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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 November, 2009, 12:00am

Economic gap still divides Germany

The fall of the Berlin Wall meant the collapse of communism in East Germany, and the unification of all Germans.

But, 20 years later, there are still many problems a united Germany needs to tackle.

People in the west are more well-off than those in the east. Also, the east's jobless rate is about double that of the west, and this could lead to social instability.

In addition, there is a big difference in political values - the east Germans usually support the ex-communist Left Party while the west Germans lean towards the Democrats.

The German government has a lot more work to do to improve the lives of all citizens.

Chairman Lai

Face up to your fears bravely

I watched a TV programme on panic disorder recently.

The disorder can lead to significant changes in behaviour and negative social experiences. For example, people who suffer agoraphobia avoid large, open spaces such as shopping malls or airports.

I think most people suffer from some kind of fear.

For me, it is snakes. I am really scared of them - even when I see a photo of a snake, I feel dizzy and breathe faster. We should try to overcome our phobias by facing up to them bravely.

Lau Shuk-yan, Pooi To Middle School

Inner beauty is what matters most

Many teenage girls are deceived by slimming advertisements, and want to lose weight by taking diet pills.

One of my friends weighed only 50 kilos, but she insisted she was fat and kept on dieting. She did this because she was teased by her classmates.

Eventually, she became very weak and had to seek medical treatment. Girls always compare themselves to others, and don't think about their health.

I understand everyone wants to be slim and pretty. But is beauty more important than their lives?

In addition, we should not judge people by their appearance. If we are knowledgeable and well-behaved, people will want to be friends with us.

Inner beauty is more important than appearance.

Flora Lam, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)

Money tops Disney's magical appeal

When Hong Kong Disneyland was launched in 2005, we were all excited. It was a Western attraction that incorporated Chinese culture, customs and traditions. Everyone was happy the Magic Kingdom had come to Hong Kong.

But now people are worried the proposed Shanghai theme park could pose a threat to Hong Kong Disneyland.

With a much bigger rival across the border, they say fewer tourists will come to Hong Kong and this will hurt the city's economy.

These days, people are profit-oriented. They only pay attention to money, benefits and reputation. I wish we lived in a world where these things did not matter.

Cathy Cheung, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Get real and meet your true friends

You should be careful about how you deal with your online friends.

Some of them may lie to you and try to mislead you.

You really don't know who they are. They are a lot of bad people out there, so you need to be careful.

Never meet your online friends alone. They could hurt you.

The best solution is to go out with your 'real' friends because you know them well.

They are the real deal.

Micheal Lau, Wah Yan College, Kowloon

 

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