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December 2011



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oung love, sometimes anguished, sometimes euphoric, is probably the most complex of all relationships. This issue of Youth Hong Kong explores young relationships by speaking to four couples from very diverse backgrounds. Readers can enjoy the wry comments of a young mainland writer discussing expectations, and find out more about difficult relationships. There are case studies and statistics from surveys done by HKFYG and other organizations indicating trends and changing attitudes. We also examine the new phenomena of online and speed dating as well as special features of dating in Hong Kong. We hope you will enjoy this Christmas issue, not entirely lighthearted, and be reminded of your own experiences. Please feel free to write in and let us know what you think. As we wind down the year, allow me to wish you, on behalf of everyone at Youth Hong Kong, all blessings for the Season and a Happy New Year!

Dr Rosanna Wong, DBE, JP Executive Director, HKFYG December 2011

Youth Hong Kong


Trying to unlock relationships

Oh relationships! From our first shy attractions in school, to the dream of the perfect partner, it seems we are forever seeking to find, fine-tune or finalize that perfect relationship. We long to disprove Shakespeare when he wrote, the course of true love never did run smooth as we look toward that perfectly happy ending. But reality! There are always challenges, difficulties, adjustments and tensions. Sometimes we overcome them. At other times we need help. Sometimes we are lucky. Often we dont know exactly what we want. This issue of Youth Hong Kong attempts to unlock the door on relationships through the eyes and hearts of young people.

December 2011

It's so easy, To think about love, To talk about love, To wish for love, But it's not always easy, To recognize love, Even when we hold it In our hands. Victor Hugo
Changing attitudes
Most local young people in their 20s are quite worldly-wise and surveys done this year show attitudes to partners are changing, especially in women. Young women here used to have the reputation of caring more about money than good looks in partners and more about a potential partners career prospects than his demonstrativeness, but intriguing figures show that this is less and less true. A survey4 of the 26-40 age group found that 45% of Hong Love padlocks

Later dating
Hong Kongs post-80s generation is more relaxed about relationship choices than their parents were but their first experiences with girlfriends and boyfriends come quite late. Many students spend spare time studying instead of dating, in sharp contrast with the West where falling in and out of love is a normal part of growing up and the majority of teens not only date but have sex too.1

Young people are in no great hurry... they care about shared values and attitudes

Kong women would now consider dating a man who earns less than themselves although over two-thirds expect the man to pay on the first date. When it comes to looks, again attitudes are changing. 25% of

By mid-way through Hong Kong secondary school, most teenagers know about the mechanics of sex but only about a twelfth are sexually experienced, according to the Hong Kong Family Planning Association.2 counterparts. Teens say they lack information on how to cope with real life relationships.3 In this way they share views with their overseas

men here say they would end a relationship if their partner became overweight or obese but the vast majority of Hong Kong women are more tolerant, saying they would standby their man, thick or thin, if they really loved him. Surprise findings in another recent report5 revealed that 50% of over 500 women aged 18-40 were fine with premarital sex and 40% said they had sex when unmarried. [For more statistics generated by HKFYG surveys, see pages 24-27.]


Tending towards freedom

There is a trend towards later marriage. Busy lives often do not leave much time for traditional courtship, let alone meeting many potential suitors. Women and men get married for the first time before 29 and 32, respectively. So the golden age for marriage is still considered to be late 20s to early 30s and there is pressure to seek partners at that age. However, well educated, career-minded Hong Kong women in their 20s and 30s are financially independent and no longer think of marriage in terms of economic security. They consider Hong Kong a suitable environment for singlehood and are not interested in being subservient. Sheng nu ( or leftover women) is a term widely used in mainland China to describe single, professional females over 25. Those aged 30-35 are bi sheng ke ( or must be leftbehinds) and women over 35 are qi tian da sheng ( or heavenly leftovers). These derogatory terms are intended as a warning that spinsterhood beckons if women do not marry by the time they turn 30.

Cross-border demographics
Hong Kong young peoples choice of partners is extended because of the proximity of mainland China. Young men have tended to look towards China for a possible bride, believing women there to be more submissive. However, recent studies reveal that young locals are no longer predominantly predisposed to seek mainland partners.6 They say that differences in lifestyle and personality are a disincentive. 40% of 26-30 year-olds say they are willing to marry someone from across the border but 47% are not.7 However, women seek partners in China because there are more men there. The ratio of women to men in Hong Kong in 2010 was 1000:881.

The young couples interviewed for this issue of Youth Hong Kong say that reciprocity is important in their relationships. Some traditional attitudes to marriage and children persist but the city is following a world-wide trend when it comes to finding the right person. Young people are in no great hurry to saddle themselves with families. They care about shared values and attitudes. Some are more conservative than others, but the majority want to enjoy their freedom while they can. ?

Sources 1 Manning, WD. Adolescents involvement in non-romantic sexual activity. Social Science Research 24 (2005): 384-407. 2 The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. Report of Youth Sexuality Study 2006. FPAHK, 2009. This survey is conducted every 5 years. The 2011 survey is now underway. 3 Hong Kongs Education Bureau plans to implement a new subject on interpersonal relationships. 4 Survey of over 1,895 people in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, August-September 2011. 450 respondents were from Hong Kong, nearly 80% aged 26- 40, over 86% were degree holders, over 90% had never been married. 5 Lau, S. Premarital sex shows signs of casting off taboo. South China Morning Post 15 October 2011. 6 Hong Kong Institute of Education Roundtable and Powersoft Consultancy survey. April-May, 2011. 724 respondents aged 16-35. Monthly%20Survey_Topic%203.pdf [in Chinese] Reports by Deng, A. China Daily Clips. and Lee, S. The Standard. 1 June 2011. 7 Fei, M. China Daily Clips. 25 October 2011.

Youth Hong Kong


Dating, Hong Kong style

Forms of dating that are popular with young people in Hong Kong include ICQ, online and speed dating. They are all technology-dependent but some, such as karaoke dating have a light, unique feel that makes them quite special to local circumstances.
Young people in Hong Kong nourish their relationships with the opposite sex in many of the same ways as people all around the world. They hang out in comfortable public places like parks and shopping malls. They go to the movies and they barbecue at the beach. They love taking photos to share with friends on Facebook, eating together, relaxing in cafs or anywhere they can find some personal space of their own. Being Hongkongers, they also have some hi-tech ways of keeping in touch, and some touching ways of telling each other they care.

Photo by he(art)geek (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

December 2011

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards." Benjamin Franklin

HKFYG has conducted several surveys on relationships, including online dating. Findings are highlighted on pages 24-27.


Care with karaoke

Karaoke is very popular with all ages in Hong Kong. It costs little and offers a way to let off steam and be self-expressive. Because the citys apartments are small, entertaining at home is rather difficult. Karaoke in a private room has obvious appeal. It also fits Hong Kongs celebrity-obsessed culture and Cantopop love songs match the favoured karaoke profile well.

Ambivalence online
Online dating is the internet equivalent of personal ads in the newspapers. Given its apparent potential to match up ideal couples, its popularity is hardly surprising. Some companies claim over 80% probability of success. The number of Hongkongers who say they have tried some form of online dating is climbing. Among the under 40s, its up from 36% in 2010 to 43% in 2011, significantly higher than in a current major US survey, where 21% of 18-24 year-olds and 32% of 25-34 year-olds say they have used a dating website. 1 However, as one young commentator said, everyone I know who has got involved with someone they met online would say it was a huge disappointment. After all, who is going to put their worst pictures online? The whole time I did online dating I made sure I looked really gorgeous in all my pictures.

Photo by Ed-meister (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

As an aficionado writes, Its fun and helps you get rid of your inhibitions. But when I first went to do karaoke with my boyfriend I had to keep his comfort level in mind. I didnt really know if he was interested in singing or was just being polite when I suggested it. I told him it was fine as a spectator sport too but that the main thing was that we could be alone, in our space for once At the vast majority of karaoke clubs, sometimes known as K-boxes in Hong Kong, you can rent a private room and croon love songs with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Think of the opportunities it offers for expressing all sorts of emotions, from break-ups to unrequited love. In a city where space and privacy are at a premium, this kind of dating has really taken off.

One 2009 survey3 found over 60% young people met friends via discussion forums, instant messaging or social networking sites. Amongst them, a fifth said they would form an intimate sexual relationship with an online friend. Young people tend to seek fun and fantasy in love relationships which may explain this.

Photo by Don Hankins (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

Men and women who date online frequently lie, according to a 2011 survey2 of 1,000 singles commissioned by the online dating community. 58% of the respondent women lied about their looks and 20% used old photographs to make themselves look younger. 32% lied about their jobs to make themselves seem more glamorous. Over 40% of men were also inclined to lie about their jobs and their appearance.

Youth Hong Kong


Sceptical about speed dating

Speed dating was introduced to Hong Kong as a commercial operation in 2002. Single young people buy tickets and pair off at parties organized by companies that also offer to help clients improve their personal style and dress sense in order to increase their chance of finding a partner. Couples meet and interact for five to ten minutes. No matter how much they might be enjoying talking to the person they are with, once the specified time limit is reached they have to move on to the next possible prospective partner. Rabbi Yaacov Deyo supposedly created the concept in 1999 as a way for Jewish people to meet each other in predominately non-Jewish areas. Speed dating then rapidly caught on in the West and has spread around the world. According to a survey done by RTHK and Baptist University, 13% of respondents in their 30s had tried speed dating.4 Its advantage, apart from speed, is that it circumvents face-to-face rejection. Critics argue that it is based almost wholly on first impressions, and so is inevitably superficial, as well as commercial, and can be misleading.

A young correspondent commented: The speed dating event I joined was organized by a psychologist who used scientific matchmaking. A screening process selected compatible partners according to factors such as education, income, height and habits. There were also ice-breaking games which put like people together according to their drawings. Because Hong Kong has far more eligible females than males, some of the boys were fake candidates. They were actually friends of the organizer. I would give this experience a mixed rating. It was fun to meet different kinds of people but I wouldnt say it could lead to my next romance. Words of advice, if you try it, go in with an open mind. Dont be on a mission to find Mr or Miss Right. After all, you and science cant hurry love.

December 2011

Up to date on ICQ
ICQ has been in and out of fashion with young people but the latest smartphone app for ICQ (I seek you) has brought it back into the limelight. The fact that ICQ, especially on smartphones, allows intimacy to develop in private, with relative ease, gives it definite appeal. The dense living conditions of Hong Kong are, again, a significant factor. However, a report on adolescent use of ICQ published in 20095, notes that dating and intimacy on ICQ often involved lying, as did online dating in general, but that the vast majority of the participants were aware of this and enjoyed using multiple identities, as long as they did not meet face-to-face. One of them recounted: My friend searched on ICQ for a girl to be his girlfriend. He went to meet her and asked me to go with him. He was so excited. Both of them held a red flower [to recognize one another]. Before dating, they had sent their photos to each other. She was quite beautiful. However, the girl we met was not like the one in the photoWhen my friend saw he threw the flower away and we left

Photo by Don Hankins (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Photo by Piedra Lubitsch (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

OK ICQ speeddating

Caution on compensated dating

A current phenomenon in Hong Kong, as a basic concept it has existed since time immemorial, known variously as escorting and prostitution. In its modern guise, it originated in Japan, where it is known as enjo-ksai. Compensated dating in Hong Kong today usually involves older men giving money or luxury gifts to teenagers, often students, in compensation for companionship and, often, sexual favours. Usually a prior arrangement is made online between a man and a girl. Teenage boys are also sometimes involved. Because compensated dating is generally arranged online, it does not attract undue attention. Some of the girls (and boys) are freelance, others are controlled by syndicates and can charge clients anywhere from HK$800 to double that, with middlemen getting about HK$200300 per transaction.6 One in three Hong Kong teenagers in a 2009 Hong Kong Christian Service survey7 of nearly 600 said they would consider selling sex for money. 60% of those who said they would contemplate compensated dating would do it mainly to earn quick cash. 23% said they would do it for their own sexual gratification. The survey came after a 24-yearold man was jailed for life for murdering a 16-year-old girl he met on the internet.8 To curb teenage compensated dating, the police launched Operation Whale Diver In July 2011, in the third phase of Operation Whale Diver, 19 males and 7 females were arrested.9 Students are at risk, not only from potential sexually transmitted diseases, but also personal safety and, if caught, a criminal record for soliciting sex.
Sources 1 dcaae35 2 3 Apple Daily. 13 July 13 2009. Caritas Youth and Community Service survey. 4 Hong Kong Baptist University School of Journalism web broadcast on speed dating at 5 Chan, ZCY & Cheuk, W. Exploratory study on adolescents experiences of using ICQ. The Qualitative Report 14 (1) (2009) 1-19. 6 Police reissue compensated dating warning in China Daily (HK Edition) 5 september 2009. At 7 htm 8 A 16 year-old girls body was dismembered and flushed down the toilet in this gruesome case of compensated dating. Chiou, P. Girls sell sex in Hong Kong to earn shopping money,, 13 October 2009 hongkong.teenage.prostitution/ 9 Ming Yeung. Compensated dating swoop nabs 26 more. China Daily 29 July 2011 http:// Photo by austintatious (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h s p e a k

December 2011

Setting out together

May and Thomas have been going out together for a year. May is hesitant about their future but Thomas is already making plans. Mays mother, a single parent, has a strong influence. They explain what attracts them to each other and how they differ.
Thomas May is so kind-hearted and I think she finds me outgoing and funny. Were really very different. While she is calm and patient I am always in a hurry. May There never seems to be enough time for just the two of us. We argue about that. He also tells me all his worries about work when we are supposed to be just chatting about personal things, but he is the one who usually compromises and says sorry first. May Thomas is immature sometimes. When he lets his friends have too much influence for example. But in general we accept each others shortcomings and get over disagreements pretty quickly.

I like hanging out with my friends theres nothing to be jealous about, no other girls.
Thomas We laugh at the same things and we get on well. We both love good design and the arts. We both wanted to be qualified designers when we were at school, but I thought it was more rational to study finance and earn more. May Thomas is trying hard to save. We dont have a joint bank account or a shared saving plan. Im not ready for that. He is the one who thinks about our future and stability. I prefer to stay focused on how we are today.

Thomas I like hanging out with my friends and going for a drink. Theres nothing to be jealous about, no other girls, but May wants to spend the entire weekend with me. I have to give her a few weeks notice if I want to go out on my own! I think thats a bit immature.

Developing a relationship Youth speak


Thomas We havent talked much about marriage and Im not as family-oriented as May. Im always expected to go to her familys gatherings but I feel embarrassed because I dont have much to say and I dont think Mays mother likes me. She likes to control.

Thomas I love my freedom now but in the long term, I want a family. I think its natural. Friends dont care about you in the same way as a partner. They have their own lives. May Sometimes I dont feel easy about having a boyfriend who

May Mum is a single-parent. Shes afraid Ill get into bad company and she doesnt want me to date when I am studying. She accepts Thomas now but I know she wouldnt like it if we lived together. Actually, I dont want to share a flat with him yet. I think I should save something for marriage. We do sleep together sometimes but I dont think our relationship would last if we moved in together.

spends so much time with his friends. Im always afraid he will meet someone else. If he cheats me, Ill leave him. As a child from a singleparent family, this is my Achilles' heel. If you cheat, I leave. I know I kind of hold back. It takes me a long time before I trust a person, especially a boy. It is difficult for me to fall in love but Thomas makes me feel safe. I do trust him but marriage is still a big decision. May Thomas May May Thomas Thomas Thomas Thomas May

...this is my Achilles' heel. If you cheat, I leave.

Thomas Ill give May a surprise on day, when we get engaged, but I think we should date each other for a few more years first. If my career goes well I should be able to buy a flat for us. Ideally, May wouldnt need to work then. She could just take care of our home. May I want him to propose nicely, but the most important thing is sincerity and keeping promises. At the moment we both say we want children but I want to keep my job. I have to guarantee that I can earn enough money for myself. I dont want to rely on him totally. I think Im already dependent.

Thomas graduated in 2011 and now has a job in a bank. May is still studying part-time and works on a magazine. They first met each other while at school.

Youth Hong Kong

12 Firm commitment
Yo u t h s p e a k
William and Quinny met when studying social sciences at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. That was in 2004. They didnt start dating for another two years. Five years later, they explained how their relationship grew. Early days
Quinny When we met I had about six or seven different suitors. They proposed, but I turned them all down! I chose William because he seemed a very good person. William It was different for me. I had a car accident in 2003 and lost my memory. It made me worry about losing other things, and people. In fact, Quinny was my first date. That was when we were both 22. The way she looked really attracted me. Quinny As time goes by, its not always so easy to share all your problems. It depends on your partners reaction. I used to complain to William about work. He said I should quit if I felt like that. But it wasnt so simple. I was sharing my feelings, not a rational thought process. So I stopped complaining, even though I felt the same. William Instead of talking, Quinny writes about how she feels. Just a William We did a Gender Studies joint project about equal opportunities together and realised we shared core values, even though its not possible to be completely equal. Quinny Actually, Im quite conventional in some ways. I think a man should support the family. Ive always wanted a financially stable husband who is older than me. You see, there are some ways in which I dont want total equality! note on a card, usually with a picture. I keep all of them. Thats how she tells me about her life and it helps me understand if shes been angry.

December 2011

Good communications
William The best thing about being long-term partners is learning more about each other all the time. Relationships are like gardens. If you want them to flourish you have to nourish them every day. That means communicating daily. Actually Quinny tells me I say too much sometimes!

Equality and shared values

Quinny We discovered we both believed in reciprocity, being able to compromise and share decision-making.

We believe in reciprocity.
Resolving differences
Quinny I write the cards but I dont expect any solution!! His answers to my problems are sometimes too rational. William I have to admit that I think men and women are different in this way, but there are never simple rights and wrongs in a relationship. Nobody is perfect. You work things out. Thats how you get comfortable with each other. Quinny We come from different backgrounds and have different points of view. We cant always expect total agreement. But we always resolve arguments within 24 hours. If we disagree we say sorry the next morning after a good nights sleep.

Mature mainstream relationship Youth speak

Some traditional attitudes
William In one way we are very traditional. No sex before marriage. Many others do, but we draw the line there. Its not the right time for us. And we believe that intimacy should not be based on sex. Quinny We wouldnt ever think of having a family without being legally married. Marriage involves responsibility and a commitment to taking care of each other.


Being organized
Quinny Well both carry on working after were married though. Having a family is like running a business. You have to be well organized as well as loving. William Love is also about self-sacrifice. You have to be able to think from the other persons perspective and know how to say sorry. This is central to our relationship.

Relationships are like gardens. If you want them to flourish you have to nourish them every day.

William Quinny William Quinny

William It may seem abnormal, but thats how our relationship has developed. It doesnt mean we dont show affection. Ive learned how much simple human touch means. Quinny Parents are a big influence on behaviour. Mine are not very demonstrative, either in words or gesture, but you can still sense the relationship between them and their awareness of each others needs.

Planning ahead
William Weve decided to get married next year and two years later well think about children. After the wedding, we plan to live with my parents. Quinny We might live together for just a few months before we get married. I think that would be different from simple cohabitation because we would have already decided to marry. William In my 5-year plan, the family is central. It comes ahead of my career. My father told me that the greatest success a man can have in the world is to have his own family.

William Chan and Quinny Li are both Dragon Foundation alumni. William is currently the chairman of DragoNation, the foundations alumni association. He gave a touching presentation to a 2,000-strong audience when announcing his engagement. However, the couple say they would prefer a quiet wedding.

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h s p e a k

Cultured partners
Hong Kongs melting pot of cultures has always been a fertile place for young people from different countries to meet. In this interview, Youth Hong Kong discovers what brought one such couple together. They explain the glue that keeps them that way and how they became acculturated. How it began
Lewis is from Italy and Carmen is from Hong Kong. Both in their 20s, they knew of each other through alumni groups. They were both at the same overseas school but at different times. Lewis We met when I was in Hong Kong on business. I knew that Carmen was working at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and went there to seek her out. The first thing that struck me was her sheer happiness. I found that very attractive. Not just her looks, but her personality. I found her a very beautiful person. Carmen I was feeling very confident then, about opportunities and the future. I had just finished one relationship and wasnt yet ready for another. What attracted me to Lewis was his kind-heartedness and how thoughtful he was of others. We had such good conversations and I knew he would make a really good friend. I also found the way he kept pursuing me very attractive. He never gave up! Lewis I think the language issue will intervene when we have children. I would not like them to be brought up with English as their mother tongue because they would speak it at a different level to me and Carmen. Its also important for our children to be fluent in Cantonese and Italian. Carmen The fact that Lewis is Italian is important because I lived in Italy and understand the culture and its classical history. English is a shared second language for both of us and although Im not fluent in Italian, nor is Lewis in Cantonese, there is only a very small gap in our English.

December 2011

Shared attitudes
Lewis Both of us have had other partners from different cultures, so a cross cultural relationship was nothing really new. We are familiar with each others background and I think I know how Hong Kong works better than Carmen does. However, we share the same attitudes and values about partners, children, work and family.

English is a shared second language.

Differing roots
Carmen We do sometimes have small arguments stemming from
Photo by T.Kiya (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

cultural roots, when there is an accident, a small problem, or things dont go according to plan. My upbringing means I try to avoid mistakes like that. Lewis There is a cultural divide here. If you make mistakes or break the rules in Italy its not a big deal. Its different here. Ive also realized, when thinking about continuing to live here, that I do not want to raise children outside a normal democratic society, nor in a place where they lack much direct contact with nature.

Cross cultural relationship Youth speak


Carmen I dont feel so strongly about democracy or mother tongue issues, but I do want my children to have the things I didnt have. I remain very strongly attached to my core family here, but I think Hong Kong people in general are very narrow-minded. Hong Kong does not have enough cultural diversity.

Carmen Personally, Im not a big fan of marriage! I see us getting married one day but it doesnt have great meaning for me and the idea of marriage rituals puts me off. Parties, yes. Photos? No. Lewis Most of the rituals of engagement and marriage dont make any sense to either of us. Social standing is not an issue. Respect and sincerity are, plus agreement on marriage and children. We will probably get married when we have children. Carmen We both expect to carry on working. Im very attached to my work, professionally and personally, but children might change that. Feeling comfortable together is important, as are shared passion and sexual fulfillment. Love is most important of all.

We do have small arguments stemming from cultural roots.

Whats important
Lewis Whats important to us is love, the fact that we trust each other and have a passionate relationship with lots of fun. The only thing we lack is space! Still, we have no intention yet of moving. Our neighbours live in the same space as us with two kids and a helper! Carmen The best thing about living together in a long-term partnership is doing things with someone you love. It makes life richer. We enjoy being at home together. In fact, we often lack motivation to go out. Lewis Its true that one tends to lose ones drive to go out and meet people. For such sociable people as us, weve become quite reclusive. Since I travel a lot on business I want to spend the time Im here with Carmen.

Lewis Carmen

And next?
Carmen We have no burdens, no children, no worries and a good income. Because we dont feel Hong Kong is permanent theres no urgent wish to own more property here. If we raised children here and needed somewhere bigger, wed rent. Lewis We agree that the best age for marriage is late 20s or early 30s. For us marriage is only important because of children. I think it makes more difference to women than men because of the legal security and the public affirmation.

Carmen and Lewis went to the United World College (UWC) of the Adriatic near Trieste. It is one of few schools in Italy with English as a working language. Entry to the school is by merit alone, with no private or fee-paying students.

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h s p e a k

An education in romance?
This story from our mainland correspondent paints a picture with parallels for young Hong Kong people now in their 20s. With wry humour, he sets the scene, complete with its frustrations and embarrassments. Yet he concludes theres a chance of a different story for the next generation.
Good chance of failure What has been the outcome of this process? If you accept that self-knowledge through self-exploration has, for the majority, a great chance of failure, you also have to accept that on the Chinese mainland today, with its large population of young people, massive failure is possible. But before I go more deeply into all the negative aspects, lets look at some of the typical

by Shen Weihuang

December 2011

education we got during our teenage years.

...many students kept their dating secret

No girlfriends! Above all, we boys were advised: no girlfriends! The main reason,
Photo by the wamphyri (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

heard as often as you hear the word hello, was that girlfriends would ruin our chances of academic success. Personally, I found this was perfectly true because my own studies really did go nowhere when I started dating. However, my parents never explained the underlying reasons behind their advice. There was no logical connection between cause and effect. As a result it sounded as if they Pathway to Eternal Love, Hua Shan, Shaanxi Province Ambiguous chitchat Thinking about my own recent past, Ive come to the conclusion that so-called parent-and-child talk about relationships is basically nothing but pointless, ambiguous chitchat. I believe many young people of my age have had the same experience of enlightenment about romance. So, without pride, Id say we learned it all ourselves, through a process of self-exploration. Too young The second most important reason that parents and teachers gave you for not starting relationships was as familiar then as the boss, shouting at work is now. were giving an unreasonable order rather than good, sensible guidance.

Learning about relationships Youth speak


Youre too young! Theoretically, it was also true. We can never grow up in our parents eyes. Ironically, most of the people of the same generation as my parents got married when they were much younger than parents of my age today. Don't come back! The two reasons above could never match this one. It was the solution to everything. It meant that many budding flowers of love flew away gone with the wind. This reason was a threat even to your home comforts Well never let you come back home if you do xxxx; never again.

bad reason, it resulted in great pressure, and it meant that our parents and teachers paid great attention to what we said and did.

Bad debts Once you combine bad sex education with secret relationships, you get social headaches: unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and all the associated psychological problems. And the truth is, although the

Combine bad sex education with secret relationships and you get social headaches: unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and all the associated psychological problems.
Written confessions Imagine a

problems for teenagers are now at last being faced, debts of ignorance have already been accumulated. The debts are so big, that I really dont know whether we can pay them off. What next? All those notions we accepted as teenagers totally disappeared when we went to university. Suddenly, there was an explosion of freedom. We could choose our own lifestyle and start a relationship. Even though our parents were still talking about things we shouldnt do, they changed their tone from forbiddance to suggestion. Learning the ropes At university, freshmen start seeking their own way to love. Lack of education makes it hard. First, we had to try to re-establish a healthy attitude, all by ourselves. But how? You could no longer send a love letter or say, I like you face to face. The magic internet played a crucial role. It made it easy to find out how to date a girl, but the cold facts couldnt be applied in real life. So we started from nowhere, desperate to know the ropes and use them to pull ourselves closer to love. But these virtual ropes trapped us. They dragged us down into sadness where we felt lost.

Empty threats Now, we all know how ridiculous such a threat really was. Seldom would any parent actually carry it out. But in our innocent teenage years we believed it. It was really a big deal to be told we could be thrown out of house and home. We, who had grown up spoiled, always getting everything we wanted easily, for nothing, had never really thought seriously about having to look after ourselves one day. Some of us might have fought back, perhaps even saying, OK, I never will come back then. Few ever actually did so.

17-year-old student being found out, being censored by their parents and teachers for their relationship status, even though it was just human nature. I have seen many such under-the-table couples being forced to write jian cha (a written confession) after being reported by students and parents, or found out by teachers. I remember those couples faces, depressed and guilty. So how does the story end? Academic study back on the pedestal again. Misleading sex education A more serious

Secrets, secrets There were other threats, and many of them were used to perfect effect on us, young souls. Under such pressure, its hard to believe how we could have ever formed a healthy concept of relationships. As a result we got into some bad practices. For example, many high school students, and some middle school students, kept their dating secret. Whether it was for a good or a

side to the problem of twisted education about relationships concerns safe sex, or even how to have sex. We did have lessons of this kind in school, but basically they made things seem more weird, more unclear than ever. Teachers never really explained, and students never asked. Even now, surveys indicate that many mainland teenagers get their sex education from porn movies.

continued on next page......

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h s p e a k

The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can never end. Benjamin Disraeli

December 2011

Failed romance How did we manage? The most useful information seemed to come from those who had failed in relationships. They could have been ourselves, but how many of us were willing to share our experiences? I think the number was very small. Luckily enough, we had four years to learn, but I give a big round of applause to all those who succeeded, before they got yet another lesson in romance, Chinese-style. Marriage conditions After graduating, the issue of marriage becomes inevitable. As I understand it, marriage is based on two people who love and understand each other, not houses, cars and money. Unfortunately, the last three conditions have become the top three concerns for marriage. Its as if we are doomed. All over? At this point, our main education in romance is nearly over. The only task left is choosing a partner. That decision will govern the next 10 to 30 years of happiness. Passing on lessons The only question now is how to present the subject of love to our children? Will we carry on the same tradition as our parents? Or will we tell a different story. Lets wait and think about it carefully and peacefully. Lets try to see clearly before we have to start offering the next generation our own children an education in romance.
Photo by is for pL (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

Will we carry on the same tradition as our parents? Or will we tell a different story?
Road block ahead Sadly, we are overwhelmed by such ideas. Given the soaring prices and barely changing salaries, if we still want to marry a wonderful wife or husband and live happily after, without getting help from our parents or doing anything illegal, it seems we need great Buddhist faith and patience to help us. Even if we had used our four golden university years to acquire the right attitude, it would be hard to preserve in the face of a real-life road block ahead like this.

But lets look at the divorce rate. Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen rank as the top three for divorce in China according to a 2010 survey conducted by a national government organization. The percentage has grown more than 5 to 7 times in the last decade. Many made the wrong decision. Accumulating assets Those born in mainland China in the 70s and 80s will all have encountered such problems as these. We didnt have much option, but our children will. Many analysts say my generation is a wealth-accumulating generation. The reasons are reduced birth rate and growing personal assets. These will make our children far less worried about houses and money than we are.

Different relationships Youth speak

Gender, trust and tolerance

Hong Kong is probably more progressive than some countries when it comes to issues of gay relationships, yet it is also considered conservative when compared to others. The reality is that these kinds of relationship do exist here and for cultural and religious reasons they are a concern for many, especially parents.


Photo by susivinh (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

Brooke and Terry met about a year ago. They both admit that their family and friends do not really support their relationship and they find this difficult. We feel marginalized by society and face huge pressures, said Brooke, with intolerance and lack of understanding most difficult to cope with. However the young women say that with the support and understanding of each other, they manage. Terry believes that it is harder for single sex couples to make their relationships last than it is for opposite sex couples. Both agree that trusting and accepting each other, faults and all, is crucial just as it is for all couples.* Attitudes changing significantly according to Hong Kong Family Planning Association survey findings Acceptance among youth of other peoples various forms of sexual behaviour in Hong Kong was one of the attitudes included in the latest Report of Youth Sexuality Study published by the HK FPA in 2009. A significant trend of increasing acceptance of public shows of affection between partners of all orientations was identified.

Being sincere and tolerant of different opinions, just feeling comfortable are essential for me. Shared passions and common interests are important to both of us. But in my view a good relationship means, most of all, the end of loneliness, concluded Brooke. *New Hong Kong survey: agreement on relationships across diverse couples Young people value trust above all other aspects of love, according tour interviewees with these four very different couple, and according to survey results published in Hong Kong in December 2011. Over 3,200 secondary students, aged 1223, between October and November were asked about their perceptions of love. Among 39 traits, the youngsters rated trust, consideration, loyalty, good communication and honesty as the most important. Brooke and Terry, interviewed above, mirror these attitudes, also stressing the importance of trust, sincerity and good communication, as do our other interviewees in this section.
Source Church of United Brethren in Christ social service division survey. id=117657&sid=34665501&con_type=1&d_str=20111205&fc=1

Brooke Terry Brooke Terry

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h c o u n s e l l i n g

December 2011

Five difficult relationships: case studies

Reported by hotline, face-to-face and web counsellors these cases represent some of the issues that young people deal with in their relationships and the ways in which social workers respond. Some details have been reconstructed to protect identities.

Mei: seeking attention

Mei is in her first year at secondary school. She came to us with cuts on her body. She had cut a boys name on her skin. We found out that a few other girls in the class were doing the same thing. All these girls had a crush on the same boy. He ignored all of them but they seemed mesmerized by him and were behaving in a completely irrational way, saying they were proving their love for him
Photo by tamaet (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

by cutting his name on their skin. By talking to each girl separately, we discovered that they all came from single-parent families. They admitted that they were looking for a male to give them attention and affection, a new experience for them. They shared their feelings with the other girls in various ways, including writing in an online forum. In class, the boy had no idea how to deal with them and treated them all as normal students, but if one of the girls went near him, the others couldnt stand it and reacted as jealous rivals. The boy had been their target. They were hoping for an idealistic happily ever after outcome, based on an immature understanding of relationships that had been gleaned from comics, television, books and student peers. Mei

Fighting girls

We understood that not only did they lack a male role model, they also had inadequate understanding of human relations and general sex education. Unfortunately, in many schools, this type of scenario is fairly common. Our response was to discuss love and sex education with the whole class and try to help the individual girls deal with the pain of a broken family.

Youth counselling


Yee: same-sex infatuation

Yee is in Form 6 at an elite girls school. A model student, good at art, she is well-respected and liked by her teachers and most of her peers. However, last year her demeanour changed. Her teachers noticed her, always on her own, smiling sadly. Then her art teacher found her crying at her drawing board and persuaded her to talk to us. Yee said she had written on the Facebook page of a classmate, Ching. The message complemented Ching on her skills and her looks. Yee felt exposed. She thought that everyone knew, and that the other girls were avoiding her. Whether real or imagined, it was clear that she was suffering. She wondered out loud why she had such strong feelings. She could not stop thinking about Ching and followed her around in school. Yee had put Chings picture as wallpaper on her phone and spent hours scouring Facebook to find out everything about her. Ching ignored her in school and un-friended her on Facebook. We tried to help Yee understand that her feelings were a normal part of growing up and tried to encourage her not to label herself as a lesbian. Rather, we suggested that she should look for other outlets and ways of spending her time, such as doing what she was good at: art.
Photo by asirap (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

It took a while, but Yee finally realized that her infatuation was short-lived and that she had a lot more to learn, both in terms of relationships, and about herself. We have seen similar cases in other schools where same-sex infatuations are a normal part of growing up.

Yee Facebook

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h c o u n s e l l i n g

December 2011

Amy: mistaking sex for love

Amy Amy Amy

Amy is 18. She came to us seeking information about contraception, saying she had recently broken up with her boyfriend after becoming pregnant. Bit by bit, she revealed that the relationship had been based entirely on sex. Her boyfriend wanted sex with her all the time, in public toilets, in shopping malls. He even encouraged his friends to have sex with her, something Amy agreed to so that her boyfriend did not lose interest. As she talked, she came to understand that she behaved this way because she wanted to feel loved. She had assumed that love meant being available for sex any time, any place. She described her difficult background, her absent father and needy siblings and came to realize that she was substituting sexually risky behaviour with a man who didnt care for her. Now, hurt but thinking more clearly, she is trying to recover her own sense of self-worth.

Joe and Corrine: reacting to stress

Corrine, 20, feared her husband, Joe, and had left him. They had married very soon after meeting, finding the physical attraction between them intense. Almost as soon as they confronted the realities of running a home together, their troubles began. Joe was extremely short-tempered and soon they were arguing about everything. Joe had also started being very possessive. The dilemmas of love

One night he hit her. Thats when Corrine moved out. She went to live with her parents, but Joe would not let go. He even climbed up a drain-pipe and broke into Corrines parents flat. The neighbours saw him and raised the alarm, stopping short of calling the police only when he said he was the son-in-law. Joe tried everything in his power to persuade Corrine to come back to him. He swore the stress of married life had made him hit her. He said he was committed to saving his marriage and willing to seek outside help. But Corrine told him that she wanted a divorce. She believed Joe would trap her and that her elderly parents would not be able to protect her. With neither side willing to compromise, but neither ready to give up entirely, Corrine needed to talk.

The only advice that can be given to these two young people who entered into a marriage hastily is not to end it with the same haste. Neither Joe have changed their minds. Corrine wants divorce and Corrine Joe does not.
Corrine Joe

Picture by Jomama ll52 (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

While Amys case might be considered extreme, we are finding more and more young people who are willing to have sex in order to maintain relationships, often with people they know are not good for them.

Youth counselling


Jimmy, Jenna and Justin: coping as parents

Jimmy, 28 and Jenna, 26, had been living together for three years when they had Justin. It was not planned, but they decided to keep him. At first, the normal adjustments to having a new baby at home, the disruption to sleep and the feeding cycles caused some tension between the couple, but with familial support, the young parents felt capable of coping. Their difficulties began when Jenna went back to work. She started dropping off her son at her mothers apartment when he was less than three months old. At first, it seemed unproblematic, but soon Jenna felt overwhelmed. Tired after a full day of dealing with customers, she found Justins growing demands made her impatient, especially as she had to start preparing dinner as soon as she got home. Jimmy found the babys fussiness irritating and began to stay out later and later, often coming home only when he knew the baby would be asleep. When he was at home, Jimmy insisted that Jenna dealt with the baby. Sometimes, when she felt particularly tired, she would just call her mother and tell her to keep Justin there until the next day. Her mother did not mind and the child was too young to complain, but Jenna found that being a working mother was too much for her. She saw her relationship with Jimmy deteriorating rapidly and grew more and more resentful that he did nothing at home, if he came
Photo by bean MOST (Flickr/ Creative Commons)

Having a child involves difficult adjustments for most couples. Social workers suggested that the grandmother might take Justin back to his parents home and sometimes cook, thus reducing Jennas burdens. Jimmy said he would try to be a more active father and help with household chores.

home at all. She decided she needed help. Jimmy agreed.

Jimmy Jenna Jimmy Jenna Jenna Jenna Jimmy Jenna

December 2011

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h w a t c h

Young peoples views on these complex subjects are collected by HKFYG on a regular basis. The charts on pages 24-25 represent opinions of over 1,650 secondary students at 31 schools sampled from 22 November 3 December 2010.1 The remaining charts are based on data collected in surveys of 15-39 year-olds for HKFYGs Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2011.2
As the festive season approaches many young people with no partner often feel left out of all the fun. Over 60% said they craved an opportunity to party, with over 50% hoping to go out all night. About 9% said they would feel embarrassed if they didnt have a date and about 19% said it would boost their confidence if they did.

How to find a date for Christmas & New Year

Don't know/ hard to say 46.5% By asking classmates 20.8%

Important aspects of a relationship

Others 1.9% Don't know/ hard to say 27.1% Feeling loved and cared for by someone 31.6%

Others On social 2.8% networking sites 4.1% At parties 4.3%

At activities/ courses 8.6%

Through friends 12.8%

Feeling attractive 2.5% Passing time 5.5%

Knowing how to get along with the opposite sex 15.7%

Having someone to share things with 15.8%

Photo by designwallah (Flickr/Creative Common)

Photo by syncretic (Flickr/Creative Common)

Youth watch


Assessing online relationships3

Photo by mikecogl (Flickr/Creative Common) Would you refuse an invitation to party from a social network friend? Would you consider a relationship with someone you had only met online? Do you think there can be no loyalty in relationships developed online? 50% 45.9% 44.9%


31.1% 30%


Behaviour of couples in the festive season3

25.9% 21.4% Is staying overnight with someone acceptable? Is physical contact with friends or acquaintances acceptable? Are one-night stands with casual sex acceptable? 18.4% 16.3% 14.3% 12.7% 70% 7.1% 60% 64.6% 80% 80.0%



10.7% 9.7% 5.6% 4.8%




Not really

Certainly not

Don't know/ hard to say


40% 31.8% 26.2% 25.0% 23.2% 16.3% 11.8% 10% 5.0% 0% 4.3% 10.6% 9.9% 9.2%

30% Photo by dia (Flickr/Creative Common)

29.6% 24.6%




Not really

Certainly not

Don't know/ hard to say

Youth Hong Kong


Yo u t h w a t c h
In some western countries, a quarter of people in their 30s are cohabiting or have always been single. In South Asia and China marriage is a fact of life for 98% of men and women. Even though marriage takes place later and the fertility rate is very low in Hong Kong, traditional attitudes to child-bearing persist. Couples tend to have children soon after getting married. Delaying marriage is therefore a way of delaying the responsibilities of parenthood.

The mean age for marriage in Hong Kong is steadily rising. It is now 29-30 for women and 30-33 for men, several years later than in America where the average is 26 for women and 28 for men. The

number of people staying single in Hong Kong is also on the rise.

December 2011

Staying single or getting married


Attitudes to marriage and family

80% 71.8% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 20% 0% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% Photo by mikecogl (Flickr/Creative Common) 10% 0% 50.0% 48.6% 44.0% 39.3% 38.1% Totally agree 1996 2001 2006 2009 10% 2.2% 59.5% 0% I will marry one day I want children Extramarital affairs are not acceptable Cohibitation is acceptable One should not divorce Supporting aged parents is outmoded 10.3% 7.3% 4.9% 5.0% 38.9% 33.4% 27.3% 26.0% 30% 15.8% 17.2% 14.7% 9.5% 6.7% 16.3% 16.2% 40% 60.5% 65.7% 60% 41.0% 50% 40.6% 37.4% 31.9% 28.6% 24.3% 31.5% 73.3% 70% 45.6% 41.4% 49.4% 45.2% 43.2%

58.5% 54.0%

Partially agree


Totally disagree

Male and female, 15-39 years

1996 Never married

2001 Married



Male and female, 15-39 years

Youth watch
In 2010, 27% of all Hong Kong women their early 30s were single.5 The same was true of over 30% of all Japanese women of that age. 37% of all Taiwanese 30-34 year-old women were single. Changing marriage patterns reflect increased autonomy for women in Asia. They have more education and therefore more jobs. On the other hand, in mainland China there is the phenomenon of guang gun (bare branches) men who will not marry because sex-selective abortion has resulted in fewer women than men.


Attitudes to premarital sex and intimacy have changed markedly in Hong Kong youngsters in the past 15 years. This phenomenon has been reported in surveys by The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong,6 and is corroborated by the HKFYG polls. A global study7 of attitudes and sexual well-being in 29 countries, including Hong Kong, found that there was a consistently low level of sexual well-being in Asian countries. In Hong Kong, sex rated less important for well being than in any other country.8

Changing attitudes in over 25s

Photo by mikecogl (Flickr/Creative Common) 100% 87.7% 77.4% 78.2% 80.0% 82.8% 76.9%

85.9% 80%



Attitudes to sex
40% 36.0% 32.8% 27.1% 20% 60% 55.1%



42.5% 40% 0% I will marry one day Age 15 - 24 I want children Extramarital affairs are not acceptable Cohibitation is acceptable One should not divorce Supporting aged parents is outmoded 30% 34.3% 32.3 % 32.3 %


Age 25 - 39

Male and female, 15-39 years

Sources 1 HKFYG Youth Poll Series No 204. The Attitudes and Behaviours of Young Students during the Festive Season. December 2010. 2 HKFYG, Youth Research Centre, Youth Values Indicators, 2009. Youth Trends Series 2011. 3 One-night stands with casual sexual partners have become a lot less acceptable in the last 4 years. The HKFYG 2007 survey [HKFYG Youth Poll Series No 169, December 2007] found almost 17% (16.8%) who said they would go on a one-night stand during the festive season. In the most recent survey (November-December 2010), this figure dropped to just over 9%. 4 Asias lonely hearts. The Economist. 20 August 2011, p 9. 5 The flight from marriage. The Economist. Asian demography. 20 August 2011, p17-20. 6 Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. Report of the Youth Sexuality Study 2006, 2009. Chapter 7. 7 Edward O. Laumann et al. A Cross-National Study of Subjective Sexual Well-Being among Older Women and Men: Findings from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors. 8 Carroll, Janell L. Sexuality Now: embracing diversity. 3ed ed. Cengage Brain, 2009.

20% 15.7%




Premarital sex is acceptable Age 15 - 24

Homosexuality is acceptable Age 25 - 39

Abortion is acceptable

Promiscuity is acceptable

Male and female, 15-39 years

Youth Hong Kong



Inspiring innovation
Innovation and technology, one of the six priority industries, holds the key to Hong Kongs future. Miss Janet Wong, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, shared details with us of the initiatives implemented by the Innovation and Technology Commission to nurture a new generation of innovators for the city.

December 2011

Nurturing future scientists

To ensure the sustainable development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong, we need to cultivate a strong innovative culture in society. The Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) and its partners have been implementing various measures to nurture our future scientists. Miss Janet Wong, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology

Innovation and Technology Student Club

One example is the Innovation and Technology Student Club, established by ITC and The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2009. Members of this prestigious club are elite students from secondary schools and universities who have won awards in major science and technology competitions, or been recommended by their principals. and technology. Taking part in the competition is an excellent way to help students realize their potential.

InnoTech Month
The club, which was 440 members strong by August 2011, organizes interactive activities regularly, such as a future technology seminar series, a mentorship programme, summer camps and a technology ambassador programme. These activities help inspire students intellectual and career interest in science and technology. InnoTech Month (ITM) 2011, organized by ITC, featured a wide range of activities for the community, including technology-related roadshows, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, an industry conference and a large-scale carnival. HKFYG was a campaign partner of this anchor event. The highlight of ITM 2011 was the nine-day InnoCarnival at the Hong Kong Science Park held in November.

The Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition

Jointly organized by ITC, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG), the Education Bureau, the Hong Kong Science Museum and supported by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition is now in its 13th year. It has become one of Hong Kongs most popular student science competitions and helps develop students creativity through understanding innovative applications of science

InnoCarnival 2011 offered a diverse array of activities such as exhibitions, an electric vehicle exhibition and test drive, interactive games, talks, workshops and guided tours. Members of the public could gain hands-on experience of the convenience and fun brought by innovation and technology to daily life. InnoCarnival 2011 concluded with a record-breaking number of over 180,000 participants, fully demonstrating Hong Kong peoples passion for and support of innovation and technology.

Innovation & technology Interview


Dr Rosanna Wong, Ms Elizabeth Tse, Miss Janet Wong, The Hon Greg So, The Hon Wong Ting-kwong with students at the InnoCarnival 2011

Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme

To sustain the long term development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong, the most important ingredient is definitely a good supply of talent. More than a third of undergraduates from local universities have majors in science and engineering related subjects. We believe that a little bit of additional encouragement should help the brilliant among them reach great heights. It was against this backdrop that we witnessed the birth of the first Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme (see box). ITC, the Hongkong Bank Foundation and HKFYG worked very closely on the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme 2011. Through a series of programmes, including an Overseas Attachment Programme, a Local Internship Programme, a Mentorship Programme and a Service Project Programme, the Scheme offered 25 outstanding Hong Kong undergraduates valuable opportunities to widen their exposure and gain industry experience. The awardees were nominated by Vice-Chancellors or Presidents of their respective universities. In view of the extremely positive response from various sectors, the Scheme will be organised again in 2012. The Hongkong Bank Foundation has agreed to raise its sponsorship for the 2012 Scheme and the scholarship for each awardee will increase from HK$100,000 to HK$150,000. Another 25 outstanding young scientists will benefit.

Internship Progamme and Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF)

To stimulate the interest of fresh graduates in applied research and development (R&D) activities, help create a larger pool of research talent and give further support to local universities for undertaking applied R&D activities, ITC has been funding an internship programme under ITF since 2004 (see box).

Organizations undertaking R&D projects funded by ITF, including local universities, the five R&D Centres, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and private sector companies, can join the programme and recruit interns as project assistants. For first degree holders, ITF provides a monthly allowance of HK$10,000. For those with Masters or higher degrees, the allowance increases to HK$12,000. As of October 2011, 920 intern positions have been approved under the programme with a total funding of HK$145 million.

Youth Hong Kong


Guest column

by Shelley Lee

December 2011 You might think from the happy faces in the photo that the young people were enjoying their normal weekend escapades. In fact, along with 500 youngsters from Hong Kong, mainland China and 18 other countries, they were toiling away in a remote part of Taiwan in the heat of July, preparing a small clearing for farming. I accompanied them on this very interesting visit to Rinari, a born-again Christian community where we saw what sharing, sacrifice and service can really mean in today's world. The experience left me touched and the young people inspired. In August 2009, over 3,000 millimetres of rain fell in southern Taiwan during the 4-day passage of Typhoon Morakot. The floods displaced hundreds of people. In Pingtung County, over 1,400 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours. 700 people died and 1,766 homes were destroyed. The Rinari community at Majia Farm in Pingtung County is now home to former residents of three destroyed villages, Haocha, Majia, and Dashe. Collaborative efforts of local government, private donors and volunteers resulted in the completion of, the Majia housing project in November 2011, now home to 300 indigenous families. Rinari was the original Paiwan name for the area where the community has been created as a result of the willingness of nearby villages to share their land with the unfortunate victims of rainstorm disaster. The name means The place we wait for happiness and connotes respectful acceptance of all the residents various cultures. With the help of World Vision, HKFYG Executive Director, Rosanna Wong, enabled the Dragon Foundation to fulfill its dream of raising a 1000-foot dragon in Taiwan, the final destination for the Dragon Series*, following Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. But before this grand event, there was a lot of toil and sweat. Back in Taipei, the symbolic Dragon was raised and we fasted for charity We warned the students participating this years Dragon Series event that instead of visiting eminent universities they would be rolling up their sleeves and getting down to very basic service. Instead of eating in restaurants, they would be sharing farm-style lunchboxes with the locals. Instead of seminars in air-conditioned halls, they would be squatting down with picks and hoes, digging up pebbles to create arable land. I braced myself for the usual complaints, but none came. *For more, see Caring Dragons in Taiwan, Youth Hong Kong September 2011. at a 30-hour signature event of World Vision. Five months later, I find myself recalling with pride how a group of youngsters from Hong Kong and the rest of the world made a difference to the life of disaster victims not just with donations or pledges, but with an honest day's work. Instead, as I walked through the village, I saw beaming faces. Even in the drizzle that lasted all day, tireless energy emanated from the young volunteers, many of whom had travelled thousands of miles just a few days beforehand. By helping with the farming or housework, by teaching local children basic English or playing with them, Dragon 100 delegates and a team of other supportive secondary school students, showed what it means to offer service with good cheer. The village children warmed to them quickly and at the end of the day when it was time to say goodbye, we all chanted "RINARI, RINARI" with empathy and familiarity.

City space


This major community-building project, initiated by HKFYG and led by Hong Kong young people, aims to bring the community together and cherish a sense of neighbourhood, emphasizing the importance of civility and friendliness.

Neighbourhood First was launched on 18 December in Morse Park Amphitheatre with Guests of Honour The Hon WONG Yanlung, SC, JP, Secretary for Justice, HKSAR, and Mr Wang Zhi-min, Deputy Minister, Liaison Office of the Central Peoples Government of China in the HKSAR. 1,500 young people aged 14-35 have formed over fifty teams working throughout Hong Kong. Participants include youngsters from HKFYGs Youth SPOTs, Dragon Foundation programmes, Youth Support Scheme, Youth Outreaching Social Work Teams and the Centre for Leadership Development. This mobilization is only the beginning of a massive project which is destined to continue well into the future.

Neighbourhood Day 14 January 2012 As part of the Neighbourhood First project, young people will offer refreshments to their neighbours, needy people and members of their community on Neighbourhood Day, Saturday 14 January 2012. Over 50 young teams will be at work, setting an example and showing how considerate acts of kindness are appreciated.

Street of Kindness This preliminary programme, in advance of Neighbourhood First, is in Sham Shui Po. Discount food coupons are being distributed there to street sleepers by HKFYG leadership students. 19 yearold participant, Keith Leung said: Many people living here have no homes and no money. Some of them only eat once every few days. They thanked us warmly but we could only persuade two shops to take part. The others said they too were struggling to survive because of competition from chain stores. The Street of Kindness programme will continue in parallel with Neighbourhood First in 2012.

More information about Neighbourhood First and its associated programmes Web Email Call 3755 7072

Smaller classes, less stress

by Terry Wong Chi-ho
My view is that to provide a better learning and teaching environment, government should adopt small class teaching fully in secondary schools. According to census projections, the number of young people aged 10-19 will drop from 890,000 in 2010 to 655,0001 in 2020. In 2010-2011, the average Hong Kong secondary school class size was 34 compared to the international average of 24. (See table.) Small class teaching must go back on the agenda. Average secondary school class size
Denmark Finland United Kingdom United States Australia France Germany Japan Hong Kong Korea International average Average Class Size 20 20 20 23 24 24 25 33 34 35 24

December 2011

photo by superkimbo (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Youth Hong Kong


C i t y s p a c e Education

Smaller class size

Benefits for teachers and students

Lowering teachers average class time is a key for developing new teaching strategies and receiving professional training. However, small class teaching should not be seen as way to protect teachers jobs. Nor does it need to be a big financial burden. On the contrary, it has been an indispensable part of recent educational reform. It has enhanced the primary school learning environment and helped it move towards international standards. In the face of dropping student numbers, now is the perfect time to adopt it in secondary schools as well.

Terry Wong Chi-ho graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University this year. He took part in the 2007 HKFYG Hong Kong 200 Leadership Project.

Source Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2009) Hong Kong Education Bureau (2011)

Small class teaching has been a hot topic in recent years but in 2010, Mr Michael Suen, Secretary for Education, rejected introducing small classes in secondary schools, doubting their effectiveness. Professor Peter Blatchford of the Institute of Education, University of London has argued against this view. His research2 examined the effects of reducing class size and found increased interaction between teachers and students, especially for less able students. That is exactly what students, parents and teachers want to see.
Notes and Sources 1 While student numbers for secondary schools worldwide are climbing rapidly, the Hong Kong Education Bureau anticipates a decrease in the city's annual intake of Secondary One students over the next few years, from 75,400 in 2010 to 53,900 in 2016 - a fall of 28.5%. A report in China Daily,16 September 2010 is at fullstory.html?id=51792 2 Prof Peter Blatchford has done large-scale research on this subject in UK secondary schools. He presented his findings at a seminar at the Hong Kong Institute of Education in December 2010, urging further research on the effects of small class teaching on pedagogy. A report is at

Project dse@27771112 gives help with stressful exams

Four hundred students sought help from Federation counsellors in autumn 2011. They were all preparing for the new public Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examinations in March 2012. 60% were stressed and 20% had emotional problems caused by the prospect. HKFYG offers them help with a new service project called dse@27771112. A range of services is available to DSE candidates including counselling, information about further studies, examination preparation and planning for employment. Access to the service Hotline 27771112 MSN Facebook Group DSE For more details, please contact Ms Cecilia Ng tel 2788 3433 Web



by Armstrong Cheng Yuen-chung Hong Kong Observatory With the increasing popularity of smartphones, especially among young people, the Hong Kong Observatory developed a weather app last year, called MyObservatory. This article describes the service and its attractions for the younger generation.

Riding the wave

Traditional channels like radio and television have been used by the Observatory to disseminate weather forecasts and warnings for the public for many years. Their advantage is easy reach to a large audience. Even today, radio and television remain two of the most convenient sources of weather information, although available air time means messages are kept simple and short. Internet weather services were first offered by the Observatory in 1996. Since then, the number of page views has grown rapidly, reaching nearly 1.8 billion in 2010.1 The internet application for smartphones, MyObservatory, developed in 2010, is available for

both iPhone and Android platforms. It was well received by the public and visitor figures for the Observatorys website during the first nine months of 2011 were double the total for all of 2010.2

Location information
A notable feature of MyObservatory is its adoption of location-based technology to present real-time, location-specific weather information including temperature, relative humidity, winds, and weather photos from nearby weather stations. This is delivered to users automatically according to their geographical position which is detected by the smartphone. MyObservatory also comes with a UV index report and forecast, the forecast track of tropical cyclones, satellite and radar

December 2011

Youth Hong Kong



images, lightning locations and rainfall map, astronomical and tidal information, radiation information, weather tips etc. Members of the public can access the latest weather information conveniently even while they are on the move. The iPhone version of MyObservatory also has a push notification function by which the latest weather warnings are pushed to the users smartphone automatically.

Forecasts for families outdoors

The Observatorys apps bring information about the natural outdoors world into the hands of young people whose lives are spent largely indoors, isolated from the weather patterns that govern how much of the world lives. The push notifications offer reassurance in case of severe weather and the forecasts provide information for popular family activities such as hiking3 and water sports. Educators also recognize their value in raising awareness of climate and environmental conditions for which there is growing concern.

Weather for youth on mobiles

With a view to reaching out further to the younger generation, the Hong Kong Observatory started a pilot project in late 2010, delivering severe weather information and Observatory news on Twitter. It was extended to Sino Weibo this year. Content was enriched to include earthquakes worldwide of magnitude 6.0 or above. These media are very effective for disseminating messages to user communities at relatively low operating costs and followers of the Observatorys account on social-networking websites had exceeded 50,000 by the third quarter of 2011.

Going global
The popularity of the Observatorys weather services on mobile platforms has gained the attention of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations. WMO recently entrusted to the Observatory the task of developing a mobile application called MyWorldWeather. It delivers official forecasts from weather services around the world and is now available for the iPhone mobile platform. In an information era, when everything evolves at an unprecedented pace and everyone is connected more frequently than ever before, the Observatory will continue to ride the crest of the wave of the latest technologies, enriching and enhancing its weather services for the betterment of society and its future generations.

Twitter MyWeather

Notes 1 The Hong Kong Observatory has won the Yahoo! BUZZ Award in the government department category for four consecutive years since 2007. 2 MyObservatory won Gold and Silver awards in two different categories of the Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Award 2011. 3 There are blind-spots in the country parks. Some of these are mentioned at

Arts & culture


Performing their own identities

by Andrew Halton and Tara Lam Hoi-ling To an outsider Hong Kong is a place of baffling complexity and activity. It exists in a state of seemingly perpetual motion so that every visitor experiences what Betty Wei called Culture Shock! But culture was why we had come to Hong Kong.

While conducting research into youth culture in Hong Kong, we looked at how young people negotiate the challenges of growing up in a hub of the global economy. Most of the work done on youth culture has focused on western, working-class resistant subcultures such as Mods or Skinheads. There has been a tendency to look at the spectacular and extreme. We were far more interested in seeing how young people perform their identities in their everyday lives.

Freeing and current

In many ways it came as no surprise that the lives of young people in Hong Kong are very different to those of their counterparts in the West. However such difference is far from clear-cut. Hong Kong is often seen as a pivot, the place in which Asia and the western world interact, and it is believed to mirror many western traits. In a globalised world linked through active spaces of virtual interaction, modern youths are increasingly connected and exhibit hybrid forms of identity. This summer, HKFYGs Farm Road Youth Spot hosted the Toy Story Youth Dance show. The evening was the culmination of a summer of lessons and saw performances from young people ranging from the ages of 5 to 18. There were also guest performances from professional dance crews that no doubt provided inspiration for these budding young dancers to follow. The students benefited from the expertise of G-NEX that introduced niche styles such as Iso-Locking and Wacking as well as the already popular hiphop and Jazz Funk. Such forms of street dance are still in their infancy in Hong Kong but they are increasingly popular amongst young people. These dance styles originate from the West, emerging from the hip-hop cultures of the USA. HKFYG Farm Road Youth SPOTs dance teams

Youth Hong Kong


A r t s & c u l t u re

Unstifled, expressive styles

Many of the students explained their passion for dance as an activity that was freeing and current. Whilst some parents supported this type of extra-curricular activity, others felt it distracted their child from the important task of studying. The highly competitive nature of Hong Kongs education system is a product of its role as a hub in a new global economy experiencing profound shifts. All young people interviewed emphasized the need for education and attending a good university to get on in life. Whilst such trends are arguably unavoidable, the act of dancing and performing provided an expressive outlet often stifled by conventional day-to-day practice. Unlike styles such as ballet that are more rigid and disciplined, hip-hop and Jazz Funk are much freer and expressive styles that convey what is relevant to young people. Another prime motivation for participating in the dance project was the somewhat obvious one of being able to hang out with friends. In an increasingly individualistic society, dance provides a communal group activity. Whilst always supervised, in practices it was evident that the groups did not need to be disciplined. Rather they enjoyed working together and organized their own practice routines. Young people are often portrayed in narratives of fear, especially in emphasis of youth gangs and crime. However the dance group showed how a desire for young people to be part of something and to have fun with friends was channelled into something far more creative, expressive and positive.

December 2011

Youth SPOT a blast for cultivating dance talent A dance showcase called "Toy Story" was held at the Y-Theatre in Youth Square, Chai Wan in September. There were some great movers on stage. Check them out at watch?v=t-mrCnK-Clc& or contact Terrence, tel 2715 0424, for more information.

Arts & culture

A distinct cultural form
In the performances of the dance show we could see a distinct cultural form emerge. Increased levels of connectivity have allowed young people to draw on external influences with Facebook, blogs, Youtube and forums all providing new virtual channels of cultural exchange. Preferences have shifted away from the more clean-cut Chinese stereotypes towards more experimental and Terrains of fashion are also transforming with brands such as Hollister and H & M, existing alongside Japanese and Korean independent less conservative methods of expression. Cantopop is viewed as dated and slightly comical with Korean and Taiwanese music gaining traction alongside Western artists such as Lady Gaga or LMFAO.


boutiques and local brands. What is emerging is a distinct heterogeneous cultural form constructed from an assemblage of external influences that have been appropriated, transformed and internalised to create a unique identity that is relevant to Hong Kongs young people. Such identities and cultures are characteristic of a new global city.

Toy Story Youth Dance 40 years of Iso-Locking and Wacking Wacking is a creative form of street dance that originated in American nightclubs. Arms and hands move very fast to disco music with a strong beat, accompanied by more relaxed hip and leg movements. It started out as a gay black and Latino dance form but entered the mainstream by the 1970s and was originally called Punkin. Iso-Locking was originally funk dance style, typically performed to music by James Brown. It also has origins in Indian dance. Today it is associated with hip-hop. Locking movements which hold a position provide a strong contrast with fast wacking, and include acrobatics which are physically demanding in terms of flexibility and strength. Videos at Information at, Andrew Halton and Tara Lam Hoi-ling came from Cambridge University to do research on Hong Kongs youth culture in summer 2011. They visited the Federations Youth Research Centre and interviewed students at both the Shaukeiwan Youth SPOT and Farm Road Youth SPOT before going to the Project Dance Summer Showcase, organized by Farm Road Youth SPOT.

Youth Hong Kong


A r t s & c u l t u re

Dance for generations

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, a 130-year old festival, is now recognized as intangible cultural heritage and people of all generations ensure this piece of Hong Kongs vibrant history is preserved. Some of the young volunteers told us why, echoing fire-dragon commander-in-chief Chan Tak-fai, We must pass on this tradition from one generation to the next. The article ends with a song about losing our cultural past. 26 year-old Polly Poon Po-ling, student of quantity
surveying, has connections with Tai Hang that go back at least 3 generations. Ive been taking part in the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance for 20 years. When I was a kid, I started carrying the Lanterns. At high school I graduated to the cloud lanterns. Later on, I started helping with the banners and boards and now, I play the drums and the cha in the musical instrument team. Only men and boys can be in the Dragon Dance Teams and do the dance through the streets, but at least we girls can touch the dragon now, as long as we are wearing the musical instrument team uniform. In the past, we werent even allowed to do that. My father and brothers do. My younger brother is the musical instrument team leader, my elder brother leads the Dragon Tail Team and father is one the directors. He focuses on the Dragons Head. I will keep coming back until my health stops me. Even if I couldnt be an active participant, I would come and watch. Ill definitely bring my children to join in. I used to think that most people wouldnt understand why we were so deeply involved. After all, were just volunteers and its physically very tough. But the festival gives us a great chance to meet old friends and neighbours. If young people dont get involved, well lose this tradition and after few generations it will disappear. Nobody will remember it.

December 2011

Connections between generations

Both my grandparents and parents were raised in Tai Hang. Grandpa and grandma used to run a shop, as did my father when he was younger. We moved to Tai Po when I was just a year old, but still used to visit every week. Now that my grandparents have passed away I come back less often. The festival is my main link with Tai Hang.

Photo by (Flickr / Creative Commons)

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is performed every midautumn festival. Based on a Hakka folk tale about an escaped snake and an outbreak of plague, the 67-metre long "dragon" is carried by 100 boys and men on a weaving dance through the narrow streets of old low-rise Tai Hang village. They cross Wun Sha Street to the nearby Lily Temple, purging evil spirits as they pass. The procession is preceded by dances performed by children with lanterns and accompanied by music played on drums and cymbals. The dragon is made from grasses on a cane base which is stuffed with thousands of joss-sticks.

Arts & culture

24-year old Jessica To, a full-time student in Youth and Social Services, lives in Sai Wan Ho and has a special
relationship with the Fire Dragon Dance. Ive taken part in the Fire Dragon Dance for the last intangible cultural heritage. Hong Kong people are too busy; they seldom even greet their neighbors, or just say hi-bye, and never really get to know each other. But with events like these, people make friends and learn about other. Jessica Before this, I had no connections with Tai Hang but now I have a special feeling about the place. When I come back each year, parents recognize me and we chat about their children. The festival is meaningful to all of us. It carries history with it. What touches me most is how hard we work together. It is a community gathering, and I have developed complex feelings about the whole thing.
Photo by EnglishGirl Aboard (Flickr / Creative Commons)


4 years and am so pleased about its new status as

Lam Ying-ki, 22, a student of Chinese cuisine from

Kwun Tong, has been one of the "dancers" for the last five years. I love Chinese traditions and the way everyone shares the same goal of getting the dragon to 'dance.' Some of them have been doing it for decades. Now they ask me to come back every year too. The Fire Dragon Dance is very important to me and the most meaningful Ying-ki part is the unity of the people. continued on next page......

Youth Hong Kong


A r t s & c u l t u re

Disappearing cultural heritage

Cherish that sweet memory
The HKFYG youth band, Pendular, has composed a song about cultural heritage. We present a short version in Chinese with a rendering in English, to complete this article about intergenerational cultural heritage and the need to preserve it.
Taking ferries every day Washes many cares away Searching for my culture past Jumping onto concrete piers Lasting only fifty years Finding only artists last Painting scenes from history Photos still reminding me Of the city thats been smashed Ringing out the ferry bells Bringing in the trash that sells Striking out their fifty years Go, develop other shores Thousand miles from citys doors No more hammers in my ears Fight back now a new age starts Bell still hiding in our hearts Symbol that all rests upon Cherish that sweet memory Hear the sound, Star Ferrys key Generations you have shone Even now its not too late Pulse and footprint guide our fate Cherish that sweet memory

December 2011

Film review Arts & culture

You Are the Apple of My Eye

Directed by Giddens Ko ( ) based on his book of the same name
Photo by Lady Bug (Flickr/ Creative Commons)


review by William Chung

Starring Ko Chen-tung as Ko Ching-teng ( ), and Michelle Chen as Shen Chia-yi ( ) Release date June 2011 in Taiwan, October 2011 in Hong Kong Genre Drama, romance Original language Mandarin Reviewers rating

The story opens at a Taiwanese secondary school in 1994. Shen Chia-yi played by Michelle Chen, is the dream girl of many male students and an outstanding class representative. Ko Ching-teng, a character based on director Giddens Ko himself as a teen, is the class trouble-maker who initially is not interested in Chia-yi.

William Many have reacted to the the movie by saying that every

boy has his own Shen Chia-yi ( ). This is true for me too. Ultimately, whether you are boy or girl, you will be touched by this movie.
Carman We all want be the apple of our lover's eye, yet how many

Magic happens when the always-misbehaving Ching-teng saves good girl Chia-yi from teacher punishment by lending her his English text book. Having rescued the princess, the brave young man is rewarded when Chia-yi voluntarily helps him with his homework. Ching-teng then falls for Chia-yi and romance blossoms. After leaving secondary school, the pair are separated by going to different universities. They strive to maintain their relationship longdistance, but the magic doesnt work in the end and the two drift apart. Still, their importance to each other doesnt fade. When Ching-teng goes to Chia-yis wedding reception it is perhaps the biggest gift he could offer. His presence bestows a heartfelt blessing on the couple, coming as it does from the boy who loves her unconditionally. There is no regret between Chia-yi and Ching-teng. Both keep the best memories of their love alive in their minds. Ching-teng tells Chiayi that he believes their true love develops in a parallel universe and that it is never-ending. This is perhaps the best conclusion the movie could have, conveying the message that with limitless love, there can be no tears, only smiles.

of us will have this dream come true? Chasing and searching, we still dont give up and never lose hope.
Theo True love is more than just being physically together with the

one you love. Losing someone or being rejected by somebody is not the end of the world. Think positively. Try to feel her happiness even though she has someone else. You will then know what true love is. Romance is not the only selling point. The film also brings back memories about school life and friendship.

Photo by enggul (Flickr / Creative Commons)

Youth Hong Kong


HKFYG news

Song and dance

Hong Kong will ring to the sound of music in December and January, with a range of events from HKFYG to get the community on its feet, singing, making music and dancing, throughout the holidays and into the New Year.

December 2011

HKFYG Hong Kong Melody Makers

HKFYG Hong Kong Melody Makers in Macau

Choral and a cappella songs from the Hong Kong Melody Makers will be on the programme on Sunday afternoon, 22 January 2012 at the Igreja de So Domingos ( ) in Macau. The event, organized by HKFYG, is open to the public.

Hong Kong Arts Festival 40th Anniversary Opening Ceremony with the Hong Kong Melody Makers
On Tuesday 31 January, The Hong Kong Melody Makers will perform at the opening of the 2012 Arts Festival from about 6pm, singing contemporary a cappella in the lobby of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

More about the HKFYG Hong Kong Melody Markers on YouTube and Facebook

HKFYG news


Breakthough -Smiley Kizz Youth Support Scheme (dance troupe)

Youth Band Marathon 2011 The carols come hot on the amazing heels of the Youth Band Marathon 2011 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza when HKFYG groups and troupes took part and Art Jamming was organized by the HKFYG Lohas SPOT.

Contact Michelle Ho or Connie Wong 2395 5753 for more information.

Youth Hong Kong


HKFYG news

Have a Green New Year

Enjoy a hamper of organic food from the HKFYG Organic Farm this Christmas, the perfect time to share wholesome vegetables with your loved ones. Three festive hampers are prepared with loving care and one of them contains a recipe for a romantic sweet soup, pictured opposite. Stir-fried string beans with mixed vegetables
A healthy, colourful combination of fresh and dried ingredients that is a perfect accompaniment to meat or fish dishes, or a meal in itself with a bowl of steamed rice. Ingredients 80g French or string beans 4 large dried Shitake mushrooms 1 carrot Black fungus (4 big ones torn into small pieces or 8 small ones) A little olive oil Salt and white pepper

December 2011

How to order from the HKFYG Organic Farm Tel: 2838 4808 Fax: 2488 9034 email Delivery to Kowloon and New Territories: Monday and Friday To Hong Kong Island: Wednesday Free farm-to-home delivery for purchases of over HK$300 4 retail outlets Caf 21 21 Pak Fuk Road, HKFYG Building, Jockey Club Farm Road Youth SPOT, Heng Fa Chuen Youth SPOT and LOHAS Youth SPOT

Method Soak the mushrooms and black fungus, remove stems and any hard woody parts Wash all the vegetables Slice all ingredients into strips or bite-sized pieces Stir-fry mushrooms and black fungus for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat then add the other vegetables and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until they are tender but still crisp Season to taste and serve with steamed rice Nutritional information String beans are rich in fibre and help to lower cholesterol. They also contain vitamins A and C, and magnesium and potassium which can help to stabilize blood pressure and are good for the heart.

HKFYG news


Romantic osmanthus flower rice dumpling soup

The contrasting rice dumplings in this delicious sweet soup create a yin yang effect that is decorated with delicate, fragrant osmanthus flowers, traditionally known for their Romance Perfume.

Hearty beetroot soup

This wholesome winter soup has a perfectly balanced selection of ingredients that can be given added elegance with a hint of mandarin orange, and a vegetarian option of substituting extra legumes for meat.

Ingredients 150g glutinous rice flour 300ml of warm water 2 tablespoon beetroot juice (for colour, optional) 5g dried osmanthus flowers (osmanthus fragrans) 1/2 slices of yellow slab sugar 1 tablespoon of sweet fermented rice from rice wine, usually available in jars from Shanghainese food shops. Method Add warm water to glutinous rice flour Divide into 2 portions. Add beetroot juice to one portion to make a pink dough Roll white and pink dough into small balls, or roll into a thick string and cut into small cubes. Boil the dough balls until they float, then drain Bring 1 litre water to the boil, add dried osmanthus flowers, yellow slab sugar and sweet fermented rice for rice wine to make the soup base Put small rice flour balls into soup base and bring back to the boil. Serves 4-6 Osmanthus fragrans The plant has deliciously fragrant flowers with the scent of ripe peaches or apricots. It is known as Chinese cinnamon and in Chinese, the plant is called x ( ) or guhu ( ) which is also the name for the flowers and means literally "cinnamon flower" or "cassia flower" It is a traditional symbol of love and romance in Taiwan. For more information visit http://

Ingredients 500g beetroot 50g dried bak choy; use fresh ones if dried are not available 100g dried soybeans and 80g black-eyed peas, soaked overnight 150g lean pork loin 3 litres water 4 dried glazed dates 12 heads of sweet corn 3 slices of fresh ginger small piece of dried mandarin orange peel (optional for extra flavour) Method Wash and cut the beetroot and sweet corn into big chunks Parboil pork loin on high heat for one minute then skim off the scum and drain Put all ingredients into a large pot with 3 litres of water Bring to the boil, then reduce to low heat and continue cooking for an hour Season to taste Tip Vegetarians can replace pork with carrots/ add double portion of beans to give extra sweetness and body.

Some regular prices choi sum $30/ catty white cabbage $30/ catty cherry tomatoes $40/ 200g Shanghai cabbage $30/ catty regular tomatoes $45/ catty beetroot $25/ catty cactus $90/ catty cauliflower $40/ catty broccoli $40/ catty lettuce $30/ catty French beans $30/ catty daikon $25/ catty Indian lettuce $30/ catty strawberries $40/ 20g

Youth Hong Kong

Twelve books from HKFYG for 2011

Exploring Alternatives: Online Counselling Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-6-8
Young people are spending more and more time on the internet. They love to say how they feel on forums, blogs etc. In this volume, the HKFYG Youth Counselling Centre explains and analyzes its internet-based services. More forms of internet counselling are expected to emerge in the near future.


H K F Y G p u b l i c a t i o ns

December 2011

Web Positive 2.0 A Collection of Youth Online Blogs 2.0 Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-7-5
Five youngsters share their positive energy in writing, photos and drawings in these five winning entries to the positive blog competition organized by the Youth Online Outreach Counselling Scheme.

Draw and Tell Projective Drawing in Youth Counselling Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-4-4
A picture says more than a thousand words, and drawings can reflect feelings. HKFYGs team of school social workers have been use projective drawing in schools and this book contains some of the examples which illustrate the theory behind this creative counselling technique.

Ten Years with Young Night Drifters Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19688-9-0
In this tenth anniversary year of HKFYGs outreach service for the young night drifters who hang around Hong Kongs parks and street corners instead of going home at night. The authors explain how the service developed and how it works.

Stopping Violence Helping Adolescents to Change Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19688-8-3

Gang violence is always a serious concern. It reflects lack of proper skills to handle internal conflict and the twisted perspective that drives youngsters to violence in order to solve their problems. The HKFYG youth-at-risk team describe the various forms of counselling they use for this difficult group.

LEAD Creative Class Learning to Change for the Creative Class LEAD Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19688-5-2
This is the second in a series about the LEAD Creative Class programme organized by HKFYG. Examples are given of eight participating schools, pioneers in building a new type of learning and a new facet of the creative class.

Easy LEAD Family Fun with Scratch Easy LEAD Scratch Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-2-0
This book provides good creative activity resources for primary and junior secondary students, their parents and educators. It includes interesting examples to help the reader understand Scratch, an MIT-developed programming language. The CD-ROM includes the Scratch programme.

Sunshine in Lifes Jigsaw Price: HK$60 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-5-1

A collection of 19 true stories by young people who have won the Felix Wong Youth Award for overcoming difficulties or hardship. The book features an ex-drug abuser who found love through religion and her family and victims of the Szechuan earthquake. We hope our readers also find sunshine in the jigsaw of their life stories.

Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2011 2011 Price: HK$120 (hardcover), HK$100 (paperback) / ISBN: 978-988-196886-9 (hardcover), 978-988-19688-7-6 (paperback)
This compilation and analysis of statistical data and research findings about Hong Kong young people is organized according to areas of concern including population and family, education, and financial independence. It also has Indicators of Youth Values and is the tenth in the survey series conducted by the HKFYG Youth Research Centre since 1997.

Life Planning: Your Future from the Youth Employment Network Price: HK$60 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-1-3
The book reflects the experience gained by HKFYGs Youth Employment Network (YEN) helping young people understand their own strengths and make good decisions about career paths. It describes some of the learning tools built up by YEN, including guides to interview techniques.

Go Organic, Give Life a Choice Price: HK$120 / ISBN: 978-988-19688-0-7
Organic food is a life-style choice and HFYG has established its own organic farm to help young people learn about it. Groups of students visit the farm and see organic farming in practice. This beautifully illustrated book introduces the farm and its crops with a selection of recipes. See more on pages 44-45.


An Unconventional Side of Chinese Medicine Price: HK$80 / ISBN: 978-988-19689-8-2

A group of young Chinese medicine practitioners set up a clinic with backing from a Youth Business Hong Kong award managed by HKFYG. Their contact with patients has revealed misunderstanding about Chinese medicine and they share some basic concepts in this volume, as well as some successful cases histories.

Discounts: Students and u21 members 30% off Bulk purchase Schools and NGOs, 1-29 copies 30% off, 30 copies or above 40% off Other readers 1-29 copies 20% off; 30 copies or more 30% off All books available from 21/F, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Building, 21 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, Hong Kong, or online at Please contact Ada Chau tel 3755 7108 or email

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