PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 October, 2008, 12:00am

Give yourself a moment to relax

Our city frequently heads lists of world's busiest city.

Working from dawn to dusk, many of us just get by on a few hours sleep.

But maybe we should think about whether this is the lifestyle we really want. Is it good for us to be so busy all the time? Some people admit it's only after they've retired that they have time to enjoy the city they've called home all their lives.

I think all of us would benefit from better planning and more time organisation. We need to give ourselves time to breathe.

Ma Yuen-yee

Bring Cantonese opera back

Watching Cantonese opera was once a popular leisure activity for Hongkongers but, like most of our traditional culture, it is slowly disappearing.

The new generation has access to a wide range of entertainment, and Cantonese opera, to most young people, just seems out of date and boring. If nothing is done to preserve it, I'm certain it will be gone altogether within a few generations.

I think Cantonese opera needs to be promoted more. Even when there is a performance, I think the chances are none of us will hear about it, except for the few who still have a passion for opera.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department should take more initiative in promoting Cantonese opera. Flyers, group e-mails and banners can all be effective ways of promoting performances.

Large-scale events, such as a 'Cantonese Opera Week', could also be organised, while training courses could bring fresh talent into the dying tradition.

Cantonese opera has a glorious past, and it's within our power to give it a bright future. We need to preserve it and protect it from meeting an untimely end.

Kok Jun-yin, CCC Heep Woh College

It's time to deal with the flab factor

It's time to do something about the problem of childhood obesity in Hong Kong.

Children basically don't have healthy diets these days. Parents are so busy they do not have time to prepare nutritious food at home. Families tend to eat out.

A 2007 survey by the Department of Health showed 52 per cent of Hong Kong people ate out for lunch five times a week. The figures for eating out at breakfast and dinner were 30 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. It means children increasingly eat unhealthy food which contains high calories and a large amount of fat, salt and sugar.

To make the situation worse, children are not getting enough exercise. They spend more time in front of the TV, their computers and game consoles than they do in the playground.

Two PE lessons a week is not enough to ensure fitness, and public transportation is so efficient children barely have to walk.

It's time parents did more to ensure their children lead healthy lifestyles. They should take them to play sports, such as basketball, football and tennis. Furthermore, if children are overweight, their parents should take them to see a doctor or a dietician.

Parents and schools have a responsibility to ensure the health of Hong Kong's future - its children.

Wendy Choi, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

Making textbooks more affordable

I think textbooks are becoming more and more expensive and are a waste of money and resources.

I suggest schools organise second-hand book sales to make textbooks more affordable. They could also encourage students to donate their used books. This would have the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.

Schools could also buy textbooks for students to share. Publishers can help by separating the sale of textbooks and their accompanying exercises.

They should also not put out new editions every year.

The use of communal textbooks would not only be environmentally sound, but would also teach students to share things and work together.

Karen Chan, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Recycle bottles

I am writing in the hope that Hong Kong can start putting more efforts into recycling bottles.

In the United States, people who return bottles of any kind get a small refund. All they have to do is to take their bottles to the nearest convenience store or supermarket.

This is good for the environment, as the bottles can be reused after being sterilised.

Wong Yu-kwan, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

The need for better moral education

The mainland poisoned milk products scandal has caused concern and fear.

Many dairy products from the mainland were found to contain melamine, a chemical which is harmful to infants.

The scandal is damaging China's international reputation, and it makes me wonder whether the Olympics PR was a deliberate cover-up or diversion.

This is not the first time mainland food products have been found to be contaminated.

It seems all too often manufacturers on the mainland are cutting corners in order to make easy profits, and I think this points to a lack of moral education.

Of course, as Chinese, we are proud that China has developed to the point where it can successfully do a space walk. But what about providing an education to people that teaches them basic morals?

I look forward to living in a more humanistic China.

Annie Au