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Chinese New Year duo – Song Zuying and Celine Dion. February 11, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, China, Chinese New Year, creativity.
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Happy new year of the black water snake! Saw this over on Facebook and thought I should share it. It may sound very controversial, but I think this is a very good attempt to blend in two vastly different cultures together while retaining each individual differences. An excellent blend of the east and west, Song Zuying brings in the passive yet strong singing style of the east to go along with Celin Dion’s vibrant resonance in a special style. The future will bring along many more western counterparts to cooperate with the mainland Chinese. The force is undeniably a fine change and hopefully will be one that speaks of a peaceful and creative symbiosis.- Karen Fu

Aid offer bonds old foes – compassion dissolves war. March 13, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, China, human quality, life challenges.
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THE earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan may ease strained relations with China, allowing the rivals for the moment to look past lingering territorial, economic, military and historical disputes.

When news of the disaster spread, Chinese leaders offered condolences and support. China is also prone to earthquakes and Chinese officials put a rescue team in place to send to Japan if needed.

China’s Defence Minister, Liang Guanglie, called his Japanese counterpart, Toshimi Kitazawa, to offer military assets. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao also had a telephone conversation Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and offered China’s condolences and help.

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China’s show of sympathy and solidarity towards an Asian neighbour in distress contrasts with the heated rhetoric of the past half-year, which saw anti-Japan demonstrations and the cancelling of ministry-level exchanges and tour groups.

Officially sanctioned editorials talked about shared pain and what China can learn from Japan’s response to the disaster. Commentary from state-run Xinhua, recalled how Japan assisted China after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.

”The virtue of returning the favour after receiving one runs in the blood of both nations,” commentary said.

WASHINGTON POST

 

When I read news that China is offering help to Japan, I felt a great sense of comfort. At least, it isn’t what I have been hearing from certain groups of people who seem to think that the Tsunami in Japan is a sheer kind of retribution. Regardless if it is one or not, I wouldn’t think we should say that. And I think China has made the right move in sending words of concern and sympathy; and more vitally real action of assistance by mobilising teams to help Japan.

It would have been very wrong to stay aloof at Japan’s current plight. Not to mention about feeling totally mean about the neuclear explosions and the massive physical devastation to their infrastructure. In Singapore, I heard there is a national team of peoplw who will be meeting up at Raffles Place this Wednesday to pray for the Japanese. I don’t know what exactly that is, but if time permits I want to join in too.

Compassion yields compassion. Perhaps at this very trying time in Japan, these actions of help might well be a source of light that shines globally that humanity still exists. Doesn’t matter if you are Caucasian, Asian, African, Hispanic, Mexican, Indian or Chinese; in times of need, when you feel lost, there will be ready help when one needs it. It should be a change of emotional tide about the past grudges about who did what to who. Trying to line up the atrocities only breed further anger that might end up engulfing both parties.

What we should learn about history is about what went wrong. And not counting foes and wrongdoings for ‘revenge’. Surely there are uncountable misgivings. My grandparents, like most others, have suffered tremendously during World War 2, when the Japanese occupied Singapore. It wasn’t any peach and roses. Many went to fight against the Japanese and had been killed on the spot or sent to the notorious massacre at Hong Lim Park or the Changi beach. Even today, Asian countries are still wary of Japan.

Personally I have thought about the historical impact and I can honestly say that I do not like some of the ways the Japanese are, typically their history texts about the World War. But I also know that many Japanese are not mean and know where their flaws are. The Japanese community here in Singapore are very modest and extremely hardworking. And I know with their industriousness and perseverance, they will survive this natual calamity well. It will be difficult but if they can survive 2 atomic bombs from the US, and come up from the ruins after the war; then they can recover and survive this current one.

Just remember that the history of civilsations, that every one of them has done some misgivings at some point. It would be a dire and regretable mistake to repeat them mainly because of revenge.

Can’t type too much for now. I need to get up super early and I am now left with 5 hours of sleep. But I sincerely hope Japan recovers and that from this nightmare comes a dream of true hope, where peoples’ compassion will dissolve all woes of the past. — Karen Fu

minphf’s design site: Land Use Design – World Population in a 1000 Singapores… August 22, 2010

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, environment.
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The line in the Straits Times a couple of days ago caught my eye: ‘By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities in the developing world’. This caught my attention as I was travelling on the train home. Honestly I have been dreading the idea of increasing the poputlation to 5.5 million in the near future. Surely, this piece of news citing Singapore’s land use to house some 6 billion people on just 0.5 % of our planet’s land must be scary, if not petrifying.

Singapore, which has only a land size of  710 square kilometers, is aiming to house some 6 million inhabitants on land. As a citizen and resident of this tiny dot, I must admit it was an eye popper news. I have been squeezing through trains, and replaning my time around peak hours. But when I start to recall  spaces around places on this tiny dot,  this seemingly daunting aim appears to be achievable from mainly 3 aspects:

  1. surprisingly, there is still good amount of green spaces that could be utilized.;
  2. the way these designs of flatted properties with underground system planning of spaces could effectively save a lot of land space for a growing population.
  3. there is very little crime, and people are generally at peace, making this concept of urban planning feasible.

We are currently undergoing the pace of change where lots of spaces are still undergoing constructional change, which is why the crowded packs. Complementing this undergoing this space change would be the enlarged network of the Mass Rapid Transit points, which will see extended links in the central parts of the country. Mass Rapid Transits’ undergrounds are also built with retailing outlets apart from linking them directly to office, recreational and residential spaces. For a tiny dot to remain as a livable urban city, the living spaces must grow along the rising population (both expats and local).

Checking this illustration on Straits Times [Aug 2010]

The above illustration shows the size comparison with Texas, in the US and with China. If this were the way the land is used, theoretically it would take up very little piece of land, leaving a huge remainder of the earth’s surface for other uses. Though theoretically ideal, there are a few worries off hand:

  1. Would everyone agree with such land use? Different cultures of different peoples around the world would not agree to the kind of living depending on one’s idea of what is comfortable and even ‘prestigious’ living. Some may consider this as a packed up living life style where you cannot enjoy the spaciousness of greens and enjoy the big airy skies around you.
  2. Social economically, and more importantly politically; this idea of land use may not be palatable to all. It would need the sacrifice of space where grandeur may have to be taken away in architectural designs of monumental buildings. This could impact social uproar when national identity and pride is taken away via a reduction of space for these historically important venues.
  3. The price of land would peak unless we have an economics system where this cost could be cut from earnings from other areas. This could possibly be achievable if we would use other land spaces for other economic activity, provided if we could keep greed in….

Space is often seen as a sign of power. Else histrorically, countries and people wouldn’t want to wage wars to conquer more space for increasing political and economic might. To take away living spaces has a lot of conflicts of interests that we have to overcome. Cutting population growth is often seen as a way to solve overcrowding and many other human problems. But is a large population the main cause for depletion of natural resources? I doubt it. It could often be touted that the vice of misusing technology and knowhow is the main cause for unsustainable living. I often think that this is the most fundamental reason for our impending demise.

Don’t you think so?

Time for bed…as usual..

— Karen Fu….

Reference:

  1. Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore
  2. Straits Times article 17 August 2010