Thursday, August 13, 2009


Eileen Chang Oi Ling said, "Modern China has no ceremony to speak of, except on the stage." Amid intense drum beats, seven bald children stood on the world stage that everyone looked up to. This night was July 1 1997.

Under the stage lights, seven children dragged seven long shadows. The shadows were all seven different looking adult men. In the middle was a fat man, to his left and two were a big nose and a baby face; next to the baby face was a thin man with a moustache. He waited until no one noticed and casually blew at his moustache and rolled his eyes. His mischievous personality never changed. This night was the night when Yu Jim Yuen's seven able students showed off.

Cultural Treasure, The Entire World Looks Up To

On November 13 1959, the day when Yu Jim Yuen created the China Drama Academy, he perhaps never imagined that this group of lazy at training, flubbing at performance, and mischievous like mad Seven Little Fortunes would in the coming days radiate world shocking brilliance and even called "Hong Kong's nucleus value" among people in the cultural field.

Actually not only is Seven Little Fortunes' 50th anniversary valubale, Seven Little Fortunes itself is already "once in a lifetime" Hong Kong cultural treasure. In an age when materialistic desire runs rampant, intentions are perverse and honor is not the way, Yu Jim Yuen's belief of "if you want to succulent shrimp you have to properly train" seems to have no more supporter. Today's Hong Kong only has ignorant fools who refuse to learn, after a quick buck and punishes the defeated and boosts the succeeded.

As the May Fourth Movement leader Chen Duxiu said, "Theater actually is the world's school; actors actually are the world's great teachers." As Yu Jim Yuen's able students, Sammo Hung Kam Bo, Jackie Chan, Yuen Mo, Yuen Fai and others although through themselves as teachers, founding schools and other different methods try to continue Yu Jim Yuen's resolute and hard working spirit. Yet today's youth are abusing drugs, adult are endlessly greedy, the corrupt atmosphere, like spilt mercury on the ground, penetrates everywhere.

Mixed With Laughter and Tears, Collective Memory

On stage, Hung Kam Bo waved a grand blue banner. Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Yuen Bun, Yuen Mo, Yuen Bo represented Seven Little Fortunes, one after another they flipped over the waving banner and won applause off stage.

Yet, looking back today, Seven Little Fortunes with laughter and tears, blood and sweat built a cheerful era that lasted half a century. Actually like many other of Hong Kong's brilliant nucleus value, from a certain night on it faded like trickles from a stream, never to return again and can only be reminisce in the memories of people. Seven Little Fortunes is truly a "Hong Kong collective memory", Hong Kong truly lives up to what Eileen Chang described as "an elegant but sad city". (End)

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