Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gemma Chan, rising b.b.c actress

I must have seen the advert below a dozen times yet never realised the actress is a b.b.c.

The lady in question is 28 year-old Gemma Chan. She first came to public attention by reaching the final 3 in the UK version of modelling reality show Project Runway and now it seems her profile is on the rise.

As well as that Bing commercial, Chan has had roles in Dr Who, The IT Crowd, Sherlock and Secret Diary of a Call Girl. She has also had movie roles in such films as Exam and Shanghai (starring John Cusack and Gong Li).

She may be about to hit the showbiz pages again as she stars in a new independent British film called Submarine, directed by Richard Ayoade (best known as Moss from The IT crowd) which has premiered at the Sundance film festival and is getting some positive reviews.

We could be looking at another b.b.c rising star!

Link: Gemma Chan official website

Link: Gemma Chan, Wikipedia

Related: Maye Choo joins the growing list of British Asians in the media

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shenzhen becoming more expensive than Hong Kong

Not long ago, traveling to Shenzhen was a popular excursion for Hong Kongers wanting cheap deals on goods and services. The region became a synonymous with 'bargain' and some Hong Kongers even relocated there to take advantage of lower property prices and living costs.

But now inflation on the mainland plus the rising value of the yuan against the Hong Kong dollar mean prices are now often lower in the SAR.

The flow of shopping tourists is starting to flow the other way, with excursions from Shenzhen to Hong Kong rapidly increasing - especially in the run up to Chinese New Year. Shoppers are not just after luxury or one-off purchases. Even daily food shopping works out roughly 20-30% cheaper in HK. As the Hong Kong Standard describes:

In Diamond Hill's Hollywood Plaza, Shenzhen resident Irene Lai Yen-fen, 28, arrived with a busload of 40 shoppers yesterday, the third Lunar New Year shopping group to visit the mall.

In less than 30 minutes, her shopping bag was full with dried seafood bought for more than HK$1,000.

Looks like the days of cheap shopping trips to Shenzhen are over... for now, at least!

Story: Mainlanders bus to HK in blitz on malls

Related: HK Prices Now Cheaper Than Shenzhen: Shoppers Flock the Other Way

Friday, January 21, 2011

A complete guide to sushi etiquette

I'm sure that like me, many readers enjoy eating sushi. But are you aware of the many customs and rules that go along with this cuisine?

Exactly how much soy sauce should you use? Precisely how much wasabi? What should you say (and not say) to the chef when ordering?

Watch this helpful short film to find out the answers to these and many other questions.

PS This film may not be entirely serious ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Did you catch the BBC children's programme based around Chinese/Asian characters?

Well, this is very rare indeed! 'Spirit Warriors' is an action-based drama for children that aired last year on the CBBC (Children's BBC) channel. It draws on Chinese legends and mythology and features a mainly East Asian cast.

I think it's really good for young bbc kids to be able to watch TV and see Chinese/East Asian faces in such prominent roles (as opposed to bit parts). Check out the brief trailer below and see what you think. Hopefully the series will be re-run soon:

Longer clips and more info can be found on the official BBC website.

The creator of Spirit Warriors is an award winning British born Chinese script writer called Jo Ho and her series is now in the running for Best Children's Programme 2011! Well done, Jo!

Link: Jo Ho profile on Visible Chinese

Link: Spirit Warriors, CBBC

Link: Jo Ho feature on