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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

$1 Wage


FADE IN:

INT. ROAD - DAY

Road decorated with flags, banners and floral wreaths. Sounds of drums and gongs from a distance. PETER drives a blue Mercedes, seeing a road is blocked.

PETER (V.O.)

Alright, today must be

the Tin Hau festival.

Some parades will

be happening nearby.

FLASHBACK

EXT. FIELDS - DAY (1964)

A green and red kite flies steadily in different directions in the sky. Peter (9) controls it from the ground.

PETER (V.O.)

I wish I could have more such

quality and beautiful kites.

A FRIEND (12) joins Peter.

FRIEND

I've heard that if we join

the Tin Hau procession

of the Daan Kwai village

as flag bearers, we can earn $1 each. There're

fire crackers to play.

And we can watch the

adults fighting for the

the "paus" (cannons)!

PETER

Wow, we must join!

EXT. ROAD - DAY

A cool, rainy, windy day. Wearing an oversized vest with the words "Daan Kwai) on it, Peter and his friend take turns to hold a flag in the midst of a procession.

PETER

Wow, the flag is so

heavy. I don't have

a hand to play fire

crackers.

His friend gives him a hand.

Later, they see a MAN (30s) checking the parade and giving each participant a $1 coin. When Peter and his friend see the $1 coin in their hands, their eyes beam.

EXT. GROUND BY THE SEA - DAY

Muddy and slippery. The procession arrives as the sky pours. Soaked all over, Peter and his friend take shelter underneath the scaffolding platform of a temporary theatre.

PETER

(Shivering)

It's... so... cold. And I

don't see any paus or

cannons here.

FRIEND

I believe those paper

flower wreaths are

paus.

PETER

(Unbelieving)

Is... that... right?

Later, as SOMEONE begins shooting fire crackers in the sky, dozens of COMBATANTS fight to get the debris falling down.

PETER (V.O.)

Wow, that's barbarous!

The ONES who beat others and finally get the debris look elated.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I thought they'd play

war games, like the

British garrison, using

cannons...Anyway, I've

got my $1 wage. That's

most important.

Later, following other PARTICIPANTS, Peter and his friend get on board the cargo hold of truck with the flags and banners, drums and gongs.

PETER (V.O.)

Despite the hardship in

this 6-hour ordeal, we've

succeeded in earning

our $1 wage!

RETURN TO PRESENT

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

In those days, I could

buy 3 quality kites or 3

small bowls of wun tun

noodles.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

It was one of the happiest

moments of my life. It has never left me.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Looking back, that's my

first experience of folklore and traditional cultural

expression in Hong Kong.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

In the 2000s, I followed

very closely the WIPO

process regarding the

protection of traditional

knowledge and traditional

cultural expressions.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

During the showdown

round of Hong Kong's

bilateral free trade

negotiations with the

European Free Trade

Association (EFTA), I deployed the traditional

issues as a bargaining

chip to trade off EFTA's

demand for supplementary

patent protection for

pharmaceuticals. I

succeeded and saved

lots of money for the

Hong Kong public!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Yes, continue to celebrate

Hong Kong's traditional

cultural expression in

modern times!

As he makes a turn and stops the car before a red traffic light, a traffic police signals to Peter to move on.

FADE OUT. The End

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