0065 HKSAR Name of the Day

March 31, 2009

Sunney Leung (Dr), assistant professor, Institute Of Textiles & Clothing, Institute Of Textiles & Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

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Name Category: Insertion

0064 HKSAR Name of the Day

March 30, 2009

Delanda Wong Yuk Ying (Ms), Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Name Category: Creation

Official: Hong Kong Sevens Equals Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll

March 30, 2009

It had to take an academic to tell us the obvious. The obvious being that the perennially successful Rugby Sevens Tournament in Hong Kong has, gasp, major sexual overtones. Hong Kong Anorak, sorry, Anthropological Society members apparently skulk around and prey on extrovert partying fans to observe plenty of signs of in-your-face sexuality, phallic symbolism, and even discreet discretionary behaviour that definitely indicates sex (even when they don’t!). The SCMP reported all this on Sunday March 29 (notable excerpts from the article are referenced here) using only one source, a single academic Dr Joseph Bosco.

I could imagine anthropologist Bosco’s delight when at 5pm on Sunday, during the pre-finals entertainment intermission, Elvis eventually emerged from a shoddily made-up jukebox shell much to the bewilderment and amusement of the entire crowd. Yes yes (exclaim Hong Kong anoraks!), we told you so. Hong Kong Sevens equals sex and drugs and rock and roll. And Elvis confirms it!

Reference to Hong Kong Sevens Equals Sex …

March 30, 2009

Here is an excerpt of the SCMP article.

Studying the mysterious ways of the Sevens tribe
Action on the pitch isn’t the only thing worthy of attention this weekend

Simon Parry
Mar 29, 2009

As thousands of revellers poured noisily into the Hong Kong Stadium at the start of the Rugby Sevens on Friday night, one unlikely looking little group filed quietly into a corner of the ground. Bookish, plainly dressed and sober, they must have looked a little out of place as they took their seats.

The presence of this small, intense-looking huddle of individuals may have puzzled some of their rowdier fellow spectators as they peered inquisitively around, scribbling notes and appearing to be far more absorbed in the antics of the crowd than the action on the pitch.

This odd group of observers was not there to watch the rugby, however. They were there to watch the fans. They were members of the Hong Kong Anthropological Society and their mission was to learn about the rituals and behaviour patterns that surround the hugely popular festival of rugby that has become one of the city’s most celebrated annual events.

Their academic antennae had been alerted by a talk on the Rugby Sevens delivered this month by Chinese University anthropologist Joseph Bosco – and their willingness to observe the phenomenon may have been fired in part by Dr Bosco’s assertion that a lot of what goes on concerns a universal pursuit: sex.

“It is clear to even a casual observer that sex is a major theme of the Sevens,” Dr Bosco says in a study based upon his years of observation at the event. “One way this can be seen is from the costumes worn by spectators. Sex-themed T-shirts are common too. One I saw read: `Sex instructor, first lesson free. Ask wearer for details. Satisfaction guaranteed’.”

Other costumes give out less obvious signals, he found. “Wearing Catholic and other religious habits is quite common,” he says. “The purity and asceticism and celibacy represented by the costume is in fact meant to symbolise the inverse: debauchery and sex.”

The Rugby Sevens is an event, Dr Bosco found, where women have the freedom to be as overtly sexual as men. “There are women in sexy costumes – sexy nurses, devils and belly dancers – men dressed as women, men in animal costumes ranging from apes to Dalmatians, men in Borat-style underwear as well as a group of Borat lookalikes,” he observes.

Other fans have turned up dressed as condoms, Arabs, superheroes and even as patriot missiles, which, Dr Bosco points out, “in addition to being powerful weapons are also phallic symbols”.

And some of the bizarre outfits almost defy categorisation. “Some have obvious interpretations – gorillas as animalistic males, chickens as bearing H5N1 bird flu, and superheroes of various sorts as epitomes of strength and virility, perhaps with a sense of irony,” Dr Bosco says.

However, some are “obscure and hard to interpret”, he admits, citing one group of fans he saw wearing helmets made out of scooped-out watermelons.

The crowd, he points out, is “overwhelmingly Caucasian”.
“All the booing is playful and not hostile, especially since the boos and cheers come from throughout the stadium,” he says. “Booing the Australians and the French is one of the traditions of the tournament.”

One of the few areas where cultural misunderstanding can take place is in the exchanges between fans and security guards, Dr Bosco points out. “The guards are older Chinese men and women and have no idea what is going on,” he says. “The chaos of the carnival aspects familiar to those of British or Anglo-Saxon culture is frightening to them. They cannot distinguish between a group having fun and a group about to cause a riot.”

0063 HKSAR Name of the Day

March 29, 2009

Apple Cho L P (Mrs), Executive Officer I, Faculty of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Name Category: Nature-based

#5 Hong Kong Hocus Pocus

March 29, 2009

What glows around comes around
Ruby Ong leads a beginners’ level living-light energy healing workshop. Reflections, 52 Tang Lung St, Causeway Bay, HK$2,700 (US$335).

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0062 HKSAR Name of the Day

March 28, 2009

Kelvin-Chem Chan Ka Chun (Mr), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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Name Category: Creation

Earth Hour’s False Dilemma

March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009 is based on an unacceptable premise. Here’s the premise in question: “Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming.

This false dilemma asserts that only 2 alternatives exist, when obviously there are more. While I agree with Earth Hour‘s theme in encouraging “government policies to take action against global warming”, I do not agree with its unacceptable premise. There are people of all ages, nationalities, race and background who are against global warming but who may choose not (or perhaps have no choice in the matter) to use their light switch as their vote. So there!

Having said that, I wish the Earth Hour initiative, scheduled for Saturday March 28 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, every success in raising awareness in preparation for the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

0061 HKSAR Name of the Day

March 27, 2009

Avan Chung Pui-ki (Ms), executive officer, Department of Applied Physics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

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Name Category: Creation

HK’s Humpback Still Here

March 27, 2009

It has now been about 10 days since Hong Kong’s first ever sighting of a visiting humpback whale … and apparently it is still huge and still here! The 10-metre long whale is believed to be a juvenile (adult humpbacks are between 14-19 metres long) that may have lost its bearings on its way up to the Arctic Ocean. Let’s hope it finds its bearings soon.

Pic courtesy of the HK Dolphin Conservation Society.