paradox of history

The paradox of history :  New Territories Frontier Closed Area

2015. A double-decker bus quietly idles inside the Frontier Closed Area, on Crown Land. Out on the street of England in 1981, decommissioned on this island in 1997,  it seemingly has captured the gradual lowering of the Union Jack in our city until its last time.  Coincidence? Or history?

Also in the closed area, stands a discoloured motto board in the front of a classroom of an abandoned village school; on it writes, “Don’t live in the past, but live out your best today.”   

Perhaps history is only illusionary.  Or, it is some kind of melancholy and loss as one “fails to cut away, fiddling into disarray”? But, if there’s no dialogue between today and yesterdays, will tomorrow ever dawn?

This New Territories Frontier Closed Area with the burden of history on its back,  that lets us glimpse into the paradox vaguely visible, will it be still there tomorrow? How about the New Territories, Hong Kong……?

p.s. Closed area refers to a place that could not be entered with out permissions from  relevant departments.  Before 1951, when China and Hong Kong were yet to establish boundary control points, the people of these two places were enjoying their freedom of movement. Then the civil war in China had the defeat Kuomintang packed and fled for Taiwan as the Communist Party took over. The then Hong Kong Government was so worried about that the mainland government would propagate its communist ideology to its territory and undermine its ruling foundation, that it amended the Public Order Ordinance to create the New Territories Closed Area. This restricted area which peaked at 2,800 hectares, spanned across the North District, including Sha Tau Kok, Lo Wu, Man Kam To, Ta Kwu Ling, and Yuen Long District’s Lok Ma Chau area,. Since 2005, the Hong Kong Special Administration Region Government began to explore the possibilities of opening the area up, and had set the timetable of doing so phase by phase.

歷史虛幻之新界邊境禁區

二零一五年,一輛雙層巴士沉靜地佇立在邊境禁區一處官地上。它在一九八一年出廠於英國,一九九七年退役於小島──彷彿凝住了米字旗在我城緩緩降下的一瞬。

是巧合罷?是歷史嗎?

同在禁區內,廢棄了的村校課室前,殘留一塊退了色的格言板,上面寫著︰「不要活在過去,努力活好今天」。

也許歷史就是虛幻?又或者,一切不過是某種「剪不斷,理還亂」的離愁?然而,假若今天沒有過去,明天又可會來?

背負着歷史、隱隱透虛幻的邊境禁區,明天還在嗎?新界、香港,還在嗎……?

P.S. 禁區指未經有關部門許可不得內進的地區。一九五一年前,中港兩地並未設立任何出入境關卡,兩地人民自由往來。國共內戰,國民黨敗走台灣,共產黨上台,港英政府擔心內地政府乘勢散播共產思想,動搖統治基礎,遂修訂《公安條例》,設立新界邊境禁區。新界邊境禁區橫跨新界北區的沙頭角市、羅湖、文錦渡、打鼓嶺及元朗區落馬洲範圍,全盛時期約2,800公頃。自二零零五年,特區政府開始探討開放禁區的可能性,並訂下分階段的開放時間表。