Thursday, December 19, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Mental Health Challenges Among Fuzhounese Immigrants to the United States

The Centre for China Studies has invited medical anthropologist Prof. Katherine Mason to present in the Visiting Speaker Series 2013-2014. The talk is co-sponsored with the Department of Anthropology. All interested are welcome!

Mental Health Challenges Among Fuzhounese Immigrants to the United States

Speaker: Katherine MASON 
(Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, Columbia University;
Assistant Professor, Brown University)
Time: Thursday, 9 January 2014 | 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Venue: Room 1120, 11/F, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

This talk will examine the role of cultural, socioeconomic, and legal factors in the incidence, treatment, and experience of mental illness among Fuzhounese immigrants to New York City. Immigrants from Fuzhou constitute one of the fastest growing and most impoverished groups of Chinese immigrants to the United States. Many enter the country illegally and settle in the northeastern United States, where they work (primarily in take-out restaurants) to pay off their smuggling debts and send money home. Cultural, socioeconomic, and legal pressures often lead to poor mental health and poor outcomes. The speaker will report on initial findings from a series of qualitative studies of Fuzhounese mental health patients conducted with a team of multidisciplinary researchers at Columbia University.

The seminar will be conducted in English


Monday, December 16, 2013

Summer Internship Reflections 2013

Handling collections with gloves
(Photo provided by Susan FUNG)
Undergraduate students of the Department of Anthropology are encouraged to apply for internship opportunities at institutions/organizations both locally and internationally every summer, as internship allows students to explore their interest and provides invaluable field experience. 

In the year 2013, the Department has secured 8 summer internship opportunities for students – 3 overseas and 5 local.  Students who have participated have written to share their experience as interns in The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (Cambridge, UK), The Nicholson Museum (Antiquities) in The University of Sydney (Australia), the Hong Kong Museum of History, and the Antiquities and Monuments Office (Hong Kong). For more information on the summer internship and to find out what our students have to share, please visit our website.

Susan Fung Handling Fiji Clubs

Photographing a bunch of metals during accessioning
(Photo provided by Sendy Leung)

Harley NG at Nicholson Museum

Holding a bronze halberd from the Shang-Zhou period
(Photo provided by Samson Tang)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Multiculturalism in Action: Indian Culture Workshop 2013-2014

Generations of Indians have made their home in Hong Kong since the 19th century. Indian cuisines, religion, and art have been incorporated to various degrees in the local culture. Curry dishes in particular have become part of the local diet, while yoga and meditation have broadened the local repertoire of physical and mental health. The Indian community celebrates its many festivals throughout the year, notably the annual Diwali, when local business sectors benefit from the gold and silver purchases and catering demands. Yet, little attention has been paid to the cultural contribution of this community as Hong Kong develops into a global city. Stereotypes and misunderstandings spring from cross-cultural ignorance, which all too often lead to social isolation and discrimination.

As an initiative to promote understanding of Indian culture as part of Hong Kong’s local heritage, an Indian culture workshop named "Multiculturalism in Action" was organized by Professor Siumi Maria Tam, funded by the Knowledge Transfer Office and sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, CUHK. From September to November 2013, seven seminars were held including on-campus sessions and outside visits. Using traditional festivals, Bollywood movies, and food etc as a lens, guest speakers talked about the Indian diaspora in Hong Kong, and shared their personal experience growing up as an Indian in a Chinese society. 

The seminars together with field visits granted participants a great opportunity to learn the meanings and significance of Indian religions, the family, and daily practices. Participants of the workshop are expected to make a short presentation to local secondary schools about one of the aspects in Indian culture in the spring of 2014, and to share their new-found knowledge to more mainstream young people.  There will also be a cross-cultural program co-organized with the Indian community as the Workshop finale.

Below are some of the pictures from the past seminars and field visits held by the workshop.

Sep 21: Mr and Mrs Rao giving a talk on the first seminar-- "Who are the Indians?: Truths and myths"

Sep 28: Field visit to International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON): An experience in Hinduism, Indian food and dress
Mr. Steven Matthew lecturing on religious traditions in India

Ms. Lillian Tsang leading a Hindu hymn

Participants visiting the designated kitchen in ISKCON where the offering to the god is prepared

Participants trying on Indian style dress

The Hindu god Krishna worshipped in ISKCON

Oct 5: Mr. Vivek Mahbubani (middle), a stand-up comedian, giving a public lecture on his experience growing up as an Indian born in Hong Kong. (For details click here.)

Oct 13: Mr. Sanjib Sengupta (standing) explaining the history behind the Durga Puja—the annual festival worshipping the Hindu goddess Durga.

Oct 26 : Ms. Meera Rhoria (front, 3rd from left) sharing on the cultural meaning of Diwali—the festival of lights

Nov 23:  Ms. Minaz Master (far right) enjoying Indian cuisine with the participants after giving a talk on Bollywood movies

Dec 8: A Hindu wedding at ISKCON

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

[Event] Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions

On 12 October 2013, the "Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions" was held on the campus of The Chinese University of Hong Kong(CUHK). The CUHK Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions has been held every year, serving as a good opportunity for secondary school students, teachers and parents to obtain useful information about CUHK and its undergraduate programmes. Professors and students of the Department all helped in the Orientation Day for introducing the anthropology programme and answering questions from the visitors. 

Professor Teresa KUAN giving a talk during the Programme Introduction and Academic Counselling Session.

Professor CHENG Sea Ling giving a talk during the Programme Introduction and Academic Counselling Session.

Undergraduate students helping in the Department Exhibition and Booth Section

Department Exhibition and Booth Section

[Event] Orientation Camp for Newly Admitted Undergraduate Students 2013-2014

In 2013-14, the Department of Anthropology admitted a total 34 undergraduate students, including local (JUPAS and non-JUPAS candidates), non-local and transfer-in students. The newly admitted students participated in the Department Orientation Camp (Small O'Camp) from August 19 to 21, 2013 organized by the department student society. The O'Camp involved not only team-building activities, but also a special Cultural Visit activity to Wanchai Mosque(HK). 

Orientation Camp: Newly admitted students and their Campus Life Tutors (組爸/組媽) 

Team-building activities during Orientation Camp

Team-building activities during Orientation Camp

Cultural Visit during Orientation Camp: Students visiting Wanchai Monsque

Cultural Visit during Orientation Camp: Students visiting Wanchai Monsque

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

[Event] Students Volunteered in Heritage Fiesta 2013

From 1 September to 31 October 2013, eight undergraduate students of the Department of Anthropology volunteered in guiding tours of heritage sites in the "Heritage Fiesta 2013" organized by the Development Bureau, and have thereby received Certificates of Merit for their contributions in this event. 

Heritage Fiesta 2013 was one of the activities under the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign and was held for a third year since its inauguration.  Riding on the significance of the education in heritage conservation, and aiming at providing an unique opportunity for the public to enjoy and appreciate study halls and historic school buildings in Hong Kong and to receive educating the heritage conservation, this year's two-month event has featured 17 schools and 13 study halls which were either declared monuments or graded buildings. For detailed information about heritage Fiesta 2013, please visit the heritage conservation website or refer to the pamphlet.

Monday, December 9, 2013

[HKAS Seminar] Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernity

Professor Joseph Bosco is giving a talk this Thursday on Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernitypresented by The Hong Kong Anthropological Society in association with The Hong Kong Museum of History*. If you missed his talk in CUHK in March this year, you would not want to miss this one!

Title: Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernity
Speaker:  Joseph Bosco
(Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Time: Thursday, 12 December, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Free! All are welcome! (Space, however, is limited to 139 seats)
The lecture is conducted in English

This talk seeks to understand consumerism by examining the rapid adoption of shampoo in China since 1979. Before the economic reforms, the same bar soap used for laundry was used for washing the body and hair, and it was rationed. In the 1980s, many domestic soap and shampoo brands emerged, but after 1986, products made by multinational companies became popular. Many consumer advocates in the West have argued that the quality differences between different brands are slight. Yet some “foreign” brands (made in China) cost three times or more than local brands. Why are people willing to pay a premium for fancy soap and shampoo, when in most cases only the user knows what type of soap he/she has used? Why pay more when most consumers cannot tell the difference? What images and ideals are consumers buying with each bar or bottle? What does the rapid adoption of shampoo in China tell us about consumerism and the prospects for sustainable development?

Following the talk, you are invited to a self-paying dinner with the speaker.

For more information please contact Stan Dyer on 9746 9537
Twitter: @HKASTalks
*The museum makes no representations on the content of this lecture.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Women Taking Charge of Religion in the Indian Diaspora

Women Taking Charge of Religion in the Indian Diaspora

Speaker: Annapurna Devi Pandey
(Lecturer, University of California, Santa Cruz)
Time: 11:30 a.m., Thursday, 12 December 2013
Venue: Room 401, Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

For the last two decades, I have been studying South Asian diaspora in the United States. Based on my longitudinal fieldwork, I have produced a documentary on the Odia diaspora in the Greater Bay Area (Homeland in the Heart) and am giving finishing touches to another one on the life giving ritual of the Jagannath, the patron deity of Odisha (Giving Life to God: The Installation of Lord Jagannath in the Fremont Hindu Temple). I have discovered that in the diasporic context, both men and women are redefining their gender roles. In this paper, I will focus on women’s subjectivity and self-empowerment through the performance of Durga Puja, the celebration of a popular Hindu Mother goddess.

Since the 1990s, there has been a dramatic shift in the population of Indian Americans in the Greater Bay Area known as Silicon Valley and it has grown exponentially (46.4%) in the last decade. The largest number of Indian Americans live in San Jose area and in the recent past, Fremont has become the second largest hub surpassing Los Angeles. Professional Odias have contributed to this swelling number in the Greater Bay Area. Odias from Southeastern India constitute a distinct immigrant community of a thousand middle class professionals, spread throughout the Silicon Valley. Since the 1990s when I moved to the Bay Area, I have been observing the diasporic Odia community of this region. I have published papers on various aspects of their life and have extensively worked on the diasporic Odia men and women and how they have adapted and adjusted to their new life and land in the USA.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Film Screening Event: Prof. Tam Invited as Guest Speaker

Professor Siumi Maria TAM is being invited as a guest speaker at a film screening event on next Thursday, 12 December 2013This documentary film The World Before Her (她和她的世界) is about Indian Women nowadays, moving between two extremes—the intimate verité drama of the Miss India pageant's rigorous beauty boot camp and the intense regime of a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls. As a specialist in Anthropology and Gender, Prof.Tam will share with the audience her insights into the issue after the film screening. 

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Come and enjoy the film with your friends!
Film: The World Before Her
Date: 2013.12.12 (Thu)
Time: 19:30-21:30

Venue: Mini Theatre, The Good Lab, L1, The Sparkle, 500 Tung Chau Street, West Kowloon
Guest Speaker: Prof. Siumi Maria TAM (Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, CUHK; Member of The Gender Research Centre, CUHK) 

*Film Language in English & Hindi with Chi & partial Eng subtitles
*This event is free of charge. No registration is required. Any change of programme details will be announced on website and Facebook page

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

[Invited Seminar] Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou

LAN Shanshan
Research Assistant Professor, David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou
29 November 2013

Guangzhou is a city where a large number of African migrants live. Many of them are undocumented. Why do the African migrants stay illegally Guangzhou? What kinds of structural challenges do they face? And how do they cope with such challenges? Lan’s talk addresses these questions based on her fieldwork in Guangzhou and in Lagos, Nigeria as well as interviews with African and Chinese informants.

For many African migrants, coming to Guangzhou and overstaying their visa is a rational business strategy. This allows them to gain transnational business opportunity with the least cost. Their life has gotten a lot tougher since the Chinese government tightened up immigration controls in 2008. They can face detention or even deportation if the police check their passport.
As cases of police abuse soared, collective resistance increased. To cope with the structural discrimination against them, they set up self-disciplined ethnic unions as semi-official mediators between the Chinese authority and the African community. Collaborating with Chinese friends in business partnerships and developing personal relationships is another useful strategy. Both the structural constraints and the agency of the African migrants were explored in depth in the talk. The views from both African and Chinese informants were both incorporated. Lan’s talk presented a nuanced picture of this marginalized community in Guangzhou.

Reviewed by 
Alan TSE
M.Phil. Candidate

Monday, December 2, 2013

Information Session for MA Programme

The Department is going to hold an Information Session for MA Programme on 14 December 2013. Do not miss the opportunity to communicate with our professors face to face if you are interested in studying in the department. Those who are interested in our Research Programmes are also welcome. 

Date: 14 December 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00pm start 

Venue: Room 207, Esther Lee Building, CUHK (near the University MTR station westhern exit)

To downlad the MA programme leaflet: 


[Taught Programme]

MA in Anthropology One-year full-time/ Two-year part-time

The programme is designed for people who have not majored in anthropology but wish to receive a formal education in the discipline. Students acquire systematic training in anthropological theory and methodology. (Three courses have been included in the list of reimbursable courses for the Continuing Education Fund (CEF)). 

Degree requirements can be completed in one year of full-time or two year of part-time study. The programme is taught, and no dissertation is required for graduation.

Click here to learn more about the MA Programme and application information.

[Research Programmes]

MPhil/ PhD in Anthropology Full-time

In these programmes, students work closely with a supervisor in reading the literature and conducting research. This allows each student's studies to be tailored to his or her needs. Students are expected to be highly self-motivated in pursuing their anthropological education.


Online application is available at the website of the Graduate Shool.
Application deadline:
MA programme: 31 March 2014
MPhil/ PhD programme:  31 January 2014