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Richmond amateur singer uses music to fight for freedom in Hong Kong

Richmondite Carmen Lam said they aren't singing just for fun. They are singing for freedom and democracy.

This Saturday will be a big day for Richmondite Carmen Lam as she will join dozens of amateur singers to perform outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Lam told the Richmond News that she has been preparing for this “spotlight” moment for over a year.

However, Lam stressed that they are not singing just for fun. 

“We are singing for freedom and democracy” – two words that Lam said make her feel quite emotional. 

“We are hoping to use music to help people understand the decline of democracy in Hong Kong since the Chinese government imposed the national security law.”

Lam is a member of Dawn of Freedom, a grassroots music band made up of Cantonese-speaking singers who are pro-democracy fighters. 

The songs they plan to perform on Saturday are mainly Hong Kong old-time goodies, such as Lion Rock, Beyond, and Glory to Hong Kong.

“We believe in the power of music to connect like-minded people,” said Lam. 

In less than two years, the National Security Law has turned the once-glorious Asian financial hub into yet another sad city under China’s rule, forcing tens of thousands of Hongkongers to flee their hometown forever, according to Ken Tung, the event organizer. 

“Tens of thousands of people have now left Hong Kong and relocated to other democratic countries, with many of them making Canada their home,” said Tung. 

The past tragic events have left many local Hongkongers with a hometown they can never return to, Lam added. 

“Many of us are worried that if we post something that the Chinese government deems as  ‘wrong’ on our social media channels, we will be imprisoned if we visit our hometown. It’s quite sad and depressing,” said Lam.

But as depressing as that is, those who have fled are the lucky ones, she added.

“People who can come to Canada are lucky since many have to stay there.”

The performance is scheduled for May 28 at 2 p.m., and Lam encourages people to swing by at Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday.