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AV Bi-weekly:Braving the whirlwinds

【明報專訊】LATE IN THE SUMMER OF 1989, after the crush of the democracy campaign at Tiananmen Square, Scorpions became the first hard rock band to perform in the capital of the former USSR. Wind of Change, an ever‑green hit of Scorpions', picturises what the German rockers saw and how they felt in Moscow in August 1989. Present at the concert were not only Russian music fans, but also the Red Army and journalists from the western world, with winds of Autumn of Nations blowing. The years between 1989 and 1992 were a milestone, as the liberal reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev, head of the Soviet Union, gradually resulted in the return of freedom and democracy to thousands in Eastern Europe.

The summer of 2019 has also seen a wind of change in our city. From early June onwards, thousands of Hong Kong citizens, undeterred by downpours or suffocating humidity, have filled the streets to voice their discontent triggered by Carrie Lam's attempt to pass the unpopular extradition bill. Protesters, mostly controlled and peaceful, managed to "win" a concession of "suspending" the bill or declaring the bill dead, braving whirlwinds of tear gases and pepper spray.

Currently, mysterious winds are blowing in a turbulent time. Protesters and non‑participants have seen live news feeds of the police force abusing their power when carrying out their duties and even when protesters have disbanded. Numerous questions, such as to what extent the human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law will be honoured, arise and are unanswered. For over two months, the wind of change has become wind gusts as the general public find Carrie Lam's crocodile tears and insincere "invitation" to dialogues repellent. It is the wish of all citizens that the fierce gale subside once the Chief Executive places the common good of Hong Kong citizens back on her agenda.

◆Wind of Change

I follow the Moskva

Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

An August summer night

Soldiers passing by

Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in

Did you ever think?

That we could be so close, like brothers

The future's in the air

I can feel it everywhere

Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow

Dream away

In the wind of change

Walking down the street

Distant memories

Are buried in the past forever

I follow the Moskva

Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow

Share their dreams

With you and me

...

■Glossary

undeterred 未受阻的

concession 讓步

whirlwind 旋風

disband 解散

wind gust 陣風

repellent 使人厭惡的

Moskva 莫斯科

Gorky Park 坐落莫斯科的公園

■Quiz

Refer to the text and the song and answer the following questions:

1. "Soldiers passing by" refers to...

a) soldiers fighting a battle.

b) the Red Army on duty.

c) the Russian protesters fighting for democracy.

2. Which of the following is NOT true about the song?

a) The USSR was about to split, allowing various states to become independent.

b) Mikhail Gorbachev further suppressed Eastern Europeans' freedom.

c) Liberal reforms enabled Russians and thousands of Europeans to enjoy liberty.

Audio: link.mingpao.com/14262.htm

(By Venny Lai, a former Language Instructor at the PolyU and an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature)

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