Spring is in the air. It is celebrated in different ways in different parts of Asia. In India, itis the festival of Holi – where everyone throws colored water on each other. TheJapanese observe Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival, when the color of pinkbrightens the moss green hills. In China, it is the time to go home to one’s family,resulting in the largest annual migration of humanity. But on the outskirts of Shanghai,there’s a tulip park that is bigger than Keukenhof – acres of blooming tulips that draw inthe crowds.In this issue, we celebrate a group of people who are in the spring of their lives:Tweens. At the threshold of teenage, with a mind that is keen to explore and express,they are a sweet spot for many marketers. Read about their daily routines, marvel athow tech-savvy they are.We also speak to a breed of small business owners: those who run convenience stores,and continue to find relevance despite the relentless advance of modern retailingchains. These family run businesses have adapted with the times, yet the personalizedservice they offer keeps them relevant. Think how you can serve them better: whetherit is from a logistics perspective, or with packaging that doubles up as display, or bycapitalizing on the relationships they have with their customers.But common people remain worried. For every new opportunity, there’s a threat. Thetimes are uncertain, and being interconnected across cultures means that what’shappening in a distant land may affect us sooner than later. Think of how you can play arole in alleviating that tension.And when you’re done reading this eighth issue of Wassup, do tell us how you haveapplied some of the trends and insights to your work. We’re all ears !
14 countries.20 correspondents deeply immersed inpopular and leading edge culture bring youCultural Insights that will make a world ofdifference to your business SOUTH KOREA BANGLADESH PHILIPPINES SINGAPORE INDONESIA SRI LANKA THAILAND MALAYSIA PAKISTAN VIETNAM TAIWAN JAPAN CHINA INDIA
Look who’s talking:Convenience Store Owners in Asia Knowing me, Knowing you: Tweens Playing on my iPod Rage against Everyone is talking about Tense aboutTop Valentines Day gifts for 2012
Lookwho’stalkingConvenience Store Owners in Asia
Look who’s talking … BEIJINGCompared to other modern metropolises in Asia, it isdifficult to a find a 24-hour convenience store in Beijing. Ifyou dont live near busy streets, you may not have such aconvenience. Li Jie, the store owner of a local 24-hour Brands that are popular include Orchard Farmer andconvenience store franchise called Hi-24 explains why Ddchu. “Dry fruits and nuts are considered as healthymost convenience stores are unwilling to open in some snacks in China. They provide nutrition that is good forcommunities."The operational costs of a 24-hour brain work; Orchard Farmer offers small packaged dryconvenience store are very high. Such costs include water fruits and nuts with competitive prices, which makebills, electricity fees and labor costs; the rent is also higher them very popular among working adults; Ddchuon busy streets. Therefore, we would not choose a makes soybean milk, which is also considered as alocation which is not commercially thriving and populous.” healthy beverage. A lot of young professionals don’t have time to cook or to buy breakfast, they drink blackLi’s store is located at a busy area called Dongzhimen soybean milk instead. They can use microwave in thewhere office buildings, shopping malls and residential office to heat it up, which is good for winter, Li said.complexes are located. Li’s frequent customers are 20 to35 years old working adults whose incomes are higher Promotions that are working well lately is buy 10 yuanthan average. “Saving time is the highest priority for my and add 2 yuan to get a free Nestle coffee. Youngcustomers, quality is their biggest concern. So we are professionals don’t mind to spend 2 extra RMB for atrying to bring them good quality products; having new coffee that is much cheaper than Starbucks but alsoproducts every one or two weeks on the shelf is one of our gives them energy to make it through the wholeadvantages,” Li explained. afternoon.Cookies, milk, juice and instant food such as noodles are Since foreign convenient stores such as 7-11 andselling very well at Li’s store. Young working adults, Family Mart are expanding their business in China,especially female professionals, like to shop for few snacks local stores owners are feeling pressured. Li said:during lunch break or working hours. Brands that are “Foreign convenient stores’ biggest advantage is freshpopular include Orchard Farmer and Ddchu. food and hot food. Their business license is allowing Cookies, milk, juice and instant them to set up a kitchen in the store and make fresh food such as noodles are selling food for customers. In winter, hot food is very popular very well at Li’s store. Young and competitive, customers want to eat something working adults, especially warm in a cold weather.” However, Hi-24 also have female professionals, like to their own advantages. They provide self-service shop for few snacks during terminals for repayment, payment, recharge and e- lunch break or working hours. business service which is very popular among their customers.
Look who’s talking …KUALA LUMPURPasar Mini (Mini Market) Petaling Store is a small bustlingconvenience store, tucked away in a friendly residential areaof Petaling Jaya. Victor, the owner, has run Petaling Storewith his brother for over 20 years. They work 7 days a week,12 hours a day, taking turns to man the store. Petaling Store Front of the convenience storeusually enjoys a steady stream of customers throughout theday. However, Sundays are the busiest days for Victor,followed by Saturdays and after-work hours on weekdays.Most of Victor’s customers live around the area, frequentinghis shop several times a week to stock up on their weeklyprovisions, or to make impulse purchases such as beer orcigarettes. Customers are a mixture of ages, demographicsand races. 90% of his customers are regulars and many havebecome his friends over the years. Most don’t spend morethan a few minutes in-store.The top 3 selling products at Petaling Store are: bread (alarge choice of brands are available, sold at a slightly lowerprices), beer (Carlsberg and Tiger are the most popularbrands) and biscuits. A new bread brand, Massimo, has Inside the store- the main section stocking beer,recently taken the Malaysian market by storm; delivering snacks and goodswholesome goodness at affordable prices. Victor has alsonoticed an increase in demand for value items over the pastfew years, with Malaysians becoming less brand consciousand more price conscious.Seeing other hypermarkets around the area, such asSpeedmart as direct competitors, Victor ensures PetalingStore remains competitive with pricing that is on par, orslightly lower than hypermarkets and also through buildingstrong relationships with his customers.With such long working hours, Victor feels there is “no timeto have a life” in this business. He wishes that he could takea break and go on holiday, but man-power is limited and it ishard to trust other people with his business. 8 Inside the store- the back section stocking household non-perishable items
Look who’s talking … JAKARTA Lyla is 30. She runs a small shop in front of her house where she sells products for daily needs. The shop is located just behind the wall of the biggest national university in Indonesia. University students are her most frequent customers who live in nearby dorms. Lyla earns between $50 and $90 per day, which she uses to replenish her stock for the following day’s business. Over the past couple of years, life has been getting harder. The shop is not as profitable as it once was. Mini marts with free internet access and places for people to hang out are hurting Lyla’s business. Cigarettes and drinks are the most popular products. Drinks cost around 50 cents and are promoted or bundled with other items. Tough business conditions haVE forced Lyla to be more creative. She has promoted her shop door-to-door in female dormitories and offers free delivery to small food stalls on campus, providing free delivery for minimum orders of products. DHAKA27 year old Sobuj Islam runs a corner store with a grand name:“Save Mart Department Store.” His customers range fromelderly people to domestic helpers. The popular brands hesells are Maggi noodles (Nestle), Ruchi Chanachur (SquareConsumer Foods), Arong Milk. Mentos and Big Babol Triply(Perfetti). They are favorites among children and adults alike.Sobuj says that brands that tend to do well are those withinnovative packaging. For example, Maggi has been popularbecause of the design of its packaging. Coca-Cola has alsobeen making a comeback (the brand has been absent in themarket), now occupying 83 percent of corner stores inBangladesh. Sobuj says his stores rarely offer any promotions. 9
Look who’s talking …COLOMBOBarnes Corner is a local grocery shop located in Another fast-moving brand is Elephant House Twist iceColombo. It has been open since 1991. Over the years, it cream, which offers flavors “twisted together” --has increased its products from basic household items vanilla with mango, chocolate or orange. The noveltyto a host of almost every possible FMCG product of enjoying their favorite flavors combine together in aneeded by families. The store has a steady flow of both single scoop of ice cream is driving demand fromloyal and new customers throughout the day. consumers, especially children. Elephant HouseHousewives from the neighborhood visit in the morning. Wonderbites is another new brand that is doing well.During the day until late afternoon, items such as rice, Wonderbites are bit-sized cubes filled with vanilla iceflour and vegetables are in high demand. During cream covered with a chocolate outside, which makeslunchtime, the store sells “baath packet,” which is it easy for instant consumption.cooked rice and curry, to customers working at nearbyoffices. When school ends, children and their mothers While brand promotions are a common phenomenon,come in to purchase soft drinks and frozen dairy Barnes Corner has not resorted to offering any specialproducts. deals to their customers to boost sales. The owner says their largest customer base are those who have beenRecently, dengue has been a concern in Sri Lanka as loyal to them for a long time. The store alwaysnumerous people on the island were reportedly responds to special requests from customers to stockinfected with the disease and hospitalized. Mosquitoes specific brands. Even if the brands are not the mostare the primary carrier of the disease. As a result, a popular, the storekeeper says he knows they will sell.brand called Mortein mosquito repellant has been There are more stores opening up nearby; howeverpopular. The shop owner says customers prefer the Barnes Corner says they are not concerned becausevaporizer over mosquito coils since it is a smoke-free they have never had to work hard to attract and retain 10product and more convenient. their loyal shoppers.
Look who’s talking … BANGKOK Ananda Supakrit’s family has been running a local convenience store on Bangkok’s busy Chan Road for more than 50 years. have established for 50 years ago. “As a family business, we are much more passionate about traditional trading, which can lead to the sustainable relationships in Thai society,” he tells us. In the morning, the store is packed with office-goers. For a typical snack, they buy a small carton of soy milk or juice, a packet of shredded pork with salad cream sandwich or a packet of dried seaweed or squid. Drinks are the hottest selling item. The weather in Bangkok is hot and humid – and Ananda sells bottled water, Coke, Pepsi, Singha beer, green tea and Thai lemonade. Mama noodles are popular and a good deal for a quick lunch. In the evening, many youngsters pick up frozen dinner, typically Thai, dim sum, or bread stuffed with red bean or custard. For the equivalent of 35 cents, you can buy a box of noodles – add hot water from a dispenser in the store, rip open the pack of chillies and spices, and you’ve got a meal! Borrowing an idea from the 7-Eleven stores, Ananda offers his customers loyalty cards. Every time you make a purchase, he stamps it, and when the card is full, they can get something for free, or a discount on future purchases. Some of his customers donate their stamped cards to one of the Buddhist temples nearby, so that the monks may buy anything they need. Charity, customer loyalty and business do go hand-in-hand in 11 Thailand!
Look who’s talking …TOKYO MANILAIn July 2001, Lawson Inc. began a new convenience store chain Aling Ging has been operating her ‘sari-sari’called Natural Lawson that emphasizes health, beauty and a store for more than 20 years, and it hascomfortable lifestyle as key messaging to reach consumers. become a go-to store for her neighbors.Their target demographic is women in their twenties and Even when new sari-sari stores pop up onthirties. Natural Lawson uses the appeal of both quality every street of the village, she is confidentproducts and a modern atmosphere to create a convenience that she will survive because she has learnedstore that targets a tough, female niche market. All products to keep a good relationship with herare advertised as having no artificial additives or preservatives. customers, which she calls “suki” (loyalParticular touches such as organic wine, aroma oil and skincare customer). Aling Ging is very hands-on inproducts cater perfectly to a consumer base of young, running the store because she relies on themetropolitan women. Many stores also have bakeries called earning from the store to cover for many of“LOHAS Kitchens” and in-store cafe seating as well as dim the household expenses. She takes pride inlighting and isles wide enough for strollers and wheel chairs. having sent her daughter to vocational school with her earnings from the store and herLawson has also started a new dessert line called “Uchi Cafe husband’s modest income over the years. InSweets” that have been a big hit. “Uchi cafe” means “Home the 20 years that she has been in theCafe” and refers to the type of desserts shoppers can buy at business, she has experienced the rise andconvenience stores and enjoy at home. The dessert line has invasion of sachets in her store as shebeen expanded due to its popularity. There are now over 30 observed her customers trying to extendtypes of desserts along with a premium line. The desserts are their moneys harder and harder. She alsopopular among both young men and women. A Cross observed how the price cap of customerMarketing survey revealed that 44.7 percent of people buy a spending went lower over the years. Withbottle of tea at a convenience store and 43.9 percent buy the difficult economic times, even she starteddesserts. There is obviously a need for a little treat after work to augment her grocery selling by alsoor school! offering snack items such as banana-cue and 12 other native desserts.
Look who’s talking …TAIPEIThis convenience store in Taipei was opened by Wang’s fatherover 60 years ago. Things are not easy. The store is located in aquiet neighborhood yet faces fiercer and fiercer competitionfrom other stores opening around the city. Those stores aremore modern, with bright lights and a wider variety ofproducts. Wang says he is lucky that he does not need to payrent and has no mortgage on his house and shop otherwise hemight be in real trouble as profits have been steadily declining.Wang says most of his clientele are older residents living in thearea. Younger parents tend to drive further away tosupermarkets. Wang helps deliver goods to the elderly whohave a hard time coming to his store. Blue collar workers whoare unaccustomed to going to more modern markets aimed atthe middle class also frequent Wang’s shop. They come inwearing tank tops and flip flops. “Maybe it is because what Iwear is just like them,” Wang said.Wine and cigarettes are also cheaper here compared to chainconvenience stores and supermarkets. For Wang, thegovernment has thankfully not established any policy to createa uniform price. Except for wine and cigarettes, Wang says hedoes not like to sell new brands. His old clients are set in theirways and like to buy products they know. “They can barelychange their taste, so it is common for new products to turninto over-stocked goods,” he said.Since he knows his neighborhood well, Wang finds opportunityin selling some seasonal products, such as glutinous rice ballsduring Lantern Festival, gold paper and incense during ChineseNew Year, and barbecue utensils for Moon Festival. TAN BINH Tap is the owner of a local convenience store in Tan Binh district in Vietnam. His store has been around for quite some time hence his regular clients are the people who live in the same neighborhood that want to support his business. Tap was particularly excited to talk about the different products that were the best sellers at his store. “Since there are a lot of kids in this neighborhood, snacks and candies are probably the two most popular items at my store. Kids tend to buy brands that have been around for quite some time such as Thai Shrimps, or Crab. Some newer brands such as Cheetos and Lay’s are doing quite well too, and I really see an upward trend in their sales. I think the reason is because these new brands are willing to pay for advertising to promote their products where as those “traditional” 13 brands – Thai Shrimps and Crab – rely on word-of-mouth for sales.”
Look who’s talking … You get to meet all kinds of people in Shankar’s shop.MUMBAI Kids, housewives, elderly people, and even household help from the nearby housing societies come and buy their emergency requirements from the shop. “Pant27-year-old Shankar Patel defies the image we have in our pehen ne wali bhi aati hai; ghaghra-wali bhi aati hai [Weminds of an average owner of a provision store. And he also have women buyers wearing western clothing, as well asdefies the image of the marketing-savvy, new-age shopkeeper those wearing traditional dresses stepping in to ourthat we would expect as first-time entrepreneurs. However, shop],” he says. The shop is open 6 days in a week.after a short chat with him, things start to make sense. In India, “Sometimes we do not feel like working, so we down themost businesses can be closely linked to communities. The shutters for a day”, he smiles sheepishly. The 250-square-famous dabbawalas (tiffin carriers) in Mumbai are all from the feet shop is unbelievably loaded with groceries and foodsame community hailing from in and around a specific village in products of all kinds – from packaged meals, to freshMaharasthra. The same is true for diamond traders and bread and milk in polythene bags, to grains and cerealslabourers. General and Provision stores are no different either – stocked in open and sold in loose packs. Part of the smallthey are largely owned by members of the Marwari community, space outside the shop is given to a vegetable vendor.and operated by family members and relatives. After studying Ask him on the number of products he stocks, and verytill the 10th grade, Shankar started out as a helper in a general nonchalantly, he shrugs his shoulders and says that hestore in suburban Mumbai. About 3 years ago, he gathered doesn’t know. He only re-stocks what he sells, and thatenough courage (and support from his employer), to start his too is taken care of by the weekly trips of salesmen fromown provision shop, ‘Shree Dhanlaxmi Stores’. 14 different companies.
Look who’s talking …So how much money does he make? Daily sales clock about Any new products that got him excited? For the focus he hasINR 15,000 ($300) and he gets a margin of about 8-10% on on business, this too had to be something that helped himthat. “The new, big stores (referring to the modern retail earn more. A chocolate cream biscuit brand launched in thestores) have halved my business”, he says. “[Customers] go premium segment, and having a high turnover is what hein their cars and buy in bulk from there, and come to me for recalls first. Next is a heat-and-eat packaged meals brand thatsmaller purchases.” The biggest impact to him is on the high- added more dishes to its range, and has been getting buyersmargin food grains and provisions that he sells in loose without much effort. With the high number of customerspacks. These items are now bought in packaged form, and at steeping into his shop, Shankar doesn’t have much time todiscounted rates from the stores. convince them to change their preferences. He picks his opportunities well, and just says “Achcha hai, le lo (take it, it’sTo boost his sales further, Shankar has started offering free good!)” with great conviction, to make people change theirhome delivery to customers living nearby. It doesn’t incur brand. He does not go into details, and doesn’t seem to careany extra cost to him, but make it a bit convenient for his to know much too. Companies, brands, variants and the topcustomers, he reasons. Unfortunately for him, this service features is all he can manage to remember. So what keepsnow has become part of base expectations, since every shop him and his shop going? One would get the same brands in ain the area offers the same benefit. From earnings of about departmental store at probably better discounts, and fromINR 40,000 ($800) per month, Shankar’s big expenses are the salespeople probably more informed than him. Around thisshop’s rent, salaries for his 3 helpers and the electricity. His 3 same time, a housewife enters the shop, picks something uphelpers are his roommates too, so his monthly rent for the and asks for clearing up past dues. This is when we see himflat is an added expense he has to bear. A part of the open his notebook of “accounts” maintained for regularremainder goes to his family living in the village. customers, and we realize the importance of personalized short-term credit he offers to his customers.What does he doWhat gets him interested? Not much, it seems, except for with the savings? “I plough it back,” he says. No indulgentretailer schemes. ‘Everest’, a maker of spices, recently ran a spending on self? “Nothing”, he says, a bit embarrassed. Andscheme for retailers, where they got scratch cards and may adds matter-of-factly, “I don’t make that much money.”get win prizes from a draw of lottery. It made him order a fullcarton rather than only a few packs. Similar promotional “Surely he is being modest”, I think, looking at the heaps ofschemes for end consumers that help him sell a premium products all around me, and immediately realize that heproduct in more quantities are his favorite. A detergent might have said the truth. For a shopkeeper who earns thatbrand gave away liquid hand-wash and toothpastes free with kind of money, he doesn’t have a cell-phone. Yes, he does aits variants for washing machines, while a juice brand gave landline connection and an intercom for the society wheresmaller SKUs free with its large packs. the shop is, but for the purpose of business. No personal indulgences. 15.
Knowing me, Knowing you DORA, 9 Dora is the “Little Princess” in her family. Not only because she looks like a little princess by wearing the new Barbie dress that her mom just bought for her, but also because the amount of freedom that she is allowed to have at home. The wall of her bedroom is covered by Dora’s cute paintings of animals, people and trees. Her mother smiled and said: “We can paint the wall again but we can’t kill child’s creativity. I want her to be happy in her childhood with the freedom to do things she enjoys to do.” Dora is 9 and lives in Beijing. Her parents are both working for foreign companies, and they are occupied with work most of the time. In order to better take care of Dora, her grandparents live with them in the same house. They pick up Dora from school everyday and prepare dinner for her. Monday to Friday Dora has regular classes from 8am to 3:30pm. Every Tuesday afternoon, she goes to English supplementary classes until 5pm, and every Thursday afternoon, she has painting lessons. Dora’s mom explained that she and her husband want Dora to explore and develop some interests when she is young but meanwhile they don’t want Dora’s time to be filled with extra lessons. They think having a balance between learning and playing is one of the most important things for a child.At home, Dora’s favorite activities are watchinganimation, painting and playing with her dad’s iPad.Her favorite stars are not normal people. They areanimated characters such as Pleasant Goat from“Pleasant Sheep and Big Big Wolf” and Dora from“Dora the Explorer.” Dora’s mom indicated that sheobviously prefers clothing and stationeries withgraphics of animation characters that she likes.“Pleasant Sheep is very beautiful and good at a lots ofthings. For example, putting on make up, cooking andnursing; Dora always goes to new places, she is sobrave. My English name is Dora as well,” Dora told usproudly. After finishing her homework, Dorasometimes plays with her dad’s iPad. She likes visitingTencent Children and Beva.com for mini games andSohu Comic for animation videos.
Knowing me, Knowing youOn weekends, Dora’s favorite activity is spending time with her friends at Beyou World (www.beyou.cn), thebiggest children’s indoor profession-experiencing entertaining center in Beijing. The center was tailor-madebased on the physiological and psychological characteristics of Chinese children. Meanwhile, Beyou World alsocooperates with many international and local brands to build a more realistic simulated city for children suchas Coca Cola, Air China and Mengniu. Inside the 10,000-square-meters play space, there are blue skies,streets, houses and gardens. There are also facilities including hospitals, air plane, TV station and firehousewhere kids can adopt careers as doctors, pilots, cameramen and firefighters. The money that the children earncan be also used at the restaurants and theaters or can be stored in the bank where it will earn interest.Dora’s favorite roles at the park are flight attendants and nurses. She can spend a whole day in the centeruntil her parents ask her to go home. Dora’s parents also take her to parks during weekends where she can doexercises with her dad such as roller skating and riding bikes. “It is important to let the kid be close to natureand do some exercise; it is also a good way for us to interact with her,” Dora’s mother said.Although Dora is only 9 years old, she has been aware of brands through TV advertising, parents andclassmates. However, the main reason for her to choose one brand over another one is purely based onanimated characters that she is familiar with. Dora’s favorite brands are Disney, Barbie, and Pleasant Goat andBig Big Wolf. “She watched a lot of Disney cartoons and Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf; she is attracted to themain animated characters through the stories behind. Her dad and I also took her to the Disneyland in HongKong and Barbie flagship store in Shanghai. By visiting those places, her connection with those brands isbecoming stronger, because she had so much fun playing with the animated characters in real life,” Dora’smom explained. 18
Knowing me, Knowing youKIEW YING TI, 12This is Kiew Ying Ti, a gregarious 12- year-old Malaysian girl whohas just entered her first year of high school. A cheerful girl bynature, she prepares for the day ahead by reminding herselfevery morning that “today is going to be an awesome day.”She describes her weekdays as “crazy” – her day is chock-a-block full with classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., after which sheattends Choral Speaking practices, Lidra (Literature) Clubsessions and her Christian Fellowship gatherings. Her homeworkadds to her stressful and busy days as she has troubleunderstanding subjects like math. The weekends are herdowntime and she uses this time to watch TV, Facebook, andlaze around her house with family. She also plays badmintonbecause she enjoys it and because , she says, “it’ll help me togrow taller.”An avid writer and public speaker, her penchant for storytellinghas led her to put up videos of herself and her friends onYoutube (watch her videos at http://bit.ly/AEGlh9). Her videosare mostly of herself and her friends, with content ranging fromher singing Lady Antebellum songs to spoofing chocolatecommercials. She also learns how to play the piano usingYoutube tutorials, reads manga on MangaFox, discovers andcontributes stories to Wattpat and is also an avid follower ofNigaHiga’s channel on Youtube. Her favorite singers are Adeleand Taylor Swift.She always has fun where ever she goes and attributes herhappiness to being able to be herself around her friends. 19 11
Knowing me, Knowing youDIO CHEWEI, 13On a typical school day, Dio wakes up at 6:30 in the morning.He showers and has breakfast with his mother. “I eat whatmy mom prepares for me. It can be bread, porridge, cereal ornoodles,” he said. Dio then goes to school at GlobalNusantara, a national school in Jakarta, where he has tocomplete both the Cambridge exam and National exam tograduate from primary school.He has lunch as school and goes home around 2:30 pm. Hisbusy day does not end then. He will then attend a mandatoryextra class to prepare for the upcoming National exams.By 3:30, Dio goes home where more tutors are waiting toteach him English and science (Monday, Wednesday andFriday) Bahasa Indonesia (Monday and Wednesday) andChinese (Tuesday and Thursday). By around 6:30 pm he isfree. Dio then has dinner with his family and then spends theevening watching Supa Stikas on the Disney Channel. SupaStikas is a show about soccer.Dio loves soccer and basketball. He spends time browsingNBA.com, looking at matches, teams and players. “My favoriteteam is the Celtics, but there is this new great player namedJeremy Lin. He plays for he New York Knicks,” Dio said. Nike isDio’s favorite brand. He is also curious about history,particularly World War II. “I don’t know why,” he said.He searches for whatever he has heard from his friends orteachers on Google and also has Facebook where he playsTetris or responds to people’s comments. Since he is so young,he had to make up a profile on Facebook, which requiresmembers are a certain age before they join.By 10 at night, he goes to sleep. On weekends, Dio will playeither soccer or basketball with is friends. 20
Knowing me, Knowing youURIM EOM, 8Urim Eom studies in the third grade. Outside of normalschooling, she has extra classes at a private education instituteand also at home with an English tutor. She already is preparingfor the Korean college entrance exam.Going to school is the toughest thing for Urim. She says shewishes she could lie in bed and be lazy, but her mother scoldsher to get up and get going. She is also nervous about meetingnew teachers. Sundays are her favorite days when she can playwith friends and not worry about studying. “Maybe this is myhappiest moment,” she said.“My mom always manages my schedule with a strict dailytimetable. She always checks when to go to school and when togo to private institutes. She never stops nagging. Satisfying allof her demands is the toughest,” Urim said. “Those are thechallenges in my life.”Urim said she wishes she could be free from the pressures ofschool; but that she is also worried about falling behind.When she has time to browse the Internet, Urim visits NAVERJunior (www.jr.naver.com) or Yahoo Kids (kr.kids.yahoo.com)where she plays games. Her mother does not allow her to visitother websites.Her favorite brands are Nike sneakers and any other sportsbrand. “I think Nike looks hip,” she said. Urim’s favorite star isIU, a popular singer.When she has time, Urim practices inline skating, a sport sherecently became interested in learning. 21
Knowing me, Knowing youSORUSHAEN, 8 Then, he has time to watch TV. His favorite channels are Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Disney TV. AtSorushaen is 8. He attends Asian International School, 10, he goes to sleep.which is one of the best international schools in SriLanka and attended by children from rich families. He Sorushaen is very happy when his father buys himworld revolves around school, studying, sports, games toys. “This year for my birthday, Appa (what he callsand expensive toys, like iPhones. His day starts at 5:30 his father) is buying me an iPhone 4!,” he said. He alsoin the morning when he gets ready for school by collects battle guard cards as a hobby and enjoyshimself and is off to class by 6:30. Before school starts, eating chocolates. Toblerone is one of his favoritehe hangs out with his friends. He also eats breakfast chocolate brands. He visits the websites of Cartoonthere, enjoying food his mom makes him such as Network, Disney, Moshi Monsters and Penguin Club.“Bombay toast” or Kiribath with spicy chicken or fish He also plays online games and says he learns newcurry and chili relish. Aside from swimming and things when he visits websites, he says. His favoriteathletics, Sorushaen studies 12 subjects. Each day has sports are swimming as well as badminton and karate.eight class periods that are 45 minutes long. During “I am a small guy, but bit people know I can bring thembreaks, he plays with friends, making paper rockets for down in one strike thanks to karate,” he said.fun. After school ends around 1 in the afternoon, he Sorushaen loves to break toys and put them backpractices sports. Usually his mom picks him up around together again. He likes to create small sculptures and5 o’clock. plants also interest him a lot. He says Nestle is one of his favorite brands because of their deliciousOnce Sorushaen is back home, he has a mini lunch. chocolates. .Then he takes a bath and starts his homework. Dinneris served at 8:30. 22
Knowing me, Knowing you His daily routine … JOJO, 10 Jojo’s day is consumed by studying for over 10 hours both at school (Bangkok Christian College) and at home. 4 p.m. He has more leisure time during weekends when he enjoys cycling, gaming, cartoons and movies.What makes him happy? Additional Playing computer game i.e. learning/tutorial subjects Halo, Sewer Run (skateboard) are math for 2 hours, Playing game application on guitar for 2 hours, and iPod i.e. Infinity Blade. finishing weekend homework.What makes him anxious?Most of the things that make him anxious are school-related. He loves to go toschool but there is anxiety when…• There are lazy friends in group study/assignment. Most of them always keepsaying without doing which makes the work turn out bad or late.• Bully friends that keep taunting and teasing. Star he loves …• Too much homework. Brands he loves… Websites he goes to… Bird Thongchai McIntyre Singer, Entertainer Sports he plays… • Y8.com or Y3.com, actually there is up to Y100+ but he likes Y8 and Y3. He enjoys cartoon fighting as 2 players, in the mean time, he can tease his friend/companion by shooting laser gun • YouTube, in order to study games i.e. Halo, animator vs. animation Swimming – fun, not aggressive like other • Madoocartoon.com (meaning come-to-see cartoon), the 23 sports. I have to study football, taekwondo favorites are Doraemon, Mask Rider, Avatar which are fun but can hurt each other.
Knowing me, Knowing youHIROTO, 11Hiroto is an elementary school student in Yokohama city in Kanagawaprefecture. He goes to school by 8:10 in the morning and finishesaround 3 in the afternoon. He goes to another school twice a week tostudy to pass the entrance exam for private junior high school nextyear. He is most happy when he is playing football on the weekends.Hiroto is a big fan of Maya Yoshida, one of the players of Japan’snational football league. A manga called “One Piece,” is his favorite. Hehas collected nearly all the books in the series.Hiroto has his own mobile phone. The mobile has restrictions that barhim from accessing online gaming sites so he often uses his homecomputer to surf the web. His favorite websites are Nico Nico Doga(Japanese YouTube + Ustream site http://www.nicovideo.ip). TRUNG NGUYEN,12 Trung Nguyen studies in the sixth grade in Ho Chin Minh city. Since he attends afternoon school, Nguyen spends most of his morning doing homework or taking on extra classes. After school, Nguyen plays soccer with his friends. It’s his way to make new friends and to stay active. Nguyen enjoys surfing the web as well. His most visited websites are bongda.com.vn or bongda24h.vn – to keep up with all the soccer news, and kenh14.com or yeah1.com – for all the teens news. “My favorite soccer star is Cristiano Ronaldo,” he says. Nguyen finds lots of enjoyment in simple things. For example, you can easily spot him smiling ear to ear when he eats his favorite snack – Poca (potato chips), or when he drinks Sting with Strawberry flavor. Yet, he gets really anxious when he has to show his parents his report card or a test that he didn’t24 well on. do
Knowing me, Knowing youJOEY, 9Joey, a resident of Taipei, has been inelementary school for about two years, andher schedule is quite routine. She wakes up at7:00, goes to school at 8:00, and has pianoclass twice week or she goes to the ChildrensCare Center three times a week before hermom gets off work.“I like to play piano, but also I like to havemore time to stay at home,” she said.Also Joey enjoys school life, not only becauseshe has fun with her classmates, but she alsolikes learning. She doesn’t see school as aburden; she finds it an interesting activity.She especially likes classes such as foreign language where she can express her feelings. She says she likes mathbecause it is practical and science because it gives her knowledge about the world. One thing she does not likeis physical education: “I am scared I may get hurt or fall if I play dodge ball or run in a relay race,” she said.Some say that this generation needs more time to deal with failure because most kids are the only child in theirfamily, so it is common for their parents to say “no” and force them into doing things the kids don’t want to do.Joey’s mom lets her play online games in her leisure time, Joey says: “I like to play Popkart (a race game) withmy classmates, and we usually chat on Facebook”.But the thing that makes her the happiest is when she can eat MOS Burger and talk to her father who onlycomes home on the weekends. Sometimes her father cannot say no, so Joey has too many toys and Hello Kittyproducts. Joey’s mom says; “We even had to prepare a room just for Hello Kitty.”ARRCHI SHAH, 12 AND ARYAN JAIN, 9Living in the same city - Mumbai, Archi Shah and Aryan Jain couldn’t be more different. Archi, 12, comes from aconservative Gujarati joint family, while Aryan, 9, comes from a more westernized, nuclear family.Archi’s father, who owns and operates his jewelry shop at the city centre, is the primary earning member in thefamily. And her mother is a homemaker. In sharp contrast, Aryan’s father works in alternative shifts as hemanages his team of executives at a technology BPO, to handle service requests coming in from Europeanclients. Aryan’s mother tries to keep herself busy by organizing cultural events held in their housing society. Archigoes to a nearby school affiliated to the state education board, while Aryan studies at what is a larger chain ofschools, and is affiliated to the IB curriculum. Archi is very introverted and doesn’t like mingling a lot. She evenrefused to share a photograph of hers with me. On the other hand, Aryan was very excited to give me hisphotograph, and searched for a while through his father’s Facebook albums before choosing this image. 25
Knowing me, Knowing youHowever, this is where the differences end, and the similarities pop up. Both Archi and Aryan start their days earlyin the morning, go to their schools and come back by lunch time, spend the afternoon doing their homework, andplay for some time in the evening. On weekends, they are up late in the morning, study for an extra hour comparedto the weekdays, and have fun for the remaining part of the day.Both are good at outdoor games. Aryan loves playing badminton and football, and Angry Birds on the PC. Archiplays volleyball at school. Since she doesn’t have girls of the same age group residing in and around her society, shespends her time at home reading books and drawing. Their parents aren’t over-obsessed with studies and exams,so both Aryan and Archi get multiple opportunities to explore their interests. Aryan recently joined skating classes,while Archi has completed a course in dance.What makes them happy? One would expect kids of this age group to be happiest with and among their peers.However, quite unexpectedly, it is their personal activities and the time they spend with their parents that theylook forward to, the most. Aryan loves playing computer games with his dad, and also wants to be around when hisfather plays badminton with his friends on weekends. For Archi, the time she spends every evening with her father,and the outings with her parents on weekends are the most joyous moments for her.Are they exposed to the Internet, yet? Yes, but in very limited ways. Aryan surfs the net primarily to access hisaccount, and updates from his school on the website www.myschool.in.com, and when his father is around, playsgames on a gaming website. Interestingly, he isn’t able to recall the name of the gaming website, when asked. Hedoesn’t have a Facebook account. Archi’s surfing is mainly for Google search. Sometimes, she accesses herFacebook account too. She doesn’t share much on it, though, and she hasn’t yet posted a photograph of hers on it.So which medium influences them? Mainly TV channels. Aryan loves watching Ben 10, Chhota Bheem, and othercartoon series on Pogo and Cartoon Network, while Archi loves watching movies and sports. Actor Shah Rukh Khanand badminton player Saina Nehwal are stars she adores. Primarily though, it is the peer group that influencesthem. Aryan is of a competitive mindset, so the need to be better than his friends is very high on his list, while forArchi it would be the friends she makes at school, on the volleyball court, and in the dance classes, from whom shewill learn and adopt various behaviors and brands. 26
Knowing me, Knowing youTANZILA, 8Little Miss Tanzila Tabassum Kabir lives in Dhaka. She hasa pretty good routine for her daily life. Her morning startsat 7am when she wakes up. Then she goes to school andher school ends at 1pm. Then she comes home, takes Ashower and then starts watching TV. Her favorite TVshow is a cartoon called Doremon. She also watchescooking shows with her elder sister on TLC,. She has herlunch at 2pm. That is followed by a short nap. When shewakes up she has to play her Barbie dolls. After that shegoes to tuition for 1.5 hours.She gets ecstatic when she gets pretty dresses and toys;good marks at exams and “When my mother loves memore than my elder sister”, her exact words.She gets anxious about when she gets scolded by herteachers at school, her friends stop talking to her for anyreason. She gets mad when someone ruins her dolls.She visits many websites. Mostly games websites such asbonniegames.com, didigames.com, barbiegames.com,rainbowgames.com and girlsgames.com etc.She loves Johnson & Johnson, Follow Me, Bubble Gumand Cadbury chocolates.Her favorite stars are Hannah Montana, Selina Gomezand Lady GaGa.She plays basket ball pretty well considering her age andheight. She also skates for fun.ca 27
Playing on my iPod* * or at my favorite KTV parlor
Playing on my iPod* CHINA INDONESIA Wanting Kesepian You Exist In My Song Vierra http://www.youtube.com/watch http://v.youku.com/v_show/ ?v=UAw7rnNJvLM id_XMzMzMzcwNjc2.html Mayday Starry Night SINGAPORE http://v.youku.com/v_show/i d_XMzUwNDQ3MzI4.html One Thing One Direction http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=Y1xs_xPb46 Soda Green M&ob=av2e Love on Credit Bubble Pop http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzMzMjU4NDY4.html Hyuna MALAYSIA http://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=bw9CALKOvAI Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris We Found Love SRI LANKAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg00YEETFzg&ob=av3e A Hetha 6ixth Sense feat. Saujana Iraj & Delon, Feat. Penerang Hati Shani http://www.youtube.com/watch?v http://www.elakiri.com/forum/downloads. =JBU56r9jjpc php?do=file&id=1524
Playing on my iPod*JAPAN VIETNAM Gui Ngan Loi Yeu Tuan HungKyary Pamyu PamyuTsukema tsukeru http://mp3.zing.vn/bai-hat/Gui- Ngan-Loi-Yeu-Tuan-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLy4cvRx7Vc Hung/ZWZAEW97.htmlhttp://kyary.asobisystem.com/?page_id=7TAIWAN International Love Pitbull featuring Chris Brown http://mp3.zing.vn/bai-hat/International-Love-Pitbull-ft-Chris- Brown/ZWZCZ7C6.htmlCheersMayday BANGLADESHhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLy4cvRx7Vc Lamb of Godhttp://kyary.asobisystem.com/?page_id=7 Ghost Walking http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o -hn32fyic4THE PHILIPPINES Adele Someone Like You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQ QoQ0
Rage against …What’s making people really angry, and why?
Rage againstCHINAOn February 1, 2012, there was a full-page Hong Kongnewspaper advertisement decrying Chinese Mainlandvisitors as “locusts” who invade Hong Kong and drainits resources. The text asks: “Are you willing for HongKong to spend one million Hong Kong dollars every 18minutes to raise the children born to Mainlandparents? Hong Kong people, we have endured enoughin silence.” The ad, picturing a giant locust perchedatop a mountain overlooking Hong Kong, invoked thelocally-coined locust label used to describeMainlanders, reflecting a concern among someresidents in Hong Kong that Mainland Chinese are"taking over" the city. The advertisement waspublished in Hong Kongs widely-read Apple Daily byan anonymous group of internet users who raisedmore than US$12,000 advertising fee within a week.There are many reasons that tensions between Hong Kong residents and Mainland visitors have ratcheted up. Asurge in the number of pregnant Chinese women crossing into Hong Kong to give birth has put a growing burdenon the resources of local hospitals. According to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, the number oflive births in Hong Kong by mainland mothers went from 26,838 in 2006 to 40,875 in 2010 - a 52% increase. InHong Kong, Mainland visitors are also known for spitting and littering, which does not meet the manners andetiquette standards set by the local Hong Kong residents. The advertisement has generated huge public anger inMainland China. Netizens are criticizing Hong Kongers by only seeing mainland visitors draining resources butignoring the contribution that Mainland shoppers have made to Hong Kong’s economy. On Sina Weibo, China’slargest micro-blogging website, neitizens are expressing their anger towards the ad: “How dare Hong Kongpeople say we are locusts. No one should go to Hong Kong and shop in the future!”MALAYSIAThe latest issue that has caused Malaysian netizensto erupt in rage comes in the form of seemingly“racist” golf membership rates at one of thecountry’s most prestigious golf clubs, Kelab GolfNegara Subang (Subang National Golf Club). Aphotograph of the golf club’s official newsletter,circulated around Facebook, clearly depicts golfmemberships being sold at disparate pricesaccording to race.This led to an outcry among Facebook users with reactions ranging from disappointment to disgust. According tothe golf club’s spokesperson, however, these membership rates are merely indicative of the club’s racial quotasto ensure a good mix of races among its members, rather than a discriminatory practice. However, in a countrywhere race remains a sensitive issue that permeates many aspects of life, Malaysians viewed this disparity inpricing as a blatant attempt at racial discrimination.
INDONESIA Rage againstThere has been a recent spike in accidents in Indonesia largely causedby more people driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.A woman named Apriani, 29, was driving her car after a night of druguse. She hit 12 pedestrians, killing nine. Two were children and threewere a family who had come to Jakarta to see relatives.The families of the victims were outraged when Apriani was sentencedto prison for 15 years for killing nine people, arguing she should havereceived life in jail. “Don’t let the easy be too easy. He was my only Source:child. My friends and I are protesting because the sentence is too light. http://www.suarapembaruan.com/home/sopThe minimum should be life in prison,” said the father of one of the ir-maut-apriani-jalani-tes-darah-di-bnn/16388victims.Not long after the Apriani tragedy, police caught two Lion Air pilots using drugs. Their license was taken away.Many people became worried about using the airline after the incident and were angered the pilots were sentto a rehab center rather than prison. “I cannot imagine flying on Lion Air with a pilot high on drugs. Thank God Iam safe so far,” a mother commented as she heard the news.There is a public sentiment that the government is not handling drug use with tough enough action. Peoplehave the impression that the lives of the victims were not important to lawmakers and that lawmakers do not 33really care that more lives could be at risk. This does not give a sense of justice in the hearts of Indonesians.
Rage against SRI LANKA Protests by the public transport and fisheries sectors over a fuel price hike crippled Sri Lanka a couple of weeks ago. Private bus operators went on strike saying the increase in the price of diesel would mean their expenses will go up. Thousands of passengers rushing to work were left stranded without adequate buses. The Sri Lankan government announced a sudden fuel price hike on Saturday saying it was in line with the world market prices. A majority of passenger buses operating in Sri Lanka are owned by the private sector and said private bus operators will not put their buses on the streets till the government gives them some sort of concession. Fishermen in north western Sri Lanka also refused to go out to fish yesterday morning as the fuel price hike affected their operations as well. Hundreds of fishermen staged a demonstration on the streets of Kalpitiya and Negambo demanding the government to reconsider the fuel price hike. Meanwhile school van drivers said they will be forced to increase the van fees for school children as a result of the fuel price hike. School van operators were expected to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan government transportPHILIPPINES authorities on Monday over the issueThe end of the prosecution of Chief Justice Renato Corona,the Philippines judicial leader suspected of tax evasion andpreferential treatment of cases related to former presidentGloria Arroyo, has almost come. Corona’s bank accountsand assets and liabilities make it apparent that there is greatdiscrepancy between stated and actual assets worthmillions of dollars. People are enraged by the blatantdeception and angry that there is a possibility for hisacquittal given that senior judges responsible for the verdictmay have erroneous records and therefore may not want a 34thorough examination of their own conduct.
Rage againstTHAILAND Recently, Block B, which is a famous Korean band, had an interview on a television program broadcast in Thailand. While the interview was going on, Block B showed a careless attitude during the questions, The members played and goofed around, and even lay down on a table during the interview.The situation got worse when the interviewer asked their thoughtsrelated to the recent floods in Thailand. Band member and leaderZico said, "I know about it. I was pretending I didnt, but I do." Then,they said, "We wish Thai people would recover the damage in theirhearts through financial donations, and all we have is money" whileanother member claimed, "How about 7000 won?" (6.00 USD). Afterthat, they all laughed.The controversy surrounding their comments stems from the factthat members were actually making too much fun of the situation bysaying that they could only help with $6. They were beingdisrespectful and rude about the situation by pretending they didntknow anything. Therefore, these comments made Thailand people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pZvHq-j_9Eupset and offended. Block B’s actions outraged two members of parliament who expressed their feelings on the situation. One, Nickhun, said on his Twitter account: “As a Thai person, I feel offeded by those who speak about the Thailand floods without thinking.” Fans also expressed their feelings towards the situation, calling Zico’s attitude “irresponsible.” The fan said, “They forgot to act in an interview,” and “where is their professionalism?” The incident has definitely raised questions about Block B’s ability to handle or be involved in controversies. The band later apologized for their actions.VIETNAMThere’s anger in Vietnam towards pork suppliers who feed their pigs bannedand hazardous chemicals so that those pigs can produce extra lean meataround their shoulders and buttock. The chemicals are so toxic that whenfeeding them to the pigs, these suppliers have to wear rubber gloves andmasks to prevent intoxication.Those pigs, if not sold within the 2 week time since the first time of consumingthese chemicals, will automatically develop bone brittleness. Their legs willbreak easily and their body will have lesions that ooze fluid. Since Vietnameseconsume lots of pork, it is no wonder why this is becoming one of the topissues in the news. 35
Rage against BANGLADESHJAPAN Bangladesh recently witnessed a gruesome killing of a journalist family. The motive of the killings is unknown.The Okinawa prefecture and the Japanese government They were stabbed to death. Police officer Imamhave been at odds over a U.S. military base in the Hossain said authorities are investigating the killings ofprefecture for quite some time. In Feburary, Japanese Sagar Sarwar and his wife, Mehrun Runi. Sarwar wasPrime Ministry Noda visited Okinawa to talk about news editor of private TV station Maasranga and Runihow to relocate the base elsewhere. The government worked as a reporter at another private television,would like to move it somewhere else in the ATN Bangla. Both were in their late 30s..prefecture; yet Okinawa wants it to be relocatedsomewhere else. There are plans to talk with local People are very angry about it. It seems that anyoneofficials and brief them on discussions with the U.S. can walk into a house whenever they want and killregarding to adjustments to American military bases in someone at any time. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinathe country. Noda is expected to reiterate the new has offered condolences to the family and orderedpolicies discussed by Japan and the U.S. and how they police to find the killers. The couple had a 5 year oldwill deal with the military presence in Okinawa. Tokyo son.and Washington have revamped the 2006 bilateralagreement; delinking the Futenma relocation from thetransfer of U.S. marines from Okinawa to Guam andthe return of lands to Japan. When Noda arrived inOkinawa, there were many citizens protesting thegovernment’s policies.TAIWANTaiwanese-Japanese singer-actress Makiyo and her Japanese friend, Takateru Tomoyori, have indirectly admittedthat they had lied about what really happened in their recent taxi driver assault case.The truth came out thatthey both attacked the 55-year-old cab driver which resulted in the cabby having to be admitted to intensive carewith severe head injuries and rib fractures.After days of public outcry and outrage, the Taipei prosecutors wereseeking a four-year jail term for Makiyo and six years for Takateru. The anger of the Taiwanese public had beenprovoked, mainly because the taxi driver was almost beaten to death, and the "actress" lied about what reallyhappened. Also, the local media sensationalized their reports, which further aggravated public outrage.Lots oflocal entertainers also slammed her behavior. Famous entertainer Pai Ping-ping said that Makiyos failure todeter the violence perpetrated by her friend on the driver was simply wrong. Obviously, Makiyo had seen herpopularity plunge in the wake of the incident, with over a million netizens joining an "Anti-Makiyo" Facebookpage within two days after the page was set up. 36
Rage againstINDIATwo major events dominated emotions during theseweeks in India. One is the debacle of the Indian Cricket Slack-tivism in metropolitan politicsteam in all forms of the game on its tour of Australia. Itsperformance in the tour was one of its worst in 45 years. The other series of events was the elections for state assemblies in 5 states – including UttarMiserable performance in cricket Pradesh, India’s most populated state – and for Mumbai’s Municipal Corporation.First, in the Test series against Australia, it waswhitewashed 0-4. Then, in a One-Day International tri- Again, the backdrop of the events was highseries with Australia and Sri Lanka, it won only 3 matches expectations. All the last few years, Mumbai wasout of 8. While the Indian media and public is known to witness to terror attacks, inefficient infrastructureblame everything they can whenever the Indian team management and hooliganism by political parties,doesn’t win, their rage against this performance is and India in general saw the unfolding of hugeparticularly high because the same team won the Cricket scams in almost every possible area of governance.World Cup less than a year ago. In the last few months, the rage against corruption had led to the hitherto-inactive middle classAt the end of the disastrous tour, even the ‘God’ wasn’t springing into action, and backing a team ofspared. Sachin Tendulkar, who has scored 99 centuries in activists led by a Gandhian – Anna Hazare. Allinternational cricket and has failed to score the forms of media – individual and broadcast – hadhundredth for some time now, didn’t perform too well been tapped into, to build the movement againsteither on the tour. As a result, he had veteran cricketers, corruption.sports reporters and commentators all questioning hiscommitment to the team; and some even dishing out While the movement received a lot ofadvice of retirement to him. participation and contribution, it did not translate into political action in the city of Mumbai. Only about 46% of voters turned up to vote in the elections for the country’s richest municipal corporation. In comparison, Uttar Pradesh, one that’s much more prone to incidence of violence during elections, saw a voter turnout of 60%, one of the highest in the history of the state. 37
Tense aboutIn China : Extreme Parenting: “Eagle Dad Forces Son To Run Naked In The Snow”A 4-year-old boy from the city of Nanjing accompaniedhis parents to the United States on vacation during the2012 Chinese New Year. A video of him running naked ina snow storm in New York was posted on the internet byhis family. In the video, the child was only wearingyellow underwear and sports shoes while the outdoortemperature that morning reached as low as -13 degreesCelsius. The child can be heard whimpering and asking forhis father to hold him while the father encourages him tokeep running forward. The child also turn to his motherwhose voice can later be heard encouraging him as hedoes some push-ups on the snowy ground.“Naked Running Boy” quickly attracted the attention ofnetizens, becoming one of the hottest discussion topicson China’s largest micro-blogging service Weibo.com. Thenumber of views reached over 260,000 within first fewdays.Netizens started calling the child’s father “Eagle Dad”: When young eagles have grown large enough, eaglemothers will ruthlessly push a young eagle off the cliff, when the young eagle is falling into the valley below, itlearns its basic ability of flying.Since the video caused huge public criticism on the intense parenting method, the “Eagle Dad” stood out anddefended himself for making his son to run in snow without clothing. According to him, the boy had severe healthproblems after a premature birth. The parents said they think their intense parenting methods are responsible forhis improved health. “This child has received all sorts of forms of training since he was little. When he was oneyear old, he started swimming in water that was 21 degrees Celsius.” The father said he is trying to help his sondevelop a “masculine temperament” through activities like mountain climbing, dancing and cycling. Challenginghim to run around in near-zero temperatures is just one of his tactics.Netizens’ reacted differently to the extreme education and raising methods. The majority of commentatorscriticized the parents for being too cruel. “ The poor little kid! Is being exposed to the cold good for him? Theparents are heartless!” one commenter wrote. Some people think the dad is just trying everything to help hischild: “His father is cruel, but what he did is for the boy’s good.”
Tense about Tense aboutCHINAIn Malaysia: The new healthcare plan Information on 1 Care circling the internet Tensions are rising in Malaysia due to the tentatively proposed 1 Care health care plan. Leaked onto the internet by prominent healthcare professionals, sources allege that if this health scheme comes into effect, all wage-earners in Malaysia will be forced to pay 10% of their income to the government-run insurance scheme. Adding to the citizens’ growing concern on the issue, the details of the scheme, such as benefits or mechanics, have not yet been made clear due to differing reports from various politicians and professionals. Furthermore, this lack of transparency and information from the government further adds to the citizens’ fear that this will be another government scheme to try and rip money off them. Institutions and professional bodies alike have criticized this scheme – from the current sketchy detail, the public would only receive limited benefits but be forced to fork out a hefty sum for basic healthcare. Thus far, the government has tried to reassure the public that the scheme is still in the proposal stage, and that any policies leaked are not concrete. We won’t know much until the blueprint for the plans are finalized in 2013, but until then, the citizens wait with skepticism and bated breath for more information on 1 Care. In Japan: University entrance exams January and February are very stressful months for students as it is a time for entrance exams for schools. Last year there were several scandals in major universities for cheating. Some of the students used mobile phone to post questionnaires on Yahoo’s question-and-answer site to get an answers. This year, each university has made stricter rules for examinees to avoid same kind of situation. Some of the examinees were even told to turn their clothing inside-out because there were some words secretly written on what they were wearing. 40
Tense aboutIn indonesia: Security on the roadsIn 2011, road accidents in Indonesia increased by 457compared to the year before. The number of fatalaccidents have decreased; however the number ofpeople injured on roadways went up by over 15,000.Material losses from the accidents doubled to 286billion Rupiah.Of the accidents this year, more than 9,000 involvedmotorbikes while 1,000 involved passenger cars andover 200 involved buses, according to a nationalpolice report. More than 2,500 people sufferedserious injuries and 7,564 had minor injuries, thereport said.The accidents are often caused by public transport ortrucks. Recently, a bus crash killed 14 people and left57 others injured. The bus, en route to Jakarta,smashed into four cars and several motorcyclesbefore swerving across the highway and hittinganother bus and minivan. It then swerved into aravine after smashing into a food stall, killing oneemployee.With already 1,547 fatalities from 9,884 roadaccidents this year, authorities and transport exportsare blaming weak traffic laws and implementation ofthe laws as the main culprit.“The number [of deaths due to traffic accidents] will soar to 65,000 in 2020 if the problem is not dealt withseriously,” warned lawmaker Abdul Hakim, who drafted the 2009 Road Traffic Law. “The losses inflicted areestimated at 2.9 percent of gross domestic product.” The government has said transportation inspectors arealso to blame, not doing due diligence with their work. Either way, the public is growing increasingly skepticaland afraid of Indonesia’s roadways where it seems like no matter how safe people try to drive, there is still apretty good chance of getting hit. 41
Tense aboutIn Sri Lanka: US Sponsored UN resolution against alleged war crimes Sri Lankans staged massive demonstrations across the country against a U.S. sponsored resolution scheduled to be presented at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Another demonstration was also staged opposite the U.S. Embassy. Several government ministers attending and speaking against the proposed resolution included the Sri Lankan Prime Minister who declared that people are ready to sacrifice their lives to prevent any moves by some countries to violate Sri Lankas sovereignty. These protests are slated to continue until the alleged resolution against Sri Lanka is defeated at The UN Convention in Geneva.The resolution to be presented at the UNHRC aims to pressure the Sri Lankan government to take promptmeasures to implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission whichwas appointed by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look at some of the incidents which took place duringthe war between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels. If the resolution is passed, it’s bound to affect the economicdevelopment & political stability of the nation.Presenting a resolution against Sri Lanka by the UNHRC session inGeneva is perceived as an undue meddling in the sovereignty and integrity of Sri Lanka by the western world –esp. by the US. Eminent social observes in Sri Lanka who opine that even if Sri Lanka doesn’t have oil (unlike in theMiddle East – which is high up the radar of the US), it’s the strategic location of the island in the rapidly growingeconomic hemisphere which is attracting acute interest from Western world. Perhaps to an extent alsoaccentuated by the ‘cooperation’ being meted out to the nation by the Chinese in terms for infrastructuredevelopment.In Taiwan: Imported BeefThe United States had been pressuring Taiwan to relax its ban onimported beef containing Ractopamine, a feed additive to make animalsgrow faster in the final weeks before slaughter. But several groupsreiterated that the government should maintain its ban on imports ofU.S. beef that contain Ractopamine, saying there are still concerns overa proper control mechanism and the safety of the feed additive, such assome reports that say it may cause health risks."Without acomprehensive control mechanism, the public will be exposed to serioushealth risks if the government decides to allow controlled levels ofRactopamine in meat," The Consumers Foundation said. TheHomemakers Union and Foundation also expressed safety concerns,citing an incomplete assessment of the health risks of Ractopamine, aleanness enhancing drug used in livestock feed in America. Furthermore,local cattle and pig farmers have been threatening to stage a protest inTaipei, amid speculation that the Taiwan government might ease itsRactopamine ban to resolve the U.S. beef issue. 42
Tense aboutIn Thailand: TerrorismThais are tense about terrorism after bombs explodedon Sukhumwit Road on Valentine’s Day.The Attack :The incident occurred around 2.20 pm in a section ofSukhumvit Road called “Pridi Panomyong Avenue.” Aloud explosion destroyed the roof of a house that wasreportedly rented by three foreign men. A search of thehouse later revealed the bombs used in the blast weremade from C4 explosive materials.The investigation :Following the blast, the police arrested some of suspectsinvolved and found that they carried Iranian passports.After the blast day, a number of stickers with the word“SEJEAL” were glued on several bus stations and pillarsaround Bangkok. The word means “soar to the highestpoint.” Several people assumed that the stickers may berelated to the explosion. Currently, the main reasoncausing the blast and the motivation of the suspects arestill unclear. Thai police say they are still trying to figureout what happened and why.After the blast :The incident has infused worries about security into thedaily lives of Thai people. Some fear that there will be awave of terrorism in Bangkok. People are particularlyconcerned about tourist areas. There are also fears thebombing will harm the country’s tourism industry ifthere is a sense of insecurity in the capital or elsewhere.Already, some countries, such as Australia, are warningtravelers to Thailand to exercise caution. 43
Tense aboutIn India and Bangladesh,: Inflation In Philippines: HazingThere are growing concerns about money as pricescontinue to go up due to inflation or other factors andwages remain stagnant. In Bangladesh, it seemseveryone from a the rickshaw driver on the street tothe business man in the corner office is worried.The last quarter of the financial year is a trying one for In the same month as the 21st anniversary ofmost middle class Indian, as they make their fraternity hazing victim Lenny Villa (1991), theinvestments to save on paying income tax; in addition issue of university hazing is again haunting Filipinoto managing their expenses, loan installments and parents. While laws have been passed (Anti-summer vacation plans. This year, the pressure gets hazing Law) to prevent the same tragedy fromadded with fuel (both vehicle fuels and household gas) happening, it did not deter members of theprices expected to rise further. Not just that, the fraternity Lambda Rho from inflicting injuries thatoverall slump in the economy at this time makes it led to kidney failure and untimely death of Marvindifficult to look for the right investments. Reglos, law student of San Beda University. The news awakened concern of parents on theAnd with the GDP growth rate slowing down and vigilance of the Philippine justice system on suchbecoming the lowest in the last years, there are violence. Given that many lawmakers areworries that the current global economic situation themselves part of such brother/sisterhoods, themight impact India hard. To the average middle-class question on whether these acts of violence will beIndian, that would translate to higher interest rightfully punished hangs in the air as the searchpayments on home and auto loans, higher expenses to for justice for Marvin continues.deal with, and a not-so-promising outlook for rise insalaries.This worry with the wallet gets heightened a littlemore, for the upper middle class. Till now, it had anoption to keep fuel prices in check by opting for thediesel engine in its car, instead of the petrol engine.(Diesel is subsidized to a much larger extent in India, ascompared to petrol.) Now, however, with thegovernment considering a one-time tax on privatevehicles fitted with diesel engines, this advantage willbe lost. The declaration is expected to be made as partof the budget speech by the Finance minister. 44
Tense aboutIn Singapore: Protecting Animal RightsOn the 19th of February, Danny Ng updated his status on Facebook expressing his outrage and feelings of disgustover the actions of a fellow bowler. Earlier that day, he had found a stray dog who was left on the road to dieafter being hit by a car, the only clue left behind was the license plate lying next to it. (See picture in middlebelow)Of course, what made it so newsworthy was that the car plate number identified the owner of the car (a Porsche),as a national bowler and SEA Games coach. He has since issued an apology - although he denies driving offintentionally, insisting that he thought the dog had been all right.Although this is not the only incident of road kill, it seems that everyone likes to blame the rich and famous. Afterall, public figures are held against higher expectations that they need to live up to. One positive thing that hasresulted from this incident is that it has sparked more public awareness and debate regarding the issue ofprotecting animal rights.Two days later, a photo of a cat caught into a “glue board” uploaded by SPCA also went viral. Images of otheranimals that had been caught in glue boards began circling on Facebook and STOMP, with netizens repeatedlycrying out for something to be done to stop such inhuman acts of senseless killing.The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has stepped up, calling for an “immediate ban” onthese glue board traps used by pest control companies to trap rats. Jurong Town Council general manager HoThian Poh said that the trap was "last resort."The area where the cat was found was facing a rodent problem and measures such as tracking powder did notwork. Furthermore, such traps are placed only within the bin for 24 hours at a time. According to the AVA, thereare not many options for trapping rodents and glue traps are one of the most commonly used methods in manycountries. However, it is highly likely that such pressure from the public would force authorities to look into thesemeasures to minimize such “collateral damage”. 45
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