Share your life skills with a stranger

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 October, 2011, 12:00am


Hongkongers have more useful skills than they realise, such as finding travel bargains or cooking a meal with the limited ingredients available at a 24-hour supermarket.

Indeed, Hongkongers can swap their know-how at an event in Central from now until Sunday.

Members of the public can either teach or learn a skill at Skill Wrap, group co-founder Gladys Wong Yee-mun said. The event is being held in two booths set up at the Radiant Theatre in Central Oasis, or the former Central Market.

After deciding on their roles, participants will pair off with strangers for 15-minute sharing sessions.

More than 10 volunteers will serve as teachers. German Cheung Ming-yin, who loves cooking, will share his skills in making a delicious dinner with simple ingredients.

When office workers get off work too late to buy fresh food from the wet markets, they can still save the day by knowing which spices to use when cooking frozen ingredients, he said.

'Dishes should have strong flavours. Frozen shrimp goes well with garlic or salted egg yolk,' he said.

Toby Au Pui-ying, who spent a year in Australia on a working holiday, will talk about travelling alone on a small budget. The trick is finding the right websites for buying air tickets and booking hostels, she said.

'Hongkongers are not used to doing things on their own and are prone to loneliness,' she said. 'But spending time alone can teach people to really value the friendships they have.'

Rick Cheung Hok-leung will share his knowledge of meditating. According to theories about chakras, a Hindu tantric concept, the right side of the body symbolises the future, while the left side represents the past.

Problems on either side could mean a person is troubled about the past or the future. 'By focusing on breathing, one can move the energy back to the centre. People can focus on what they are doing at the moment,' he said. This is something that Hongkongers, who are easily stressed, should learn, he said.

Similar sharing sessions have been held in Britain: people go to themed tents in parks to learn skills from strangers. By adopting it in Hong Kong, Wong hopes Hongkongers can learn to recognise their strengths hidden by the daily grind of life. 'Chinese people don't usually believe compliments. We want to remind them they have skills to be proud of without even knowing it,' Cheung said.

Skill Wrap will be held again at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, from October 26 to 30.