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.
“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…
Link (thanks Ed @ehoa)
Bored in Beijing? Looking for somewhere to just hang out, kick back and maybe even take a nap? If you’re like many Chinese peeps in Beijing, it sounds like it’s time to head to IKEA. Yup, IKEA the Swedish company famous for its modern and affordable furniture, has become a hugely popular hangout for locals looking to maximize on the free flow soda and ample seating.
Not that they buy much though. Lizzy Hou, 25, a university graduate who moved to Beijing in May from neighboring Hebei province for a teaching job tells the LA Times, “We want to be modern. I think IKEA stands for a kind of lifestyle. People don’t necessarily want to buy it, but they want to at least experience it.”
Indeed, the place seems a lot more like a theme park than a store, with people going there to read a book, kick off their shoes on a comfy couch, or grab a cheap and tasty lunch at the cafeteria. Others even go there to take photos, using the furniture sets as a cool and modern backdrop.
Really, only in China!
P.S. Read the full article and check out the great photo gallery! Thanks to my cousin, Darrin, for the link!
Posted in China, Culture, Strange News
Tagged Beijing, China, Furniture, IKEA, Lifestyle, News, Relaxation, Shopping, Swedish
Big news for Asians around the world yesterday as South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun, 37, became the first Asian player to win a PGA major title. Yang, who learned golf in South Korea before coming to America, made a stunning victory against Tiger Woods this weekend.
According to AP, “Woods was 14-0 when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round of a major. He had never lost any tournament on American soil when leading by more than one shot.”
Never say never, huh. Go Yang!
Congrats to Maung Maung Gyi for his work, “Cave of Hope,” a dramatic photo featuring a young monk in prayer, snagging the highly coveted grand prize for this year’s Nikon’s International Photo Contest. Results for this contest were announced last week. I stumbled upon this beautiful shot while doing some research for work on Nikon, the camera technology company founded in Japan.
In light of this week’s saddening verdict on Burmese pro-democracy heroine Aung San Suu Kyi, this picture, to me, served as a poignant reminder for us to maintain hope for Burma’s future despite the country’s ongoing political dissent.
Posted in Burma, Politics
Tagged Arts, Aung San Suu Kyi, Buddhism, Burma, Cave of Hope, contests, God, Japan, Maung Maung Gyi, Monk, Myanmar, Nature, News, Nikon, Nikon International Photo Contest, Photography, Politics, Spirituality, Technology