Author Archives: suzieleung

How to find a girlfriend in China

All the single ladies, all the single ladies!  Well, and single guys too.  Yesterday, bachelors and bachelorettes in Hangzhou flocked to a grand blind date party, scouring personal ads hung clothes-line-style to find that special someone.  The event, which was televised nationwide, is one of many blind date parties becoming popular in China.

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Check out the full gallery here!

Suzie

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Happy Diwali from President Obama!

Happy Diwali, everyone!  Emily, Amy and I grew up in Singapore, where Diwali (we call it Deepavali, the Tamil pronunciation of the word) is a public holiday so I was pretty stoked to find that President Obama gave a special Diwali message today.  Check it out!

Suzie

Bittersweet North and South Korean reunions

The last time Lee Hye-gyong saw her mom was when she was 16, almost six decades ago.  Now 75, she was given the chance to reunite with her family after the 1950-53 Korean war.  Her mom is 100.

Last month, 200 families from North and South Korea, 100 from each side, were randomly selected for a rare opportunity to reunite with long-lost loved ones.  But the briefness of it all made the meetings exceptionally emotional.

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“We had five reunion sessions in total, spending two hours with my sister each time, in addition to a one-hour farewell meeting,” younger sister, 62-year-old Lee Kyong-hee, said in her reunification story.  “The moment Hye-gyong entered the reunion hall, I recognized her immediately even though she looks very different from what I remember about her appearance.”

While some critics say these reunification programs are cruel because the meetings are so short and communication after the reunion is still banned, others insist that it’s a step towards reconciliation between the two countries.

Click here to watch a video of the reunions. Be warned, you need tissues for this.

Suzie

Chinese senior citizens break it down in hip hop dance-off

Apparently hip hop is getting popular among the 50+ folks in China…

Funny, I just had a convo with my coworker about how her 95-year old grandpa sends her emails, and how my 85-year old grandma swims for two hours every morning.  Seriously, these senior citizens are making us young’uns look bad!

Suzie

(Thanks Lydia for the link!)

The real Couples Retreat: Malaysia’s beach mends rocky marriages

I wonder if this is where they got the idea for the newly-released movie, Couples Retreat.  In hopes of slowing the state’s soaring divorce rates, Terengganu, in north-east Malaysia, is offering troubled couples a three-day “second honeymoon” free of charge at one of its gorgeous beaches.  The offer is worth about US$440, and interested couples must apply, interview and agree to marital counseling.  So far, the Muslim-majority state has already done a pilot program with 25 couples, attempting to mend relationships on the brink of divorce.

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“I want to strengthen family ties. If a marriage breaks down, it will hurt the children and it will have serious implications on society,” Ashaari Idris, a government official in Terengganu, said.

Growing up in Singapore–just an hour away from Malaysia–I can personally attest to the soothing power of Malaysia’s amazing beaches.  But I wonder if it’s really possible to fix a rocky marriage in just three days??

Suzie

Link

Fobulous trends: Mandarin classes in Liberia

I’ve always said the romance languages are way overrated, and the language to learn is actually Chinese.  Well, looks like locals in Liberia are moving in the right direction–at least in my fobby opinion.  The newest trend in this West African country seems to be Mandarin classes.

It only makes sense, though.  China has a huge role in the economic development of this war-torn country, from rebuilding roads with funding from the World Bank, to running hotels and restaurants.  And naturally, Liberians are realizing increasingly that Mandarin is a necessity.

Liberia Chinese Class

“Traditionally, we Liberians are closer to the Americans than we are to the Chinese, but the irony is that the Chinese are more open to us than the Americans are,” 57-year-old John K. Cooper, who works for a local youth development center, and is one of 15 students in the Mandarin class that began this week, told AP.

“Americans know and have technologies, but they are not yet ready to bring them to Africa. The Chinese are doing just that,” he added.

In fact, the Chinese firm China Union recently became Liberia’s largest investor ever.  China Union signed a $2.6 billion agreement earlier this year to go into the iron ore business in a town about 30 miles north of Monrovia.  Africa’s trade with China reached more than $100 billion in 2008 and has multiplied by 10 since 2001, according to the African Economic Outlook.

I’m telling ya, everyone needs some Mandarin skillz…

Suzie

Link (thanks Ed @ehoa)

Swine flu mask + Armani style = Anti-swine flu suit

Repelling swine flu never looked so hot.  This week in Japan, menswear company Haruyama Trading announced the launch of its stylish anti-swine flu suit.  The wool suit is coated with titanium dioxide, which chemically breaks down virus, mold and odor molecules on contact when exposed under sunlight.  The effect is supposed to last even after the suit is washed more than 20 times.

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The suit costs about US$590 and “will go on sale from Saturday mainly at Haruyama stores across the country,” according to the Manichi Daily News.

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If you think this is cool, check out Haruyama’s other stuff, like their waterproof suit.  Too bad they only sell in Japan!

Suzie

Link