Cantonese is a profoundly sophisticated language. Her beauty is unique, irreplaceable and priceless. Her cultural accomplishments and produces in the realms of music, literature, film, and opera, are all testimonials of her glorious splendor and unfailing charm.
However, if we were to compare Cantonese with the other great languages of the world, one will realize the road to making her presence known and felt in the world is still very long. If Cantonese were to find its place in the world, and to compete and contend with other languages in various linguistic areas, she must then enhance and increase her own vitality. If Cantonese speakers were to see and to be seen as equals with speakers of world languages such as English, French, German, Japanese and Putonghua in all areas where language matters, then they learn to effectively use Cantonese as a language of intellectual thought –and the intellectual sport that is debate, is precisely the activity that Cantonese needs to expand its linguistic reach and influence.
Debating is a very interesting activity. When we use a particular language to debate, it is not only ones’ reasoning skills are honed. What often happens simultanously is a dramatic evolution and development of the language in which the debate takes place. When debaters are required to dissect a complete debate topic in succinct, accurate, and elegant words in a competitive, pressured and time-limited environment, the imagination and linguistic originality produced therein often catalyses the production of new vocabulary and new expressions. As time goes go, the language we use to debate will become sharper in its analytical prowess, its vocabulary more profound and expressive, and its cultural wealth greater and more glorious. Debaters will leave the debate room carrying a Cantonese that is richer than that they’ve brought into the room with them, and as they carry that slightly more refined and slighter richer language back into their ordinary lives, the Cantonese in society becomes slight more refined and slightly richer as well.
However, the benefits of debating do not end there. Aside from training the debater’s logical reasoning skills, speaking skills, and impromptu reactions skills, debating also provides a unique sense of belonging and community. Debate gives individuals of different backgrounds and of different values a common reason to gather in one hall, where they can discuss everything and anything in an equitable and mutually-respectful manner. More importantly, a community that is built on debating, is inclusive. As long as you love Cantonese, you love debating, and you love exploring the truth, the community is forever open to you.
As a group of students highly experienced in the art of debating, we hope to bring the benefits of debating into the realm of Cantonese. Therefore, we have decided to come together and form the Cantonese British Parliamentary Debate Open organization (CBPDO). We hope that you will kindly support our crowd-funding campaign, thereby bringing the benefits of Cantonese debating closer to all of us.
The debating format adopted for this tournament is the British Parliamentary Style, also known as BP style. The BP style is the most commonly used and most widely recognized competitive debating format. The BP style is known for its complexity and its exciting debating dynamics, which makes it the ideal format for promoting intellectual thought.
Debate rounds in this tournament are sorted into ‘preliminary rounds’ and ‘elimination rounds.’ Depending on the total number of participating teams, teams that reach a certain threshold will be eligible to break into the ‘elimination rounds.’ Teams will then be gradually eliminated, until the grand finals.
CBPDO 2017 plans to hold 4 preliminary rounds. There are two breaking categories: 1. Open Stream, and 2. Cantonese as a Foreign Language Stream, CFL. The two streams will debate their elimination rounds separately and will see separate semi-finals and grand finals, which is to say there will be 8 breaking teams in each stream respectively. The purpose of establishing two streams is to encourage non-native Cantonese speakers to participate, so to better promote Cantonese debating. CBPDO is an open debating tournament, which is to say it is open to all members of the public.
Furthermore, to better promote the tournament, there will be a series of debating workshops, which, tentatively speaking, will be held in Hong Kong and Macau respectively. We also aim to provide a generous sum of prize money, so to encourage participation, and to provide reasons for non-native Cantonese speakers to pluck up their courage and debate in a language they might be too familiar with.
We plan to hold the tournament at the University of Hong Kong from 23rd Sept to 24th Sept. We will announce the details for the Macau and Hong Kong debate workshops later on.
Should you be interested in more information, you may reference our debating manual:
We regret that as of this moment we are able to provide a Chinese version only.
Budget Outline and Usage of Funds
Crowdfunding Goal: $35,000
We are looking at a crowdfunding target of 35,000 HKD. We arrived at this sum based on the budget as presented below, and based on considerations of how much the relevant crowdfunding fees and banking fees will be deducted from the whole sum (approximately 7% of the money raised will be used for this purpose) - ultimately leaving us with 35,000 x (1-0.07)=32,550 HKD, which would cover the 28,300 HKD projected deficit, and our potential expansion plans.
The following budget is drawn up on the assumption of a 300 HKD registration fee, and that that the tournament is capped at 28 teams. As experienced debaters and tournament organisers, we understand very well the difficulties we face. In particular, given the under-developed community and the thin pool of debaters active in Cantonese debating, and given that foreign speakers will find the experience highly intimidating, we intend to provide a generous sum of prize money to the winners of the Grand Finals of both the Open Stream and the Cantonese as a Foreign Language Stream. We intend to reward the winning team of the Open Stream grand final a prize money of 15,000 HKD, and that of the Cantonese as a Foreign Language stream a prize money of 10,000 HKD. We believe this sum is crucial in galvanizing interest in the tournament and incentivizing individuals to participate and learn.
The reason for the high expenses, particularly in the prize money item, as elucidated before, is to provide a strong and powerful incentive for individuals to join. We believe this is crucial for a new tournament to capture a critical mass and reputation for it to continue to exist. The “Travel and Lunch Reimbursements for Invited Adjudicators” item is there to demonstrate our gratitude to our invited adjudicators, who might be secondary school and university teachers, as well as other professionals who take time off from their schedule to volunteer for our cause. This is also crucial in building the community and achieving sustainability.
|Revenue||Quantity||Unit Price ($)||Cost ($)|
|Expenditure||Quantity||Unit Price ($)||Cost ($)|
|Room booking charges (via Cultural Association HKUSU)|
|Tournament (8 rooms per day for 2 days)||8||405*||6,480|
|Convening Hall (1 lecture room per day, for 2 days)||1||660*||1,320|
|Trophies (8 for each Category - Open and CSL)#||16||300||4,800|
|Printing (e.g. certificates, score sheets)||500|
|Champion (Open Category)||1||15,000|
|Champion (Cantonese as a Foreign Language Category)||1||10,000|
|Travel and Lunch Reimbursements for Invited Adjudicators||4,000|
|Miscellaneous (Venue Decoration, etc.)||3,000|
* Room booking charges for HKU are calculated using the rate for non-income-generating activities held in “Classrooms at Centennial Campus and newly renovated classrooms in main campus”, obtained from the website of the HKU Examinations Office (www.exam.hku.hk); each unit of room booking charge represents the cost of a 12-hour booking period for one room.
Unit price for a classroom (maximum capacity of 50) = 45 HKD/hour x 9 hours = 405 HKD
Unit price for the convening hall (maximum capacity of 149) = 55 HKD/hour x 12 hours = 660 HKD
# Each member of the teams entering the Grand Finals of their Category will receive a trophy (2 members per team, 4 teams per Grand Final - 1 team will receive the Champion Trophies, while the 3 other teams will receive the Grand Finalist Trophies). Therefore, each Category will feature 8 trophies, and a total of 16 trophies for the entire tournament.
Our Invited Core Adjudicators
We are delighted and most honoured to have Mr. Anthony Lai as our Chief Adjudicator, and Ms. Sabrina Cheng, Mr. Brian Wong, and Mr. Samuel Chan in our team of Core Adjudicators. Below is a brief introduction of each one of them.
Mr. Anthony Lai 黎家傑先生
Mr. Anthony Lai, HKU graduate and a practising barrister, is one of the few debaters in Hong Kong trained extensively in both Cantonese and English debating. We are most honoured to have him as our Chief Adjudicator.
Mr. Lai’s debating career can be traced back to his secondary school years, where he was an active member of the Cantonese Debate Team. His most notable experiences include his participation in the Freedom Inter-University Debate Championship (自由盃大專辯論賽), his involvement in the 39th and 40th Joint School Chinese Debating Society Tournament (JSCDS, 聯校中文辯論學會，聯中). In particular, he was the second runner up in the Hong Kong Joint School Economics Association Debating Tournament (HKJSEA, 全港校際經濟辯論比賽，聯經 ), first-runner up in the 40th JSDCS and the 23rd Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition (星島全港校際辯論比賽). In his college years at the University of Hong Kong, he joined the English Debate Team, where he became familiar with the British Parliamentary style. He had thereafter represented HKU to participate in many international and regional tournaments, including the famous WUDC tournament. Mr. Lai has also broken in the Hong Kong Debate Open (HKDO) for no fewer than 5 times, including the Grand Finals. He has also on two occasions been named amongst the top 10 speakers. Mr. Lai is himself an avid proponent of competitive debating. Back in 2014, when the British Parliamentary style was not at all well-known amongst the debating community, Mr. Lai founded the Hong Kong British Parliamentary Debating Championship - so that more local secondary students may learn about the style and reap its various intellectual benefits.
Mr. Lai has been an invaluable source of support and advice for the founding and building of this tournament. In particular, his unique experience in both the Cantonese and English debating circuits has proved to be indispensible in this time for this new organisation that is strolling into unchartered waters.
Ms. Sabrina Cheng 鄭以津小姐
Ms. Sabrina Cheng (鄭以津), our third member of the team of core adjudicators, is in her final year of studying law and German at the University of Hong Kong, and is the captain of the University of Hong Kong’s English Debate Team (2016-2017). Sabrina has participated in no fewer than 14 tournaments across East Asia and beyond: she broke as Octo-finalist in International Christian University Tournament (ICUT) in 2017, as Quarter-finalist in Hong Kong Debate Open (HKDO) in 2016. She is also the Grand-finalist and the 2nd best speaker of Joint Universities Debate Championship (JUDC) 2017. She also boasts a number of adjudication experiences. She is a member of the adjudication core of the Hong Kong British Parliamentary Debating Championship (HKBPDC) 2017, the 3rd University of Macau Novice Debating Championship 2017 as Deputy chief-adjudicator, and a breaking adjudicator at the 2015 Hong Kong Debate Open (HKDO). Sabrina has been a consistent contributor to the secondary school debating scene in Hong Kong. She has coached at YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College, Belilios Public School, and Our Lady of the Rosary College, and she has adjudicated in various secondary school tournaments, including the HKSSDC, and the HKSDC.
Aside from her academic excellence, Sabrina is known for being a hyper-polyglot who commands linguistic ability of no fewer than 6 languages. Having already achieved academic fluency in Cantonese, English, and Putonghua, as well as a reasonable command of German and Japanese, she is looking forward to mastering Korean as well. Her stupendous command of Cantonese, Modern Standard Chinese, and Classical Chinese casts a shadow of embarrassment on the founder of this organization.
Mr. Brian Wong 黃裕舜先生
Brian Wong (黃裕舜) is a 2nd year PPE Student at Oxford, and a Kwok's Scholarship Recipient. Brian’s debating career started in Hong Kong, in which they have done debating in Cantonese, and Putonghua. The only language they speak but they have not debated in before is Spanish.
In university, they mostly focused in English debate. Brian has 24 speaking breaks across the UK, Asia, Oceania, and continental Europe, including at three national championships - Sydney Mini 2016 (where they broke 11th to Quarters); John Smith Memorial Mace English Leg 2016 (where they broke 4th to Grand Finals); China BP 2016 (where they broke to the Grand Finals and topped the speaker tab). They have won 3 competitions, including Helsinki Open 2017, the Shanghai International Debate Open 2016 and 2017, and reached the finals of 14 tournaments in total, including KLOC 2016, Singapore Debate Open 2015, Inner Temple IV 2016, and Amsterdam Open 2017. They have further broken at SOAS IV 2016, Imperial Opens (2015 and 2016), Manchester IV 2016, IIUM Open 2016, and various other tournaments; they have been a top-10 speaker at 17 tournaments, including Paris Open 2016, Warwick 2017, QMIV 2016, and were Best Speaker at Ota Open and Maastricht Open 2017. As a judge, Brian has broken 20 times; they broke at WUDC 2017 to judge an Open Octo Final; judged the ESL Grand Final and chaired an ESL Semi Final at Australs 2016; judged an ESL Semi Final at Oxford IV 2016. They have been on 15 CA teams - including the John Smith Memorial Mace English Leg 2017, Richard O'Sullivan Memorial Cup 2017, Erasmus Rotterdam Open 2017, SOAS Schools 2017, and HKDO 2016; they are the Equity Officer for Australs 2017, the Language Officer for WUDC 2017, and currently coach the Intermediate Squads at the Oxford Union.
Brian is very keen and passionate about Chinese and Hong Kong politics, and hopes to inspire more informed and high-quality political discourse through debating.
Samuel Chan Kai Yui 陳啟睿
Samuel Chan Kai Yui (陳啟睿), a CUHK graduate, now studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for a Master in Political theory, stands amongst Hong Kong’s finest debating minds.
Having broken in over 20 tournaments, including at KCL IV 2016 as Semi-finalist, at Canton IV 2015, and in 2016 as Champion, Singapore Debate Open 2015, at Shanghai International Open 2014 and subsequently crowned Champion, and at China BP 2014 as Semi-finalist, Samuel’s most impressive and legendary achievement was to have been crowned ESL Champion of WUDC 2014 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – the first, and thus far the only, Chinese Hong Konger to have done so. Samuel has also adjudicated (as invited, broken, and core) in over 20 tournaments, including at Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships 2016 as Deputy Chief Adjudicator, Asian BP Championships 2015 as Deputy Chief Adjudicator, and as an invited adjudicator at WUDC 2015 Greece. He was also invited to judge at United Asians Debating Championships Bangkok 2016 in, Bangkok, where he was ranked 1st best judge in Asia. Samuel also possesses extensive coaching and teaching experiences in Hong Kong and Macau. He was the Captain of English Debating Team of CUHK, and the debate coach of a number of Hong Kong secondary schools, including: STFA Yung Yau College, HKMA K. S. Lo College, P.L.K. Ngan Po Ling College, P.L.K. Centenary Li Shiu Chung Memorial College, French International School, St. Joseph’s College, TWGH Mrs Fung Wong Fung Ting College, and Tak Nga Secondary School. Widely recognised for his stupendous debating achievements, Samuel has been invited to be a debate trainer in no fewer than 15 workshops, scattered in cities all across East Asia, including: Macau, Canton, Shantou, Maoming, Tokyo, Nanjing, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, Tianjin, Chengdu, and Ningbo.
Samuel speaks Cantonese, English, Putonghua, and a wee bit of German. In his free time, Samuel enjoys reading books on political movements, existentialist philosophy, and watching Japanese anime.
CBPDO is founded by Mr. Bon Bong, Ms. Rachel Kwan, and Ms. Andrea Liao in November 2016. We are reachable through facebook and email:
Email: [email protected]
We offer a handwritten thank you letter for any donors offering more than 500 HKD. We offer the letter in English, Standard Chinese, Written Cantonese, and (quasi-) Classical Chinese. Each letter is uniquely written and uniquely composed.
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- We welcome any pledge amount. Thank you for supporting the project without any rewards.