Interesting, with people's interests in learning Mandarin over here, Beijing Foreign Studies University has a course for teaching Irish. Its policy is to teach all the languages in the EU. Read more...
(Source: Irish Independent)
So China is banning mixing English with Chinese in the press, but if English must be used, a Chinese translation must be provided. I wonder if this covers Hong Kong press as well. Cantonese-speakers are known for mixing in English word(s) into their normal conversation, so this spills into publications (more so in gossip columns, fashion, and other topical sections in mags/newspapers). Read more...
(via BBC News online)
We've been thrilled that thousands of children were able to escape the inner city for fresh air at one of our camps in upstate New York, or enjoyed their stay with volunteer host families this year.
(Via Edwin's Facebook comment) Alex Hofford Photography: Hong Kong Shark Fin Sidewalk.. Unbelievable, right? Disgusted? Totally.
Whereas Ireland faces mass emigration of its young professionals because of its current crisis, HK's young are thinking of leaving due to HK's worsening pollution.
(Via BBC News)
But in Hong Kong, the government has brought in measures1 to stem2 the soaring prices of property. With the current crisis around the world and HK having gotten back from its own 1997 property bust, no wonder these heavy handed measures are brought in. The skew from all the high-end purchases are spiraling costs for sellers of more normal properties.
A woman may have contracted the virus from her visit in Mainland China, although they are not certain of it, it could be a possible that she caught it in HK. Investigations are origin of where she caught it is still ongoing. Alert level in HK is "serious".1
Just read this sad article1 about this gay guy who looked for a lesbian wife so he can get married to please his parents. So it's a double fake marriage, they have the full works for their "special" day, but they only see each other once a year to visit each other's families! It's all a lie. The guy still lives with his boyfriend. All this secrecy just because he doesn't want to come out to his parents, and he's not the only one. In China, young single adults are forced to find their significant other near the end of their 20s, there is even a "marriage market" in Shanghai in the weekend where parents go and find other parents to match-make their kids. Being gay is not accepted in China, so this new social problem appears and the tangle and web of lies with many fake marriages like this will all end in tears. I hope a child doesn't get in the middle of this unfortunate mess.
From Irish Time's article, 12,900 citizenship forms ruled invalid.
The main reasons are: a failure to provide certified copies of documents (39 per cent); statutory declarations not completed correctly (25 per cent); affidavits needed (15 per cent); supporting documentation needed (10 per cent); name discrepancies between form and certificates of birth and marriage (5 per cent); and forms being incomplete or altered with correction fluid.
(Via Irish Times online)
This was via an article from Irish Times and went looking for the listings. Found the list and found that Hong Kong is ranked 21st! (o_O) Wow, who would have thought that quality of living of Dublin outranks Hong Kong. China itself is ranked 89th place.
Here's the list: Human Development Index (HDI) - 2010 Rankings
I know many Chinese like to go back to Hong Kong and get their hair straightened, didn't know it was a big thing here as well. I just read about one of the popular products only available to hair salons to straighten hair and it's banned bu EU as it contains dangerously high levels of formaldehyde!
Just saw this video from Beeb weather about the super typhoon Megi that's heading towards northern Philippines. There is a possibility after it loses strength after landfall to build up again before continuing its way to southern China. This season has been quite bad in southeast Asia for heavy rains and storms.
The Fresh Air Fund was thrilled with all of the interest generated within the blogosphere for our Fresh Air children. We had close to 5000 volunteer host families open their home to a NYC child and 3000 children visited our camps. It was a great summer! Our Facebook Page continues to be a hub of activity for all things Fresh Air Fund. There are some excellent photos and videos we've posted along with photos from our host families. Please "like" us and it would be great if you could encourage your readers to do the same:
What a coincidence, was talking about Mandarin schools/course in Ireland with some of the 2nd generation Chinese girls recently, and I came across this video based on the popularity of Mandarin in Singapore, Dept. of Education should really watch this:
Even though the summer is quickly winding down, The Fresh Air Fund is still in need of host families.
Check out: http://weneedfreshairfundhosts.com
For foreign residents, this does not make for good reading...
Ireland granted just six citizenships per 1,000 foreign residents -- compared with more than 50 per 1000 in Sweden and Portugal, and an average of 23 across the EU.
(Source: Irish Independent)
[...]on June 30th we will have our first departure of Friendly Town trips, and we'd love to have you post about us again or perhaps repost some of our live tweets - @freshairfund. We have trips going to Southern & Central VT, New London area CT, Great Barrington, MA, Latham/Albany area, Ontario, Rochester area. Everyone is so excited that the children are coming into these homes and towns and that it's the first day visiting for summer 2010.
Saw this article about a waiter with 20 years experience who got turned down after telling them he was from HK when he enquired about the job over the phone. His wife called later enquiring for a job and was asked to bring her cv to the restaurant. The restaurant in question is Roly's Bistro, and they were fined by the equality officer for discrimination. Read article via Irish Independent.
Check this vid out, a whole building made of plastic bottles and it's a functional one as well.
Congrats to the Fresh Air Fund-races...
(Sara of freshair.org) 2010 Fresh Air Fund-Racers completed the NYC half marathon and raised an amazing $100,000 for The Fresh Air Fund! We are so thrilled and wanted to thank everyone who supported us by blogging and tweeting about this wonderful event. I've posted some photos onto our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/freshairfund
You can also them on twitter - @freshairfund
So bad that people are warned not to go out by the government! The sandstorm that struck Beijing doesn't help HK's already smoggy air. I've mentioned my experiences before about the pollution in HK, it's a pity. HK is a wonderful place to visit, but now at the risk of your health. I hope the HK government and its people will help tackle this problem.
(Source: BBC News)
Pollution has always been an issue with Hong Kongers. As you can see my pics above, the difference between 2006 and 2009. And the 2009 photo is on a good day! My cousin got married last year and her photos were beautifully taken (location above), but the haze spoilt it.
Now more than 200 companies are getting support on a petition for cleaner environment. HK is the only place that I noticed a prominent feature in the weather forecast that shows the pollution index, no matter what time of the year it is.
At the moment, any couples who married at their country's embassies in Ireland is not legal. It is only legal if an official registrar is present. The government may pass a new law to legalise these marriages.
It issued the guidance following concerns raised by foreign embassies that some of their citizens were having problems registering children as a married couple.
A good majority were Polish people getting married at their embassy and they found to be problematic registering their children as married couples. And according to the article, foreign embassies were not contacting the register's office. Read more...
(Source: Irish Times)
Chinese FT journalists who produces Chinese language site are to be made redundant, as it is
they already have terms and conditions inferior to other journalists at the Financial Times.
Any journalists out there who have something to say about this? You can chat about it in the IBC forum.
bq [...] it's still winter time but the countdown to Summer 2010 has begun and The Fresh Air Fund is again in need of host families.
We've released these Chinese lanterns while we were in Hong Kong, but never heard about these problems, which are quite serious. Okay, fair enough, there's no livestock in HK, but I was told that they were biodegradable. In UK, either cows are dying from ingesting the Chinese lanterns, getting into the feeds and coastguards mistakenly thinking the red light was a red distress signals. I've seen these lanterns being sold at an online Irish site, so not sure how many of these were let loose into the wild.
According to The Irish Times
[...] number of children who were reported missing from State care between the latter months of 2008 and summer 2009, all of whom were of Chinese origin.
Fair play to an 18 year old student from Blarney who designed a bio-mass stove with easy to access materials such as tin cans and a sharp implement. His goal is not to profit from it, but to help 3rd world countries. Check out how it works from the man himself:
More mentions in the news:-
More info resulting from google searches.
A quick mention on behalf of Sara Wilson from Fresh Air Fund:-
The NYC lottery closed Wednesday and winners have been announced. The FAF team still has spots available and think interested runners will start researching teams to join if they didn't win a coveted lottery spot. Readers can sign up/research further at the Registration Page.
What is the reason for these attacks? Who knows? The authorities think they arrest the culprit but they are not sure, only evidence are two bottle caps in the possession of the man on top of the rooftop near the incident.
You can read more articles on it from Google News search.
I posted about discussions on bringing Mandarin into the Irish Junior and Leaving Cert and just read this morning in the Beeb that English primary schools are introducing it this year and will be compulsory next year.
(Via BBC News)
Just got pinged to forward a message to all...
We are still looking for runners and sponsors to join our Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 21st
We also rely on donations this time of year to keep our programs strong for the summer months, and helping children is a cause that I'm sure your readers would be interested in. If you can help, please feel free to repost anything from our news site here: http://freshairholiday.org
Sara Wilson kindly asked me to mention the Fresh Air Fund, tis all for a good cause.
This past summer OneSight reached out to us and helped over 3000 Fresh Air children by making sure that every child who needed the gift of sight was screened. The Fresh Air Fund is so happy OneSight and their traveling optical clinic are able to help at Fresh Air camps.
Aside from reduction of child benefit of foreign nationals, to help reduce fraud, the Social and Family Affairs Oireachtas Committee proposes:-
(Source: The Irish Times)
It's sickening to hear that this carry-on still happens.
From October 1st, a bridging plan is available for applicants. This allows immigrants to apply for temporary visas for four months, otherwise known as "bridging visas".
The permit will give holders the chance to find a legitimate job or, if they are already employed, to obtain a work permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Mr Ahern insisted the programme was not a regularisation but a temporary scheme that would be issued only to a specific category of undocumented immigrant. It would not be open to those who entered the State illegally.
(Source: The Irish Times)
It's happened, they really are enforcing it. EUR200 for workers who park their cars for free, it has to be deducted from their pay or else the employer will be fined EUR3000. This is regardless if they are earning top wages, or on minimum wage. What a bad idea. It begins in Dublin today, and will be phased in to other cities (joy).
Here's the article.
(Source: The Irish Independent)
With the spate of violence from knives and in some cases sumarai swords, they are banned from today onwards by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern .
(Source: RTE News online)
Saw this from a friend's tweet about government proposing changes to number of years a student can study in Ireland.
The new proposals envisage that students should, with limited exceptions, spend no more than five years in Ireland as a student overall, with a limit of two years in further education or English language courses.
You can find more information here on the official site. It's open for public consultation till 9th October.
(Source: Irish Times)
According to this article, there will be a change in the rules for immigrants. I'm not sure what it means by "breathing space" though.
[...] increase the three-month 'breathing space' for any worker who has held an employment permit for less than five years to six months
On top of that, anyone who has been working and living in Ireland for five years will not have to renew their work permit.
(Source: Irish Independent)
More info from The Irish Times. "Breathing space" means more time to look for another job if one is made redundant. So if someone is laid off and has been working less than five years but have a work permit, then the time extended to find a job is six months now.
(Source: Irish Times. irishtimes.com)
It hasn't being brought in yet, but the government plans to.
Things to note:
The new fees are among a number of charges facing foreign nationals from outside the European Union. These include work permits (500 annually), re-entry visas (100), Garda registration cards (150) and citizenship application (950).
(Source: The Irish Times)
My bro pointed out the outcome of air pollution in HK. IMO, it seems to depend on the direction of the wind and if it's blowing from the Mainland, then the smog seems to be worst.
I am pretty sure it has gotten a lot worse since, I was back in 2007 (and 2008, me thinks), definitely a lot more smog. Was there for summer and month of Jan/Feb. (I know I have some pics somewhere.)
My cous got married early this year and she had her pics taken at the harbour and HK was pretty smoggy, a pity though.
Thanks, bro, for pointing it out.
Rogue employers will face jail of up to three years and fines up to 250,000 if they breach the proposed new legislation to protect workers. Criminal offences include a failure to put up notices on employment rights in every language used in the workplace.
(Source: Irish Independent)
* The Irish Independent - New employer law is draconian, warns IBEC boss
* The Irish Times - Ibec strongly criticises Government over employment compliance law
* IBEC - Changes to Employment Law Compliance Bill needed
With cuts in language support, more awareness is being roused by the media on the concerns of children being left behind, and the government is letting some of our future generation down. 10% of our primary school children were born overseas, that's 44,000 from the article. It keeps using an example from Dublin 15, which is worrying for me, as I'll be settling in Dublin 15 for at least a decade, even though the example is more north-west from where will be settling down. I've read some issues raised by Joan Burton to a school nearby, from crisis of school places in D15 and worries of ghetto schools to a school nearby that won't be open due to low enrollment of pupils.
Gardaí are seeking the public's assistance in tracing the whereabouts of two missing Dublin teenagers.
14-year-old Xiao Ming Chen and 15-year-old Chen Hong Yu, both living in Palmerstown in Dublin, were last seen in the Parnell Square area of the city 28 January.
Xiao is described as being 4' 11'' with black hair and brown eyes.Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí at Ronanstown on 01 6667700
Chen is 5' 6'' of slight build with brown-fringed hair.
Two bottles of corrosive liquid were dropped from a building onto the busy streets of Mongkok, and many people (46 last count) were injured. That's very disquieting given that is one of the shopping places I would be at if I was in Hong Kong.
From Irish Times:
The programme, run by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, will pair newcomers with Irish citizens or long-term residents and aims to ease people's transition into Irish life.
This will benefit many who are alienated when they first arrive to Ireland. And it definitely helped this Chinese person, Junyu Wang:
"I have lived here for some time now, but I remember when I first arrived, I found it difficult to find information on health, employment, immigration rules, education and social welfare issues[...]
Just want to point out the website mentioned in the article: www.immigrantcouncil.ie
The EU is proposing a hefty fine of upto EUR250K and 10 years in jail for hiring illegal immigrants instead of targeting illegal immigrants.
If the proposal, known as the Sanctions Directive, is ratified, bosses will be hit by fines that will increase in proportion to the number of illegals they employ and re-offences could lead to criminal prosecutions. They will also be liable for any unpaid taxes and barred from public procurement tenders for up to five years.
(Source: Irish Independent)
Hold your horses, it's only choccies made in Hong Kong and sold in Asia that are being recalled. So the Cadbury's here in Europe is fine.
The products include Cadbury Eclairs, dark and milk chocolate, hazelnut and praline chocolate, dark Chocettes, and products made specially for the Chinese New Year (in February).
bq. Cadbury's Asia Pacific region includes Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and South Korea. The recall order was so far only registered in Hong Kong
More info at HK gov's The Centre for Food Safety - http://www.news.gov.hk/en/category/healthandcommunity/080929/html/080929en05004.htm
All the recent news about immigration officials in Dublin airport treating certain visitors to strip searches, detaining them, humiliating them even though the visitors have valid visas. The article today from the Irish Times highlights all the recent incidents and some experiences from various interviews. I'm one of the luckier ones that gets a "how are ya?" and a half-nod. But this is only in recent years, and mainly when I travel back to Dublin airport. No one actually mentioned about other national airports, such as Shannon airport. I'd remember I would get wave passed, but not before I get a discerning look of disapproval. Maybe it's just my imagination, I am very sensitive to any reactions around me in those situations.
Other unpleasant experiences that I remember (not that many, thank goodness):
Recently I was in Seattle, and the immigration took my passport, chatted a little and said "Welcome home!" by accident before changing to "..erm.. United States of America. Enjoy your stay.". That was funny, maybe because I have some American twang in my accent. I think it's most likely that they are use to seeing Asians travelling in and out, and there were alot of Asians working in the airport. Obviously, they did not bat an eyelid in San Francisco.
Any experiences, opinions? Chat about it at the IBC forum.
This action follows laboratory testing by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) in which unsatisfactory levels of melamine were found in the sweets. This product has been withdrawn in other countries. The FSAI is advising consumers who may have purchased these sweets not to eat them. Retailers and wholesalers are advised to immediately remove these sweets from shelves.
More info here.
If you have not heard of the milk scandal in China, just do a search in Google and in the news, you'll find it's not just affecting baby milk (which is deplorable in itself as it did harm people, especially babies), but other dairy food stuff.
Today, I received an email from a Singaporean friend saying that the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore has issued recalls in a number of dairy produce originating from Mainland China. They are extra strict but pay heed nonetheless. Health is the most important thing right now, and something needs to be done to the wretched people who only care about their own pockets and causing harm to unsuspecting public.
Highlights from their site:
As of 24 September 2008, the AVA has detected melamine in an additional 5 products imported from China. Two are flavoured milk and three are confectioneries containing milk powder as an ingredient. They are :
- Dutch Lady Banana Flavoured Milk;
- Dutch Lady Honeydew Flavoured Milk;
- Silang - House of Steamed Potato - Potato Cracker;
- 徐 福 记 Puffed Rice Rolls - Butter Corn Flavour; and
- 徐 福 记 Puffed Rice Rolls - Cheese Flavour
This brings the total number of affected products to 8. The other products that were earlier found to be contaminated with melamine are:
- Yi Li Choice Dairy Fruit Bar Yogurt Flavoured Ice Confection;
- Dutch Lady Strawberry Flavoured Milk; and
- 大白兔奶糖 - White Rabbit Creamy Candy
In my friend's email, there were more products, but I'm not sure if all those were recalled, so I won't include in this entry.
Anyway, more information in the PDF provided by the AVA, and they even include images of the contaminated products.
Some photos at:
Just happen this morning in Hong Kong. They issued a black warning around 6:40am (their time).
Sorry for the bad quality shots, took them with my mobile, did not have the D80 with me today.
There's a discussion at the IBC forum on various charities that are happening around Dublin. If there are other fund-raisings happening around the country, post it there. Of course, people can just donate to the Chinese Red Cross via redcross.ie.
I tell ya, from my previous entries, people are definitely starting to hoard rice in the US. People are preparing for the worst, so panick-buying, and restrictions are applied to some consumers of some shops.
"I picked up as much as I could," Diep said as she hauled a dozen 50-pound bags of Super Lucky Elephant rice and 10 bags of 25-pound long grain into her van and her sister's sedan.
Hmm, over-reacting, aren't we?
Just an example of what is hitting Asians overseas from the current crisis in relation to what will probably happen to me here in Ireland, hoarding of rice. I have mentioned it in my previous post. I suppose that is the least of my worries, as there are people in poorer countries suffering because they cannot afford rice which is part of their staple diet.
Another warning sign for us to bear in mind are dairy products. I noticed that people in China has developed a taste for dairy products, thus a fight for keeping up with demands of supplying dairy produce globally. In Japan, they mainly import their dairy produce from Austrailia, and they are struggling to cope. This article shows that simple needs like buying butter from shops is a problem. Obviously the shortage of grain (rice and wheat) is an issue over there as well, impact from droughts hitting exporting countries and use of grains to be turn to bio-fuel hits pockets as food prices increases hits consumers to bakeries and other food related-businesses.
I wonder will this encourage countries to grow their own food more?
[...] encrypted access to protect their personal data or transactions at any Hong Kong post office.
Even found some pictures on Flickr.
According to RTE news report, fake EUR200 maybe circulating, um, not that most people are going around with EUR200 notes in their pockets! Although that reminds me of my lecturer's story about a guy who bought his own driving school a few years back for something like EUR10K in cash, paid in some car park. Turns out the "owner" of the car who sold it to the guy did not even own the car, and it was repossessed, so all he was left was the sign on top of the car. Oh, did I mention, there was no business premises attached to that driving school. So, paying that amount in cash, you have to be really sure when you part with it, or when you receive it... or both.
Fingerprinting will be introduced next term by Griffith College to ensure attendance of international students, and comply with the immigration laws. I don't think that this method will help, if they already claim that the attendance is immaculate, there is no reason to implement this. The students themselves are obviously not happy, I found their student magazine editorial page, if it's not viewable here is what it said:
The international debate on fingerprinting students and storing their photographs has escalated recently. Latest figures show that two million children in 6,000 schools in the UK have been fingerprinted and the number is likely to touch six million this year as nearly 13,000 schools begin to use this method to grant students access to libraries and canteens. This month we have learnt that biometric fingerprinting systems have been introduced to our campus – is it the way forward or a step too far [...].
The government is tightening the laws on immigration and asylum. The proposed immigration bill allows authorities to allow access of foreign nationals and even track their where abouts around Ireland.
The Migrants Right Centre has criticised the proposed new Immigration Bill published by Justice Minister Brian Lenihan today.
The bill is aimed at tightening Ireland's immigration laws and making it easier for the authorities to deport illegal immigrants.
Siobhan O'Donoghue, the director of the Migrants Rights Centre, says the proposed legislation is seriously flaws and lacks fairness, transparency and due process.She says major changes in the bill are needed in order to ensure that immigration reform is done correctly.
In June, China will ban shops from handing out free plastic bags, especially the ultra-thin bags.
Shops that violated the new rules could be fined or have their goods confiscated, it said.
(From BBC) Read More...
It will be dependant on the immigration on what will happen to the minimum wage.
The UK and Ireland have been the main destinations for migrants from the 10 new EU member countries. Future migration flows into Ireland will depend on the minimum wage relativities between the two countries.
Only in Dublin so far thought, but it's a start.
The schools, in the Phoenix Park and Phibblestown, will be the first of their kind in the country and will be under the patronage of the County Dublin VEC.
I know Chinese people are obsessed with luncheon meat... but Ma Ling's brand is being recalled
Food safety officials in Hong Kong have discovered a banned antibiotic, nitrofurans, in tins of Maling brand pork luncheon meat and pork ribs.
Yet again, Ireland is the forerunner, this time a ban on lightbulbs, which is great. Households should be using the energy saving lights anyway. With our success in banning plastic bags, and country-wide ban on smoking as well, I am glad that Ireland is taking some steps to make it a better environment to live in.
New legislation is being introduced banning the sale of the normal incandescent lightbulb from January, 2009.
Digital fingerprint will come into play in the near future, as soon as a few months away. This will mainly concern people who are living in Ireland but are neither from EU nor an Irish citizen.
It will apply to all non-nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) -- the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway -- who are registering to live here. The fingerprints will be put on their registration cards. Tourists will continue to get a stamp on their passports.They are using this system called Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
The AFIS captures and stores palm prints, as well as the traditional 10 fingerprints, making it easier for forensic experts to match smaller marks taken from crime scenes.
(From Indo online: Full article)
Finally, it can be done. Getting married in approved places like hotels can finally be done now. Well, before it was at the civil registry discretion whether they allow it, but now folks can get married anywhere, well under "fixed structure"...
This rules out beaches, mountain tops and marquees.
In the coming weeks see price hikes of tinned tuna, baked beans, dairy produce, wheat (which means bread is included in this. Dominos Pizza will be increasing their prices this week because of this) and fruit juices (my family and I consume so much fruit juices).
This was all due to the weather being too wet, too cold, too hot, flooding and increase in prices of dairy products.
Great, just great. *notes of sarcasm there
In Limerick, there will be a few seminars taking place for both employers and employees. An information booklet "Newcomer’s guide to Limerick" will be launched by the mayor on Wednesday, November 7th.
(From Limerick Post)
The booklet will be available in several languages including Polish, French, Mandarin, Portuguese and Czech as well as several other Eastern European and some African languages, and will contain essential information for recent immigrants from finding out about local schools and churches to accessing health care.
For more info, click here
New provisional licence rules pushed out till 30th June 2008. That's a bit crappy, it was suppose to come into effect tomorrow midnight. My hubby was counting the amount of people with L-plates driving by themselves today, whilst I was driving around Limerick. I remember the biggest gasp of awe, shock and horror was from my Singaporean friend, who heard a HK friend of mine failed her driving test and drove back home by herself! He cannot fathom the idea at all. My hubby also said Jeremy Clarkeson could not believe the way our provisional licences worked when he was on RTE recently on some show (not sure which one, I don't watch Irish tv shows that much). What about all those L-plate drivers driving on the motorway? Never mind the usual drivers (full/provisional) who talk on their mobiles, do make-up etc., and not a Garda in sight. *breathes and tries to calm down.
This is fantastic! Here's their demo site, if you want to try it out: 365 online demo.
Plus here is a link to their Chinese brochures and applications.
It's a sign of the rapidly changing times in the 'new' Ireland. Next year up to 20 multi-denominational schools will open compared with only two Roman Catholic and one Protestant primary school.
This is great news. I have no problems with the current schools though, as I went to a Catholic school from primary level. Getting into primary school initially was difficult and some discussion was needed back then, at least I was baptised. Once I got in, it was grand. In secondary school, they were quite open for folks coming in, we did not have to attend religion classes, it was a free class (which was brilliant for doing homework). One thing though, every morning the headmistress would have a morning prayer every morning. I thought this was normal until I told my husband. He went to a private school that did not have any prayers forced onto people. I suppose I grew up having to say prayers in class, and listen to prayers over the announcement system (great way to nap for 10 minutes), and have mass twice a year and it felt a norm at the time.
One thing though, I remember having to visit a nun who gave alotted slots for leaving cert students in her class to practice oral Irish. After I did my practise, she was trying to encourage me to have my communion and confirmation made after doing my leaving cert. I felt really pressured, but I thought nought of it till now. And she seemed really friendly at the time, I'm infuriated just thinking about right now. How dare she! Anyway, back to the point of this article...
Ireland now has more multi-ethnic students, a worrying sign though is a school that was recently opened are all blacks because these students could not get places in established Irish schools. Of course, Minister for Education denies that it was racism:
Ms Hanafin also said local authorities were partly responsible for the situation because they provided planning permission for new housing developments without checking that the necessary social infrastructure, such as school size, was in place.
A blame game this might be, but at least something came out of this, even though an all-black school was opened to highlight the problems with trying to enroll into Irish schools, particulary Catholic schools.
The employment rights should be known by more immigrants, especially now it has come to light that foreign nationals are being taken advantage by their own country men and women.
But the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has information for employment rights in the following language: Chinese |Hungarian | Irish | Latvian | Lithuanian | Polish | Romanian | Russian
Here's the Chinese document: Employment Rights [Simplified Chinese]
RTE news reports that Immigrant council calls for English classes.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland has called on the Government to invest in a national programme of English language courses for migrants.
I will try and keep up-to-date with this, and post up more on this here.
Everyday I see news about more dangerous goods from China. The "Made in China" branding is now in serious danger. Manual labour is cheap in China, and I assume, some not above board, right? Quality not up to scratch, I read from some news site (can't remember which one), that the China brand is synonymous to Taiwan products nowadays, or to Japanese and Korean products back decades ago. China has blossomed with technological advances, and with a price... greed. Corruption can be found, and Chinese government has been trying to stamp it down. It's good that they have taken steps to increase quality assurances, but how long would this take? How will Chinese exports suffer, given dodgy exports is only a "fraction" of their exports. That's still alot to hurt and dent consumer confidence.
I don't want to criticise China for blunders and greed of a proportion of people, undermining market prices of goods with quality that would harm a small child, engulf a home in flames etc. But knowing that some of these goods get into Ireland as well, just makes me more aware. And it's not just cheap goods, mind you, big toy labels like Mattel has been doing millions of recalls the last few months.
China maybe the superpower for all Chinese to be proud of, but yet it has so far to go. Until then, I'm going to be cautious on these goods.
(It's a posting I've been putting off for awhile, but since I've been thinking all these thoughts, might as well put it into words. )
(From Irish Independent.ie)
Small Firms Association highlights the problem with the green card scheme, that its members are faced with poor customer service from Department of the Environment, such as long delays and excessive charges.
* SFA highlights problems with new green card scheme
Was watching the 9 o'clock news tonight and mentioned that Minister for Integration, Conor Lenihan, has announced a new taskforce on integration.
The Minister made the comments while announcing the setting up of a task force to look at the challenges facing foreign nationals integrating into society.
Other references mentioned in the news (that I remembered that is :) ):
Just came across this, a new N. Wicklow support group set up by local Chinese residents to help Chinese and new immigrants from Far East to integrate into Irish society.
The society is known as "Southside Chinese Residents' Association".
A garda representative who was present at the event explained that Gardaí will be working closely with the Chinese community to help with issues such as language and crime prevention. They will also be supporting activities for children and holding information talks about certain aspects of life in Ireland.
The association hopes to help its members to have a broader knowledge of the important issues about the law, medicine, education, and business, which will impact on their quality of life in Ireland.
The minimum wage will rise from the current 8.30 to 8.65 [...]
(From Indo online: Read more)
You can find more information at Citizensinformation.ie as well: Minimum rates of pay in Ireland.
From the Sindo1, according to Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, tougher measures will be brought in to deal with immigration.
Measures include the introduction of US-style linguistic exams to test competency in English for those who want to be granted citizenship of this country
1 Sunday Independent
This has got to be worrying, given that Dell employs nearly 4500 people in Ireland. Most down in Limerick. I know that many Chinese people work part-time there. Of course, may locals and East Europeans work there also. It's not just manufacturing down there, they have an R&D department there.
What's confusing is Dell is still on a recruitment drive, even with these rumours . I only hope that the impact is not as bad as it seems. I suppose this is one of the many dangers of relying on large corporate US companies.
It's getting in the news more and more, and it's hurting China's exports. Tainted food, medicine, and now, possibly tainted toothpaste. I for one am not surprised, it's so corrupt over there, and stamping out all the companies that only care for profit over people's health is a job not to be sniffed at. I just hope this clears up at some stage. More harm than good for Chinese trade if this keeps up.
This could set a precedent in HK now for folkd who like to use bittorrent. A man has been sentanced to jail for using bittorrent. He must be kicking himself though, he went to jail for bittorrenting "Daredevil", "Miss Congeniality" and "Red Planet". And with a username called "Big Crook", I think it was inevitable.
Came across this interview on RTE news online with Oliver Wang on Chinese in Ireland and their interest in the elections this year.
Is it me that as far as ethnic minorities are concerned, they would vote for Labour rather than Fianna Fáil? The general feeling from talking to my friends and work collegues, that they may hate FF, but in the end who do we vote for?
I will probably vote for Labour. Although, I have not recieved any mails about my change of registration on the Electoral Registry from Limerick to Dublin. Does not help that the online search only reflects those that are registered as of Feb 15th.
Discuss at IBC Forum.
People should just secure their wi-fi.
It's not surprising to hear that nearly half of imports that are dangerous originate from China. I am sure the publicity this makes on Chinese goods will have an impact, for the good of consumers awareness, of course. The authorities are already clamping down on counterfeit goods produced there e.g. eggs, baby food, soy sauce, Chinese medicine etc. Having standards raised on pruduct quality and safety will hopefully be looked into as well.
From HK government site, dried squid unhealthy The levels of arsenic found was quite high. Other tested dried food snacks like dried beef (ngau yuk gong), dried pork (gee yuk gong) states that it contains high sugar and salt content, but were deemed satisfactory.
I suppose anything that tastes nice is always going to be bad for you.
Folks who have not sorted out changing to the new smart id card, should now go to Registrations of Person's Office from now on according to the latest press release.
People who could not have their identity cards replaced during the specified call-up periods due to their absence from Hong Kong should apply within 30 days of their return to Hong Kong.
Read this from the Standard. Singapore has sentenced a teenager piggy-backing a neighbour's unsecure wi-fi. This could lead to other cases around Asia.
Well, one way to fix piggy-backs, make your wi-fi secure.
For those who saw the TVB news on TVB Europe over the weekend, there are alot of concerns about forged HK$1000, and that no-one as able to tell the difference. So many folks are not talking large amounts from the ATMs. Shops will not take HK1000.
The authority said the recent counterfeiting problem is restricted to HSBC $1,000 banknotes issued in 2000 and 2002. Bank staff will be trained to check for the high-quality forgeries. Advice will also be given to the publi
So the ones from 2003 are fine.
But if anyone is still unsure, from the official press release from the HK Monetary Association says that people can exchange notes they have with the banks.
Saw this on RTE News about a Chinese woman is the first UK assembly member. NI is reknowned for its diverse cultural people, but the dark side of racism is very real for many living there. I know for sure, Asians are normally quiet and keep to themselves. This is a great boost for the Asian community in NI, and quite a boost for voices to be heard for many minor ethnic groups.
It's being picked up all over, just did a Google news search on it.
...according to the Indo article.
I thought it was already banned for restaurants to dump fat down the drains, since most restaurants and takeaway in the south have to put in filters stop the fat draining into the sewage. I know my Uncle's and my cousin's places have these in place down south. So does that mean all catering premises have to implement this now?
It would be better for the environment, as long as the fat taken away are not dumped anywhere else.
It has been turning up in the news over here. My fiancé pointed out a New Scientist article on a lady's fight to save the environment from all the factories dumping toxic waste all over the place. They have the equipment to safely filter the waste before dumping into the local rivers, but do not use it due to it being expensive to run!
And tonight, Channel 4 showed the same problems but in a different region. People are suffering from strokes, cancer and crops die from pollution.
Yes, China is growing stronger, but with everyone moving to China to setup shop to save money, and even the Chinese themselves build more and more factories to try and profit from it. With little or no control, it's all getting out of hand. With people getting sick from the tainted environment. This and on top of China's problem with lowering female population.
East European, Asian and Portugeuse speakers wanted for multi-ethnic bank customers in Northern Ireland. I know Bank of Ireland provides leaflets for mulit-ethnic customers, but it would be great to have them servicing people as well. Unless there are banks that do.
Discuss at IBC Board.
It's one thing alot of industries are moving to China just because it's cheaper to run over there, but it's another thing to have recycled plastic rubbish being shipped to China. I saw the report on tv, and it's shocking to see rubbish which people have taken care of seperating for sake of the environment, ending up in a town in China. In this town, many people who work for pittance, are working in environments that are toxic. Everything is contaminated, the air, the river, and it's not surprisingly seeing children amongst the rubbish playing. Same on those companies, it's all legal, how can they sleep at night?
Discuss at IBC forum.
In Hong Kong, a 6 year old girl died after being dragged 50 metres by a Public light bus and got ran over. The dangers of public light buses in Hong Kong are well known, more experienced than documented officially.
People should be more careful getting off the bus, especially with children or elderly. And I do hope drivers be more patient, because they always seems to be in a hurry all the time, putting pedal to the metal as soon as you touch the pavement when getting off. Some use quite colourful language as well.
Discuss your views at IBC forum.
Yay! Smoking ban from Jan 2007 onwards in HK. Although there are alot of unhappy punters on this happening at all, it's brill news for me, since I am so use to going to restaurants, cafes and pubs that are smoke-free. I also saw in the Chinese news that the old folks get to smoke while they play Chinese chess. But the so-called diehards will just get use to it, sure, the Irish are doing fine now. Even smoking in the nice Irish winters outdoors is not that much of an issue anymore. Pubs, cafes and restaurants just improvise with canopies, space heaters, tv screens with the footie on. Heh. So, only time will tell.
It's not fully back, but at least telecommunication and internet access is a little better.
Initial repairs to one submarine cable system would be completed by January 9, the authority said, weather and sea conditions permitting. Other cables would be repaired progressively by the end of January, the statement added.
Yesterday's earthquake, just offshore Taiwan, measuring 7.1, may have affected telecommunications in neighbouring Asian countries.
Taiwan's largest telephone company, Chunghwa Telecom Co, said damage to an undersea cable had disrupted 98% of Taiwan's communications with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.
It's been a long time, but it's due to be opened on Dec 20th. And they will be releasing safety information campaign in 8 languages, which includes Chinese to ensure that everyone knows how to use the tunnels safely.
Just saw that they have introduced digital fingerprinting in Heathrow. The trial is to last till end of Jan 07. The 2 outgoing flights that will have these trials will be to Hong Kong and Dubai. Although this is nothing new to Hong Kong citizens, who have since 2004, been using the e-channels to automate passengers passing through immigration. This is done after inserting their smart Hong Kong ID card. My parents have helped me successfully to apply for one. So I'll be able to pick it up, next time I am in Hong Kong.
NY track down mysterious meats. From live frogs from unknown regions to bush meat. Mad isn't it? EU has stricter regulations on imports like this, so we should not have worries like foods of unknown origin. But no matter what ethnic group it is, they are always using the excuse of not understanding English. It must be frustrating for authorities, but I suppose when you are guilty of something, it's the easiest excuse one can use.
Another strange news I came across today was China's new super-rich must have, a wet nurse.
(more information on wet nurses). Hiring someone to breastfeed your own baby. I don't agree with it at all, that baby's bond with the mother is missing, and it's not natural.
And finally, Hong Kong's proposed laws on racial discrimination to help protect Hong Kong's ethnic minority. Crazy to think that a multi-cultural city like that still has racial discimination.
Came across this news article on Chinese students facing racial discrimination here in Ireland.
And the article last paragraph shows how important it is for Ireland to take Chinese students and China's relation seriously.
“China is going to be very important in the next few decades, these are the prime people to link Ireland to China, yet we are sending them packing once they finish their degree.”
Come to think of it, I should really pick up and learn Mandarin. >-<
Anti-smoking activists were disappointed the bill was watered down to give an exemption until mid-2009 to some of the worst smoking blackspots catering to adults over 18 such as bars, saunas, nightclubs and mahjong parlours.
Apart from that, from Jan 2007, no more smokey restaurants, yay!
I have notice a massive influx of Immigrants from our EU Eastern European countries. You still hear locals giving out crap that they are taking away our jobs. But how come I still see "wanted help" posters in many businesses in cities like Dublin and Limerick. I would assume this would be the same for other towns and cities around Ireland. And unfortunately, some of these people are exploited for the cheap labour. And from the Indo article Mary Robinson, she said:
"There are economic implications, but I think it's clear that the migrants who come are actually helping part of the Irish economy [...] very important that employers don't exploit the potential of cheap labour at a standard that's not acceptable."
From my point of view, I thing the immigrants have kept things going. Even my parent's restaurant has hired Polish staff. What I found funny was, the Polish hired is a kitchen porter, he didn't know much English, and the kitchen staff mainly spoke Cantonese and Mandarin when they work. Given that communciation is vrey important whilst working in the kitchen, it still worked out in the end. It just started off with bits of English, pointing and hand gestures. My mom was impressed, as he was hardworking (ok, maybe a bit attached to talking to his mobile), but hardworking nonetheless. They even learnt curse words from each other. And the reason why we started to hire Polish people as staff... locals don't stay long, Macauans and Mainland Chinese just bugger off without notice as soon as they learn the skills (which they should have in the first place), and the rest have no work permits (which we don't hire anyway). All many businesses want are people would are willing to work, just because it's catering, retail etc., and not like IT, or other white-collared jobs, does not mean they are easy take up. It's all hard work, and they don't get to sit down for breaks much either.
Ireland is changing, and whether people like it or not, we need the immigrants. The Irish use to be the immigrants to US, UK, Austrailia etc. Why do we forget the abuses to the Irish as immigrants in other countries? We should be treating immigrants here, just like how we would have liked other countries to treat the Irish working in their countries. Maybe we are too proud to admit we need help, as I mentioned in the beginning, just look around at all those "wanted help" signs.
Comments welcome at the IBC forum.
Further on from my last blog about fake products, the HK government has issued an alert about another beauty product, as the user has a high chance of getting mercury poisoning. The product originates from Shenzen, and the authorities are not sure if they are on sale in HK.
Also, a syndicate of medicine counterfeiters were arrested for producing, packaging and distributing fake cough medicine.
Danger, danger!!! If you use skin whitening treatment, be aware! Those creams are not as harmless as you think they are. If you don't know what skin whitening is, it's just what you think it is, a product to whiten your skin. Why would any sane person do this? It's the same reason why all western people love that nice brown tan whenever the sun cares to peep through in summer.
Skin whitening in the Far East means that the person (normally female) is delicate and fair. I think the tanned skin comes from back in the farming days, when women worked long hours in the sun in the fields as apposed to rich women. So it's a sign of wealth and beauty. Yes, shallow, isn't it?
Anyway, the reason why I mentioned DANGER here is when I came across this article: Experts warn of skin whitening cosmetics. China fakes many products, which includes, baby food, soy sauce, eggs, cosmetics, medicine etc etc. In this article it cites that
In Hong Kong, there are no strict rules for product labelling and you can buy cream that says it is mercury-free, but when we examine it, it is full of mercury," said Christopher Lam, a professor of chemical pathology at the Chinese University.
Now that is scary thought. And here is another quote that will scare you as well:
"When we did an x-ray of the offending cream, it didn't allow the x-ray to go through. It was radio-opaque," said pathologist Michael Chan at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
What Asian women do for beauty. When will the regulators bring in proper laws to stop this type of abuse, not just for cosmetics, but for anything that can be faked and could cause danger to humans themselves. Especially the innocent ones.
More info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_whitening
Just saw in the news that immigration cards are to be carried by non-EU immigrants residing in Ireland. This is to do with the new immigration bill that is being prepared by the government.
Ok, bad pic, and I was in a hurry.. here is the site though for more info : ssg.ie/
(Discuss at IBC forum)
Any ideas on what this one means?
(Discuss at IBC forum)
Update from Derek via Flickr (Thx, Derek!)
Translation (I slightly edited.):
Welcome Chinese friends.
Our shop has Chinese staff who can deal with
specialist enquiries about medicine
Our shop is a 10 metre walk west of the "Asia Market" in D1. Next to Spar.
Speaks for itself, plus check out the website, http://www.clubtravel.ie .
(Discuss at IBC forum)
旅游俱乐部 Club Travel
网上订票统 Online Ticket-booking system
操作简单 便于使用 Simple to use convenient to use
最优惠价格 Best Price!
都柏林-北京 450 Dublin - Beijing 450
都柏林-上海 470 Dublin - Shanghai 470
都柏林-香港 535 Dublin - Hong Kong 535
都柏林-广州 590 Dublin - Guangzhou 590
地址：30 Lr. Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Ticket prices may change at different times of the year, please phone us in time for enquiries.
For Chinese language service, phone 01 500 5540
Address:：30 Lr. Abbey Street, Dublin 1
And the small print:
"以上价格均不含", "prices do not include tax" !!
My last entry was about high density living in HK and I came across another article. This one is a bit more sad, it's about all the people (mainly the elderly and disabled) who are left behind and lives in small cramped rooms, or cages. Read it : HK's shame: cages that are home for thousands
The news never highlight these things, I thought they were the elements of the past, but it is very apparent indeed. The poor, the elderly are so hidden away from HK society. When I pictured HK, I did not even think about these issues. I feel so ashamed.
Saw this at the chemist at the Jervis LUAS stop. Anyone know what it means? Welcome, I am guessing? And something else. It's in Simplified Chinese as well.
UPDATE from Derek via Flickr:
You probably already know the meaning of
中国？？" (can't see the last 2 chars clearly).
China (Chinese) ??)"
the second last one is 顾 but I don't know what the last one is! There is a word 顾客, which means customer, but the last character in the photo is not 客! It has a 日 on the bottom. I'll have to ask a chinese person!
Final update... (Thanks, Derek and friends)
As I thought, the last one is 客, confirmed by 2 Chinese people.
So, it is:
欢迎光临 huanying guanlin
欢迎所有 huanying suoyou
中国顾客 zhongguo guke
Welcome!! (sort of like welcme to our shop)
(From Western People) Multi-cultural leaflet to assist pregnant women in the West
A UNIQUE intercultural leaflet for pregnant women has been launched at the Maternity Department of Mayo General Hospital. The first ever multilingual project of its kind, the leaflet focuses on what women need to bring to the hospital and meets the needs of women using the maternity services whose first language is not English. The literature, which is available in six different languages is the first of its kind in the country and uses large illustrations thoughout to show the such informations as items needed after delivery, contact details for relevant professionals and translation services.
It's also available in Polish, Spanish, Russian, French and Portugese.
I just wish that Traditional Chinese is available as well as Simplified in all the public information that is proliferated.
Comments welcome at the IBC board.
Got this from the regular email updates from irishjobs.ie.
It's public information on pensions in Chinese.
[...] the Pensions Board has announced the introduction of a pensions checklist published in what have become the country's six most commonly used foreign languages: French, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
I wonder how baggage transfers will be "as" simple anymore now that Aer Lingus is leaving OneWorld.
Saw this posted on a column outside the Emporium Asian Market at the Jervis St. LUAS stop.
You are welcome to comment at the IBC Forum.
A bill to combat spam, junk email and nuisance calls is being put forward in June/July in Hong Kong.
This would be great news, as I remember my aunt in HK complaining about Telecom companies, realtors calling up all hours of the day and night. Heck, even I got a call from the telecoms company asking if we wish to avail of blah, blah, blah services. I just palmed it off by saying I'll get someone to call them back.
Plus if this legilsation gets passed, the service is free.
The sustained high level of immigration over the past decade or so means that perhaps 10% of our population is now accounted for by non-Irish nationals.
And here is the Chinese one (Simplified only): http://www.cso.ie/census/census_2006_chinese_page.htm
(Set your encoding to UTF-8 to view the characters if you have problems.)
National Road safety leaflets will be available for 10 languages, Chinese included.
Came across this news article that will give more access to Chinese students with bachelor's degree to apply for master or phd studies in Ireland.
This article which I stumbled upon mentions the fines and sentances given to people who disturb the peace, or false identities, eavesdropping etc..
China has stipulated, for the first time, penalties for disorderly conduct such as making noise, sending explicit text messages, and eavesdropping.
I suppose tourists might need to be told about the being noisy in public part. *lol
I have mentioned this in in previous blogs, from 1st Irish pub in HK to ban it to HK campaigning to ban smoking since 2001 to local 'entertainment' industries protesting about the impending doom of smoking ban.
So when I saw the latest article about HK being smoke-free by 2009, it just makes my day (although it would be nice if it was brought in sooner).
Just readin the Indo (need registration to read - free) that more than 200 non-Irish recruits passed the aptitude test to join the Garda. And half of them were Chinese!
I was doing a search on more news about this and came across this, it's about Gardaí learning Mandarin. Some of the comments are a bit nasty on the end though. It's an ideal world when immigrants knows the English language, but when as more folks come here, the community gets bigger, they will just keep to themselves, and some might not speak English at all even though they have lived here for a long time.
The search also brought a Garda doc to my attention. Very interesting on how they should approach multi-ethnic people.
Just saw this in the news : [Reuters Asia] China to shut borders if bird flu mutates.
China will close its borders if there is a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu in the country
More news :
If you want to discuss it, you can post a comment at the messageboard , since the comments here in the blog is closed off for now due to sp@ammers.
Saw this article in the Belfast Telegraph online about advertising to the ethnic minority to entice them to vote.
Advertisements in Chinese, Portuguese and Polish are being placed to sign up new Northern Ireland voters.
Although I did see one mistake in the ending paragraph
"As well as placing advertisements and editorial in publications such as the Sing Tao Daily in Cantonese and in Portuguese and Polish within specific local Northern Ireland papers, our campaign will be targeting key groups in workplaces, hospitals, schools and colleges,"
Should be Chinese, not Cantonese...but all-in-all, I think it is a good idea. Especially when Bank Of Ireland has kicked start a campaign to target minority groups here in Ireland. We should take it another step further.
So I was looking at our IBC site one day and noticed that one of the co-ordinators from the CICA (Chinese Irish Cultural Academy) had posted up information about the show in Dun Laoighaire. To be quite honest I hadn’t a clue who the CICA were at all! So then I was looking up Chinese Irish societies in Dublin and I found that there’s actually quite a few of them.
The CICA is an organisation set up by enthusiastic artists and educators in 2004. Their goal is to preserve and promote the Chinese performing arts and culture in Irish society today. They have performed in many places including Arnotts (Tsunami Aid), Smithfields (Chinese New Year) and Dun Laoighaire Festival of World Cultures. The link to their website is
They plan to hold a celebration in Phoenix Park on 17th/18th of September which will include story telling, games and performances by their dancers. More information on this will be posted up later!
The Ireland China Association is based mainly on enterprise. They were founded in 2000 and their objective is to bring Irish and Chinese business people together in hopes of exploring business opportunities and making business contacts. They organise many meals among their members and also have briefings and seminars.
They also have a student section to their organisation which is open to students of all nationalities.
The Irish Chinese Contact Group is a group set up to help people who are considering adopting a child from China. Originally from Cork, they started out with only 3 members but have now over 200. They meet regularly and hold workshops etc for their members.
The Asian Institute is a group which aims to create good business relationships between Irish and Chinese people. They also hope to bring an appreciation of Chinese culture to their members. They have good connections with the other Chinese Irish societies and have a list of different events coming up during the year, cultural and business included.
Looking at their website, there are a few very very interesting articles writing by Dr Dan Mason. A little bit like a blog but not quite.
The Irish Chinese Cultural Society is a group which hopes to bring mutual understanding between Irish and Chinese peoples. It has been run for many years and has many prominent members including Dr Katherine Chan Mullen.
There is also the Irish Chinese Information Centre which is based in Fitzwilliam Sq.
So looking briefly (if it’s possible) at all the societies, it seems they all have the same general aim and that’s to bring Irish and Chinese people together!
This is fantastic news! Bank of Ireland are providing Chinese (Mandarin) as well as Polish and Russian staff and literature for migrant workers. Wish they have someone who speaks Cantonese as well.
(Discuss at the IBC messageboard)
But anyone that has been to Hong Kong knows that even though it's over 30 degrees, you still need to bring some sort of light jacket with you. For those who don't know, Hong Kongers love cold air-condtioning. Well, ok, probably not love, but expect, but it's the norm, walking in from hot, humid outdoors to fridge-like indoors of plazas, offices, restaurants, buses, trains... you name it.
Even Friends of the Earth has a press release about it. But anyone who goes to Hong Kong instantly notice the pungent smells, the hot sticky humid air clinging to you as instant as walking out of the air-con room. It's an experience, and not a pleasant one at that. The air feels thick, and hard to breathe sometimes. It feels hotter as you get closer to the city, because of air-cons.
I know my grandparents who live in the New Territories, will not turn on air-con at all, and let the breeze come through the windows and doors. It's also rather noisy (well, if you get the expensive ones, they are not as noticable), and suck up electricity. I notice it when I go to Hong Kong, I cannot stick the heat, and it's understandable to have them, but not freezing temperatures. It's a great way to get a cold, and having a cold in that weather is not fun, especically if you are on holiday!
If a law is brought in to restrict how low the temperature is, I would totally be behind it. Making yourself comfortable is one thing, but this is just too extreme.
Wow, this is great news to hear. We are already lacking grads for IT jobs, and I would not be surprised if this was the case in other sectors.From Indo :
The move is likely to lead to a stream of qualified Chinese workers arriving in search of jobs across the full spectrum including health, law and administration. Irish graduates will enjoy the same privileges in China.
Other news stories:
* Silcon Republic - Govt to recognise Chinese third-level qualifications
* RTE News - Move to recognise Chinese qualifications
(Discuss it at the messageboard. )
This problem exists everywhere, and in HK this is no exception. Saw this article in the Standard. And given the competiveness of students, a max of 1min per student per class is not really helping. Whereas here in Ireland, class sizes are dwindling. (Last I read about in the news anyway).
Just came across an interesting article about bad habits in Beijing and Dublin. Spitting is still ranking at the top, I see. And I am not surpised. Check out the article. Leave a comment on your views, or discuss it at the messageboard.
Saw this article in the Sunday Times about someone's research into racism in Ireland, and it shows that Chinese are somehat accepted. That is good, at least it's still reflect us positively. I don't understand why though, most immigrants of other races come here and work hard, no matter what colour. It's only a small percentage that cause problems (or "lazy"). Everyone should get a chance to earn their living, after all, many of us working pay taxes.
I wish you all a happy new year, and all the best for 2005! Some cool panoramas for all to see, welcoming in the new year.
People in HK experienced the coldest new year's day in 43 years. So remember to pick up the phone and make sure your loved ones are wrapped up snug and warm.
We have all heard of the tragic Tsunami that wiped out alot of peoples lives over the holidays. The snippet of the devastating images speaks louder than words. I have donated money to Red Cross for this aid. People should donate no matter how small or large the amount, every little bit counts.
I pop over to dimsum every so often to see what's happening over there. And I saw this entry about Fears for London Chinatown’s future. London Chinatown is one of my favourite places when I go to London. The buzz around there is always good. Hopefully in the near future I can check out China town again.
Belfast complex for Chinese community opens is a big step. It's great to see a project like this happen. I like the name of the place...
Hong Ling Gardens it translates as health and peace
China will be introducing a new rating system for games, books and movies.
Online games will be divided into five categories: games suitable for all; those for junior high school students and older; those for high school students and older; those for 18-year-olds and older; and those for adults
The ratings for the games will be in by end of October, while ratings on books and movies will follow suit (but with no more details on when though).
Limerick's twin city will be Xiamen and will be announced by Mayor Hourigan soon.
China Daily's article on Purity of Chinese language debated raise an interesting point. But as I read through it, it's just makes me feel like I started in a new company and I get subjected to a litany of acrynoms like FYI (For Your Information, simple one that)... It's still one of the hardest languages to learn to write (read and speech follows that, not in that order by the way).
Of all places I would have thought that Canada would not be such a barrier to Chinese students, but apparently from this Canadian article about troubles facing Chinese students there is still a long way to go. Maybe it is true, that Chinese only go to the Chinese for help. But there are extremes of individuals who make it. Although that use to put me off studying, knowing that students from the Far East always fare better academically. Can't really say English is a drawback, as this is picked up real quickly because of the social aspect. Possibly the only thing in Ireland would be the fact that you need a European language as well to get into 3rd level eduacation. (Heh, I cannot vouch for that myself, I am crap at languages, except speaking French, I only love that aspect. )
It's back... the infamous H5N1 virus is back again.
Hope no-one is effected by this 1-day strike by BA staff. I think my cousin is back from HK way before then (I hope ).
From Yahoo news: Eleven airlines to increase fuel levies for flights into and out of Hong Kong. Yup, this does include BA.
Cocklers rescued at scene of February tragedy. Turf war by cockling gangs brought the attention of the authorities... you would wonder if they are doing anything at all, given the tragic deaths not so long ago.
A Chinese takeaway in the North was totally destroyed by a gas explosion. Good thing there were no reports of any serious injuries.
...well, smoke-free for this Irish bar called Dublin Jack (free registration to read). Wow, I forgot how lucky we were in Ireland to be in smoke-free restaurants and pubs, and having to say that I wanted to be in the no-smoking section, was always something I nearly forget to say when I go for food... until the waitress asks that is. ;)
Many folks in HK still smoke like mad, and strong cigs they are as well. So this will be very hard to get people's mindset to not smoke in a bar, pub and/or restaurant. It's a start though. No more smelly clothes and hair, people. :)
... well there is no fool me twice because if you are a tourist in notorious HK district of cons... Tsim Sha Tsui, the sales (con) folk will not see you again. So it's rip-off time for time. Take BWG's entry about a tourist who ended up paying twice the market price. Just goes to show, do your homework, and don't trust all the small shops. Even locals get done, nevermind the tourists. But since HK is trying to show a more tourist-friendly place, it is good to see they are clamping down hard.
Am I not looking forward to HK? Of course I am, but I am wary of the JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS. It's rare to get it, as only certain species of mosquitoes get it. But 2 people have contracted it, and there are no know cures. Summers nights are going to be a nightmare if I venture to my relatives place! But no need for vaccination yet.
Hmm, on the side, about the elections about the yes and no vote. My father told me something interesting... why was my mom's name on the registered list, and yet she did not receive the register voting card. (By the way, it's her Chinese name). And why did my dad not get a yes/no vote slip? Even though he had 2 register card, one with his English name and one with his Chinese name. And the one with the Chinese name did not have the yes/no vote slip, and the other with the English name did. And on top, why did my brother and I have the yes/no slip (registered in our English names). The folks at the voting poll centres did not even care... Why? One has to wonder. Common sense dictate what is going on here. Land of welcomes? Really now. Very sly way of showing it.
Ok, forgot to publish this older piece of news, but it is quite alarming! [NEWS] UK tourists raped at knifepoint in Hong Kong
I saw this from Ars Technica, "China blocks Wikipedia", and I feel disappointed. It's a great resource where people put lots of good information. What about people who like to write about their hometown there, like Tai Po that I found and plenty of opportunity to do more write-ups about it. Heck, even Lam Tsuen is not mentioned that much. I am just disappointed, and hope it is only temporary.
From BBC article. at least the official site, I don't really agree on reporting of others though. Here is another article from china.org.cn on "China Takes Aim at Internet Abuse". And here is the page itself - Internet society of China.
Irish Indo - Chinese ruling 'justifies decision' on poll.
Now this is the type of thing I detest about it. People who want to live here should not do this, when the time is right, they should apply for citizenship. Heck my dad was one of the first Chinese person in Limerick to apply for citizenship, now that was a long, long time ago. And when my dad married my mom, my mom applied for citizenship soon after she came to Ireland. Same with my relations. Why this round-about route. It's not the right way, and there is no excuse.
Maybe I am ignorant, just read things and opinionated myself without looking further, but do please comment if you think about the decision of residency rights, and citizenship in Ireland. Maybe the law has changed since then, and I know at the moment, there will be vote on this as well, and will affect many who are hard-working folks here.
BigWhiteGuy's rant, Jingoistic Jerk, I do not agree with him. It's his right to opinion. But this is where mis-interpretation from Chinese. He does know that the way Hong Konger's think nowadays are quite childish. They are spoilt and too rich. Young people do not know how to think. They listen to the Catholic church, the democratic parties, but do they listen to both sides? Don't they find that if they are bit more mature in dealing in political views, that Chinese goverment would have let they have their democracy? Jumping up and down, acting like a jack*ss won't help situation, and HK people brought it on themselves. Come on, the Chinese goverment has much more to worry about. They thought HK people can take care of themselves, and mainland China is their worries. Bringing prosperity to middle, western parts of China. Then you have sore thumbs of HK catholics, Taiwanese in HK acting the silly billies. 1 vote per person, ideal yeah, but it's very biased to the people who are lead by leaders whose wages are paid by US government. Conspiracy, everyone is buying into it.
But I felt I want to say this. Just sometimes comments like that irk me. I'll leave comments open for now. I may close it sometime in the near future.
Came across this as I was reading the Indo, Chinese face daily abuse, murder trial told, and I did a search for this item, and found the following...
29/04/2004 - 17:35:35 - Doormen accused of Vietnamese man's murder
30/04/2004 - 12:31:25 - Juror discharged from murder trial
30/04/2004 - 19:00:06 - Chinese man gives evidence at murder trial
Now what the indo missed out was this one line I found from online.ie news (last link above) - "if you want to take a piss find a f**king toilet". Hmm, now not that I am taking sides, but would this warrant a possible fact that there was some sort of misunderstanding before this brawl started?
And why are Asians only appearing in the news here in Ireland, only when bad things happen?
Hey all, Chinese meetup day in Dublin in 2 days, sign up for more information.
Oh my, and I really wanted to go hiking in HK. It's getting so dangerous now. BigWhiteGuy.com - Hikers attack in HK.
Ireland Online, Ireland - Chinese family robbed by armed raiders in Dublin
Fighting to keep the nimble Chinese dragon from the door from the Indo.
"""The impact that China alone is having on the world economy is enormous. Its economy is already the size of Germany's and is growing at 9pc a year"""
And another article, Asia remains bright spot in world economy.
BBC article on Crisis in Tuscany's Chinatown. I didin't realise there was a large Chinese base in Italy. But it is bad news to hear that business is not what it's use to be. It's so bad that immigrants (illegal or otherwise) cannot find jobs and move elsewhere.
As apposed to UK, where Manchester's hidden community article by BBC shows the ongoing problems, and the divide there is in the local Chinese community and "the invisible".
Enter the Dragon, breathing fire into economy (Free registration)
Goes to show how well China is doing. These are the moments that I am proud to be Chinese. :) No-one looking down on you, treat you better.
Hmm, racially motivated. Two men and a teenage boy have been arrested in connection with the fire bombings of three Chinese restaurants in Perth, capital of Western Australia, a week ago. In this day and age, sometimes I do just wonder...
There is still hope! Xinhuanet - Wedding sends culture shock Chinese people are now alot more open now.
Comments welcome. Or just discuss this at IBC forum - Meeting People.
Nothing to do with IBC, but...
Tide kills 18 cockle pickers in Lancahsire in England. It's still unknown if they were being exploited by cockling. Really sad. Many were in their late teens and early 20s as well.
Not sure if any of you remember Anita. I sort of grew up listening to her songs. Much easier to listen to than today's so-called cantopop singers! It is a sad day, Anita has died of cervical cancer at age 40. So young. So much bad news before 2003 ends. Such a sad ending to this year.
Here are the Google news searches for Aniti Mui. Cancer has claimed so many people. :( So many good people.
Plus a wikipedia reference to Anita Mui.
Well, some bad news.... Hong Kong confirms bird flu case. The problem with this, birds migrate, and you cannot contain and track every single bird... sigh!
But on the other hand, Hong Kong economy set to turnaround in 2004 on a rosier global outlook, wahey!
I have a realisation that I should take up Mandarin course now. Especially because when I visit HK in the future, people will start talking in Mandarin, which I do not understand! The transition of teaching in Mandarin as apposed to Cantonese is planned (People's Daily - Hong Kong considering shifting to Mandarin). On the side, it is good to have another language on your CV. ;)
Well, awareness to people, especially to young people. HK gov site - Students awarded for designing creative logos on "Live Hygiene Live Health"
Since my family has always resided in Tai Po, I went to the official page and found some proud pics and one not so proud pic. But that river is kept immaculate, albeit a bit pongy sometimes, but it's clear. Wonder if my BF remembers walking over the footbridge? HK is getting cleaner and cleaner.
A more official page on the e-cert on your smart id card : smartid.gov.hk - Using the e-Cert on a Smart ID Card, plus other interesting information on the smartcard at www.smartid.gov.hk/en/index.html.
BigWhiteGuy.com latest posting shows the anger and relief of some people from this incident. (BWG - The End of the Izzue) I am glad that the people of that company see how ludicrous the way they were promoting their theme for their new line of clothes.
BigWhiteGuy.com has been blogging about the utter bad taste of an ad compaign of the clothes chain store Izzue in HK (their website - http://www.izzue.com is down). BWG's latest posting was just as hot-tempered. bwg - We Are Not Disposable
But I also google news-searched for articles relating to this, and has found that the manager has been taken a little out of context by BWG... news.com.au - Nazi-themed fashion line dropped. I hope that other shops who decides on something similar do a bit more research and avoid all this atrocity.
Ho-hum... I'm happy that Limerick are not as racist as I thought it was, considering that there has been a rise of verbal abuse in the past couple of years. But I am glad to hear the following news from Limerick Leader - August 2nd, 2003 - News - Racists quit.
From my previous blog "We have it easy over here" on less stress from eduacation in the west compared to Far East, more to the fact, HK as that is the only closest experience I hear about from my friends and relatives. Even BigWhiteGuy.com's blog - Under Pressure. My cousins are off on their summer holidays now, but they have plenty of summer school work to do before their term starts again. This will not change anytime soo, there are so many students, so few places in schools, colleges. And then there are so few jobs out there in HK as well. Let's hope the future is brighter in the years to come.
OMG, the size of the typhoon that was heading straight for HK, but side-swiped into it and slammed into South-east China! I have not been in too many typhoons, but I am glad I was not around when Imbudo was passing by. I hope everyone in HK is ok. Typhoon Imbudo
This is really great news! Reuters UK - Hong Kong to come off SARS-affected list
Some more information with regards to the new smarct id cards being introduced in mid-July 2003. Multi-application Smart Identity Card - Reference Information of Smart Card Reader
It's great to hear that HK has no new cases of SARS. All is looking good, and many HK people appreciated that they even held a concert support by many top stars to raise money for those who were affected by SARS. Article I came across in the HK news... Concert time in HK: First day without new SARS cases
Continuing from an older blog of mine...New HK id cards will be smart cards, found this at the HK government's site : Introduction of the Smart Identity Card (ID Card) and the Territory-Wide ID Card Replacement Exercise
Wonder when I will be able to travel back to HK to get the new ID card? I don't have one, but I am eligible for one (unless they changed the law ;) )
Google-searched "Irish born chinese" to see where I am ranking... nah, I do not mind if I do not rank at the top, and my ego does not inflate if it is number 1 (Although it is still first hit, heh! Come on folks, where are the rest of the other IBC pages?!?). Anyway, what I am trying to get at is that BBC site follows my site and they have very interesting articles and topics - British born Chinese - Banana Split, and their articles page. Will have their link on my page when I get a chance.
So, I'll re-iterate, if anyone wants to add an article, ask me, and if you want I can add you to this IBC blog, so you can upload your articles whenever you want. (Note I still be able to remove the article if it is inappropriate, but on the whole it should be ok)
Contact page for me to contact you...
Yeah, still on this issue. I should really change the subject. :( But my mom has been telling me that my aunt had to move to our appartment in HK from her appartment because there was a family that was infected in her block and was quarantined for a few days. My! So close to family... I hear that people are now leaving their homes with their bags filled will disinfectants, wet tissues etc. My dad was mentioning that HK must the cleanest city now. Everything is scrubbed several times a day! ;P Well, hope vaccines are on its way for everyone soon.
Recently talked to my aunt in HK. Seems that Tai Po is worst hit in HK! I can count my lucky stars and my BF's) that we got back on New Year's day before this whole unfortunate incident took off in Feb. My little cousin has not been attending school for over 3 weeks now, as his school is near the hospital. But he will be returning with the other pupils on a 1/2 day basis. My aunt was saying it has been very disruptive there, even as simply as going out to get shopping for cooking the dinner means coming home, wash all the clothes you wore and shower and wash your hair. Here is a list of buildings affect in HK (note Tai Po is quite high!) - List of Buildings with Confirmed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Patients (from http://www.info.gov.hk)
But worldwide, this has brought home the fact of this danger, even though it is true that the flu kills more every year than what this virus has done so far. Found this interesting article from Mercury News in San Fancisco of how the people of Chinese descent are reacting to this - Bay Area SARS fears hit home
Ok, I know... I don't want to revolve my site around this unfortunate crisis, but just to let you know that is was Ching Ming yesterday. Bascially on April 5th, Chinese will go an visit their ancestor's graves, and pay their respects. (Discover Hong Kong's site gives a clear brief overview of what Ching Ming is. )
So yesterday I went down to Cork with my mom and brother to visit my Uncle's and cousin's grave and paid our respects as well. We also paid our respects to our beloved close friends. It was all very perfect and tranquil. We did not burn and incenses, or burn paper money, but we all brought along flowers and thoughts for our loved ones.
But it is also good to hear that not everyone is afraid of SARS to pay their respects, here is a Canadian article I found - City's Chinese community forgoes fears to honour dead
Very worrying at the moment. My brother has cancelled his trip to HK (phew). And I have been getting updates from a Chinese friend via mail. But it is good to know that everyone everywhere (bar Beijing - SARS: 1.3 billion Chinese left in the dark) are on high alert. Even my local paper show that our regional hospital is preparing an action plan in Limerick.
From a mail forwarded on (All email adresses stripped out :) )...
(More info on the Amoy Garden breakout)
(April 1st 2003)
We (Police) have confirmed the reason for the spread at Amoy Gardens.
There was a leakage of the sewage pipe from the infected PWH nurse's home.
So everyone stepped on the sewage water near the main entrance and
brought the virus into their respective houses.
There is no evidence of "Airborne" at this stage.
I just have the briefing about this finding.
Neil T.M. CHAN
Hundreds of staff are working with me and they are all facing the same risk
f infection. It is really sad that over last 2-week fight 8% of ourstaff
have been infected despite droplet precaution, probably due topitfalls like
air leak on N95 mask, rubbing eyes/nose after touching the mask, etc.
So you can imagine how contagious this virus is! The outbreak in Amoy Garden
is not surprising to me because this is exactly what has happened in ward
8A. The only difference is that the number of infectious index cases now in
Amoy Garden is 60 times of PWH's.
We do believe this infection has wide spectrum of clinical presentation
ranging from sorethroat and low grade fever to full blown ARDS/BOOP.
We think the clinical presentation depends partly on the dose of inoculum.
ultimate protection against this new virus is our immunity and inevitably
all of us will be infected eventually. The purpose of preventive measure is
to minimize the dose of virus so as to avoid severe complication.
Could you please forward these messages to all your friends and relatives
and ask them to distribute further?
1. Always wear a well-fitted mask (N95 or 3 ply surgical) in escalator, bus,
MTR, train, office, restaurant and shopping mall. Don't go to cinema.
Push the button in the lift using your key to avoid any direct contact with
bare hand. If you can tolerate a latex glove, wear it.
2. Don't touch your mask, it traps a lot of droplets.
3. All the surfaces within a distance of 5 feet from a patient are highly
infectious because of droplets. Wash your hands frequently. Don't rub your
eyes, touch your nose or mouth before washing hands.
4. Clean the door handles, furnitures and floor with diluted (1 in 100)
bleaching detergent. Dettol is NOT useful. Wash your clothes immediately
after going home.
5. Patient is highly infectious 2-3 days (in contrast to what EK Yeoh said)
even before developing illness. Treat those without wearing mask potentially
infectious even if they look healthy.
Dr. Justin Wu
Prince of Wales Hospital
Chinese University of Hong Kong
I AM at Prince of Wales every day, closely involved with all actions and
still in good shape. Let me
clarify the subject matter:
1. There is no evidence that the infection is airborne. Only direct exposure
to respiratory droplet
has been related to infection.
2. The figure released from HA is definitely correct. Even stupid people
should be able to distinguish
between dead person and dying person. In fact, a couple of patients in ICU
has improved and got
better. Look like the dying patient won't die afterall.
3. A mask (N95) can definitely reduce the risk of infection, even viral
infection. Imaging that we have
to look after the 100 sick people with atypical pneumonia. If the mask is
not effective, all of us will
come down with the illness. The fact is that there is minimal number of new
cases among medical
staffs at Prince of Wales since we install the policy on mask.
4. The current treatment with ribavirin and steroid is definitely helping.
Particularly if the patients
receive treatment early, a good percentage showed good response and
reduction in severity.
Only when the patients presented very late, the treatment would be less
5. Running nose is NOT a symptom of this illness.(another fact on his/her
you should definitely seek medical attention if you have severe headache,
muscle ache and fever
1. Wear a mask if you are in contact with anyone with symptoms. Also wear a
mask if you are confined
to a closed atmosphere with no control whom you are with.
2. See doctor when you have any of the symptoms.
3. Stop listening to those stupid rumors.
Prince of Wales Hospital
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Yes. There are many "rumours", "news stories". But most importantly, the
"facts" need to be disseminated properly:
1. There are likely to be infected people in the community (people who
knowingly/unknowingly contacted patients
when precautions were not taken). They should be identified as soon as
possible and admitted to facilities with
ability to treat them (ie major public hospitals). We have family members
infected because people with clear
symptoms stayed home.
2. The symptoms are fever, shiver, muscle aches, with fever NOT responding
to antibiotics. Other respiratory
symptoms are not specific.
3. N95 or surgical masks should be worn in high risk areas, like hospitals,
when contacting patients(this is what we
all do in public hospitals). Hands must be washed thoroughly after contacts.
4. The early cases in PWH are s erious since treatment was started late, but
the later cases are mostly doing well.
And now with the virus identified by our virologists in CUHK and more
sensitive tests being developed and
verified, there are discussions on the safe time for some treated patients
to be discharged (please be assured
that we will not discharge ANYONE until we are very confident that they are
5. At this time there is NO evidence that ANY prophylactic drugs have any
I'm happy for you to send these messages to your friends, but I will not be
available to answer individual enquiries.
They can call the government and HA hotlines.
Anthony TC Chan
Chairman and Chief of Service
Department of Clinical Oncology
Prince of Wales Hospital
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Saw an article that says, HK babies are born with higher levels of mercury when the expectant mothers consume high amounts of fish, even though the fish does not contain high amounts of mercury. It is because Chinese intake of fish is quite high! I love fish as well, but this is an alarming find by scientists. Although I am hoping to blame the seafood caught. I tend to eat the fins, fish skin and the head (if there is one), and leave the meat to others. It's the same whether is fried or steamed. Pan-fried sole fish are nice, as the outter bones are crunchy and quite fragrant. Whereas sea fish like seabass are really nice when steamed and covered in ginger and scallions... mmm... I am not a fan of spicy sauce over steamed fish however. Sweet and sour sauce is nice though. Oh, don't forget preserved vegetables sprinkled over the steamed fish as well.
I've always wanted to get HK ID card. But I am only eligable for 6 months temp id card, which means I have to make a trip back every 6 months to sign papers. (I know some of you will say that is tragic! ;) ) But it is alot of hassle, and expensive especially if you are travelling from Ireland. But HK is bringing new id cards which are smartcards, so it will be like the Octopus cards I speak fondly of in my blogs, I was so spoilt with the public transport in HK, and then I come back to Ireland to all this waiting for delayed train/buses... Well here is the link to the HK SAR government site telling you info on what is coming with these new smart cards - New Smart Identity Card for HK residents. I just can't wait. Mom told me that the new cards will be for people over 30 first, but I will make my way to HK in the next year or two... I'll try to update as much as I can about this in future blogs.
Thanks to Hoy Yee Chan, I got a little more information for Chinese people. There is a Saturday Chinese school taught by a priest.
Also there is the Irish Chinese Information Centre (ICIC). Can someone add the adress and other info regarding this at the IBC message board - Information for Chinese People? More info like where the ICIC and the Chinese school is located. I cannot locate any webpage for ICIC. Maybe as I mentioned to Hoy Yee Chee that it would be a good idea to have a webpage set up for ICIC. I would love to do it, but I am having problems finding information as it is, and I am hoping that my Information for Chinese topic on my message board would accumalate as much information as I can, so I can actually create a whole web page of its own.
Look at what I found while searching (trying to) for Chinese sites in Ireland - http://chinese.meetup.com. It is an international Chinese Langauge meetup, and there is one soon in Dublin. Unfortunately, it is all Mandarin. I want to learn Mandarin, but I want to learn to read/write Chinese first. But right now, I want all my websites to be revamped. But when is the question! Heh! The FAQ is on that page as well, to answer all questions regarding what is "Chinese Language Meetup Day"?
See following article - Amoy's Chinese New Year Celebration in Dublin
What is it with HK people and keeping more than 1 pet in a small flat? A funny thing happened while I was in HK, I was heading out of the flat with my BF, and waiting for the lift. When the lift doors opened, I saw 2 large dogs (breed like lassie) and a smaller dog! The lift was not that big but the person who owns the dogs told us to go in, even though we were not sure of getting in. My aunt told me that the block of flats I am staying in, lots of people own pets. The thing that horrified me the most was when I asked what if the dogs barks and stuff. Aunt says that they arevery good, but they were cruelly trained, shocked when they were puppies to stop them barking, or do something to their voiceboxes. Thing is the HK people love their pets to bits, and they almost always buy pure breeds. I visited a pet store (one of many in Mongkok), and the kittens I saw were really frightened, although they were kept in very clean environment, but they looked like they wanted to go home with me... sigh... And HK people are chinchilla mad. You can pay upto HK$2000 for a champagne or an indigo coloured. And there were puppies (awww), hamsters, rabbits etc... And boy were the aquarium shops that sell fish impressive. But keeping a pet in such a cramp environment to me is still not right. They should be able run around in a garden (ok, for a dog or a cat). Well, that is my view. They are so crazy in HK!
..of foreigners. I thought it was the Chinese in particular. But from Markcity blog about how Japanese view foreigners are as equally frightening.
My own blog - Article on HK chinese view on non-Chinese.
Chinglish is not what I thought it would be. I thought it meant an overseas born Chinese speak Chinese and English together, or smething like that! But not according to Beijing seeks to root out 'Chinglish', which includes a link to a BBC news article.
Found a good article showing how HK Chinese feel about non-Chinese people in HK, and how biased they are to overseas born Chinese who has full qualifications in teaching English. If a foreign white person with the same qualifications is favoured over the overseas Chinese person.
It shows how HK Chinese are finding it harder to cope and adapt to other cultures in HK. When Chinese people move abroad, we adapt then, to the culture we move in. We learn the language, and adopt the way things are done. But we like to be quietly accepted by the locals. We don't make a fuss, complain as much (but that does not mean we do not complain, just to our own selves.
But back to the article of how HK people view oversea born Chinese and foreigners. The writer is a bit annoyed with how things are percieved over in HK. But a good read anyhow - http://www.jademagazine.com/22iss_poon.html
HK students are under so much pressure to do better in school, so they can get into University (not just any 3rd level colleges). I just hear from my cousins once in a while, and the pressure was immense. They have tutorials, mid-terms and summer schools. Trying to get in the top 10 of the class (or year). Only decimal points away from the next student fighting for the top grades. The A-levels is like the biggest event for all HK Chinese students every year. The rush for places then, now that is unheard of over here. The subjects and exams (and the amount of work) is much lower here. If the HK students are good at languages as they are in academic subjects, how are we going to compete with them?
But we have less school hours, longer summer holidays, and less homework. Why aren't more people going to Univeristy here then? But the following article just raises the point, that overseas Chinese are lucky to study here.
HK parents' mentality 'poses threat to youth job schemes'.
I grew up in Limerick and went to the University of Limerick. I have been working in Dublin for over 3 and a half years. Since I work in Dublin, I would go home to Limerick twice a month (or there-abouts!) . What I heard from my dad was not very nice last night just after getting train down from Dublin.
My dad was already very tired, as he was up all day and was quite busy. He was picking up my youngest brother from school. So as any parent, he drove to pick him up. There was a small gap in front of my dad's parked car, but not enough for a car, and low and behold, when my dad came out to get into the car with my brother, some inconsiderate person in a small car managed to wriggle partially into the space, and the back-end was sticking out blocking the driver's side. My dad rapped the driver of the said car lightly. The person looked up and my dad asked politely for him to move the car so my dad can go in. Well, this person just picked up the papers and proceeded to read it ignoring my dad! At this stage in the story I was getting worried for my father as he has a heart condition and it was looking like it may be leading to an argument. Dad continued on with the events that unfolded. My dad rapped on the window, no response. A harder rap, the person rolled down the window and said what was the problem? "What was the problem?", the nerve! My dad proceeded to explain the situation, and he said my dad should have parked on the other side of the road. My dad was getting infuriated, and said he was there first and would not have realised that someone may actually try and park in that space. The person replied to my dad and told him to go and try and get into the car via the passenger seat, and went back to his paper. Well, my dad could not believe it, in this day and age, especially since we were part of the local community for the nearly 20 years. My dad asked one more time, and what is to be done now. The person started up the car, wriggled a bit more and left barely enough room for a person to get into the dirver's seat.
I was so worried when my dad told this story, what if something happened to him. I would have taken that person's registration and would love to have brought them to court for causing mental anguish and distress to my dad. How can anyone treat another person like that. How can people be so ignorant. We are part of community which should not treat each other like this. Kids go to the same school should not see this happening, what would they think. But in general, I think that person is just plain rude. They should do some documentary like "Bowling for Columbine" Limerick style, a bit of logic to bring out the dumbness in some folks who are not kind to others.
I was just thinking (again!). Maybe the overseas Chinese are more materialistic than HK people.
Just think, Chinese people overseas, far away from other Chinese friends and relatives in HK (China, whichever way you think). We pay through the roof to watch Chinese tv, double the price for CDs, movies and food. 20 years ago, we would get Chinese supplies once a year! At least that has changed. But back to materialism, why is it so prodominent in Chinese people? The main thing is MONEY. Wealth plays such a big part of Chinese people's lives, no matter how big or small. It shows what car, house, how successful a business (big or small) you own. And a family, all Chinese kids have to attend University. And Chinese women, all they care about the amount of expensive jewellary they have, and how their own family is better than anyone. Believe me, it is a really horrid conversation to be in. Who cares! Just living comfortably and be modest. What with the Rolexes and stuff, boy! From what I see and hear, the less well off a Chinese person is, the more they blag about their family, and the louder they are. Why? I am just sick and tired of people like that, and they do exist. Wonder if that is the reason why I don't have many Chinese friends. But I do know that IBCs like me feel the same as well.
I was curious in finding what material there is out there on Irish-Chinese in Ireland. And I was surprised to find that there are hardly anything at all. I have been mailng around to Doras and other online sites to see what I need to do to get my Irish born Chinese site in the directories. I have registered my site in google, so hopefully by next month I can see my site in there somewhere.
Now that we are in the 21st century, do overseas Chinese have enough influence from Chinese culture?
For young people who are still at home, and are lucky enough to have satellite to get the Chinese Channel, influence is not as big as curiosity to watch some programmes on the Channel. Tv dramas are just addicted, so leaving that aside, what else is there? For me, when I visit my parents in the weekends, I would watch the daily news, and maybe some gossip programmes. Younger viewers can watch cartoons in the morning, and there are many children's programmes (which actually is a bit cringey), but I noticed that my brothers are either playing console games, or watching children's programmes on BBC, Network2, Sky One etc... I think it is the difference of cultures. One big thing is family. If the whole family speaks in their native Chinese tongue (whether it is Cantonese, Hakka, Mandarin etc) it brings the family together. For me, I feel proud to be able to speak in Cantonese, and go back to HK and talk to my relatives. It makes me want to know more about the Chinese culture such as superstition, history and the differences between living here and over there. I had a very good experience back in 1999, I went to my mom's village for a celebration (Da Jiu), it does not happen often. See piccies at http://www.hyper.150m.com/photo_pages/holiday/HK.htm It was fun and was very new to me. I just hope that other young people also feels the same way as I do. Proud to be Chinese.
My life long dream is to live and work in HK when I was really young. (I dreamt of that when I was in 6th class!) But as I grew older, I notice certain things that HK culture may not be my piece of cake...
I have wondered what it is like to live in HK, and work there of course. HK people are hard-working, that is true. HK people are also very, very materialistic (like any other cosmopolition city nowadays). I am materialistic as well since I have, as they say, some Chinese blood running through me, but I am from a different culture, and the extent of materialism is somehow different. Working in a city in HK can be harsh, they would judge you even more on how you would look, what you wear (and if you are a lass, what jewellary you have) and being very rude indeed. I was looking around for information on hiking in HK and I found this site where backpackers send in their 2 cents on what it is like staying over in HK by ranking some stuff like accomadation, friendliness, scenary etc... Rudeness is still number one. I suppose it is like other cities, where people walk fast and bump into you without apolagising. But one experience I would not forget while I was in a restaurant in Chinatown with my mom, my aunt and her so called friends (all originated from HK). They were trying to out-do each other in the clothes, handbags, jewellaries, son/daughter in University etc. It was hell for me. Meeting up with friends should just be chasing up on the goss (as they say in Dub, "Story, bud?", heh! Only joking). Maybe I have a wrong view of HK people, but this is what I experienced and I think I will only still love HK if I go there on holidays.