Guangzhou writer calls for protection of Cantonese

The Second Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau, Greater Bay Area Literature Development summit kicked off in Macau yesterday, with some participants proposing the protection of the Cantonese language in Guangdong and the Greater Bay Area.

Liu Disheng, vice-chairman of the Guangzhou Writers’ Association, said that currently in Guangzhou, many schools emphasize the promotion of Mandarin but do not encourage speaking the local language.

“In Guangzhou, many schools either emphasize Mandarin or ban the speaking of the local language. This needs to be changed,” said Liu.

In Liu’s opinion, language is the most important aspect of a local culture. He suggested that protecting a tradition should start with changes in the education sector. According to Liu, Guangzhou’s cultural sector had previously recommended that Guangzhou’s local government protect the Cantonese language.

Mainland China has been extensively promoting Mandarin, considering the language a fundamental factor in unifying the culture and people. Despite this nationwide strategy, the mainland still has writers insistent on using their local languages, which Liu believes is “very precious.”

Liu Lanni, chairman of the Shenzhen Writers’ Association, is confident that the 11 cities of the Greater Bay Area can benefit from each other and that they can “form a power to wield global influence” in terms of literature development.  JZ

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