The Young Reporter

Society & Politics

National Day wrap-up: another day of post-Occupy political debate

By Charlotte Yang and Christy Leung   Even before the national anthem was played for the Flag Raising Ceremony at 8 am, protestors outside Golden Bauhinia Square were ready with their five-star flags, colonial flags, banners and yellow umbrellas. Police officers were nervously standing by. As the Hong Kong government celebrates the 66th Chinese National Day with ceremonies, concerts and fireworks, various political groups are seizing the opportunity to voice their demands in the post-Occupy era. This morning in Wanchai, about 20 activists led by lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung protested to demand that the Communist Party rehabilitate Tiananmen victims and release jailed human rights lawyers in the mainland. They were carrying yellow umbrellas and coffins representing those who died due to the military crackdown in 1989. On the other side of the road, young activists who call themselves "localists" held different opinions. People wearing masks and waving colonial flags said they were not Chinese and democracy in China was not Hong Kong's business. Their separatist sentiment irritated members of a pro-Beijing group, who brought out national flags and yelled "Go Away" at their opponents. Conflicts did not end as people began leaving Wanchai. Right after the ceremony, Tiananmen Mothers, along with other pan-democratic groups, staged a Tiananmen-focused march towards the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government. Along the way, participants got involved in quarrels with people carrying Chinese flags, who accused the democrats of "messing up Hong Kong". Meanwhile in Tsim Sha Tsui, about 100 democracy advocates gathered to raise awareness of defending the city's core values. "Rule of law, press freedom, everything is getting worse," said one of the organisers, hedge fund manager Edward Chin Chi-kin, "It is not really a day to celebrate the National Day. It's a day to mourn if China starts premature influence over Hong …

Culture & Leisure

[Video] Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance as a Mid-Autumn blessing for peace

By ShanShan Kao   Fire and smoke mix with festival atmosphere through the backstreets of Tai Hang, locals dancing a "fire dragon" accompanied with firecrackers and drum beats. It all started from a tale around 100 years ago in a Hakka fisherman village, Tai Hang, where a mysterious python brought a plague into the village. To ward off the disease, villagers made a huge dragon with straw and covered it with lit incense sticks and danced for three days and nights on the evening of the 14th, 15th and 16th of the eighth lunar month. The ritual keeps until today with a whopping 300 performers, 72,000 incense sticks and a 67-metre dragon, with its head alone weighs 48kg. Mr Vicky Wong, the dragon head leader said the most difficult part is that the fire dragon head is heavy. "You have to pass it to another person after holding it for a while." He said. "We do this to inherit and pass on the cultural heritage of China. I've been dancing the fire dragon fot many years." He added. This tradition has become part of China's official intangible cultural heritage since 2009.  

Culture & Leisure

[Video] Chinese Ghost Festival for Traditional Chiu Chow Community

By Sharon Tang   People celebrate Halloween, the Western "ghost festival", by putting up costumes and be a part of the crowd. Funny as it is, the Chinese ghost festival is treated with more restraints as some may see it as a taboo and wish not to talk about ghosts. This year's Yulan Festival of the Chiu Chow Community was held in Tai Kok Tsui, from Aug 23-25. Tracing back to 46 years ago, the Chiu Chow people has already started the "Yulan Festival". In the festival, descendants burn joss sticks to worship gods, burn paper money to their ancestors. Lots people, regardless their origins, also burn paper money for "street ghosts". This is to show their respects to the ghosts so that they could keep themselves safe. More interesting is, there is a special Chinese opera performance as a way to entertain the "ghosts". According to the Chinese tradition and the Lunar calendar, July is the month when the "ghost door" opens, which means the ghosts are allowed to come out to the human grounds. Never should you think this event is dark and depressing. In fact, it is meaningful and joyful where different Chiu Chow families gather and chat about their lives. It is also a significant symbol showing how united the Chiu Chow people are. "Standing in the shoes of us Chiu Chow people, we unite in such a event," said Mr Lum Wing-fat, a member of the Yulan Festival of the Chiu Chow Community Committee. "Sometimes we meet each other in the neighbourhood and forgot their names, or even do not know them." "But when all of us gather here, we get along and work together closely." He said. In the old days when lives were poor and people had few to eat, the Yulan Festival has …

[Video] Old Landscape, New Business Model

  • 2015-09-04

  By Arisa Lai   GoodPoint, a four-storey heritage complex, is a lifestyle hub newly opened on February 12, 2015 after its revitalization. Operated by four social enterprises and community organizations, it is located in prime area of Flower Market in Prince Edward. "With a French architecture design, GoodPoint is defined as a grade II historic building and it is managed by Hong Kong Council of Community Service (HKCSS) under the Heritage Preservation and Revitalization Scheme." said Ms Tuet, HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre (HSBC SEBC) manager of HKCSS. Four operators, namely "Zen in Five Seasons", "WECONS", "Running Horse Lantern Limited", and "ELCHK Essence Hub", each occupied one floor from the ground to the third respectively in order to satisfying different social needs, Ms Tuet said. "Something special about social enterprises is that not only do they make business, but also promote a social value concept," said Ms Alison Yuen, HSBC SEBC Programme Executive of HKCSS. "Like we also organize public visiting tours [to bring people in]." "The best thing is that this heritage building is open to public, instead of being turned to a private property." Ms Yuen added. Some of the fascinating elements include the Art Deco in this building, which emphasizes simple lines, detailed carving and repetitive patterns as well as the ventilated ceiling. On the first floor WECONS collaborated nine communities to promote the idea of healthy living, with the aim of preservation and inheritance, according to Fair Circle Project Officer Mr Ernest Wong, the representative of the proprietors. "We hope this is not only a spot for selling goods but also a platform for people to engage in our concepts, like socioeconomic justice." Mr Wong added. In the renovating stage damage or modification to the building are avoided, Mr Wong mentioned. No nail was drilled into …

Letter from the Editor : What Mr Noel Biderman has in store for the glitzy city?

  • 2013-12-15
  • 2013-12-15

  In the December issue, we talk to Mr Noel Biderman, founder and CEO of the controversial infidelity website Ashley Madison, about why he has decided to tap into the Hong Kong market and what he has in store for the glitzy city. We also delve into the city's raging debate on the extramarital dating site, which made its debut in Hong Kong in August this year, by speaking with local religious leaders and family planning experts. As the political wrangling over the method of nominating chief executive candidates in 2017 shows no sign of abating, we have decided to get up close and personal with veteran pro-Beijing barrister Ms Maria Tam Wai-chu to find out her vision for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. On the societal front, we offer insight into a quiet revolution spearheaded by a group of local guerilla gardeners who plant "seed bombs" on the streets to trigger rethink on the ownership of the city's public spaces. With the rising threat of cybercrime in Hong Kong, we have decided to take a closer look at a recent surge in webcam blackmail cases involving sex chat between Hong Kong residents and overseas nationals. Finally, we welcome any feedback letters or emails from you on our stories and design layouts. Last but not least, we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays. Editor-in-chief Brian Yap

Baptist students receive journalistic acclaim at Campus News Award

  • 2013-10-14
  • 2013-10-14

  Journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University scooped up an impressive five awards at the China Daily Hong Kong 2013 Campus Newspaper Award prize ceremony on September 28. Local academics and corporate executives gathered at HKBU's Lam Woo International Conference Centre for the annual event, in which winners from 12 universities in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and China competed for awards in 16 categories. Mr Zhou Li, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific was joined by Mr Michael Wong Wai-lun, director of Information Services, and Legislative Councillor Ms Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee to officiate at the award ceremony. "We hope that more people know about this event and we look forward to more support in promoting journalism education," said Zhou. Mr Brian Yap Ka-hei, a final-year international journalism student at Baptist, was named one of the award winners by a panel of 21 judges alongside Mr Alan Wong Sui-lun, a recent journalism graduate from the same university. Mr. Yap snapped up two awards for his feature story on the plight of the N-nothings group in Hong Kong published in The Young Reporter, an English-language magazine run by journalism students at Baptist. He described the newspaper award contest as "an esteemed recognition" for the works of aspiring journalists as well as a platform for prospective employers to meet their future staff." On the other hand, Mr Wong secured three prizes for his design of the Legco Losers Special as well as the March and December issues of The Young Reporter. "I am glad the efforts I put into the design of the publication, which I started from zero in the previous summer and completed just in time for the publication of our first issue, gained recognition from the competition's judging panel," said Wong. Together, they picked up five awards in …