PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 July, 2007, 12:00am

How can children be taught to be more accepting?

Baptist University has conducted a survey on overweight children and their relationships with friends ('Youngsters are avoiding fat children as pals', July 21).

According to the survey, most fat students find it difficult to make friends. Children are influenced by adults, many of whom think that being fat is not good. Some young people might think that fat people are not as clever as them, that they are slower and that they will be troublesome. Such views are prejudiced.

To help students we have to focus on the problems and the reasons for them. We have to think of ways of correcting these attitudes.

The strategy that should be employed is for us to help young people accept others.

We must teach them to accept other people, so they will then be accepted themselves.

It is good to learn from games. Games can evoke strong feelings from students and they can remember the lessons learned from such activities.

Games that could help in the learning process could be designed by schools and youth centres. Hopefully, young people can learn to appreciate their fellow students and co-operate with them.

For example, in a game they might be required to reach a destination by a complex route and find that they can only achieve their aim by working with other pupils, including those who are overweight.

There should be time for debriefing and sharing after these games so that children are not just playing, but learning from their experience.

Children must learn to respect others and accept their weaknesses, and this could be achieved by schools holding talks and workshops.

However, the best form of education will come from parents and teachers leading by example. Their behaviour directly affects children.

Parents and teachers must change their attitudes towards children who are fat, so that other children will likewise change.

Children look up to adults, so I urge adults to accept their responsibilities as role models.

Esther Chan, Tsuen Wan

Should we preserve the King of Kowloon's graffiti?

Once again, we have an example of members of the public only appreciating an artist's work after he has passed away.

People become concerned when artefacts connected to their collective memories are endangered and people think they are going to fade away.

However, how many of them are really aware of such a collective memory, except when something like this happens - in this case Tsang Tsou-choi's death?

I think we take these collective memories for granted, without proactively trying to preserve them.

Having said that, I would like to see the few remaining works of this artist that can still be found in public areas preserved.

This is not because his works were displayed at the Venice Bienniale exhibition, but because they form a part of Hong Kong's street scenes that are more or less lost now.

His writings, together with the small bakeries, family-run stores and outdoor barber shops, formed my childhood memories.

His calligraphy may not have high artistic value, but his works are definitely a more welcoming city street scene than the numerous unimaginative, commercially-driven advertising hoardings.

Franco Pang, Kwai Fong

As always, preservation should come before expansion.

This graffiti holds sentimental value for many Hong Kong residents and people who lived here in the past. There are a number of issues to be considered when deciding whether or not Tsang Tsou-choi's graffiti should be erased.

Hong Kong's need to develop would be a major reason for removing the graffiti. However, while Hong Kong must grow, there is an argument in favour of expanding and preserving what we have.

If the graffiti is erased completely, we will be erasing a part of Hong Kong and a part of ourselves.

Tsang's legacy is not just about a piece of art. When we look at what he did, it reminds us to be bold and express ourselves, and it encourages us to smile at yesterday, embrace today and be hopeful about tomorrow.

It teaches us to do what we think is right and to have no regrets.

The charcoal that stands on these walls stands as a reminder to all of us from the King of Kowloon.

Daryl Tong, North Point

Are guidelines needed for work in hot weather?

A 50-year-old worker collapsed while clearing kites and weeds from trees in Clear Water Bay country park in very hot weather ('Unions seek to protect workers from heatstroke', July 26).

This case illustrates that there are insufficient guidelines laid down in Hong Kong to protect workers when temperatures are high.

It should make us more aware of the need to ensure the safety of workers who are working in this heat. I think few employers in the city think about this.

Many of them do not allow their workers to take a break when the sun is at its fiercest, at noon. It is inhumane to exploit workers. Employers have a responsibility to look after their employees.

If clear guidelines are laid down, this will enable employers and workers to take the necessary precautions to reduce the incidence of accidents caused by the high temperatures at construction sites and in country parks.

Chow Kar-yun, Kwun Tong

What did you think of the 2007 Hong Kong Book Fair?

The book fair is a good promotion opportunity for booksellers.

It is also good for members of the public because it exposes them to many different kinds of books.

However, I would like to see more mainland publishers being introduced at next year's fair.

Since the handover, there has been a greater interaction (and merging) between culture in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Hong Kong people are having to deal with simplified Chinese texts more frequently. Moreover, these simplified Chinese books are usually cheaper than other books with the same content.

The simplified Chinese book market has great potential in Hong Kong. Therefore, I think it would be a good idea to introduce more mainland publishers next year.

Mau Chun-lok, Tsz Wan Shan