英語世界主流社會?

本欄介紹評析欣賞英文的寫作細節,分享經驗,歡迎提出不同的評析角度和心得。

※ 此欄文章為作者觀點,不代表本網立場。 ※
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方禮倫(Evan Fowler ) ,本地出生成長、中英交界的香港人,在劍橋和倫敦大學政經學院畢業。現居英國。 英文怎樣能表達得更好?香港的英文教育,著重文法正確、詞彙廣泛。但除了這兩樣,說好的英文、寫好的英文,還要有某種英語的理性與感性思維。 好的英文必清晰、婉約而有教養,與中文寫作文化略有不同。有時借用英文的文化特色,用於中文,可以別具一格。但若有一日移居英語國家,與以英語為母語的當地人溝通,融入主流社會,摸通英文表達藝術的深層結構,會很有用。 方禮倫的英文筆觸細膩,每週五他會以英文與我們見一次面,講述香港和海外華人關心的事情。除了獨特的觀點,其文筆可供英文寫作學習參考。