Occupy Central activists shave their heads in protest

In an effective media stunt, 43 supporters of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement (which has a brand new English page, and, interestingly, also one in Norwegian) shaved their heads last Tuesday. The venue was packed, mostly with journalists and reporters. When pro-Beijing activists stormed the venue and shouted slogans against the campaign, a young woman was hurt in the following scuffle.

Some of my classmates wrote about the event and about the role of cutting your hair in Chinese culture. Cal Wong thinks Benny Tai is missing the point. Yiwei Wang writes that cutting hair is a move that symbolises determination and bravery. In several religions, people (usually men) shave their heads as a spiritual act. In Theravada Buddhism in Thailand and Laos, young men shave their heads before entering the temple in their teens or early twenties, which is expected from everyone for at least a week.

As VICE news pointed out in their latest News Capsule, the words “law” (法/法) and “hair” (发/髮) sound similar in both Mandarin and Chinese. Therefore, by cutting their hair, the activists are also suggesting that the law is vanishing in Hong Kong.