As mentioned by Uncle Wing, the Tankas live close to each other in the past; that first of all, family members live close together, and the community is also very small and condensed (Also as seen in the picture taken).
Fig. 1 Uncle Wing's children have moved from Tai O to different urban areas, such as Tung Chung and Tuen Mun.
Facing the shift or even death of the Tanka Language, the attitude of the Tanka people towards this has been unexpectedly neutral. As mentioned earlier, the Tanka community was discriminated, and their language, might in fact be a symbol of discrimination too, thus, losing such language, in the sense of the Tanka, can be seen as losing the identity of being discriminated, thus they did not really feel pity towards it. Like Uncle Wing, during the interview, he always emphasized that there was no difference between the Tankas and those people living onshore, and that the language they used was just the same as Cantonese. It is obvious that he is still afraid of being discriminated by others because of his identity and thus does not want to speak Tanka anymore.
Furthermore, they would see their local language and Sea Water Song as old-fashioned. To put it in another way, having the belief of being urbanized is more advanced, it does not really bother them even if their language and culture are totally lost. For instance, when we asked Granny Ho to sing Sea Water Song, she kept saying that the song has already been outdated and refused to do so. To her, speaking Tanka and singing Tanka songs are out of date, although she likes Sea Water Song very much.
Seemingly strange though, as an outsider, we hope to treasure such unique culture and language, but they, as a member of the community, did not really care to maintain or keep their culture.