• on peace-building, youth, identity and culture

    Bridge-building between people and places is important for encouraging dialogue and mutual understanding. But it requires more ambassadors and peace-builders in foreign places and unfamiliar areas (including geographical, philosophical, academic and political arenas).

    This blog examines:
    'Identity' - we must understand our 'Self' before we can begin to understand 'Others'

    'Peace-building' - the 'art' of bringing people together

    'Youth'- peace can only be achieved when our future generations are empowered and mobilised to bring positive change to our communities.

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A Christian response to human trafficking

This is something I wrote last year, reflecting on the issue of human trafficking . It was published recently in Canvas magazine, page 8  which you can check out at this link: http://www.tscf.org.nz/publications/issue_63_autumn_2012 I have also uploaded it here – Christianity in the Public Square -in case you can’t access the website. The pages  6-7 … Continue reading

Cuandixia- 500 year old Ming Dynasty village

Cuandixia was an unexpected surprise. At the doorstep of Beijing, this 500 year old village harking back to the Ming Dynasty is still ‘alive and well’ and still holds many descendents of the Han family that founded this village. A perfect weekend away would involve 2 nights stay at Cuandixia, sipping beers while playing cards … Continue reading

The Masters of Beijing- Part 1

In China, you come across interesting occupations, identities and roles that you normally don’t see outside China. For that reason, I am starting a new series documenting these very interesting people. Here is my first attempt at sharing about these people.  Obviously meant to be tongue in cheek =)   Related China posts:   Chinese … Continue reading

Tips for job hunting in China

From my time in China, I have found it to be a completely different job market from what I am used to elsewhere. In New Zealand, UK, USA etc, you are likely to find most vacancies posted on popular job sites and you can generally expect a response to your job applications. Not the case … Continue reading

A walk through a traditional Chinese hutong

This is a walk through one of the few preserved hutongs on China. Hutongs are small alleyways but are also taken to refer to the traditional architecture of old China.                       I would describe hutongs as ‘quaint’. Cooling in summer but freezing in winter. And … Continue reading

Chair skating on Houhai lake, Beijing

Here is a video of our first chair skating experience in China. Chair skating involves one or two people sitting on small chairs (same size as kindergarten chairs) and using ice poles to skate across frozen lakes and rivers. If you look closer, the ice poles are actually screwdrivers welded to metal rods. While most … Continue reading

Chinese New Year in Beijing

This year we spent Chinese New Years (CNY) doing what most Beijingers don’t do- we stayed in Beijing. Most people either leave for their hometowns or go vacationing elsewhere to escape the constant sound of fireworks. However, I think Chinese New Year in Beijing is absolutely wonderful. The streets are deserted, the air is relatively … Continue reading

Occupy Fangzi: A lesson for Beijing renters (funny)

This is such pure genius, that I simply must share this story. If you live in China, you know that sometimes there are ‘China Days’. Sometimes China wins, sometimes you win. This is a story of how one ingenious waiguoren (foreigner) mum living in Beijing managed to overcome a difficult renting situation and made sure … Continue reading

Top 11 Kids who made a difference- activists and geniuses!

In research about youth identity, you commonly read about how children are often regarded as voiceless and powerless beings. Click Top 11 Kids who made a Difference to read about something different! This slideshow and commentary of Top 11 Kids who made a Difference clearly shows this is far from the truth. The fact that … Continue reading

Trafficking in China

Two months ago, I gave a presentation on human trafficking in South East Asia. This was the first time I had presented on the issue in China, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. The audience was largely young professionals- some expats, some local Chinese– with some university students as well. Everything went well … Continue reading

Malaysia’s Obedient Wives Club

You may already have read or heard about the Obedient Wives Club, but if not, it is worth watching this video. While the salacious aspects of their claims may have caught headlines, I am more concerned about the Club’s view of a marriage relationship. What most concerns me is the club’s emphasis on: 1. the … Continue reading

Overview of China in ten minutes

Below is a good ten minute video on the main facts about China. The points that are most true for me are: 1. Every 5 days, a new skyscraper is completed and you can see this in Beijing. People who were in Beijing 5 years ago are known to exclaim at how everything is different … Continue reading

What can businesses do to combat slavery- the Mekong Club

In this interview with CNN, Matt Friedman provides an overview of how businesses can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. He notes that business people will have technological know how and ideas that can provide a real difference. He uses the example of the iPhone app which helps police communicate with trafficked … Continue reading

What can I do to make a difference to combat slavery?

There are many interesting initiatives combating human trafficking and slavery around the world. Today I spoke to a group of young professionals on Human Trafficking around the world and had a discussion specifically on human trafficking in China. It was really great to engage on how we can all make a difference. In my view, … Continue reading