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

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

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

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

How to get super fat- a Chinese love story with food

Its been a few days in Beijing and I am not quite sure if what I am eating is real food. Just in case you havent heard, the recent food cases in China include: 1. Watermelons injected with some food hormone until they burst from ‘overgrowing’                   … Continue reading

Youth identity in UN and World Bank policies

Here is the latest article from one of my pieces of research over the last year. It examines how youth are often portrayed as trouble makers or victims. In conflict situations it gets a bit more complicated, with many development agencies preferring images of children dying in order to secure more donations, or at the … Continue reading

Modern day slavery and its forgotten victims

When I think of slavery, for some reason I think about William Wilberforce, the American Civil War and Rosa Parks.  And then the assumption that follows is that slavery is now well and truly abolished. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be more wrong. Human trafficking is an approximately USD 60 billion dollar (in profits) industry, with an … Continue reading

Flash mob hakas- New Zealand going Rugby wild!

Here is a really great insight into the Kiwi mentality and rugby craze storming through New Zealand right now. The Rugby World Cup begins end of this week with New Zealand’s first game and so it is fitting that the atmosphere is piping hot with excitement right now. To get a sense of this excitement, … Continue reading

Where children sleep

Check this out: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/where-children-sleep/ “As a child, that’s your little space within the house,” Mr. Mollison said. Kaya, 4, lives with her parents in a small Tokyo apartment. James Mollison Kaya’s bedroom. Mr. Mollison’s new book, “Where Children Sleep,” had its origins in a project undertaken for a children’s charity several years ago. As he … Continue reading

The killing fields of Cambodia- short video

This a rough video of my visit to the Choeung Ek killing fields. 17 Rotary World Peace Fellows, as part of their 3 month fellowship with the Peace Centre at Chulalongkorn University, visited Cambodia this August 2011 to learn more about the post-conflict reconstruction work taking place there. As part of our field trip, we … Continue reading

Reflecting on the Cambodian psyche

Cambodia is a fascinating but broken country. At its peak, Angkor was a thriving city with a million inhabitants and 300 temples just within its 400km2 area, with the reach of the Khmer empire extending to Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. The Khmer empire was undoubtedly a powerful nation. The walls of Bayon temple … Continue reading

Confessions of a recovering racist- part 2

I am a racist, I must confess. If you read my recent post on “The Price of Democracy in Malaysia”, you could be forgiven if you thought this blog was called “My Confessions”. Yes, I am a recovering racist, and this is my confession: It has only been under a week since the historic 9 … Continue reading