Wednesday 27 February 2013

1159 HKSAR Name of the Day

Willy Liu Wai-keung, chief executive of property agency Ricacorp, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Monday 25 February 2013

1158 HKSAR Names of the Day

Rainbow Ng, personal assistant and newlywed to Mohammed Naveed Khan is of Pakistani descent (2013), Hong Kong
  see The Things We Do For Love

Other Rainbows on this blog; see 0757 and 0952 HKSAR Names of the Day

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Nature-based

Saturday 23 February 2013

1157 HKSAR Name of the Day

Coolbie Mok, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 23 February 2011)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Friday 22 February 2013

What's in a name? Xiqu, Johnny and Yumiko

Chinese Opera and Italian zhajiang mian; or Xiqu and spaghetti bolognese ...

An interesting article that ends on a weird note about the mysterious Xiongnu people.

About Novel HKSAR Names


Reflections: what's in a name? (Sunday Morning Post Magazine; paywall)

Wee Kek Koon

Some Hongkongers are unhappy that a facility in the West Kowloon Cultural District will be named the Xiqu Centre, arguing that "Chinese Opera Centre" would be more appropriate. However, calling traditional Chinese theatre "Chinese opera" is like calling spaghetti bolognese "Italian zhajiang mian": it's inaccurate and implies it is a lesser or ersatz version of the genuine article - European opera, or Chinese noodles with meat sauce.

If Japanese kabuki theatre remains as is when referred to in English, I fail to see what's wrong with xiqu.

It amuses me to see Chinese Hongkongers who give themselves foreign names such as Johnny or Yumiko go ballistic when a pinyin name appears on a building. It's obvious what's going on here. Some try to explain their pinyin-phobia by arguing that it is "difficult" for non-Putonghua speakers to pronounce. But while consonants such as x, q and c do twist many a tongue, pronouncing pinyin is no more difficult than pronouncing Irish or Czech. Non-speakers will never replicate the actual sounds of words via transliterations but in the case of the ancient Xiongnu people, Chinese transliterations give us a clue as to who they were.

Active from 200BC-AD400, the mysterious Xiongnu founded kingdoms in China and empires across Central Asia but left no written records. Linguistic analysis, however, offers tantalising hints as to who they might have been. The word " Xiongnu" would've been pronounced "hiung-no" in archaic Chinese, leading to speculation that they might have been the forebears of the Huns.

Thursday 21 February 2013

1156 HKSAR Name of the Day

Julio Alberto Tang Chan Kai Ho (Mr), student, University of Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Monday 18 February 2013

The Things We Do For Love

Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love ...

Rainbow Ng and Mohammed Naveed Kahn hosted a Pakistani-style wedding with 250 friends and relatives in January 2013

Why does it appear to always be the woman who bends over backwards for the male muslim? Cecile, over at China Droll, knows the answer!

The most high-profile example is cricket great Imran Khan and his wife Jemima, who converted to Islam. Let's see whether Rainbow Ng will do the same.

The SCMP has been running their weekly Wedding Snippet for quite some time now, which always spews on about hopes, dreams and happily-ever afters.

Considering the divorce statistics (from The Economist), it would be complementary for the media to run a Couples Spilt Snippet, which can offer their experiences of their marriage so that real and useful advice can be imparted.

By all means "float on air" and sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (here's Izzy's version) but in the long term there needs to be a reality check.

Other Rainbows on this blog; see 0757 and 0952 HKSAR Names of the Day

The Things We Do For Love by 10cc (1977) [YouTube]


Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love.
Communication is the problem to the answer
You've got her number and your hand is on the phone
The weather's turned and all the lines are down
The things we do for love, the things we do for love.
Like walking in the rain and the snow
When there's nowhere to go
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in her eyes.
You think you're gonna break up
Then she says she wants to make up.
Ooh you made me love you
Ooh you've got a way
Ooh you had me crawling up the wall.
Like walking in the rain and the snow
When there's nowhere to go
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in her eyes.
You think you're gonna break up
Then she says she wants to make up.
Ooh you made me love you
Ooh you've got a way
Ooh you had me crawling up the wall.
A compromise would surely help the situation
Agree to disagree but disagree to part
When after all it's just a compromise of
The things we do for love, the things we do for love....


Compromise paves path to future for Rainbow Ng, Mohammed Khan (SCMP; paywall)

Ethnic and cultural differences no barrier to couple who cherish their core values
Saturday, 16 February, 2013, 12:00am

Vivian Chen

Rainbow Ng is a Hongkonger born and bred, while Mohammed Naveed Khan is of Pakistani descent. Although they are from different cultural backgrounds, their willingness to compromise has led to a lasting relationship.

Rainbow, a personal assistant, and Naveed, who works for an airline, wed last month in a Pakistani ceremony at Duetto, an Indian-Italian restaurant in Wan Chai, celebrating with 250 friends and relatives. They will host a Chinese banquet in July.

The couple were introduced by a colleague three years ago when they were working for the same airline.

"He seemed really nice, but I was a little nervous when I first met him because he was quite senior at work," Rainbow said.

It took three months before they realised there was more than friendship between them.

"I was on holiday overseas with my family and my mother fell ill. Naveed was really helpful, sending me advice by text message," Rainbow said. "We really missed each other."

When she got home they went on their first dinner date.

"It was a very romantic and memorable date that showed me another side of him - his gentleness and great sense of humour," Rainbow said. "He's a big guy and he's also got a big heart."

They started dating regularly and Rainbow decided she was ready to take a big step that would please Naveed.

"Naveed is a Muslim so he doesn't eat pork. I decided to give up pork out of respect for him," she said.

It was only later that Rainbow realised how big a commitment she had made.

"It was hard to give up my mum's soups," she joked.

Naveed was moved by Rainbow's devotion, as were their friends and relatives, who offered her support.

"When I was prepared to honour his beliefs, I realised I had found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with," she said.

Last May, the couple went to Paris for a holiday.

"I thought that maybe he'd propose during that trip, but he scolded me jokingly, saying he'd never do it in Paris," she said.

That turned out to be a well-intentioned lie. When they arrived at the Eiffel Tower, Naveed made an excuse to leave and left Rainbow waiting alone in the plaza. A stranger walked up to her and gave her a rose. A few seconds later, another stranger handed her one, and the roses kept coming.

Next, Naveed returned, got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. Amid a crowd of tourists, he asked Rainbow to marry him, and the teary Rainbow said yes.

Rainbow said she loved Naveed's charisma, kindness and, more importantly, his family values. "He really loves his parents and relatives, and mine as well. I think that's essential in a relationship," she said. "Naveed speaks fluent Cantonese so he can communicate with my family easily. My heart melts every time he and my mum crack a joke."

Sunday 17 February 2013

Friday 15 February 2013

1153 HKSAR Name of the Day

Hinson Leung Chun-pong, football player, South China AA, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Son-suffix

Thursday 14 February 2013

Further Fiddlesticks and Forked Tongues At Work

Snakes Alive! What does it take to become a Fung Shui master? An ability to fiddle with sticks and stones and words?

Why does the Heung Yee Kuk chairman always have to pick the stick? What special quality does he, er, possess?

Why not ask self-styled Fung Shui master Tony Chan? He'll probably charge an arm and a leg, but then again he is in need of some dough.

Fung Shui is just a scam and a Chinese version of Hocus Pocus


Taoist omen warns Hongkongers to beware of 'wicked people' (SCMP; paywall)

Fortune-tellers interpret unlucky 95 as meaning CY's policies may fail and he may face turmoil
Tuesday, 12 February, 2013, 12:00am

Ada Lee

Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat. Pic Felix Wong

Hongkongers were warned they faced "wicked people" and obstacles in the Year of the Snake, after one of the unluckiest possible omens was drawn in a Taoist ceremony yesterday.

A stick bearing the number 95 was drawn by Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat at Sha Tin's Che Kung Temple in the annual ritual. The prediction for stick 95 says: "In a splendid carriage you embarked on your journey. Today, you came home barefoot. Is it that you failed the imperial exam? Or did you lose all your gold in business?"

It reminds Hongkongers to "beware of wicked people", and says "nothing is going well".

Mak Ling-ling, one of the most famous fung shui masters in the city, said the stick could be saying the policies put forward by the government could fail although they sounded glamorous in the beginning.

"It could mean the government's strategy was not right. It might be confident, but there are obstacles," she said. She did not think "wicked people" was a specific reference.

This is the third bad-luck stick to be selected in a decade; following one in 2003, when Hong Kong was hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, and another in 2009, when it was hit by the global financial turmoil.

Chu Ling-ling, a fortune-teller at the temple, said the stick meant uncertainties would trouble the economy. The horse carriage in the verse was a reference to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who was born in the Year of the Horse, she said.

There would be political turmoil, and although Leung would not fare too badly in the first half of the year, he could face trouble towards its end. "Leung needs to change his way of doing things. He should refrain from being too tough, and he needs to rebuild his credibility, so people will trust him again," she said.

Lau tried to put a positive spin on it, saying: "Hong Kong will continue to be prosperous and stable ... An unlucky stick could be good, too."

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's first Year of the Snake baby, a girl, arrived at Union Hospital in Sha Tin at 0.17am on Sunday.

Good fortune awaits as the Snake slithers in (SCMP; paywall)
Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 12:00am

Phila Siu and Ng Kang-chung

Fung Shui master Mak Ling-ling. Pic David Wong

Chill out Hongkongers, the economy in the Year of the Snake will be better than it was last year.

That is the verdict of fung shui masters as the city bids farewell to the dragon and greets the snake tomorrow morning.

The fung shui masters differ in their forecasts of what lies ahead for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the government.

"The economy will be better than last year, although it will still not be very bustling," master Mak Ling-ling said. "But for C.Y., his Chinese zodiac sign is the horse, and that is not a good thing in the Year of the Snake. In Chinese we have a saying that the snake winds around the legs of the horse when the horse tries to move."

Master Ma Lai-wah forecast the economy would continue to grow but cautioned that people would not have more money in their pockets until August.

The key is to invest in exports and avoid speculation in property, as prices will rise and fall about 10 per cent several times, he predicted. "And be ready for more disharmony between Hongkongers and mainlanders, because the cultural differences will get deeper."

Ma said Leung had the characteristics of an eagle, which do not get along well with snakes.

But Raymond Lo, popularly known as "Fung Shui Lo", predicted an easier year ahead for Leung. "The Year of the Snake is symbolised this year by water sitting on top of fire," Lo said. "The animal sign for horse does not directly clash with the snake. So it will be a comparatively more stable year for Mr Leung.

"For people born in the Year of the Horse, a snake year brings the flower of romance, so they can expect a more sociable year. In short, Mr Leung will still face challenges but he will remain OK."

As for Hong Kong's economy, Lo said the fire symbol attached to a year often generated optimism, and the economy should turn more stable compared with the dragon year.

"Banking is [associated with the element of] metal and it needs fire to melt it into useful tools. And finance and stock market are more related to fire," he said. "We may expect improvements in the economy."

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Monday 11 February 2013

1151 HKSAR Name of the Day

Rikin Lau, The Peak, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 10 February 2011)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Saturday 9 February 2013

1150 HKSAR Name of the Day

Carson Liu, Tsing Yi, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 8 Feb 2011)

see Carson Yeung

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Son-suffix; somewhat common in Hong Kong

Thursday 7 February 2013

1149 HKSAR Name of the Day

Fausto Wu Kwok-ho, Sha Tin, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 7 Feb 2011)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Tuesday 5 February 2013

1148 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wilson Or Wai-shun, director of Sik Sik Yuen the Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian charity that runs Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Phonetic-based; Son-suffix

Monday 4 February 2013

However Sliced and Diced, Sea Cumcumber Still Sucks

Sea cucumbers have a certain smell but no distinct taste. It must be mainly the texture that Chinese palates like about these marine creatures.

They just do not look, or sound, very appetizing ...

Braised sea cucumber filled with shrimp mousse and shrimp roe sauce at The Chinese Restaurant


Table Talk (SCMP; paywall)
Thursday, 24 January, 2013, 12:00am

Susan Jung

Cottage Vineyards will have a pun choi ("basin meal") meets Cordon Bleu lunch on Saturday at Chez Les Copains in Sai Kung. The traditional dish, made by the restaurant's chef, Bonnie So, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, includes Iberico pork belly, poached free-range Bresse chicken, and premium shiitake mushrooms and golden oysters braised in home-made oyster sauce, and will be accompanied by wines such as Domaine du Grangeon Fermiget 2006, Frederic Lornet Arbois Ploussard En Fertand 2008 and Pfaffl Blauer Zweigelt 2008. The price is HK$980. Bookings: 2395 1293

St Betty restaurant in the IFC Mall in Central is celebrating Australia Day on Saturday with a menu that costs HK$698 plus 10 per cent. Diners will taste dishes of Queensland spanner crab salad with avocado crème fraiche and sesame seeds; yabbies and Tasmanian salmon with Jerusalem artichokes and pickled mushrooms; and roasted black Gippsland angus with Parmesan polenta. Bookings: 2979 2100

The Chinese Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency in Tsim Sha Tsui is featuring abalone, fish maw and sea cucumber until the end of February. The menu includes braised sea cucumber with glutinous millet and oyster sauce; braised sea cucumber filled with shrimp mousse and shrimp roe sauce; sea cucumber with braised minced pork, dried scallops, black mushrooms and abalone sauce; and double boiled pork shank soup with fresh abalone. Bookings: 3721 7788

The Balcony at the Cityview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei is serving a coral lobster and abalone set meal until the end of February. Priced at HK$438 plus 10 per cent, it includes braised whole abalone with black mushrooms; baked grouper fillet with bean paste; coral lobster in cream of abalone soup; and crispy chicken roll with cuttlefish mousse and chicken liver pâté. Bookings: 2783 3286

Café on M at the InterContinental Grand Stanford hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui has Norwegian salmon and seafood on the lunch and dinner buffets until the end of February. The rotating selection includes whole salmon baked in salt crust and Norwegian black mussels in white wine sauce. The lunch buffet is HK$265 plus 10 per cent (HK$215 for children) Monday to Friday and HK$325 (HK$245 for children) on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. The dinner buffet is HK$445 plus 10 per cent (HK$305 for children) Monday to Thursday and HK$515 (HK$365 for children) from Friday to Sunday and on the eve and day of public holidays. Bookings: 2731 2860

Sunday 3 February 2013

Friday 1 February 2013

1146 HKSAR Name of the Day

Sunny Hor Tsz-ching, Siu Lam, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 1 Feb 2011)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare