West News Wire: On Thursday, the 50th anniversary of the untimely passing of the late kung fu legend Bruce Lee, admirers from Hong Kong and all over the world gathered at the foot of a statue to pay their respects.
A stream of admirers stood in front of the life-size bronze monument, Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour in the background, as they took photos, made bows, and placed flowers on the ground.
Others displayed techniques from “Jeet Kune Do,” the style of kung fu that Lee created, and they threw “nunchucks,” a chained double truncheon Lee popularised in multiple movies.
People from Hong Kong, Asia, and the Chinese mainland all travelled there for the occasion.
“I have loved Bruce Lee since I was very young,” South Korean Bruce Shin, who imitated Lee with a brush cut and large-framed sunglasses, said.
“His body and figure were very enigmatic. Shin continued with high pitched yelps and a barrage of blows, “I wanted to be like him and worked out for 50 years.
A brain swelling claimed Lee’s life on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32, just days before the release of his worldwide hit film “Enter the Dragon.” Lee was born in San Francisco but his upbringing was in Hong Kong.
Lee has inspired countless people all across the world with his contributions to martial arts and popular culture. However, some consider his legacy to be a vestige of the former British colony.
The Wing Chun style of Kung Fu that Lee learnt from his former grandmaster Ip Man, is still taught in a number of schools, but it has been a struggle to win new disciples in the high-octane, skyscraper stacked metropolis.
One of Lee’s most famous maxims, “Be water, my friend,” from an interview in 1971, inspired Hong Kong’s 2019’s pro-democracy movement.
It provided a template for months of wildcat, city-wide protests against Beijing’s tightening grip of the global financial hub, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
“Could you have ever imagined that after half a century, one person could be remembered all around the world?” said Wong Yiu-keung, the chairman of the local Bruce Lee Club.
Sophie Uekawa, from Japan, said Lee transcended any one place.
“He’s Chinese but he’s cosmopolitan, he’s not bounded by a border. He is a human being under the sky. We have to tell the new generation about him and we have to carry on his spirit.”