Monday, August 23, 2010

Hong Kong tourists caught up in Manila hostage incident

Truly awful news; A tour group including 22 Hong Kong citizens was caught up in an hostage drama in Manila. Tragically 7 people have been confirmed dead in the ensuing shoot-out. No information as yet on whether the Hong Kong tourists were amongst the casualties.

Story: Evening Standard

UPDATE: Video of the incident shows what must be one of the most incompetent police operations of recent times. It is being reported that officers took 45 mins to break their way into the bus after the first shots were heard.

Story: Hong Kong Standard

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Miniature Hong Kong

Found this nice video online that shows typical views of Hong Kong but with a special camera effect that makes everything looks like it's a miniature toy set. Have a look:

Little Big City - Hong Kong Tilt Shift from Fershad Irani on Vimeo.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Large protests over attempt to 'push aside' Cantonese

Photos: China Droll

There have been reports that thousands of people in the Cantonese-speaking southern Chinese city of Guangzhou staged a peaceful protest when the government announced it would switch most local television programming to Mandarin, the official national language of China.

Beijing has promoted Mandarin for decades to unite a nation with thousands of dialects and numerous minority languages.

Cantonese is still widely spoken in the booming southern province of Guangdong, thanks in part to the spillover influence of Hong Kong's wildly successful and racy vernacular pop culture, but some people fear for its future.

Chinese newspapers and Internet sites have reported on companies where employees are fined for speaking Cantonese at work, prompting anger.

"I support Cantonese. If we don't speak it, we are shaming our ancestors," wrote "Bright Star" on the popular Chinese internet portal

I have to say, even as a rubbish Canto speaker living in England, I feel quite proud that people are willing to stand up for our language like this.

Language preservation is a contentious issue; The Communist party and its supporters see language adoption as an important tool in promoting homogeneity and unity in China. But for those whose native dialect is not Mandarin, language is a vital part of their identity and heritage.

How can China protect and - dare I say - promote local diversity in language without conflicting with its goal of homogeneity? Is that even possible?

Source: Reuters via SkyscraperCity

Related: The Changing Sound of Chinatown

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Does your family have an interesting story to tell?

Can you help, or know anyone who can?

The BBC is making a 60-minute documentary about family life, to broadcast early next year as part of BBC Two's prestigious Wonderland strand.

The film will feature families going on car trips in the UK this summer. You could be going on your holiday, or for a weekend break - to visit friends or family, or even just for a day-trip. We'd film you on your journey to and from your destination, but while you are away we will leave you alone to have a good time.

We want to make a film that reflects the diversity of the modern British family and we are on the look out for a British-Chinese family to be part of this.

We want to get to know you over the course of the trip - who you are, and what life is like for you as a family. The biggest thing for us is just that you would be happy to have us along for the ride, and want to tell us your story.

If you are going on a car journey of longer than 2 hours between July and September this year, and would like to find out more about our documentary (with no commitment necessarily to taking part), please do drop me a quick e-mail or give me a call whenever is convenient.

Please get in touch with Rebecca Arnold on 0208 008 5587 (

Monday, August 02, 2010

Have you spotted any 'Frozen in Time' places?

A request to bbc blog readers: Have you noticed any 'Frozen in Time' Chinese restaurants or takeaways where you are? If so, please take a pic and send it in! I'd love to add to the ones already posted.

'Frozen in Time' is a bbc blog celebration of Chinese establishments that have stood the test of time and kept their original look in an age of constant revamping and updating.

Click here to see what I mean.