Friday, October 31, 2014

[Nepali Culture Workshop 2014-2015] Health Issues for South Asians in Hong Kong: The Case of the Nepalis

Photo Credit: South Asian Health Support Programme (SAHP) website

You are cordially invited to a seminar presents by the Multiculturalism in Action: Nepali Culture Workshop with Dr. Sharmila Gurung (Project Manager, South Asian Health Support Program, United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service).

Speakers: Dr. Sharmila Gurung (Project Manager, South Asian Health Support Program, United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service)
Date: November 8, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Room 410, Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA), CUHK
Enquiry/ Register: Ms. Winsome Lee (


Dr. Gurung is Project Manager, South Asian Health Support Program, United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service, the first health promotion project targeting South Asians in Hong Kong. She is a member of the HKSAR Women’s Commission and a 2009 recipient of the Chief Executive's Commendation for Community Service.

All interested are welcome!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] Zomia, Scott and Tribal Peoples: A Critical Consideration of the “History as Choice” Argument

The UGC AoE Scheme: The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society
History and Anthropology Lecture Series (16)

Zomia, Scott and Tribal Peoples: A Critical Consideration of the “History as Choice” Argument

Speaker: Professor Nicholas Tapp (Director, Research Institute of Anthropology, East China Normal University; Professor Emeritus, The Australian National University)
Date: 29 Oct 2014 (Wed) 
Time: 14:30-16:15
Venue: NAH 115, Humanities Building, New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Enquiries Tel: 2358 8939 
South China Research Center, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Centre for Historical Anthopology, Sun Yat-sen University
Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
CUHK-SYSU Centre for Historical Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Pan PRD Research Station, South China Research Center,
Guangzhou HKUST Fok Ying Tung Research Institute


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

[Nepali Culture Workshop 2014-2015] Religion in Everyday Life

You are cordially invited to a seminar presents by the Multiculturalism in Action: Nepali Culture Workshop with Dr. Wyman Wai-man Tang (Part-time Teaching Associate, Sociology Department, University of Macau).

Speakers: Dr. Wyman Wai-man Tang (Part-time Teaching Associate, Sociology Department, University of Macau)
Date: October 25, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Nepali Restaurant in Jordan (TBC), Meet at Jordan MTR at 1:45pm
Registration Deadline: 24 October, 2014
Enquiry/ Register: Ms. Winsome Lee (


Dr. Wai-Man Tang received his PhD in anthropology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. His research interests are drug addiction and rehabilitation, ethnicity, gender, transnational migration, Nepalese diaspora, and Gurkhas.

The Nepalis are known to be very religious people. What are their dominant religions? Does religion influence decision-making in the household and work? How is religion related to social marginalization and empowerment?

All interested are welcomed. Light refreshment will be served. Free of charge.

Hurry, Seats are limited!


[Event] Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions 2014

On 18 October 2014, 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.

Undergraduate students introducing the programme in the Information Booth.
Professor Sealing CHENG giving a talk during the Programme Introduction and Academic Counselling Session.

Over 80 visitors joining Professor CHENG's talk.

Department Exhibition Section

Professor CHENG and undergraduate student, Tiffany, answering secondary school students' inquiries.

Postgraduate student, Allie, sharing her learning experience with the secondary school student.

Taiwan Summer Field Trip Exhibition in Hui's Gallery 

Secondary school students visiting the Department.

Monday, October 20, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] Race, Education, and Citizenship: Mobile Malaysians and a Culture of Migration

Race, Education, and Citizenship: Mobile Malaysians and a Culture of Migration

Speaker: KOH Sin Yee  
(Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong)
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 24 October, 2014  
Venue: Room 12 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK


In this presentation, I argue that Malaysia’s brain drain (i.e. the migration of tertiary-educated Malaysians with transnational migration experience, whom I call mobile Malaysians) can be understood as an outcome and consequence of British colonial legacies–of race, education, and citizenship as state-citizen relationship–inherited and exacerbated by the post-colonial Malaysian state. Departing from previous studies explaining such migration as an ‘exit’ response to race-based affirmative action policies privileging bumiputera (‘sons of soil’) Malaysians, I adopt a postcolonial perspective to show how legacies of colonialism initiate, facilitate, and propagate migration in a multi-ethnic, post-colonial migrant-sending country beyond the end of colonial rule.



In the Press: Professor Gordon Mathews's thoughts on the Umbrella Movement

Professor Gordon Mathews.
Photo Credit: Mingpao Daily
Professor Gordon Mathews was interviewed by Mingpao Daily about his thoughts and observation on the Umbrella Movement. The article is in Chinese only.

Mingpao Daily, Sunday (19/10/2014), Full article (Chinese only) 

Friday, October 17, 2014

In the Press: From the dark grey to the pink (从暗灰到粉红)

A 65 years old retired pharmacist dancing on the public square.
Photo Credit: 姜曉明@Southern People Weekly 
Our M.phil. student, Qianni Wang published an article entitled " From the dark grey to the pink (从暗灰到粉红) at " Southern People Weekly (南方人物周刊)“ on 25th Sep. 
Please click here to read the article. (Chinese only)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

[Upcoming Event] Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions 2014

Information Booth in 2013
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) "Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions" will be held on this Saturday (Oct. 18, 2014) in the CUHK campus.

The Anthropology department will hold academic counselling sessions, information booth, department visit and the Taiwan field trip exhibition on that day. 

The details are as below:
Click here for last year's Orientation Day recap.

Click here for more information of the "Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions 2014" .

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

[Friday Seminar Recap] Of Wives, Mothers, and Goddesses: Marriage, Childbirth, & Religiosity in Wenzhou Women’s Culture

Of Wives, Mothers, and Goddesses: Marriage, Childbirth, & Religiosity in Wenzhou Women’s Culture

Speaker: Mayfair YANG
(Professor, Religious Studies Department, East Asian Studies Department,
University of California, Santa Barbara)  
Time: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, 16 September 2014  
Venue: LT5, Yasumoto International Academic Park, Chung Chi College, CUHK


The seminar
Professor YANG’s ethnographic presentation was based on her on-going fieldwork in rural Wenzhou, China, on the revival of popular religion. Professor YANG shared her observations on the changes in Wenzhou women’s marriage, childbirth and religiosity in the post-Mao era.

Traditionally, the groom’s family will offer brideprice to the bridal family before the marriage ceremony. In return, the bridal family will provide the dowry. Nowadays, the brideprice is less than the dowry. With the economic development, some bridal families even refuse the brideprice, as they consider the bride will be more respected in the groom’s family.

Professor Mayfair Yang
Even though the communist party enabled women to go out to work and promoted their social status after 1949, most married women in Wenzhou still perform a traditional gender role after marriage. They will stay at home to take care of the family and be the factory manager if their family owns an enterprise. Most Wenzhou women keep a low-profile and prefer that their husband or the family to take all the credit.

In the post-Mao era, the number of births started to drop after 20 years of rise. When the People’s Republic of China was just established in 1949, the average household size is 4.09 and increased to 4.8 in 1968. But after the one child policy, household size gradually declined to 3.9 in the 1990s. The popularisation of the nuclear family is also a result of the new housing setting and the rising real estate price.

Even though women are encouraged to engage in society after 1949, religious activities were strictly controlled or even banned by the communist government. Yet, women in Wenzhou, especially the older women, still participate in the religious activities in Buddhism and/or Daoism. They did this to pay the debt of sins and build merit for the afterlife, for personal or familial salvation.

The attendants
In Wenzhou, many religious organisations are initiated or lead by women. Professor YANG shared the stories of how her informants initiated and built a Guanyin temple, an 800-member Buddhist study society and a Taiyin palace. These women face difficulties to obtain the recognition from the official Daoist/Buddhist associations, without which they can be shut down. But, as popular religion is considered part of intangible cultural heritage in the Wenzhou/Fujian area, they gained a certain degree of legitimacy.

One of the major goddess the Wenzhou women worship is the Goddess Chen the 14th. Goddess Chen the 14th has a fearless, fierce and independent image. The stories of her are closely related to the current problems, including the official corruption. It also inspires a cross-strait Mother Chen festival, which has become a major semi-official event between Mainland China and Taiwan.

Monday, October 13, 2014

[Upcoming Seminar] Reading Disaster Response in International Comparative Perspectives — Japan, China and New Zealand

Reading Disaster Response in International Comparative Perspectives — Japan, China and New Zealand

Speaker: Junko OTANI  
(Regional Director, East Asian Center for Academic Initiatives (OU Shanghai Office) &
 Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan )
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 17 October, 2014  
Venue: Room 12 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK


The Christchurch earthquake occurred on 22 February 2011, which was 17 days before the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster. Japanese media reported news from Christchurch everyday as there were 28 Japanese students victims at the English Language School due to the collapse of Canterbury Television (CTV) building. Soon the media reports stopped and focused on Tohoku news. The Canterbury earthquake was not only 22 February 2011 earthquake but it has been a series of earthquakes of four major ones from 4 September 2010, 22 February, 13 June and 23 December 2011, with 12,000 aftershocks. The earthquakes rocked the city of Christchurch and surrounding districts in Canterbury. This seminar presentation will look into post-earthquake recovery process in Christchurch with comparative perspectives of Japanese experiences: 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake as well as Chinese experiences: 2008 and 2013 Wenchuan Earthquakes. 



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Department E-Newsletter - Summer 2014

The summer issue of the Department E-Newsletter has been published. Click here to catch up with us on our latest news, new publication, alumni updates and the upcoming events!

If you have any suggestions, comments or you would like to share your latest status with our subscribers, please feel free to contact us at

Department E-Newsletter - Summer 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

[Friday Seminar Recap] Civility in Chinese Society: The People’s Republic of China

Civility in Chinese Society: The People’s Republic of China 

Speaker: David SCHAK  
(Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Asian Studies and International Business Griffith University)  
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 5 September 2014  
Venue: Room 12 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK 


Professor David Schak
Professor David Schak’s presentation compared the development of civility in Taiwan and the PRC with an aim to understand the conditions under which civility develops in a society (details).

Prof. Schak said there are two aspects to civility: being considerate to others, including strangers, and having a stakeholder relationship with the public sphere. He said civility is quite wide-ranging, and even includes how people treat animals. He suggested that civility in Chinese society is influenced by the “Differentiated Mode of Association” (差序格局). In his research, he studied citizens’ civility by talking to people and observing their behavior, especially the behaviors named in civility campaigns, including littering, spitting, smoking, queuing and the treatment of strangers.

Professor David Schak
 Prof. Schak argued that the cultural background for civility in Taiwan and People’s Republic of China are similar. Both societies also used various campaigns to promote civility from the 1930s, from the New Life Movement to the “Five Stresses, Four Beauties, Three Loves” campaign, but top down campaigns did not work. He noted that there was a significant increase in civility in Taiwan starting the early 1990s, a change that was only partly due to democratization. He concluded that democracy was helpful but not necessary for civility, but good governance was important. There was no sufficient condition, but two necessary ones: a desire for civility and a critical mass of post-industrial values.

The attendants
Many interesting questions were asked in the Q&A section. Some participants shared their personal observations of littering in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and asked whether Prof. Schak considers civilityto be a linear process like evolutionary theory, but Dr. Schak argued that a society lacking civility is a society where the strong prey on the weak. Some other participants asked whether Prof. Schak thought there could be “too much civility” such that it could harm society, but Dr. Schak said he could not imagine that. 

please click here for the introduction of the seminar.

[Upcoming Seminar] Killing the Blues: Male Nostalgia and Paid Sex in Southern China

Killing the Blues: Male Nostalgia and Paid Sex in Southern China

Speaker: Kevin MING 
(Center Associate, Asian Studies Center, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh)
Time: 12:30 p.m., Friday, 10 October, 2014  
Venue: Room 12 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK


This talk will discuss nostalgic consumption among mostly older men paying for sex in southern China. It raises a number of questions. What are we to make of a “nostalgia for nostalgia” that is self-consciously traditionalist and that reproduces forms of very contemporary consumptive intimacy? What does the excess and failure of signification in these encounters tell us about masculinities in China today? And how might masculinist forms of nostalgia be turned to other uses by working women who have differing interests and relationships to loss? Thinking this along the margins of China’s ongoing development projects, this talk argues, points to unexpected relations between loss and life.



Friday, October 3, 2014

[Nepali Culture Workshop 2014-2015] Education for Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong's School.

You are cordially invited to a discussion panel presents by the Multiculturalism in Action: Nepali Culture Workshop with Dr. Chee Wai-Chi (Research Assistant Professor, HKU), Dr. Rizwan Ullah (PhD, HKU), and Mrs. Raima Gurung Shah on Education for Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong's School. 

Speakers: Dr. Chee Wai-Chi (Research Assistant Professor, HKU), Dr. Rizwan Ullah (PhD, HKU), and Mrs. Raima Gurung Shah
Date: October 11, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Room 408, Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA),  CUHK


Dr. Chee has a PhD in anthropology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is now a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Language and Cultures, University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on education for ethnic minority students, and cultural identity in Hong Kong.

Dr. Rizwan Ullah received his PhD in Education from the University of Hong Kong. His thesis focuses on the problems and solutions of learning Chinese by non-Chinese speaking students. Raised in Hong Kong, he attended Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo), where he now teaches. Dr. Ullah is Educational Advisor for the Pakistani Students Association Hong Kong (PSA). He has undertaken an active role in promoting equal educational opportunities for ethnic minority students.

Mrs. Raima Gurung Shah is a second generation of Nepali. She was born and raised in the city, and now is teaching in a kindergarten in Kwai Chung.


All interested are welcome! Please refer to the attached poster for more info.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Winsome at