Short Reads

Vivian Law is among the exhibitors in “Stories Encapsulated: Wood” at Crafts on Peel in Hong Kong, a celebration of woodcraft by traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans.
‘An extension of a tree’s life’: carpenters celebrate their craft in show

Carpentry is undergoing a revival in Hong Kong, and its skills and beauty are on show in an exhibition of work by traditional craftsmen and contemporary artisans.

21 Jan 2022 - 11:32AM
Chinese soccer players with tattoos, such as Zhang Linpeng (above left) and Wang Yongpo (above right), have been told to cover them up and banned from getting new tattoos. Negative views of tattoos have a long history in China. Photo: EPA
Reflections | How Han Chinese came to associate tattoos with criminality

China recently banned its football players from having tattoos. Long viewed as uncivilised by Han Chinese, tattoos were used as a form of punishment whose victims, incapable of rehabilitation, joined crime gangs.

20 Jan 2022 - 8:45AM
Hong Kong Wetland Park opened in 2006 after a US$67 million expansion.
Stolen plants, litter, damage: when Hong Kong Wetland Park opened in 2006

When Hong Kong Wetland Park opened after a four-year refit and expansion, 5,500 visitors came on the first day amid reports of chaos and littering.

18 Jan 2022 - 11:15AM
An 1882 engraving depicts a banquet in a palace in India. Hong Kong borrowed heavily from Indian building designs to help keep cool in scorching summers before air conditioning was invented. Photo: Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Then & Now | How Hong Kong kept cool before air conditioning – by copying India

Lying on almost the same latitude, Calcutta was the inspiration for many building design features in Hong Kong, including deep verandas, high ceilings, chick blinds and shutters.

16 Jan 2022 - 11:15AM
Hong Kong student Elodie Lambotte with her orangutan puppet, Jack. Photo: YouTube
A teen calls on companies to help protect the environment

A Hong Kong student has called on companies to protect the environment. Tree planter EcoMatcher is doing just that, and has named her an honorary youth ambassador.

17 Jan 2022 - 1:05PM
A five-metre (16 ft) high sculpture of a polar bear and cub, afloat on a small iceberg, passes in front of the Houses of Parliament in London to alert lawmakers to the dangers of climate change. Photo: Getty Images
Language Matters | From change to crisis, how the language about climate evolved

In 1854 a US magazine coined the term ‘climate change’; the ‘greenhouse effect’ was first described in 1827. Only in recent years have we started talking about a climate crisis and global heating.

14 Jan 2022 - 5:40AM
Workers roll a log in a wood in Beijing, China. Excessive tree-cutting has accelerated desertification and soil erosion in many regions of China. Photo: Getty Images
Reflections | China was ahead of the game when it came to sustainability

Chinese civilisation learned the concept of ecological sustainability at an early stage, based on the idea that human exploitation of nature had to be synchronised with nature’s cycle.

13 Jan 2022 - 8:45AM
A nurse gives polio vaccine to a child in Wan Chai in 1963 and part of a successful anti-polio drive in Hong Kong in the 1960s. Photo: SCMPost
When Hong Kong could achieve an 80 per cent vaccination rate in 10 days

Hong Kong’s winter polio vaccination drive in 1963 was deemed a great success, with free doses given to children aged five and under.

11 Jan 2022 - 11:15AM
Visitors watch as a drone made by PowerVision hovers during a demonstration at the World Robot Conference in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. The annual conference is a showcase of China's burgeoning robot industry ranging from companion robots to those deployed on manufacturing assembly line and entertainment. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Opinion | Why it’s time recreational drones were grounded in Hong Kong

The peace and quiet of Hong Kong’s most tranquil places have been ruined by the sound of buzzing drones in the air. It’s time their wings were clipped.

11 Jan 2022 - 2:38PM
The Far East: Singapore, Malaya And Hong Kong 1939-1945, Occupation and Captivity February 1942 - August 1945: Living conditions at Stanley Civil Internment Camp, Hong Kong (photographed after liberation in 1945). An emaciated internee, Miss Wendy Rossini, with the small quantity of rice and stew which served as rations for five people, August 1945. (Photo by Royal Navy Official Photographer/ Imperial War Museums via Getty Images)
Then & Now | 21 days’ hotel quarantine bad? Internment in 1942 was a true ordeal

Being confined in hotel quarantine in Hong Kong is nothing compared to the hotel internment endured under Japanese occupation. And Penny’s Bay is paradise compared to the Stanley camp internees were moved to.

8 Jan 2022 - 9:15AM
The Merlion on Marina Bay with Singapore’s central business district as its backdrop. Chinese merchant and traveller Wang Dayuan’s brief description of Singapore is one of the very few reliable records of the city state’s pre-British history. Photo: Getty Images
Reflections | ‘Barbarians of the islands’: Chinese merchant’s early account of Singapore

Fourteenth-century traveller Wang Dayuan wrote of pirates and people wearing headdresses and red cloths in his account of Singapore, part of his wider observations on Southeast Asia.

7 Jan 2022 - 3:56PM
Annie Leibovitz, 2012. Photo: Annie Leibovitz/Hauser & Wirth
From Andy Warhol to Rihanna – Annie Leibovitz on her Hong Kong photo show

Photographer Annie Leibovitz talks about her book Wonderland and Hong Kong exhibition, and a 50-year career in which she has shot Donald Trump, Karl Lagerfeld and Kate Moss among others, and captured a naked Rihanna in Cuba.

6 Jan 2022 - 7:00PM
Glutinous rice balls in sweet syrup is a popular dessert among Chinese families during the winter solstice. Photo: Shutterstock
Reflections | How the Chinese eat tong yuen at winter solstice and the way I like mine

A state holiday for over 2,000 years in China, winter solstice sees Chinese families everywhere gather for special meals, and tangyuan, or tong yuen, is one of their favourite treats.

20 Dec 2021 - 8:45AM
In 1992, civil servant Mr Chiu (centre, first name not disclosed), underwent the first heart transplant in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP
When Hong Kong’s first heart transplant gave recipient the chance to dance

Hong Kong’s first heart transplant gave a new lease of life to a 50-year-old civil servant back in 1992, and he was excited to be able to dance with his wife again.

19 Dec 2021 - 11:15AM
Omicron is on everyone’s lips - figurately speaking - but where does the Greek letter come from? Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto
Language Matters | Where does the word ‘Omicron’, variant Covid-19 name, come from?

Meaning ‘little o’ in Greek, Omicron is on everyone’s lips with its designation as the latest Covid-19 variant of concern, but the letter’s shape means it’s comparatively rarely seen.

17 Dec 2021 - 5:45AM
Mum’s Kitchen – Back to Basics, a crossover between art and gastronomy features western, Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes of the author’s mother’s best loved recipes, including  this laksa.

From laksa to apple tart in Dominica Yang’s Mum’s Kitchen cookbook

Author Dominica Yang’s latest cookbook, Mum’s Kitchen – Back to Basics, pays homage to the dishes she grew up eating with her family in Hong Kong.

16 Dec 2021 - 5:43PM
Bao Ling (front) and Bao Li appear in public for the first time at Ocean Park in 1978. Photo: SCMP
When China first sent giant pandas to Hong Kong’s Ocean Park

Giant pandas Bao Ling and Bao Li were seen by 800,000 visitors to Hong Kong’s Ocean Park theme park during a three-month stay that began in December 1978.

14 Dec 2021 - 9:15AM
Children  at a Christmas party at the Royal Hong Kong Lifeguard Club in December, 1978. Scenes like these were not always part and parcel of the city’s seasonal celebrations. Photo: SCMP
Then & Now | Christmas in Hong Kong was a celebration as varied as its population once

Flashy decorations, snow-covered Christmas trees and Santa Claus – they’re part and parcel of the Hong Kong festive season now, but how did the city celebrate the Christian festival in the past?

13 Dec 2021 - 8:45AM
A health worker prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have chosen “vaccine” and “vax” as 2021’s words of the year. Photo: EPA-EFE
Language Matters | Why ‘vaccine’ and ‘vax’ have been chosen as 2021’s words of the year

With vaccines representing scientific progress during Covid-19, two dictionary publishers have chosen ‘vaccine’ and ‘vax’ as the 2021 words of the year.

18 Dec 2021 - 1:54PM
Spanish circus duo David Moreno Cia and Cristina Callejaare bring their aerial performance Flotados to Asia for the first time at Tai Kwun’s Circus Plays.
The circus is coming to Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun arts and heritage centre

The Circus Plays programme at Tai Kwun includes famous Spanish circus act Flotados and The ChristMice Cracker by Hong Kong’s TS Crew.

10 Dec 2021 - 7:18PM