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01.02.2020 Asia

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement sweeps local elections

By Susan Owensby - RFI
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement sweeps local elections
LISTEN FEB 1, 2020

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you'll hear the answer to the question about voter turnout in Hong Kong's District Council elections. There's a little lesson on leap years, listener news, great music – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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Welcome to our 15 (!) new RFI Listeners Club members: Rehana Nusreen; Fareeha Rubab Anjum; Rifat Sultana; Maira Hassan; Kousar Parveen; Asma Bashir; Muhammad Sadeem Dur-e-Aab; Muhammad Hasnain Malik; Javed Raza Saqi; Khawar Hussain Sadiq; Fahad Hussain Anjum; Muhammad Nawaz Afzal Paio; Muhammad Shakeel Anjum; Shahid Hussain Anjum and Muhammad Aqeel Bashir. They are all members of the International Radio Listeners Organization in Jhang City, Pakistan.

So glad you have joined us!
You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write to me at [email protected] and tell me you want to join, and I'll send you a membership number. It's that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

RFI's Planet Radio department is sponsoring an e-POP (e-Participatory Observers Project) competition. It's a video contest, with some really great prizes! This is the first year that English speakers have been invited to participate, so let's show RFI how many of you are out there, and are an active part of the RFI English service!

It's a really cool project: Planet Radio is looking for two-minute videos about climate change, told by the humans who are experiencing it first hand – the people we rarely get to hear from. Your grandfather. Your aunt. People in your community. It can be in any language – you just have to provide the translation into English to Planet Radio. And it can't be more than two minutes. It is open to everyone, although there is one prize for women under the age of 25 (young sisters! Get to work!).  Most of the prizes involve a trip to Paris, and I would get to meet you! Plus, there's video equipment, meetings with other ePOPers – the prizes are great!

Here's the link for the guidelines.

The deadline for entries is 15 March. I fully expect Planet Radio to be bombarded with entries from you, the RFI English service listeners!

This week's quiz: On 30 November, I asked you a question about elections in Hong Kong. On 24November, Hong Kongers cast their votes for their District Council representatives. The pro-democracy candidates won 389 out of the 452 elected seats, up from the 124 they previously held - and far more than they've ever won. The government's allies held just 58 seats, a remarkable collapse from their previous 300 seats.

This election was viewed as a referendum on the unrest, which has created the city's worst political crisis in decades. In a semiautonomous part of China where greater democracy is one of the protesters' biggest demands, it gave residents a rare chance to vote.

I asked you to send in the voter turnout count – how many people went and voted - in not only the 24 November 2019 elections, but in the last District Council elections, in 2015.

The answer is: Voter turnout this past year was 71 %. Typically in district council elections, it's not much more than 40 %. The previous poll in 2015 – which increased as well – turnout climbed to 47 %. This year the number of registered voters hit a record: 7 in 10 eligible voters went to the polls!

The winners are: Muhammad Shamim S, the president of the RFI Golden Eagles Club in Keralam State, India and RFI Listeners Club member Muhammad Nasyr from Katsina State, Nigeria. From Sindh, Pakistan, Amin Laghari; from Rangpur, Bangladesh, Rasheduzzaman; from Telangana, India, Dr S Indu Kuamri.

Congratulations winners!
Here's the music you heard on this week's program: Concerto Grosso in the Style of Handel: “Lady Madonna” (an arrangement of the song “Lady Madonna” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon by Peter Briener) performed by the Briener Chamber Orchestra; “Hallelujah” from Handel's Messiah, sung by the Royal Choral Society;  “Valse Triste” by Jean Sibelius, performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy; “Water Lily” by George Fenton and John Leach, and the traditional “Firn Di Mekhutonim Aheym” (“Escorting the parents of the bride and groom home”), performed by Itzhak Perlman and the Klezmer Conservatory Orchestra.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to [email protected]

This week's question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 2 March to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 7 March podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:
[email protected]
Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country's international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here