Comments Off on Do I give Lai See?

Do I give Lai See?

Posted by | February 17, 2015 | living-in-hong-kong

Starting this Thursday, (19th February 2015) Hong Kong celebrates the first three days of the lunar/Chinese New Year.  This is the most important festival in the Chinese lunar calendar. Every year is symbolized by an animal and an element (wood, metal, fire, water, earth). This is the year of the wood sheep, although some horoscopes refer to a goat or ram.

This time of the year sees a profusion of decorations (red and gold), orange trees, red poinsettia plants, lion dances, firecrackers (occasionally though, as illegal in HK), the harbour firework display and new year greetings. When someone greets you with ‘King Hei Fat Choi’ in Cantonese, there may be an expectation that you will give the well-wisher a red packet containing crisp new banknotes. The etiquette around who gives and receives a red packet is complicated to those unfamiliar with the practice, as the gifts are one-way. Two people will not give each other Lai See in the way that you might say exchange presents at Christmas.

molalacompany.com has produced a humorous guide to ‘Who gets Lai See’ (PG rated!). See below:

Who receives Lai See

Who receives Lai See?

Author

Marion Udall

Is your Recruiter a Weeder or a SeederI coined this expression a few years ago and frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t catch on. Particularly in Asia, many companies seem content to let their recruiters simply ‘weed out’ candidates that don’t get a check in the boxes. In doing so, they are losing sight of finding someone who can meet the performance objectives without being burdened by the employer’s preconceived success factors.Indeed, these factors are often in reality ‘status-quo’ factors.

The ‘Weeder’ recruiter will disqualify candidates who don’t meet the salary band, required years of experience, job title expectations or all mandated skills.

The ‘Seeder’ will identify the motivators and performance benchmarks of meeting increasing challenges over time, the ability to acquire or hire skills that they don’t currently have and will understand how they overcame obstacles relevant to the hiring company.

If you want to seed your organisation with different skills and make hires capable of developing beyond the role they are being hired into, look to your gatekeepers! It might be worth reminding them that great performers are unlikely to be interested in lateral transfers or in companies that equate future potential with check-box hiring.

Author Peter Udall

Comments Off on British expat survey 2014: “Rise of Far East”

British expat survey 2014: “Rise of Far East”

Posted by | October 11, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

British expat survey 2014

British expat survey 2014

The global Quality of Life Index, carried out by Centre for Future Studies, examines British expatriate opinions and attitudes on lifestyle, employment and financial status. The Nat West sponsored 2014 report comments on “the rise of the Far East with China, Singapore and Hong Kong soaring up the league table.”

They note that “in 2013, the number of work visas issued in Hong Kong to UK citizens jumped 45 per cent to 3,907. This number marked a record high. British expats in Hong Kong are attracted by low taxes (74%), efficient public transport (58%) and the widespread use of English (92%). The downsides, however, are a shortage of international schools (34%), overcrowding (73%) and air pollution (94%).” No real surprises for anyone already resident!

Although HK only made it into 8th place, it has fared better in previous surveys by AT Kearney  (2014) and The Economist Intelligence Unit (2012).

Author: Marion Udall, Editor

Comments Off on Hong Kong ranked #5 in Global City index

Hong Kong ranked #5 in Global City index

Posted by | September 22, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

In A.T. Kearney’s “Global Cities Present & Future” report for 2014, Hong Kong has retained its fifth place globally behind New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. The report studied 84 cities across 26 metrics in five core areas.

  • Business Activity
  • Human Capital
  • Information Exchange
  • Cultural Experience
  • Political Engagement
HK as a Global City

HK as a Global City

Unsurprisingly, Business Activity was one of Hong Kong’s strongest metrics with Cultural Experience and Political Engagement scoring behind other cities. The level of Political Engagement is again, fairly unsurprising as Hong Kong struggles towards a universal suffrage mechanism that will satisfy both Beijing and the local political activists/populace. The Hong Kong Cultural Experience is relatively rich in terms of cuisine, language, customs/festivals etc. but is impacted with a lack of historical building preservation. More on this in our next post!

The Authors note that “Mainland China’s integration in the global economy is reflected in advances in the index. Indeed, as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou climb the ranking, other key cities in Asia (such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and Seoul) have remained stagnant or declined in relative terms.”

Peter Udall (Guest Editor)

Mainland China’s integration in the global economy is reflected in advances in the index. Indeed, as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou climb the ranking, other key cities in Asia (such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and Seoul) have remained stagnant or declined in relative terms. – See more at: http://www.atkearney.com/research-studies/global-cities-index/full-report#sthash.EVnR4F5Y.dpuf
Mainland China’s integration in the global economy is reflected in advances in the index. Indeed, as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou climb the ranking, other key cities in Asia (such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and Seoul) have remained stagnant or declined in relative terms. – See more at: http://www.atkearney.com/research-studies/global-cities-index/full-report#sthash.EVnR4F5Y.dpuf
Comments Off on Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage identified

Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage identified

Posted by | September 15, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong

The Hong Kong Government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department has announced the first inventory of “intangible cultural heritage” (ICH) of Hong Kong, after 7 years of research.  According to the Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH adopted by UNESCO and ratified by China, qualifying items fall into:

  • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the ICH
  • Performing arts
  • Social practices, rituals and festive events
  • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
  • Traditional craftsmanship.

The government commissioned the South China Research Center (SCRC) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in August 2009 to conduct a survey of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, which was completed in mid-2013 with around 800 survey cases. The Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee which includes local academics, experts and community personalities reduced this in number to result to the following. How many do you recognize? The SCMP gives some further elaboration.

Hakka

Hakka

1 Hakka Dialect
2 Wai Tau Dialect
3 Cantonese
4 Four-character idiomatic expressions
5 Fishermen’s Dialect
6 Fujian Dialect
7 Fujian’s Hokkien (Minnan) Dialect
8 Fujian’s Fuzhou Dialect
9 Chiu Chow Dialect
10 Hoi Luk Fung / Hoklo Dialect
11 Riddles
12 Cantonese Chanting
13-23 Oral Legends: Sheung Shui Liu; Tuen Mun To; Chuk Yuen Lam; Ho Sheung Heung Hau; Tai Hang Man; Fanling Pang; Ha Tsuen Tang; San Tin Man; Kam Tin Tang; Lung Yeuk Tau Tang
24 Lion Dance
25 Dragon Dance
26 Pixiu (an imaginary beast) Dance
27-30 Unicorn Dance: Punti unicorn dance; Hakka unicorn dance; Hoi Luk Fung/ Hoklo unicorn dance
31 Engor (Dance of Heroes)

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera

32-37 Cantonese Opera: Singing of Excerpts; Opera Music; Opera for Appeasing Gods; Opera Vocals; Episodic Acts of Cantonese Opera
38 Fujian Opera
39-44 Puppetry: Shadow Puppetry, Rod Puppetry; Glove Puppetry; String Puppetry;  Hand Puppets in Cantonese Opera
45 Eight Categories of Instrumental Music (a type of music in Guangdong)
46-47 Ritual Music: Taoist and Buddhist Ritual Music
49 Rite Music
50 Cantonese Music (flourished 1920s-50s)
51 Chiu Chow Music
52 Nanyin (Southern Tunes)
53 Fujian Nanyin
54 Zhuzhici Poems/Village Names in a Song
55 Hakka Folk Song
56 Funeral Laments
57 Wedding Laments (a Hakka ritual)
58-61 Fishermen’s Laments: Wedding laments for both ordinary fishermen and Hoklo fishermen; Death Rites
62 Fishermen’s Ballads

FESTIVALS:

Festivals

Festivals

63 Che Kung (General Che)
64-67 Tai Wong Yeh (Great Lord) Festival: Local iterations of the festival in Sam Mun Tsai and Yuen Chau Tsai in Tai Po, as well as Mui Wo
68 Tin Kung Yuk Wong Tai Tai (Jade Emperor)
69 Kwan Tai (God of War)*
72 Lantern Lighting Ritual*
89 Tai Ping Hung Chiu (ceremony for purification)*
94 Pa Tin Gei (ceremony for purification)*
97 To Tei (Earth God)*
107 Spring and Autumn Ancestral Worship of Lineage*
128 Man Cheong (God of Literature and Bureaucracy) Festival
129 Hung Shing (God of the Sea) Festival*
139 Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy) Festival*
143 Guang Ze Zun Wang (Revered King of Broad Blessings) Festival
144 Sam Shan Kwok Wong (Kings of Three Mountains) Festival
145 Pak Tai (Supreme Emperor of the North) Festival*
148 Offering Sacrifices to White Tiger during Insects Awakening Day
149 Chun Kwan Emperor Festival
150 Tin Hau (Empress of Heaven) Festival*
176 Tam Kung (Lord Tam) Festival*
179 LiLing Divine Festival
180 Kam Fa (Lady Golden Flower) Festival
181 Feast Day

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival

182 Dragon Boat Festival*
187 Lung Mo (Dragon Mother) Festival*
190 Man Cheong (God of Literature) and Mo Tai (God of Martial Art) Festival
191 Chou (Zhou Youde) Wong (Wang Lairen) Yi Kung
192 Hau Wong (Marquis Prince) Festival*
195 Lo Pan (Master) Festival
196 The Seventh Sister’s Birthday Festival
197 Yu Lan Festival*
287 Tei Chong Wong (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) Festival*
291 Fire Dragon Dance*
294 Chai Tin Tai Shing (Monkey King) Festival
295 Wong Tai Sin Festival
296 Yuen Tin Sheung Tai (Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven) Festival
297 Tei Mo Yuen Kwan (Earth Mother Goddess) Festival
298 Wah Kwong (God of Fire and patron of Cantonese opera) Festival*
303 Autumn Sacrificial Rites
304 Ancestral Worship of the Kwok Clan in Kowloon City
305 General Cheung Fei Festival
306 Thanking Deities
307 Jiao / Da Chiu*
324 International Mother Language Day
325 Diwali (Festival of Lights), a Hindu tradition
326 Teej (Festival of Women), a Nepalese celebration
327 Poem Reciting Function, a Pakistani tradition
328 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colours)
329 Dussehra (Hindu Festival of Victory of Good over Evil)
330 Annakut (New Year’s Day in Hindu)
331 Orthodox Unity School Taoist Tradition (New Territories)*
338 Orthodox Unity School Taoist Tradition (Urban)
339 Complete Perfection School Taoist Tradition
340 – 346 including Taoist wedding ceremony, rehabilitation ceremony for temples and others
347 Cantonese Rite of Liberating the Flaming-mouths (Feeding the Hungry Ghosts)
348 Traditional Funeral Rites
349 Traditional Wedding Ceremonies*
355 Enshrinement ceremony for the Chinese Unicorn (once every 10 years)
356 Vegetable Tea preparation during festivals
357 Sek Shan Tou (Eating on the Hillside)
358 Basin Meal
359 Sticking Hui Chun (Spring Scrolls)

MARTIAL ARTS

Martial Arts

Martial Arts

360 Tai Shing Pek Kwar Moon Style (Monkey and Axe Hammer Style) – wushu
361 Tai Chi Chuan*
366 Northern Shaolin Tay Tong Pak Kar
367 Weng Chun Fist*
370 Pak Hok Pai (White Crane) Fist
371 Southern Shaolin Ng Cho Kun (Five Ancestors Fist) Tiebigong (Iron Arm Skill)
372 Hung Gar Kuen Style
373-377 Lam Family Hung Kyun; Kung Chi Fuk Fu Fist; Fu Hok Seung Ying Fist; Dan Tau Kwan; Tit Sin Fist
378 Fu Style Bagua Quan (Fu Style Eight Trigrams Fist)
379 Hua Yue Xin Yi Liu He Ba Fa Chuan (Six Harmonies Eight Methods Boxing)
380 Wing Chun Fist
381- 383 Pao Fa Lien Wing Chun; Snake Crane Wing Chun; Yip Man Wing Chun
384 Cangzhou Wushu*
387 Choi Lee Fat Fist*
390 Lung Ying Fist (Dragon Sign Fist)
391 Tanglangquan (Northern Praying Mantis)
392 – 395 Its variations
396 Culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine
397 – 399 Herbal Tea; Snake Wine; Bone Setting
400 Fishermen’s knowledge about the universe and the nature
401 Traditional Jade Stone Knowledge
402 Traditional Chinese Almanac

TECHNIQUES IN MAKING:

Making Soy Sauce

Making Soy Sauce

403 Fermented Black Soybean
404 Bean Curd
405 Seafood Sauce
406 Preserved Fruit
407 Fei Gei Lam (Aeroplane Olive)
408 Soy Sauce by local factories
409 Sesame Oil
410 Fish Maw
411 Shrimp Paste Blocks and Shrimp Paste
412 Pickled Vegetable
413 Soy Sauce (Fujian Sauce Factories)
414 Preserved Meat
415 Brewing Glutinous Rice Wine
416 Dried Oyster and Oyster Sauce
417 Fermented Soybean Sauce
418 Salted Fish

mooncakes

Types of Mooncake

419 Moon Cake
420 Melon Seed  (the snack)
421 Betrothal Cakes
422 Chiu Chow Sugar Loaf
423 Chiu Chow Style Sweets and Cakes
424 Chiu Chow Five Assorted Betrothal Cakes
425 Glutinous Rice Dumpling
426- 427 With lye or with pork
428 Sau Fan
429 Shek Lau Tsai
430 Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling)
431 Ching Ming Tsai (Paederia scandens Sticky Rice Dumpling)
432 Sweet Potato Cake
433 Hakka Cuisine
434 Cantonese Cuisine
435 Chinese Dim Sum
436 Chiu Chow Marinated Food
437 Dumpling
438 Noodles

Egg Tart and Pineapple Bun

Egg Tart and Pineapple Bun

439 Egg Tart
440 Pineapple Bun
441 Wonton
442 Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
443 Yuan Yang Mixed Milk Tea and Coffee
444 Ding Ding Candy
445 Blown Sugar (small balloon can be made from syrup)
446 Paper Crafting
447- 455 Ghost Master; Sky Lantern; Flower-canon; Flower-lantern; Paper Offerings; etc
456 Drawn Work Figurine
457 Wreath Crafting
458 Flower Board Crafting
459 Wood Carving
460 – 461 ordinary and religious carvings
462 Charcoal Drawing
463 Mirror Painting of Deity Image
464 Gravestone Carving
465 Gold Leaf Decoration
466 Ivory Carving
467 Shiwan Pottery
468 Painting Mounting
469 Paper-cutting Technique
470 Lacquerware
471 Guangcai (The Canton Famille Rose Porcelain)
472 Seal Carving
473 Gravure-type Printing
474 Movable-type Printing
475 Dough Figurine Crafting
476 White Herring Bone Ornaments

Mahjong Tiles

Mahjong Tiles

477 Mahjong Tile Making
478 Brocade Box Making
479 Birdcage Production
480 Guqin (seven-stringed plucked instrument)
481 Umbrella Making
482 Piu Sik (Floating Colours)
483 Tattoo Technique
484 Face Threading Technique
485 Leather Shoe Making
486 Quilt Making
497 Sewing techniques
501 Lantern Band Embroidery
502 Cantonese Opera Headdress Crafting
503 Cantonese Opera Costume Embroidery
504 Jade Carving
505 Jewellery
506 Galvanised Iron Products
507 Chopping Board
508 Steamer
509 Cake Mould
510 Wooden Furniture Crafting

Chinese Lotus casket

Chinese Lotus casket

511 Coffin Crafting
512 Ying Stone (ornamental limestone from Yingde) Rockery Miniature Landscape Crafting
513 Gardening
514 Stilt House Construction
515 Traditional Architecture Preservation
516 Bamboo Shed Theatre Building
517 Wooden Boat Building
518 Fishing Method
519 Fishing Net Plaiting Technique
520 Aquaculture of Seawater fish
521 Gei Wai (Inter-tidal shrimp ponds) Operation
522 Aquaculture of Fresh-water Fish
523 Oyster Farming
524 Rice Cultivation
525 Vegetable Cultivation
526 Salt Making
527 Honey making
528 Pig Raising
529 Chicken Raising
530 Guangdong Hand Puppets Making

Comments Off on Global Cities of Opportunity 2014

Global Cities of Opportunity 2014

Posted by | September 6, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

HK City of Opportunity

HK City of Opportunity

PwCs latest Cities of Opportunity report analyzes 30 cities (all capitals of finance, commerce, and culture) and through their current performance, seeks to understand what makes cities function best.  PwC also investigated both the urbanization and demographic mega-trends that shape global cities.

Hong Kong  with 1,156 points made it into 8th place overall, behind London (1,290 points), New York, Singapore (1,230), Toronto, San Francisco, Paris and Stockholm.

Hong Kong scored well for:

  • Airport-City Access
  • Attracting Foreign Domestic Investment
  • Broadband Quality
  • Cost of public transport
  • Digital Economy
  • Ease of Commute
  • Ease of entry (visa)
  • Ease of starting a business
  • IP Protection
  • International Toursists
  • Shareholder Protection
  • Maths/Science Skills
  • Level of Operational Risk
  • Top 100 Airport
  • Corporate Tax Rate
  • Workforce Management Risk
  • Working Age Population
  • World University Rankings

Hong Kong scored poorly for:

  • Cost of Business Occupancy
  • Natural Disaster Risk (?)
  • Public Park Space

Peter Udall (Guest Editor)

Comments Off on Hong Kong – where politically connected businessmen are most likely to prosper

Hong Kong – where politically connected businessmen are most likely to prosper

Posted by | September 2, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

The Crony-Capitalism Index 2014

The Crony-Capitalism Index 2014

The Economist recently created an index around crony-capitalism, or more exactly “rent-seeking”: grabbing a bigger slice of the economic pie rather than making the pie bigger. Common examples of rent-seeking (which may or may not be illegal) include forming cartels and lobbying for rules that benefit a firm at the expense of competitors and customers.

This is hardly a surprise, in a City where the combined wealth of Hong Kong’s billionaires is equivalent to more than 70% of Hong Kong’s GDP (Source: Wall Street Journal) and a fifth of the population live in poverty. Their recent article “Hong Kong’s Tycoons Under Attack” singled out Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., Sun Hung Kai Properties, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, Swire Pacific Ltd., Wheelock and Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. This is no means an exuaustive list of who sits on the wealthy side of one of the world’s most imbalanced societies. Read the Forbes list of Hong Kong’s richest individuals.

Scoring Hong Kong in first place globally, The Economist notes “Countries that do well on the crony index generally have better bureaucracies and institutions, as judged by the World Economic Forum. But efficient government is no guarantee of a good score: Hong Kong and Singapore are packed with billionaires in crony industries. This reflects scarce land, which boosts property values, and their role as entrepots for shiftier neighbours. Hong Kong has also long been lax on antitrust: it only passed an economy-wide competition law two years ago.”

Author: Peter Udall

Comments Off on Hong Kong IB 2014 Results

Hong Kong IB 2014 Results

Posted by | August 31, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong

ESF Hong Kong IB 2014 ResultsOverall, students in Hong Kong outperformed their fellow IB students around the world; the mean score this year is 35.63, well above last year’s worldwide mean score of 29.9. Twelve students (0. 74%) achieved a perfect 45 score in their exams, compared with 154 students (0.25%) from last year’s worldwide statistics. Non-ESF schools broadly fell into the 35-40 average score, whilst ESF scored an average of around 35. Their worst performing school was Discovery College, which was included in the rankings this year for the first time. Source: GeoSchools

Author: Marion Udall

Global Information Technology Report

2014 Global IT Report

This year marks the 13th edition of the Global Information Technology Report, which provides a comprehensive assessment of networked readiness, or how prepared an economy is to apply the benefits of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to promote economic growth and well-being. Using updated methodology that was introduced in 2012, the report ranks the progress of 148 economies in leveraging ICTs to increase productivity, economic growth and the number of quality jobs.

With the most pronounced improvement among the top 10, Hong Kong SAR (see page 179) climbs six positions to 8th place. The sharp improvement in its score is driven by improvements in conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship (2nd) that were already very positive, a robust skills base (10th), and stronger business (16th) and government usage (24th). Overall, Hong Kong SAR enjoys a fairly well developed ICT infrastructure that, coupled with a stable environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship (4th), results in good economic (13th) and social (11th) impacts. Notwithstanding these strengths, individual uptake remains lower than it is in the Nordic countries that lead the rankings.

Indeed, it is this access to the skilled local talent pool that contributes to making Hong Kong ‘the best country for doing business globally‘!

Peter Udall

Guest Editor

Comments Off on Asian markets where expatriate staff receive the highest pay

Asian markets where expatriate staff receive the highest pay

Posted by | May 22, 2014 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

Hong Kong expat payECA International have recently released their survey results revealing the Asian markets where expatriate staff receive the highest pay packages.

According to their survey results, middle managers in Hong Kong on expat packages receive the 5th highest pay in the region. Local salaries were the second lowest in Asia, but the benefits were the highest. If benefits are excluded, Hong Kong drops to 15th place.

It should be noted that ‘expat’ terms usually only apply to internal transfers or to new hires above the middle management level. Most new hires at this level will be on ‘local terms’ even if the candidate resides abroad. See our related articles on applying for Hong Kong jobs and Hong Kong employment contracts.

Marion Udall

 

Credit Controller, Chef de Partie / Demi Chef / Commis, Dishwasher/Cleaner, Waiter/Waitress, Business Process Analyst, Sales Administration Assistant – Motorcycle Parts, IT Trainer, account manager, Assistant Restaurant Manager, Waiter, Bartender, Host, Supervisor, Server (5 day work week), Curriculum Developer in Haizhu, Guangzhou, Senior Information Security Analyst, Marketing Manager – Hotel Relations, Teach in Yangjiang, Guangdong provided, up to 12k per month, Z visa provided, start in September, Network Operations Officer, Technical Consultant (IT), Head of PMO, Director for Research, Assistant Project Manager,
Close
Follow us and join our HUGE Facebook group!
Please join us on Twitter, our Facebook group or on Google+