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CONTENTS 4 EDITOR’S NOTE

MACAU FOCUS

18 BOOK-READING TODAY IN MACAO 24 MACAO IN MY EYES 26 TACKLE HIGH RENT: UPSTAIRS STORES 28 DO IT WHILE WE’RE YOUNG 30 TO REACH HEAVEN BY SOWING LOVE

8 10 YEARS OF SUCCESS? 12 INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE LAW ‘NOT ADEQUATE’

58 NIGHT JOGGERS 50 THE TATTOO AND SHISHA 54 MACAO DESIGNER

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60 WHICH FISH BALL STORE DO YOU LIKE THE MOST?


34 PASSION MAKES US ‘OMNIPOTENT’ 36 PLUG AND PLAY

42 OPPORTUNITIES TO START A BUSINESS

38 SINGING HERO

44 GIVE ‘ME’ A HUG 46 DAYS WITH ‘J-ONE DRAMA’

64 CAUTION: SKINPRODUCTS 66 UPS AND DOWNS, THIS IS LIFE

70 A CITY OF PLASTIC BAGS 72 VYING FOR CIVIL SERVICE POSTS 74 THE ROAD BEHIND SUCCESS

78 UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY: RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES 80 THE HOUSE OF DANCING WATER

76 HOUSING DREAM FOR ‘SANDWICH CLASS’

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Macao is a small dynamic city with abundant unique elements. Transforming from the time when people lived a monastic lifestyle to a more gracious one now, Macao has been experiencing the passage of time. People, culture, lifestyle and even the living environment of this small city is changing constantly and tremendously. “Tangram”, the title of the Umac Bridges spring 2013, shows the main theme of our team that Macao is “small like a sparrow, but it has entire vital organs”. With all the different elements it has acquired, the enclave puts all together into many diversified and dramatic images. Just like playing with a tangram puzzle, mixing and matching, creating different stories of Macao. Umac Bridges is a campus publication as well as the academic project produced by 4th year English Communication students in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Macau. Through this publication, students can apply skills of journalism, desktop publishing, web design and event planning and implementation which they have learned throughout the academic years to an actual project. The aim of this publication is to cultivate the sense of news of UM students and call their attention to issues happening around them. The magazine also has an online version which experiments with some multimedia news stories. We would like to give special thanks to our course instructor, Prof. Wu Mei, and our teaching assistant, Helen Wang, for their knowledgeable guidance and support during the whole production process. Moreover, I would also like to thank all the members in our team for giving me this opportunity to serve as Chief Editor which constitutes the most precious memory in my university life. Last but not least, on behalf of the production team, I hope you would enjoy this issue of Umac Bridges, and develop a fresher and colorful view towards Macao. Chief Editor Karen Lei

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10 YEARS OF SUCCESS? By Karen Lei, Mandy U, Queenie Lee

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ith the 24/7 endless opening hours for casinos in Macao, hundreds of millions of tourists have been attracted to pay a visit to this “Eastern Monte Carlo”. While most of the people are seeing how successful Macao is, there are still some other perspectives that we can pay more attention to as the casino boom has brought quite huge changes to this small quiet island. 8 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES


MACAU FOCUS Opening up the gaming industry in 2002, the Macao Government authorized three gaming concessionaires among casino entrepreneurs. Later, the concession licenses were granted to six casino companies. They are: Sociedade de Jogos de Macao (SJM), Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Galaxy Entertainment Group, the partnership of MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho Chiu-king and the partnership of Melco and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd’s (PBL). This move brought about new competition and improvement in the Macao economy, and helped Macao get out of the economic downturn which had plagued the city for years under the previous Portuguese government. The newly entered external powers terminated the 40-year monopoly in the casino business and ushered in the diversified development of the gaming industry. Different from the traditional type of casinos in Macao which emphasized gambling only, the new players were known for their focus on establishing a world leisure and amusement center, in order to bring more individuals and families to the venue and enjoy the magnificent buildings and high standard hostel services. In the past before this boom of the gaming industry, Macao had four main businesses -- manufacturing, tourism, construction and finance. Most of the people were engaged in manufacturing industries. According to Statistics and Census Service (SCS) in 2001, the employed population in manufacturing industries, wholesale and retail trade and gaming and service industry were 28%,

COURTESY: BOOK《澳門實況今日觀》The factory workers in the 80s

19% and 14% respectively. Nevertheless, by announcing the casino opening up policy in 2001, Edmond Ho, ex-Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), stated that “the gambling industry should be the leader of all industries, and the service industry would be the body and the other industries would coordinate the development.” Since 2004 after the grand opening of Sands Macao, there has been more and more labor force engaging in the gaming industry, the

employed population started shifting from the manufacturing industry to the gaming and customer service fields. According to the Macao SCS, in the fourth quarter of 2012, there were 29.4% of the population in Macao working in the gaming and customer service industries while 17.8% is working in hotels, restaurants and similar activities. However, there was only 3.4% working in manufacturing industries. As a result many traditional distinctive industries have disappeared in Macao.

COURTESY: Sheraton Sala Pool http://theyumlist.blogspot.com/2012/10/sheraton-macau-hotel-cotai-central-macau.html UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 9


MACAU FOCUS

With the completion of gigantic casinos which created a large demand for labor force, the unemployment rate dropped to 1.09% in 2012, compared to the average unemployment rate of 6.36% from 1999 to 2003. However, this heavy reliance on a single industry threatens the long term development in Macao. Apparently, hotel, retail and construction fields still remain at a stable level. In fact, they mainly rely on the gambling industry.

In Las Vegas Strip casinos, the spending patterns changed as the non-gaming revenues surpassed the games and slots since 1999. According to the State Gaming Control Board, 62% of the revenues at Strip casinos came from rooms, restaurants, entertainments and retail sales in fiscal 2011, a 1% increase from the previous year. Tax rates in Las Vegas casinos ran between only 6% and 8%, but it could be supported by other businesses and individuals.

Unbalanced One-sided Economy

It is no doubt that Macao is tipped to become the world’s fastest growing economy due to its gaming industry. However, the booming gaming industry has created a onesided economy and made the city highly dependent on the gaming revenues. It is not surprising that tourists always think of gaming when describing Macao even though Macao enjoys the reputation of integrating the Chinese and Western cultures with different kinds of cuisines, traditions, festivals and other elements.

Macao is the only place where gaming is legal within the territory of China. This special status provides a huge opportunity for the gaming industry to grow. After the openingup of the gaming concessionaires, Macao became outstanding in the world as it was threatening the world’s top gaming locale Las Vegas. In 2006, Macao surpassed the Las Vegas strip and became the world biggest gambling city by reaching $6.95 billion in gambling revenue. 10 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

Unstable Development Lao Pun Lap, Director of the Macao Economic Association, pointed out that the one-sided economy will definitely lead to an unstable and fluctuating economic development. Macao should also develop other peripheral industries like conferences, events, exhibitions and other newly-launched industries that can insert new elements to the long-term economic development as well as boosting the gaming and tourism industries. However, unlike Las Vegas, there is a 35% tax on gross gaming revenue in Macao which accounts for about 70% of the total Macao government revenue. This large proportion shows that the tax revenue of Macao is mainly supported by gaming. It is not saying that there is no more opportunity for a new industry to come out to lead society; actually Macao can take Las Vegas as a reference since they have similar characteristics of nature.


MACAU FOCUS Moreover, according to Wong Chi Weng, Chairman of the Associação Espaço Vídeo of Macao, it is quite difficult for Macao to develop other cultural industries because of the saturation of the gaming market. The average salary of a casino employee is approximately MOP100 per hour, however, on the contrary, the payment offered in the cultural industry is comparatively low or even it is a voluntary job. It reduces the motivation and opportunity for the new generation to participate in the cultural industries. Setting up Creative Culture Industries? Given this situation, in 2012, the Macao government implemented the Creative Culture Industries in order to encourage more people in Macao to develop and promote the culture industry based on the combination of self originality and economic principle. The aim is to remedy the economy which overly relies on the gaming industry. However, even though the Macao government provides more chance and

money to support the public participation, there are still many coordinated measures that should be considered and produced.

and practice this framework.

In 2010, Lee Ka Cheang, Professor of the City University of Macao indicated that the framework of Creative Culture Industries was not clear enough, the concept of local characteristic, brand awareness and the slow implementation of the governmental policies were not explicit, and the combining site with local characteristics has not been found. Recently, the Macao New Chinese Youth Association published a comment in the Macao Daily News, and pointed out that “it should be a platform for the young generation showing up their personal capacity and make their dream; however, the policy processing is very slow, which reflects the government consideration is not comprehensive and the related supporting measures are not completed, that is why this policy cannot bring out the sufficient benefit.” As a result, if Macao wants to develop the Creative Culture Industries, it still has a long way to examine

Focusing too much on a specific industry is preventing Macao from further development. Macao is a place which enjoys diversified cultural background. However, the one-sided economy gives Macao a fixed position which is always related to the gaming industry. Therefore, developing other industries, specifically Creative Cultural Industries can produce a better perspective for Macao. According to the latest promotion clips directed by the Macao Government Tourist Office, with the theme “Touching Moments; Experience Macao”, it shows that there are so many beautiful sceneries and valuable cultural elements in Macao. By using all these unique elements that Macao has obtained, it will energize and create a multiaspect economy. Very soon in the future, a new abundant Macao will bring every one of us a different experience with lots of touching moments.

“Touching Moments; Experience Macao”

COURTESY: Sheraton Macau Hotel, Cotai Central Opening Ceremony Fireworks http://theyumlist.blogspot.com/2012/10/sheraton-macau-hotel-cotai-central-macau.html

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MACAU FOCUS

INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE LAW ‘NOT ADEQUATE’ By Carrie Cheang, Jenny Ao, Kitty Tam, Wincy Lei, Yan Kong

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MACAU FOCUS

COURTESY: http://macaoculturalagenda.blogspot.com/2013/03/on-9th10th-april-cantonese-opera.html#!/2013/03/on-9th10th-april-cantonese-opera.html

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n recent years, the Macao government has shown more concern about the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. Intangible cultural heritage is a cultural tradition or practice that has been passed on from one generation to another. However, with the advance of modernity and globalization, people are ignoring these traditions, which are in danger of extinction if we are not going to preserve them. In 2009, the draft of the bill for cultural heritage protection was launched, even though there were technical problems and lack of consensus in society. Three years later, the government introduced the draft bill to the Legislative Council for the legislative process. In October last year, the Legislative Assembly (AL) gave its preliminary approval for the draft bill, which was later, forwarded to an AL committee for debate and amendments in its details. However, the government does not state clearly in the bill what they will do to help preserve the intangible cultural heritage; therefore, the law may have a very limited impact. The draft of the bill for cultural heritage protection has referred to the information provided by the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and includes the idea of intangible cultural heritage protection.

According to UNESCO definitions, intangible cultural heritage includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts. In Macao, we have10 pieces of intangible cultural heritage including Yueju Opera,

Herbal Tea, Woodwork—Macao Religious Figure Carving, Cantonese Naamyam (Narrative Songs), Taoist Ritual Music in Macao, Feast of the Drunken Dragon, Mazu (A Ma) Belief and Customs, Na Tcha Belief and Customs, Macanese Gastronomy and Macanese Theatre (Theatre in Patuå). However, critics argue that the bill for cultural heritage protection may not be effective because there are only seven articles out of the 100 in the bill talking about the intangible

COURTESY: http://letstalkstamps.blogspot.com/2012/08/intangible-cultural-heritage-of-macau.html

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MACAU FOCUS

cultural heritage. But the words used are too vague and the bill does not mention about actual practices that the government will adopt to protect the cultural heritage. Ng Kuok Cheong, a legislator in Macao, said, “The Macao government has a huge amount of revenue in the Treasury. Therefore, they have their own way to preserve the intangible cultural heritage, which is putting money in it.” He said that the role of the government is just being a sponsor and it does not have any future plans about how to effectively preserve the heritage. Ng also stated that intangible cultural heritage must be cherished and preserved whether the law is passed or not. “The reason for the law may only be used to comfort the public and Dr. Lam Fat Iam, associate professor of Macao Polytechnic Institute.

COURTESY: http://scenery.cultural-china.com/en/109S5831S11706.html

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we are an international community which is responsible for our cultural heritage,” Ng added. When talking about the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage, Dr. Lam Fat Iam, associate professor of Macao Polytechnic Institute, describes preserving intangible cultural heritage as a “a difficult task”. He said, “Preserving heritage relates too much to commercial concern.” He argued that people should understand the core meaning of the festivals rather than holding ceremonies to celebrate just for the sake of performing for tourists. For instance, some performers are paid to perform in intangible cultural shows, and this makes the situation more and more commercialized.


MACAU FOCUS

COURTESY: http://www.forbesconrad.com/blog/macau_drunken_dragon

For example, one of the intangible cultural heritages in Macao is Feast of the Drunken Dragon (also known as the Drunken Dragon). The government is trying to hire people to perform in the festival. This solution attracts many tourists and brings a lot of profit. However, the meaning of the festival has changed as the people who are responsible for maintaining the core cultural values are not in charge of the activity.

that children should be educated about the intangible cultural heritage when they are in primary or secondary school. They are not just performances or some kinds of techniques, but the traditions and practices that represent the values of certain groups of people. Therefore, learning and understanding their meanings by heart are the most important concern.

However, in the new policy, the government stated that the purpose to create this bill is to strengthen the residents’ awareness of preserving the cultural heritage and to encourage them to actively participate and promote the cultural heritages. Although the government has such a plan in mind, still more details need to be further discussed. In this aspect, both Dr. Lam and Ng agreed that the law still has room for improvement.

The feast is a traditional festival celebrated by fishmongers in Macao. The festival falls on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. During the feast, people are encouraged to have “longevity rice” and watch the “drunken dragon parade”. According to Dr. Lam, people put all the attention to the application process to have their cultural practices included in the intangible cultural heritage list. However, once they are in the list, people start to forget them and will stop planning further strategy in preserving and elaborating the cultural heritages. What should the government do? Dr. Lam suggested that the first step is to strengthen the cultural groups. Understanding and preserving the intangible cultural heritage cannot be done in a few days. He said

Ng Kuok Cheong, a legislator in Macao.

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COURTESY:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/A_tower_of_used_books_-_8443.jpg

BOOK-READING TODAY IN MACAO By Holly Li, Jessie Chai, Sally Li

Reading Habit Survey in UM

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ooks are considered not only the best friend of people, but also gifts of learning that can enrich and improve one’s lives. Good reading habits are a source of knowledge and learning. However, it is generally known that the book reading rate in China has fallen in recent years. Moreover, statistics showed that the average reading rate of Macao residents is lower than that of mainland residents. Although we have many ways to kill time, the importance of bookreading is not replaceable. Therefore, we should form a good habit of book-reading.

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In order to have a better understanding of the book-reading habit and attitude of the college students in Macao nowadays, we have done a questionnaire survey in the University of Macau (UM). Finally we called in actually 40 effective questionnaires, among them male 23, female 27. According to the survey, the college students in UM only read five books per year on average. As is shown in Chart 1, 18% of the respondents read more than 10 books per year. However, it is reported that office


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YOUTH workers in Taiwan read 10 books on average in 2010, and Canadians read 17 books on average in the past dozen years. Therefore, the college students in UM are not reading enough by contrast. Then, what’s the reason of the low reading rate among the college students in Macao in recent years? In fact, reasons for this are varied and people have different points of views. Some considered the fall in the reading rate as a social problem. According to Chart 2, 29 respondents thought the reading rate declined because of the social impetuous atmosphere, while 10 of them thought it was due to social utilitarianism. In the contemporary society, everyone is eager for success, and there is too much emphasis on utilitarianism, so that some people may think reading books is useless. Besides, 21 respondents complained they do not have time to read, while 22 of them thought it is very tiring to read books and they would rather play computer games. “I have a lot of homework to do after class, and I feel really tired, so in the leisure time, I just want to relax and see a movie instead of reading books,” said Bonnie Zhan, a student from accounting major in UM. Although there are a lot of students in the library every day, most of them usually read the text books or do their homework. “I usually go to the library to study before the examination,” said Marry Ma who is also a student from accounting major. In fact, another reason for the lower bookreading rate is that some readers have switched from traditional paper-based media reading to modern mass-media reading on the Internet. In the information age, people often obtain information through the Internet instead of books, because the Internet is faster and more convenient. In the survey, 23 students prefer the paperbased books, while 24 students will combine both of them. Only three students prefer mass-media reading, and they think e-books may replace paper-based books one day.

people are genuine booklovers. Anthony Wang is a graduate student in UM and he has the custom of reading before bed. He said, “Reading is one of the few methods to have certain issues fully covered. Therefore I like it.” In society, some people devote themselves to the cultural industry, although they can’t

make much money. For example, the Pinto bookstore provides a platform for writers and readers to share their thoughts together through various activities. Moreover, the government also held a Macao Literary Festival in March this year to promote the culture of communication as well as to encourage Macao residents to read more books.

Asked the main purpose of reading, we can see from Chart 3 that 62% of the respondents said they read for entertainment, 24% of them said they read to gain more knowledge, and only 14% do the academic reading. According to the results, for most of the people, reading is only a relaxing entertainment, and few people will take it seriously. Besides, half of the respondents do have a regular bookreading plan, but they seldom manage to fulfill the plan. With the development of economy these years, the world has become increasingly fastpaced, so that fewer and fewer people will read books regularly. However, still some UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 19


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The Pinto Bookstore – Where are the Books? The concept of the 2nd –floor bookstore, originated in Hong Kong, refers to those located on the 2nd floor because of the lower rent. Pinto Bookstore is the first 2nd floor bookstore in Macao, which is also an independent bookstore. It integrates book sales with cultural activities, such as book exhibitions and lectures. In addition, the bookstore also has an area upstairs selling CDs called Pinto Music Store. Compared to Hong Kong and Taiwan, there are not so many readers in Macao nowadays, so it is difficult for the bookstore to make a profit by selling books. In fact, there are quite a few big bookstores in Macao, but they usually offer highly profitable products, including stationery, textbooks as well as the best sellers. Unlike the traditional bookstore, the area of 2nd floor bookstores is small and they mainly sell the books of social sciences.

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邊 度 有 書

Moreover, every 2nd floor bookstore has its own style which leads to bookstore tourism. Bookstore tourism is a type of cultural tourism that promotes independent bookstores as a group travel destination. It started as a grassroots effort to support locally owned and operated bookshops, many of which have struggled to compete with large bookstore chains and online retailers. The Pinto Bookstore opened up on October 5 in 2003 which is the day for the Portuguese revolution to overthrow the rule of imperialism. So the Chinese name of the bookstore is of great irony that raises a question to society: “Where can we find the books we need?” According to a study by a Macao local artist Chu Cheok Sun, the bookstore was set up by three people who were friends and held the same goal to serve the Macao society through cultivating


YOUTH

a reading and writing culture. With abundant experience in book selection, they could always bring customers surprises and excitement. About 70% of the books were published in Taiwan and the contents included poems, cooking books, and travel journals. Imagine a Saturday afternoon, you find a little bookstore where you can sit down and browse a book while drinking a cup of coffee. You can feel relaxed and immerse yourself in a circumstance full of literature. The concept of Pinto is to slow down the rhythm of our daily life. The atmosphere here is contrasted with the world outside. Surrounded by McDonald’s, Starbucks, Sasa and Bosini, Pinto is difficult for tourists to find. So it has a profound significance for the culture development in such an environment full of material attractions since it restores the native look of Macao. People who visited Pinto will experience this particular aspect of society. It is worth mentioning that there are two cats in the bookstore which are not afraid of people at all. You can browse a book while the cats may sit beside you as if they can understand the contents as well. Two

plants are placed in the windowsill and we could also see a huge painting of Chairman Mao in a style of Andy Warhol’s Pop Art. Information of some local art exhibitions are spread in Pinto and customers can also buy lots of postcards from there. Differing from other bookstores, a high expectation is placed on the Pinto Bookstore assistants, who should love reading, have their own thoughts and attitudes toward different books, since staff play an important role between the bookstore and the customers. On the one hand, they are expected to communicate with customers who need their suggestions and recommendations about book selections for the reading. On the other hand, bookshop assistants can help with restocking the shelves with new selections according to customers’ feedback. For a small bookstore that runs on a shoestring, the difficulty of offering a good payment and welfare for staff leads to the staff turnover. There might be only two or three out of 20 interviewees who can be qualified for the job, according to the present bookshop manager Ms. Cheong who started

working in Pinto when it was just opened. She said, “Basically, for those who have a Bachelor degree, once they know about the payment that we could offer, they would just run away.” Miss. Lam told us there were three part-time bookshop assistants including her at the moment. Most of the staff there were like Lam who was actually a college student and loved reading. Besides selling books, the Pinto bookstore is also a platform for writers and readers to share their thoughts together through various activities that are held in the bookstore such as book fairs, lectures by writers and new book launches. Quite a number of creative events were held by this bookstore and some of them did attract lots of Macao citizens including those who had not known about the Pinto Bookstore before. “Even though the payments for people who work for the cultural industry is far less than those who work for some other popular jobs in Macao such as hotels or casinos,” said Cheong, “Once people enter this field and really see the value of their work, it is almost impossible for them to leave there.”

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YOUTH Significance of Evoking Macao People to Read The 2nd edition of the Macao Literary Festival -- The Script Road -- was held from March 10 to 16 and brought to Macao more than 30 renowned writers, publishers, translators, journalists, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists. The models are similar as those of last year, there were conferences and debates along with concerts, film screenings and exhibitions. This year’s festival featured a range of prominent contemporary Chinese writers including Liu Hsi Mu-Rong, a well-known

Taiwanese poet who has profoundly influenced the Chinese literature; Han Shaogong, the author of “A Dictionary of Maqiao”(馬橋詞典)and the translator of the work of Fernando Pessoa; Bi Feiyu, the winner of Mao Dun Literature Prize in China; Hong Ying, an internationally known Chinese writers; and Yi Sha, a controversial contemporary poet. Other names such as Qiu Huadong, Pan Wei, Wang Gang, Huang Lihai, Li Shaojun Jun are also very influential writers in the Chinese contemporary literature. All of them were invited to the festival. On the Portuguese-language literature side, the Script Road invited Dulce Maria 22 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

Cardoso, one of the greatest novelists of her generation; Rui Zink and Ricardo Araújo Pereira, who work with language and humor in a very special way. And many other famous authors also came and joined this grand gathering. The festival was supported by organizations including UM, the Pen Club, the Institute for Civic Affairs (IACM), the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the Orient Foundation, Macau Closer, the Portuguese Bookshop as well as other public and private entities. Cooperating with the Education and Youth

Affairs Bureau, the festival aimed to establish a strong connection with local schools and universities, including UM, Institute for Tourism Studies, Pui Cheng Middle School, and so on, giving young readers a great opportunity to get in touch with the authors. It hosted lots of sessions to accomplish one of the festival’s ambitions – to offer students greater exposure to the literature world. One of the conferences was held in the Yuet Wah College on March 15. There was a heated discussion about raising reading interests among students. One of the discussants said that there is a new educational policy for the high school students in Macao that students are obliged to spend 45 minutes

in the reading class once a week. One of the students stated that the policy is useless in increasing their reading interests because of the limited time of each reading class. The students responded intensely to his statement and it seemed that they strongly agreed with him. Another student wondered how young people can cultivate a good reading habit when they have so many other interesting things to do rather than reading. He said that they feel it is difficult to sit and read for a long time. One of the Chinese guests Qiu Huadong, chief editor of the magazine People Literature, said that people should find the books they are really interested in and start reading them no matter which type

of books are. By doing this, they can make a good start to cultivate a good reading habit, said Qiu. Rui Zink, a prestigious writer in Portugal, said, “The best way of keeping youngsters reading for long is to break their legs. Only by this way, they cannot move to other places and have no choice but reading books during their leisure time. Reading is solitary, only those who refuse being seduced by the outside world can enjoy reading.” The students all laughed and clapped their hands forcefully. The festival also included other lively sessions of literature at various locations such as the


YOUTH Fundação Rui Cunha and the Mandarin House, headed by several famous Chinese writers, such as Liu Hsi Mu-Rong, Bi Feiyu, Han Shaogong, Pan Wei, Huang Lihai who shared their reading and writing experiences to promote people’s reading activities. Yao Feng (the pseudonym of Yao Jing Ming), the Vice-President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and Deputy Director of The Script Road festival who is also a famous poet in Macao and translator of many works from Chinese into Portuguese, said the significance of the festival is to encourage more and more Macao people to enjoy reading. He also showed his worry, “Macao people do not read so frequently, casinos make people more

to talk with these prestigious authors without knowing their work. Through this process, I’ve become more interested in contemporary literature.”

Liu Hsi Mu-Rong, a well-known Taiwanese poet

The second Macao literary festival -- The Script Road -- finished, but it has enhanced a good circumstance for people to read and think. “Literature is the distillation of our life while reading is a gateway to transit us into the beautiful literary world,” Hsi MuRong said in one of the conference sessions. And the festival has managed to establish a connection between readers and authors so that a larger range of Macao people can become more interested in reading.

obsessed with making money. However, the city requires people to read and think a lot to create a better cultural circumstance. And this festival provides multiple platforms for the writers from mainland China, Macao and Portugal to forge ahead the development of the Macao reading environments.” A volunteer from this festival, Selina, a student from the Macao University of Science and Technology who was the interpreter for the Portuguese writer Rui Zink, said, “The festival provides me a great chance to meet so many famous writers from both mainland China and Portugal that I’ve never imagined before. And I also bought many books of the writers to read because it’s embarrassing

Portuagese well known writers Ricardo Araújo Pereira and Rui Zink UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 23


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MACAO IN MY EYES: RETURNING STUDENTS’ IMPRESSION By Mandy U 24 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

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acao developed very rapidly in the past few years accompanied with a variety of changes. What do you think of those changes? Accept them with pleasure, or with reluctance? You may often hear voices from local residents, Hong Kong, or even people from the mainland. But have you ever heard opinions from those who left Macao for study and then came back? Sometimes, it is hard to see things clearly if you are standing too close. Leave and return, you may have a different perspective.


YOUTH Miss Ha, who came back to Macao after three years of study in Taiwan, thinks the biggest difference in Macao is the number of tourists. According to the data from the Statistics and Census Service, there were 2.5 million tourists who came to Macao in December 2012, and the total number in 2012 was 28 million. “Macau is getting more and more crowded and noisy, you can see mainland tourists everywhere, no matter in the streets, or in shops, even if I go to Kiang Wu Hospital, I see them,” Ha said.

the original intention of the government might be to improve the traffic flow; however, sometimes it makes the situation worse. “Even though there is one more bus, I often find it difficult to get on it,” Ha said. On the contrary, Mr. Ieong who came back from England commented that the tourism industry in Macao has advanced at a higher speed, he pointed out that besides the World’s Heritage attractions, there are more and more new scenic spots which have been built up to attract tourists, including hotels in different designs, different flower exhibitions outside the Taipa Houses-Museum, the pavement design and so on. He also praised the government decision to add two more emergency numbers 110 and 112 so as “to ensure more people’s safety”. “...considering mainland tourists, they may also need help in Macao, it’s pretty good, it can make a good impression on tourists,” he said.

In addition, she pointed out that there are more and more places in Macao using simplified characters. “Once I was on the bus, I saw some notices were written in simplified characters, I felt very strange and uncomfortable. I think it’s fine to use simplified characters in hotels, but I really can’t accept that in buses.” She said that she loved Macao very much, however, when she came back, she felt a bit disappointed. “Sometimes I may think it’s not our Macao, but theirs.” Miss Ao Ieong who came back from Australia, has a different opinion from Ha. She considered those changes the inevitable results of being a world famous city. In her point of view, the retail and catering services are worse than before. She said that Macao as a tourist city, retail and catering services are very important; nonetheless, the city’s higher

price index hasn’t brought corresponding quality services. “Prices sometimes are higher than foreign countries, but sales persons are impolite, some old restaurants are still here, but food has lost its good flavor,” she said. Moreover, Ha and Ao Ieong also indicated that there are so many new pavement constructions in Macao. Ao Ieong said that

Although they thought Macao has changed a lot and many things they could not find again, it is the only place in the world that they can find a unique commonality. “Maybe foreign countries are better than Macao in some ways; however, Macao is the only place I can find people who have similar feelings and thoughts as mine. No matter, how many changes have taken place here, Macao people maintain their uniqueness in certain aspects,” said Ao Ieong.

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TACKLE HIGH RENT IN MACAO UPSTAIRS STORES By Carrie Cheang

Anakin (left) and Arnoldm (right) 26 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES


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pstairs Stores, or you can call them “Lau Sheung Po” in Cantonese, have become more popular in recent years in Macao. By looking at the name, you already have the idea that these stores are not on the ground floor, which is totally different from normal stores along the street. As they are upstairs, the rent is not as high as normal stores, which give a chance for people to start a business. There are different types of “upstairs stores”, such as a book store, cafÈ, fashion boutique, sashimi store and facial treatment centre. People can find all these stores in the Secendo Square, Rua do Campo and Macao Ferry Street. In the Macao Ferry Street, there is an upstairs boutique called “APPS”, specializing in male

fashion. The store is owned by two brothers, Arnold Tang and Anakin Tang, both of them are passionate about fashion. “It’s very hard to start a business in Macao as the rent is extremely high,” Anakin said. Originally, both of them wanted to open the store in ground floor, which is the same as the normal stores, but due to the high rent, they changed their mind. “The rent for upstairs is not as high as the original store, so we have to put more effort promoting our products via website,” Arnold added. Apart from the high rent that they have to face, the other problem is the number of customers. As the store is located upstairs, it is not easy for people to discover that there is a store right up there. They need to promote their store via its official website

and Facebook. Arnold is a photographer, Anakin is a model, which makes a perfect match for them to put on their products, take photos and upload them on the website. As the Internet and social network media are very powerful tools, they put a lot of effort on their website and Facebook page. People can get news or information about the latest products by browsing their website. Customers can inquire about the prices and receive replies via the Internet. They can place an order online as well. The high rent problem in Macao is getting worse; it has become the obstacle for people to run their business. One of the customers who always visits the store said, “It is one of the ways to tackle the high rent situation in Macao, and I think the idea of having an upstairs store is very fresh and interesting.”

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DO IT WHILE WE’RE YOUNG By Queenie Lee

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hile people are using words like “NEET”, which means “Not in Employment, Education and Training”, to describe the phenomenon of today’s new generation, there are people who are trying to do something different when they are still young. Jo Cheang and Jez Lio can be the representatives.

Their “business”, apart from selling clothes and accessories online, is a place to share what they like, a fashion platform for them and young designers.

Both are 24, these two girls are roaming around in different cities but, towards the same goal with great determination.

“Without Jez, I probably won’t start doing this,” Cheang said.

Cheang and Lio have had similar interests since secondary school. As Jo reminisces, they were volunteers for board decoration of the class. ‘We both loved drawing and design. I enjoyed being with her to work things out and our chemistry was built,’ Cheang said.

Dream vs. Reality

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“She is my motivation as I very much enjoy two people working with the same purpose,” Lio said.

We are JOEZ Established in August 2012, JOEZ is a combination of their names.

When we were young, we dreamed of everything we desired. However, there’s always formidable prospect which lies ahead of us, especially wh en we graduate.


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“I wanted to study design but it was hard to earn a living,” Lio said. After graduation from college, she went to Taiwan for her study whereas Cheang chose to study Journalism in Macao.

happen,” Lio said.

Big Change in 2012

With this attitude, JOEZ stands out from others in customers’ eyes. “You can make a difference instead of being influenced by the market,” Cheang said.

During the time in Taiwan, Lio met one of her schoolmates who loved photography and, invited her to be his assistant.

Taking photos, doing layout and styling, all are rounded out by their own. “We treat them as a practice and receive a big support as we are not for profit,” Lio said.

No Regrets “He always put a lot of effort into his work, this reminded me what I wanted,” Lio said.

nothing. According to Lio, determination is important. “Ask yourself, if you want to be a stylist, are you doing something that a stylist would do? You will feel regret as you don’t strive for anything when you are young.” “You may be struggling, but if you are not doing it right at the moment, you’ll never do it,” Cheang said. At last, Lio has certain tips for youngsters. “Try to find the people who are like you in many ways, and try connecting with the people who matter,” she said.

We always desire many things, but do

For Cheang, she was downhearted after graduation and confused what she would strive for. “People will look back at their behavior when they get mature. I wanted to recall my missing time since I had n’t drawn for ages,” she said. In June 2012, Cheang resigned from an office job. “I wanted to do something with passion,” she said. Working with Faith The first step is always the hardest. “At first, we planned to start JOEZ through Facebook because if we fail, we could just simply close down our account, and nothing would

Jo (left) and Jez. UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 29


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The picture drawn by drug addicts during their rehabilitation treatment

TO REACH HEAVEN BY SOWING LOVE ON EARTH By Karen Lei

“I

f I told them I want to give up the treatment, they will try their very best to convince me to stay and to process my request slowly. Giving me time to think and reflect. And that was the sweetest way they used to help me successfully quit doping, “ said Beiji (not real name) who had used drugs for more than 10 years and quit it successfully at the time.”

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YOUTH No Return “If I told them I want to give up the treatment, they will try their very best to convince me to stay and to process my request slowly. Giving me time to think and reflect. And that was the sweetest way they used to help me successfully quit doping,” said Beiji (not real name) who had used drugs for more than 10 years and quit it successfully at the time. Being influenced by his elder brother, Beiji started doping since he was in Primary Five. “It’s going to be alright, you will not be addicted,” Beiji quoted what his brother told him at that time, who persuaded him to have the first attempt of the cough syrups (also called drixoral cough liquid caps). “I refused him for a couple of times at the beginning, however, I was tempted. And there was no return,” said Beiji. Nevertheless, his doping life began. Recession Day by day, at the age around 20s, he already had to consume around 1.5 liters of cough syrups a day in order to satisfy his addiction. However, at that time, the selling and buying of the cough syrups were strictly banned; it was not easy for him to get one. Then, some other drug users recommended him to consume Methadone, which was the legal substitute provided by the government for drug rehabilitation treatment. “I would pay them MOP50 a time to get a small dosage

of Methadone,” said Beiji. “It was much better than the cough syrup.” Meanwhile, his doping addiction was getting more serious; he even consumed Heroin, which was commonly called “white powder” by drug addicts. “Sometimes, I would consume the syrups, the powder and the Methadone at the same time, after that my mind would go blank and it was exhilarating,” claimed Beiji. Beiji had to steal things in order to have money to buy drugs. “I felt so confused when I woke up every morning. I had to worry about how I could get money to buy drugs,” said Beiji. He was sent to prison three times because of stealing and drug trafficking. Chance Equals Disappointment “I knew that my mother worried about me and I did not want to live the life full of confusion and knowing nothing. So I decided to change. I wanted to get rid of drugs,” stated Beiji. He first went to the Shek Kwu Chau Rehabilitation Centre in Hong Kong. However, he was kicked out after no more than two weeks because he was suspected of doping again during a weekly check. “I did not dope. They did not trust me. I was determined at that time. I asked for another check as I thought that the urine container was not clean enough,” said Beiji. Unfortunately, his request was rejected. He was so disappointed that he used drugs again after leaving the centre.

Change In the year 2010, his father sent him to another centre in Macau, called The Association of Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (ARTM), a non-profit organization where he quit doping successfully. “I was not voluntary to be there at first. But with the support and the encouragement the staff gave me, I did it!” said Beiji. Although he escaped for several times during the treatment, he came back with the support of the staff in the centre. “I always tell them that in here, we can help them to control; we encourage and counsel them through chatting. However, if they leave us, nobody can help them and they may dope again,” said Raul Manuel Trabuca Martins, monitor of ARTM. With the encouragement and support of the staff in ARTM, Beiji is now turning a new page in his life. He has a stable job and a more simple life. During weekends, he will pay a visit to the centre. He is a mentor and a role model for other drug abusers who are undergoing treatment. “A material body, but also a mind and a psyche, that comes to the world to interchange love with all beings. That is why we want to spread this message to all of those who realize the reality of our true existence. To minimize the suffering is part of our mission. To reach heaven by sowing love on earth,” stressed J. P. Navarro, the founder of ARTM.

Raul Manuel Trabuca Martins, the monitor of ARTM UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 31


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PASSION MAKES US ‘OMNIPOTENT’ BEHIND THE PARADE OF LUNAR NEW YEAR By Sally Li

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orking in front of a mess of electrical stuff, those who you could see were not electricians but dancers from the Indian Culture Association of Macao (ICAM). We were preparing for the Parade during the Lunar New Year on February 3, held by the Macao Government Tourist Office (MGTO).

money was a major concern besides giving the best presentation. “It could be better for the parade organizer to provide a factory or shop to help us design and do the lighting decoration since it is both time-consuming and quite exhausting for a small association without any related experience to do these things,” said one ICAM member. “But we are still happy that we can gather together to work and perform for the parade in this Chinese New Year.”

Around 30 groups of local artists which include ICAM were invited by MGTO to perform on that evening to celebrate the year of the snake and to attract more tourists as well as to develop the multi-cultural art activities. Therefore, performers would put on the most fancy and colorful costumes to participle in this big event in order to create an exciting atmosphere.

Since it was the first time for the Macao government to hold this Lunar New Year parade, some sessions in the parade were not well organized so that performers were standing and waiting in the cold weather for quite a long time. However, the passion of the performers could not be extinguished, which attracted tourists and Macao citizens gathering along the route of the parade. “It was colorful and stunning,” the president of ICAM, Victor Kumar appreciated this opportunity. “It is good to join this kind of parade to demonstrate different cultures and different people.”

Except preparing for the music and choreography, we had spent more time on the electric soldering iron, and cutting wires, rolls of black tape, and packs of LED lights. It was not as easy as what they thought of. Buying the lights, sticking them on costumes, and more complicated connection jobs among lights, wires, batteries and switches were also needed which required some knowledge of physics. We wanted our presentation to be impressively good. As a non-profit organization which was just founded last year, ICAM did not receive much funding for activities from the government or any other foundations. Due to the limited budget and preparation time provided to performers by MGTO, saving

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P L U G AND P L A Y By Veronica Choi

Mistrezz C picks: 1. GTA - Ai Novinha 2. Sidney Samson vs. Tara McDonald - Dynamite 3. A-Trak - Heads will Roll 4. Sander Van Doorn - Joyenergizer 5. BT - Howahawk 6. DJ Pauly D - Back to Love Feat. Jay Sean 7. Ellie Goulding - Figure 8 8. Chuckie - Make Some Noise 9. Coldplay - Paradise 10. Knife Party - Internet Friend

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eeJay simply as DJ, is a job which people think is a male dominated profession. Especially, being a DJ is challenging for girls. Not many girls can join this DJ group, especially in Macao. There are very few local DJs and not more than five female DJs in Macao. DJ Mistrezz C (Mistrezz C), 28, is one of the highlighted model DJs in Macao. But money doesn’t grow on trees; her sacrifices are as much as what she gains. She earns a lot of money as an artist in a DJ agent company.


ART Music is My Husband DJ Mistrezz C is her name in the DJ circle. “Mistress” means an adulterous woman. Why did she choose this name? She said that music plays an important role in her life like in the lives of other DJs or musicians; she thinks that music is her companion. She wants to make her music as the enjoyment and pillar of resonance for her audience. Being a female DJ, many people will categorize and label her as one of those who do not know how to play music or produce music. DJing is a male dominated industry, but Mistrezz C does not really compare herself with other male DJs. She thinks everyone plays differently from one another, as long as she is playing music and people are enjoying it, she is doing her job well as a DJ - that’s all that matters, she says. Mistrezz C always keeps these words in her mind: “If you believe in something, just keep on doing it, one day your dream must come true.”

and have a simple life, some want to have stable and comfortable jobs. For Mistrezz C, her thought is totally different from most other girls in Macao. She thinks it is easier to have an advantage if you are female in this profession because there is a lack of women with talent. She would say it’s “my desire to try new things” because she has always wanted to try new and challenging things which are out of the norm. However, things are changing nowadays as it has become anybody’s game. Any male or female can buy the equipment and teach themselves how to DJ. So if you have the ability and the ambition, you gotta just go for it. “Being a woman and using her sex appeal can only get her noticed, it’s her skills that can get her where she is today,” DJ Gust, the DJ master of Mistrezz C said.

She gets the real DJ mixing and scratching skills. She doesn’t just speak out, but is really doing it as she gets passionate for DJing. She says, “To become a successful DJ, one must give it 110% effort, regardless of gender.”

Mistress C stands up for an important message to all music lovers: “Get involved, be determined and believe you can do it, like the dreams we have and the love we share.” She has this music talent that not many people have, and she is able to master the music software and DJ gadgets as the equipment is expensive and confusing and the demand to learn outweighs any supply of teachers.

Music is My Life

Music is My Religion

But, DJing is quite challenging for girls. Women don’t think that a DJ can be their future career because most women prefer not to stand out in front of a crowd or on stage. Some of them want to get married

DJ Mistrezz C tells people that music is like her religion ...She wrote that a long time ago when she first started DJing although she guesses it is true in some sense. For her music is her passion. She refers to it as her religion

in a more spiritual way. It’s an escapism that not only gives her a great enjoyment but also gives her time to think and make sense of the world. Love is the Music Many people believe that it is difficult to become a female DJ, and as any other maledominated profession, Mistrezz C states that it is indeed difficult to look for jobs as a female DJ. There are various points she wants to share with women who want to become DJs. She states that you must “keep going to places, especially clubs. Go to places that have open mic night, and different DJs play. You can go to raves or parties. Sometimes they will let local people play too, or you could do it by broadcasting your music online. There are lots of different things you can do!” It is indeed true that practice makes perfect! There should not be a free moment that a female who is truly serious about DJing is not practicing. As a matter of fact, Mistrezz C says, “It’s best to practice as much as you can!” The speculation about it being harder as a female DJ rings true for Mistrezz C. When asked if it is harder, easier or about the same for a woman to be a DJ, she responds, it’s “harder, because it is male dominated, and male oriented...by saying that, it’s not so much that you have to prove yourself as a woman, but you have to prove your skills for sure! All of the big headliners are usually men.”

Plug and play DJ Mistrezz C UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 37


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SINGING HERO By Carolina Sin

“I

would not dare to expect more,” said a boy with a calm voice. “My opportunity will come when it is time.” He was sitting in a café and ordered a cup of cold coffee with a drinking straw as usual. Romeu Chao Assis, 21, Macanese, has a congenital defect and was born without arms. He lives with his mother and is now working as an intern in the Macau Talent Academy Education Centre. He learned swimming when he was young and used to be a member of the Macao Disabled Swimming Team. Around the age of 15 and 16, he came into contact with band and music which aroused his interest. Now he is the vocal singer of a band called “Conts”. Assis joined many local singing contests although he did not get any prize. Yet, the experience has motivated

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ART him to make more improvements and great advances. His dream is to be a singer and has some achievements in a music career. During the period of high school, Assis did not make many friends because he did not have much confidence until he began to sing in a band and developed a passion for music. Although he has given up swimming, his coach, Mr. Mak, exercised a great influence on him. He taught him lots of things about how to become independent and communicate with other people. Now Assis could take care of himself independently and learned some skills that could be useful in his daily life. For example, he learned how to type with his foot and touch the screen of his iPhone with the lips. Assis’ best memory on the stage was singing in Eason Chan’s concert on December 20, 2012 at the Macao Olympic Sport Centre.

Assis was glad to have the opportunity singing with his idol, Eason Chen, on the stage.

Chan, a well-known Hong Kong singer is his idol. Assis was very moved when Chan invited him to be his guest after leaving a comment on Assis’ demo in YouTube. Assis likes to record some demos and make videos of his performances. He uploaded some of them to YouTube for others’ comments. He was pleased to read the comments which helped him improving the singing skills and techniques. He could not have imagined that this chance would fall on him and finally he had an opportunity to realize his dream of singing with his idol on the big stage. Later they may still have a chance working together, and Assis said it was a miracle for him. “I would not think too much about whether it will succeed or fail,” Assis said, “At least I have tried.” For him, every try was a rare experience in his life. He also encouraged those people, who also have their own dreams like him, not to give up easily.

Romeu Chao Assis

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OPPORTUNITIES TO START A BUSINESS IN MACAO By Yan Kong

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ave you ever thought about being an entrepreneur in the future? The answer for a majority of undergraduate students may likely to be “no”. Nowadays, most graduates tend to seek a job in a casino, or in government offices. It seems that it is risky to start a business in such a small city. Nevertheless, the Macao government actually provides some opportunities for young entrepreneurs. According to the Company Statistics Report by Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), in the first three quarters of 2012, a total of 2,822 new companies were incorporated,

up by 11.6% year-on-year. The majority of new companies, 1013 of them are in the wholesale and retail business, 550 in the service industry and 356 in the real estate. This shows that more and more people are willing to start their business in Macao. On November 13, 2012, Chui Sai On, the Chief Executive, delivered his Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2013, stating that an interest-free loan policy would be set up for young entrepreneurs under the Industrial and Commercial Development Fund. The maximum amount is MOP300,000, and the reimbursement period is up to eight years.

innovative individuals to develop new businesses in the field of technology. They would provide office space, funds and professional assistance for applicants. The competition participants need to submit a proposal and try to run their business. The winner will be awarded a start-up amount to continue their business. Kelvin Cheung, president of the Entrepreneurship Society of University of Macau, is enthusiastic to start a business after graduation. He has participated in different kinds of entrepreneurship competitions since he was in high school. He joined

President of UM Entrepreneurship Society Kelvin Cheung and other members at the Lunar New Year Fair 2013.

Beneficiaries of this plan are people aged between 21-35 years old. Another way of trying to start a business in Macao is to participate in entrepreneurship competitions. In fact, there are quite a few organizations holding this kind of competition, both local and overseas. For example, the Inspirational Youth Association of Macao held an entrepreneurship competition last year. The winner would be awarded one million Patacas.

Kelvin Cheung, president of the Entrepreneurship Society of University of Macau

Another yearly entrepreneurship competition, InnoICT which is organized by the Macao New Technologies Incubator Centre, and provides opportunities for

the Macao Shopping Festival held in The Venetian Macao. “The sponsor provides us a stall. We didn’t need to pay for the rent,” said Cheung. “We could focus on our stock and promotion strategy.” In addition, he joined the Lunar New Year Fair this year. “It was the third time for me to join this event,” he said. “We need to practice more in order to be a successful entrepreneur.” More and more organizations in Macao are providing entrepreneurial opportunities to encourage people to get into this field. If there’s a possibility, one should try. Macao still has its commercial potential to start new businesses. UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 43


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GIVE ‘ME’ A HUG By Holly Li

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tudents from the sociology department of University of Macau (UM) are organizing a range of activities to promote animal protection awareness among Macao citizens. They are required to organize social activities in an internship program. Between late February and April, they will distribute leaflets, hold seminars and even offer free hugs in an effort to help

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the stray dogs and cats to find a home. The Free Hug Campaign was launched in late February. One of the students was dressed up as a mascot dog to give free hugs on campus and go around the city. At the same time, the group also planned to distribute leaflets on animal protection as well as offer advice on animal adoption.

Space, people who have a cat already won’t adopt a stray cat, because they are afraid that stray animals may spread infectious diseases. However, people who do not have a cat probably don’t like cats at all. Therefore, the students hope they can manage to recruit more volunteers for the animal protection institutions through the activity.

In early April, the students are going to hold a forum about animal protection in UM. The seminar features delegates from several key Macao animal protection institutions, including the Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM), Sociedade Protectora dos Animais de Macau (ANIMA) and Meow Space.

It is interesting that in the activity a student will wear the costume of mascot dog to give free hugs to attract a big crowd of people.

“We want to come up with a good idea, which can draw people’s attention. The mascot dog can attract many passers-by we guess,” said Cui. In fact, this idea came from The Free Hugs Campaign which was first started by Juan Mann on December 1, 2004 when he began to give out hugs in the Pitt Street Mall in central Sydney because he felt depressed and lonely. Moreover, the mascot dog giving out free hugs to people vividly conveys a message that stray dogs and cats really need care as well as a home.

Before the launch of the campaign, the students had visited Meow Space and ANIMA, and found out the living conditions of the stray dogs and stray cats were very poor. “The living space for the animals is not big enough because their funds are limited,” said Jiang Liu, one of the students from the Sociology Department. In fact, Macao animal protection institutions face a lot of difficulties. For example, the number of volunteers is far from enough. “It is difficult to recruit volunteers to adopt stray dogs and cats in Macao. Some pets were abandoned at birth because they were disabled and some pets have infectious diseases,” said Trinity Cui, another student from the department. According to a volunteer who works in Meow UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 45


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DAYS WITH ‘J-ONE DRAMA’ By Jessie Chai

The Cultural Center of UM where members of J-One Drama usually rehearse

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he Mandarin promotion week on April will feature several activities aimed at students at the University of Macau (UM), including a drama called “Me2 VS He2” from J-One Drama which was formed in 2006.

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“J-One Drama” is known to many students in UM as a student drama organization under the Mainland China Student Union. The members of the group usually gather and rehearse on the first floor of J-Building in UM, so they called their group “J-One Drama”. By producing and staging one drama

in a year, it aims to promote Mandarin and the culture of mainland China on campus. With both successes and failures, J-One is growing stronger. “The most well received drama was ‘Rhinoceros in Love’ in 2008. It told a story


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about a young man who is a paranoiac and falls deeply in love with a girl. It drew a lot of attention and positive feedback,” said Guan Shanxing, an ex-director of J-One Drama. “It was the first time that the university helped us promote the show by putting our information on the E-bulletin of the website. Many people outside of the university came to our show including high school students and working people.” After graduating from UM, Guan went to Australia for a graduate degree and still pays great attention to the development of J-One.

language problem does not count between the drama and the audience.” However, the obstacle for the growth of J-One lies in the size and flowing nature of a student community. “The new blood is injected to us, and I’m glad that the new members are not only talented but also responsible,” said Xu Ming, who is one of the principal members of J-One. “But we always face the

equipment and funding problems. I hope the construction of the new campus could solve these problems.” Referring to the future of J-One, the members all hold a great deal of confidence. “The difficult experiences can enrich us and we will always remember those days with J-One which leave us a precious memory,” said Xu.

Fang Huanzhi was another member in J-One who has already graduated. Having watched a great deal of dramas since childhood in Beijing, he developed great interest in it. “A fabulous drama is supposed to evoke the audiences’ expectation and to leave them abundant elements to digest afterwards,” said Fang. “Every time I play a role on the stage, it feels like reading a book.” According to him, a splendid actor should learn to totally immerse himself in acting. In terms of a language barrier between Cantonese and Mandarin, Fang considered Macao as a city with a profound culture that is well suited for the development of drama. “When watching local dramas, I think a language barrier should not exist. If the audiences are crazy about drama, the UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 47


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COURTESY: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m74tyh1UUv1rt08mjo1_500.jpg

THE TATTOO AND SHISHA By Lily Leong, Mandy Wu, Veronica Choi

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acao is a tiny city where cultures are imported and exported like an album that assembles all kinds of unique stories. However, there are some cultures that may not be understood or altered when they first appeared in Macao. Like the tattoo relates to the underworld, graffiti relates to teenager’s rebellion and destruction of public property. Very often, media reporters mislead the public by labeling the bad guy as “the tattoo guy” to show that people with tattoos commit crimes easily. We usually judge a book by its cover, there are some images or behaviors that can be categorized as negative, “shisha” may not be familiar to Macao people, but as it has become more and more popular among teenagers, do people have an understanding of this culture? We sometimes tend to regard those we can’t understand as freaks, but are they?

AS A FAMOUS MODEL CAMERON RUSSELL SAID, “IMAGE IS POWERFUL, MEANWHILE, IMAGE IS SUPERFICIAL.” TATTOO However, according to a new study by researchers at Rice University and the University of Houston, people with birthmarks, scars and other facial disfigurements are more likely to receive poor ratings in job interviews, which mean looks do matter. Similarly, people with tattoos, can be judged by stereotype. In Macao, a tattoo may refer to rebellious, mob or even gangland persons. “I have been yearning for the street culture in America, the choice for freedom, since I know tattoo, I just fell in love with it,” Sai Hong, a restaurant owner said in the branch opening of Brick’s Burger in Fai Chi Kei.

The tattoo has been a Eurasian practice for at least 2000 years, and nowadays the tattoo culture in advanced countries like in America and Japan is pretty mature. But what is the tendency in Macao? As Sai Hong said, the tattoo doesn’t prevail in Macao. As far as he is concerned, he has loved dancing and other street cultural activities since he was a child, he has built up his own business, as his branch store opened in a larger space, he also wants to promote some subculture about music, food, etc. By chance, he invited Taiwan’s famous tattoo artist WanBao to perform the art piece with local graffiti artists in his store opening in the evening on March 25.

He also mentioned, when customers have a meal in the restaurant, they can also enjoy every displayed tattoo art piece on the wall. “The more they see and know, they are more willing to accept this culture,” he said. However, he has to accept that his family would never give approval for his tattoo although he has made his career successfully. Also people may think someone who has tattoo as a bad guy; he still wants to give teenagers a culture shock, an environment of subculture, especially in the North Macao where people have lower level of literacy. “I know in Macao, there are a lot of tattoo lovers, but only a few tattoo artists with UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 51


DESIGN

Taiwan tattoo artist, WanBao is performing on the opening of Brick’s Burger

limited tattoo designs,” WanBao said. “In Taiwan, the tattoo has been highly accepted by locals, they are more willing to try and do some research, they will compare each tattoo design and think about what they really want. There are for sure some people who only do it for fun so they just randomly pick a tattoo artist, but the percentage has changed to a healthier way, the environment for tattoo is well accommodating nowadays in Taiwan.” In addition, the age group is mostly from 20 to 30. In Taiwan, the legal age for tattooing is 18, however, if a child gets a tattoo, people will not blame the tattoo artist, they are more likely to consider it as the child’s own problem, said WanBao. 52 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

Nevertheless, WanBao emphasized that he has his own moral standard, he will avoid to give tattoos on the head or on the face, and he elaborates the tattoo feature itself, as the tattoos on his arms, every design has a “why”. For example, “the gun” represents power and tattooing is his power; “the sandy clock” tells him that the time is limited and it runs out of time; “the snake” covers the gun and his right hand which means his right hand is important to make tattoos and the tattoo has been a part of his life. Both Sai Hong and WanBao regard tattooing as art, moreover, Sai Hong hopes to see that one day the tattoo culture in Macao can be as mature as that in Taiwan or Hong Kong, and become a life attitude.


DESIGN SHISHA A popular feature of Turkish, Middle Eastern and Indian cultures for centuries, shisha has not only experienced a revival in those countries over recent years, but also exploded worldwide, particularly in the United States and Europe. Shisha was known as kalyan in Persia, around the same time tobacco from the New World arrived and not long after coffee from Arabia had become accepted by the populace. Today, in most major urban centers and university towns where there is an international population of students,

assorted smoking paraphernalia to purchase along with coffee and other nonalcoholic drinks, and perhaps light food. Like Altira Macao 38 Lounge, there’s a bar for shisha. The atmosphere and décor are typically evocative of Middle Eastern culture, travel posters, backgammon and satellite TV broadcasting Egyptian soap operas and music videos all in an exotically collegial atmosphere. What is behind this youth-generated global revival, and what challenges are faced by Jafar Alborzi, the owner of the Persian Art Shop

you’ll find one or more shisha lounges catering largely to students who are eager to incorporate this stimulating trend of flavored tobacco cooled by water into a lifestyle of lattes, laptops and Wi-Fi access, but shisha also appeals to tobacco users and curious suburbanites alike. Typically, such places offer a wide array of water pipes to rent, flavored tobacco to choose from and

shisha lounges at home? Jafar Alborzi is a 25-year old Persian who had lived in Beijing since he was six and moved to Macao at the age of 10. He owns a Persian carpet shop in Macao and he is a shisha lover. He used to smoke shisha with coffee or orange juice. He tells us that shisha can relax him as he has lots of workload in his life. “Shisha gives me a lot of pleasures, as a culture in Middle

Eastern countries, I think shisha should spread to Asia, like Macao, I like to smoke it in MP3 Bar or 38th Lounge in Altira, Macao,” Alborzi said. An individual is unique, stereotype can be ruthless, tattoo can be artistic, shisha is more than addiction, it is better to know someone before judging. UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 53


DESIGN

MACAO DESIGNER

By Kitty Tam

“DESIGN IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOUL OF A HUMAN-MADE CREATION THAT ENDS UP EXPRESSING ITSELF IN SUCCESSIVE OUTER LAYER OF THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE.”

--- Steve Jobs

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DESIGN

N

ick Ng, a Macau local designer, same as many people, has his own dream, a dream that is part of his interest, his work and his life. With his talent in drawing, Ng started his first design work when he was in Form 3, and he learned how to use the graphic software by reading books and exploring himself. Since Ng is a young designer, he didn’t join many competitions, however, he got awards in AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), an international competition in London in which professional designers in all parts of the world participate. Ng submitted eight designs altogether and six of them were selected. “I just try my best to do what I like, I never think that I am able to get any awards, these awards really give me lots of confidence and I will keep on working hard,” said Ng. It’s not easy to be successful, for Ng, there is no exception. After graduation from his secondary school, he first went to study in Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST). At the same time, he got a job in a design company and he gave up his study. After one year, Ng went to study a design course in Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM), since this was a night course; he had to work in the morning from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm, and then went back to school at 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm, then continued his work from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am. This routine life lasted for three years. According to Ng, this was his hardest period, every day, he worked for more than 16 hours and lacked sleep,

sometimes he wanted to give up, but when he knew that he was approaching his dreams, he became motivated again. “I know it’s hard to be a designer, each piece of our work consumes lot’s of our time, we work on it for day and night, sometimes, if the customers don’t like it, we need to work from the beginning again.” He mentioned that he and his team spent a month to create a logo for a company. However, the design was later rejected by the boss of the company. “I feel sad if being rejected, but I will stick to this career because this is the road I have chosen and I won’t give up so easily,” Ng added. Professional designers need lots of creative ideas, for Ng, his inspirations come from the association of artifacts in his daily life with politics and especially Chinese characters. One of his favorite designers is Hung Lam from Hong Kong. He appreciates Hung’s ideas and attitudes towards design; Hung is good at applying the method of subtraction in his work, which is using the least elements to express the concepts. This inspired Ng a lot in his latest design. In the future, Ng will continue to chase his dreams, he understands that being a designer is not easy and the road is tough. He works on designs and designs become part of his daily life, therefore, sometimes he feels lonely when he stops designing. He also has a high expectation on his work, “I want my design to have a little impact on the Macao design market,” he said.

“Chao Xue”, the masterpiece of Nick Ng UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 55


I E L U S

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I E U UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 57


LEISURE

NIGHT

JOGGERS By Crystal Ho

COURTESY: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jWtQ5SGcQy0/T_z9dj9SGqI/AAAAAAAAESo/_hViuuOAeP0/s1600/ Jogging.jpg 58 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES


LEISURE

T

he popularity of night jogging is now increasing rapidly in this city. In the past few years, if you asked some of your friends to run together with you, they might probably say that they were too busy at work. Jogging is usually related to morning exercises; it is not something people usually associate with night life. However, nowadays, instead of grouping others to work out early in the morning before work, people prefer to jog at night after a whole day’s work.

Ieong laughed. “Jogging is not like a team sport, you can do it any time and in any place if you want. However, it is too boring if you always run alone, you may not want to keep it up. It is different if there is a group of people doing the same thing together, you may want to keep it up. It is amazing.”

In this stressful city, everyone is busy with his/her jobs, school work or any other tasks. People easily give up their time in maintaining their health and social life. Instead of just having a dinner or go for a drink with friends after work, night jogging will be a nice activity for you. Let’s move!

Many people are now working in the gaming industry in Macao, and do not have a stable and regular working shift as normal office workers. Sometimes, it is very hard for them to do exercise in the morning or even hang out with friends. That may be one of the reasons why night jogging suddenly becomes so popular in Macao. “After a whole day’s work, it is so relaxing to jog with friends at night; you can chat with each other while you are still exercising. It is really great!” said Bowie Ao Ieong, an employee in a casino. Sometimes, people come out at night not because they want to exercise, what they really enjoy is the time that all the friends are getting together to do something and chat with each other. “Girls are not actually so fond of doing exercise, their main purpose to join us is to chat around and at the same time keep fit,” Ao

COURTESY: http://www.adorama.com/alc/files/0366e6e9d51dba827b826e4cbe407f16.jpg UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 59


LEISURE

WHICH

FISH BALL STORE

DO YOU LIKE THE MOST? By Jenny Ao

F

ish balls are a kind of snack that Macao teenagers love. The most famous fish ball store in Macao is “Hang Yao” , which attracts lots of tourists every day. However, there is another fish ball store local residents love to visit although its name may not often be remembered.

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LEISURE Zannick Ak, a university student who lives in the neighborhood, talked about her memory with Waldo Snacks. “When I was in primary school, my best friend and I always bought sausages at Waldo. We only had a few coins every day, so what we could buy were sausages, and we loved to take turns to treat each other.” As the Macao economy is getting better and better, the rent has become increasingly expensive. This makes it hard for the neighborhood stores to survive. Chan said 13 years ago, the monthly rent was MOP2, 500, but now it has been raised to MOP11, 800. Since the inflation in Macao continues, not only the rent, but also prices of food and labor costs keep rising. Although Waldo

Snacks is under such difficulties, Chan said he will try his best to continue the small business. “I do not want to raise the price too much since I know that life is already very hard for everyone.” In recent years, Chan has become acquainted with new neighbors because there are many Filipinos who come and work in Macao and they tend to settle in the area of Rua dos Cules. “I have learnt some Tagalog and translated some of my menu into Tagalog, it is fun!” said Chan. The new neighbors love him and his store, which makes him very pleased. “Chan is very nice. Every time we come to buy snacks, he greets us by saying ‘kamusta ka na’ (‘How are you’ in Tagalog), not many shopkeepers in Macao do this,” said Melyn Yasay, a Filipino neighbor.

Located at Rua dos Cules, Waldo Snacks has opened for 13 years. “There were three or four stores selling fish balls in the past, but all of them have been closed,” said Chan Weng Chi, the shopkeeper of Waldo Snacks. Selling fish balls may not bring much profit, then what makes Chan continue the small business? “The neighbors,” he said with certainty. Chan added that his relationship with the neighbors is very good. When the neighbors come to buy fish balls, they share anecdotes and make jokes with each other. Although he is very busy during meal time, he does not feel annoyed. “I am just happy to see my customers,” Chan smiled.

The menu translated into Tagalog UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 61


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U


UTY UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 63


BEAUTY

CAUTION: Skin Products By Mandy Wu

“M

y face immediately turned red and itchy after I put on the snail mask that my friend bought me from South Korea,” recalled Amy Mak. Mak, 45, used to rely considerably on skin products to keep her skin “young”. “I noticed that they (Korean skin products) were popular recently, so I just tried it!” said Mak. This idea brought her a nightmare. Many people are like Mak, who are easily influenced by friends or the media, blindly following the trend. Korean skin products are so in vogue that more and more people go after them. A considerable number of local cosmetics retailers follow the trend and import Korean products. Even some leading health and beauty groups in Asia like Sa Sa International Holdings Limited, Watson’s and Manning’s do so as well.

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BEAUTY Most of you may think that those Korean skin products must be safe as they must have gone through the Macao government’s quality inspection and regulation. However, you will be surprised to know the real situation. According to the website of Macao Customs, “The imported clearance procedure for skin products is to fill out a form and submit it together with all supporting documents on the day of picking up the goods.” In fact the government is only responsible to make sure that the imported goods are not prohibited substances, and conducts no check on the products themselves. “The producer is the one who is responsible to check every product of theirs and pass the local safety system before the goods are ready for sale,” said the Macao Health Bureau.

Tips on Selection and Use of Skin Products Let’s be the safeguard of ourselves, the following are some helpful tips for consumers before you select and purchase a skin product. 1. Do not be a follower Before making a decision, a consumer should gather all the information of the product and see if it suits you. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you check the ingredients, see if there is any forbidden substance. Go to several retailers and ask for more information, you may also compare the price at the same time.

country codes that can tell the location of the production company. But keep in mind that, though the barcode labels do indicate the country or economic region of the producer, the product may still be manufactured in other places. In that case, you should look for “Made in [country name]”. 3. Test before use Instead of taking a risk applying a product on your face, it is always better to apply it on your hand first. To test, put a small amount on the hand for 15-30 minutes, to make sure your skin develops no symptoms like being itchy, heated, stinging or red.

2. Learn the barcode Every skin product has a barcode printed on the package, under the barcode is a 13 digit numbers, the first 3 digits are the

Kary Leong, a local cosmetics retailer said, “South Korea is famous for its skin products because of its strict quality monitoring system and the regulation.” With this safeguard, we can at least ensure the quality. Regarding the case of Mak, Dr. Andy Choi suggested that itchy and stinging effects are the symptoms of sensitive skin. Patients should immediately wash the face with cold water. If the symptoms continue after two days, they should seek a doctor’s consultation. “Since everyone’s body constitution is not the same, two cases out of 100 like Mak usually would not be considered a quality problem, this is just an unanticipated exception case,” Choi said.

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BEAUTY

UPS

AND

DOWNS, THIS IS LIFE By Lily Leong

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BEAUTY

“N

o matter how people praise you, you only believe 30%; no matter how people criticize you, you only believe 30%,” which is the motto of a boutique owner, Candy Yeung. Yeung, one of the post 80s, started selling clothes as a fashion consultant since August 2012, after she gave up the spotlight as a famous model. “It had been a glorious time when many people would ask for my autograph and many magazines would

interview me, I was like in the dream. But I knew what was the best for me. So I started what I am doing now, it was not just an wild thought, I had been dreaming to open a boutique and I read all kinds of Japanese magazines since I was around 12, I remembered most of the brands and all the stuff was just in my mind,” said Yeung. “If I am using a MOP40, 000 Chanel bag, I can tell people I earn it by myself,” she said confidently. However, it was not an

easy task to start. Without her parents’ support which she never asked for, she thought of quitting, especially when she could hardly find a customer. But she didn’t. “I don’t like giving up halfway, and it will be helpful if the government can do more for young people. The financial assistance (MOP300,000) from the government seems remote (the interest-free loan program was designed to help young entrepreneurs in the 2013 Policy Address) and all they care about are casinos. What would be a better

for four years. All these experiences let her have a better business perspective. For instance, with her past working experience, she is now good at bargaining with vendors in the garment industry. “You are the most important product, selling yourself is the best way to sell your products.” Her enthusiasm in fashion, her genuine attitude towards her customers, her kindness to be a volunteer in an orphanage, and especially her persistence in her career path, all are exhibited in the spirit of her boutique.

situation if government could subsidize us in posting commercials in the community like the Women’s Federation, the Union, or in the public areas like bus stops or parks,” she added. Moreover, to control the price of housing is necessary, it is never enough to pay the rent from their earnings and the owners continue to increase the rent,” Yeung said with a bitter smile.

Yeung described her life as splendid as she is earning her own living. She wanted to tell all the young people that they should try and never give up when they are still young. “Sometimes it is inevitable to fail and if you are afraid of failure, it is better not to start a business. You can speak loudly only with your own voice, never depend on others. And experiences are always useful, whenever we try, don’t be afraid of failure,” she emphasized.

Before opening the boutique, she was a part-time model and full-time secretary

Candy Yeung in South Korea UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 67


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M NITY UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 69


COMMUNITY

A CITY OF PLASTIC BAGS By Stephanie Wong

“S

hopping is part of my daily life; I need plastic bags from supermarkets or other shops which can be reused as garbage bags. This is a general and normal habit for most Macao residents,” said Mrs. Wong, a housewife. Not only housewives, but most Macao residents are not concerned about saving plastic bags. Shopping malls, supermarkets or small shops provide plastic bags freely and abundantly. Plastic bags are produced from petroleum; the production and decomposition are destructive to the environment including the blockage of rivers and release of carcinogens during the process of combustion. In recent decades, many countries and regions have formulated different policies to prevent people from wasting plastic bags. For instance,

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the Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong government has carried out the Environmental Levy Scheme on plastic shopping bags since July 2009 which levies residents 50 cents per plastic bag. Nevertheless, there is still no severe policy in Macao related to the reduction of plastic bag usage. Although the Macao government’s Consumer Council set 28th of each month as “no plastic bag day” for “certified shops” (shops that are approved by the government as credible outlets) since 2009 and added one more day (the 18th day of each month) in April 2011, people think that the result was not obvious. “The government did not promote the campaign very well, sometime even I saw the posters or advertisements, I would forget it and use plastic bags unconsciously. Plastic bags are necessary for me, it is hard to get rid

of them,” said Mrs. Wong. According to an investigation conducted by the Macao Environment Protection Volunteer Association about the habit of Macao residents using plastic bags in 2010, among 1104 successfully interviewed residents, almost 80% would not bring their own shopping bags; nearly one fourth of them used three to five plastic bags per day. It was estimated that the number of plastic bags used in Macao totaled over 400 million per year. “Citizens get used to being provided plastic bags from us, sometimes, they will ask for more than one plastic bag, “ Miss Ng, a shop assistant of a supermarket in NAPE, emphasized. Fong Chi Kin, director of the Macao Environment Protection Volunteer Association pointed out that although the


COMMUNITY

government has made efforts on reducing plastic bags, they still need to supervise those “certified shops”. On the other hand, education and social activities play a very important role in arousing public attention to the issue. The government should hold more events like carnivals to promote the idea of environmental protection. However, as to the issue of introducing tax on plastic bags, Fong was cautious. He said this cannot be carried out recklessly. “The government must take small- and mediumsized enterprises into consideration. Actually besides a plastic bag tax, there are still many other ways such as using recyclable bags which can also stop people from using plastic bags,” Fong added.

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COMMUNITY

VYING FOR CIVIL SERVICE POSTS By Winkey Lee

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COMMUNITY Many teenagers, like Lei, are attracted by the benefits of working in government departments, which includes relatively high income with various kinds of allowances and secure employment with stable working hours. According to the government record, 71.5% of the civil servants are within the group of 200 to 499 Salary Index Point, which is from MOP13,200 to MOP32,934 per month. Aside from a net salary, civil servants enjoy different kinds of benefits including the housing allowance, medical allowance, family allowance, holiday allowance, marriage allowance, birth allowance, seniority bonus and so on. Besides, they enjoy a 22 days paid annual leave and receive 14 months of salary per year. Another reason is that civil servants have job security. Government departments would need a lot of evidence to prove a civil servant’s incompetence in order to terminate his/her

J

oyce Lei, a Macao student studying in Taiwan, is going to graduate this summer. Although Lei is interested in playing drama, she still sat in the first Civil Servant Central Recruitment Examination with 10,393 other applicants.

contract. On the other hand, civil servants have a lower chance of having to work overtime compared to other jobs; they normally work for eight hours a day and five days a week. All these lead to the fact that there is a very low rate of turnover and thus there are very few openings in the civil service.

On December 2, 2012, about 10,400 applicants took the civil servant examination, struggling for 128 positions of technical instructor in the Macao government. This means only one in every 81 participants will be successful in landing a job. “I worked in the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau last summer as a part-timer, the job was quite boring, but I applied this time and will keep on applying for government positions since my parents want me to be a civil servant, because the job is secure; the income is high and I can enjoy various allowances,” Lei said.

Although it may be hard to get a civil servant post, Newman Lam, Associate Professor of University of Macau gave out some tips about how to achieve good marks in the exam, which included “caring about current events; having a good analytical ability and English skills.”

Joyce Lei in graduation photo, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan.

“I know I won’t get it this time, but I also want to gain some experience, so that I can do better in other civil servant exams,” said Veronica Lao, an applicant who took the Central Recruitment Examination.

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COMMUNITY

THE ROAD BEHIND SUCCESS By Kitty Lee

O

vercoming difficulties and working hard are the qualities of many elderly people in Macao. Many of them have a dramatic life behind their accomplishment. Ma Jing Hong, as one of the successful businessmen in Macao, has his own story to tell.

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COMMUNITY become a useless person and all my hard work has gone without any reason,” said Ma. There is a saying that “blood is thicker than water, our veins are bound.” His two younger brothers decided to quit their jobs and took charge of the company. With the help of his brothers, Ma’s company was saved. “They took the effort to save my company because they didn’t want me to give up,” said Ma. “Seeing what my family and my brothers had done for me, I felt that I was a very lucky person and I wanted to work hard for them.” From that time on, Ma worked very hard on therapy even though he could never go back to the way he had been before the accident. Now with his own effort and the help of his brothers, their company has grown even more well known with five branches in Macao.

In the late 1970s, many people made illegal entries to Macao in order to have Macao identification and a chance to work here. Ma formerly worked in the mainland with his two younger brothers and they made their way to Macao together. “At that time the mainland was in a mess and life was hard, therefore we wanted to seek for a chance in Macao,” said Ma. After they landed in Macao, they found jobs in different places. Ma worked in an electric shop called “Tin Lei Electrics”.

was promoted to be the manager of the shop.

“When I was in the mainland, I worked with my mom in the wet market. I didn’t go to school and I knew nothing about those appliances,” said Ma. He was lucky to have a boss who was willing to teach. Ma has always kept in mind what he was taught by him, “Be professional, dedicated, sincere and courteous to customers.” Because of his hardship, his employer gave him many chances to learn different things and soon he

Sometimes life will break your heart even though you have done nothing wrong. Seven years ago, Ma ran into an accident while he was driving and broke his arm. Ma said, “I thought my hardest time had gone, but there were so many unexpected things in life.” As he had to focus on physical therapy, he had no time to manage the company. Many shareholders were worried and they wanted to withdraw their shares. “I felt like I had

“No one can foresee the future and life is uncertain,” said Ma, “I always remember what my boss taught me and apply it in my own life.”

After Macao’s handover to China, the shop owner decided to immigrate to Canada. However, his sons didn’t want to take over the shop. Ma was given a chance to take it over. Throughout the years, under Ma’s management, the shop expanded and they opened more branches. “It was like all my hard work finally paid off,” said Ma. “I considered myself very lucky at that time.”

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COMMUNITY

HOUSING DREAM FOR ‘SANDWICH CLASS’

By Wincy Lei

J

ohnson Iong, a 26-year-old teacher who earns around MOP23, 000 a month, is considered a member of the “sandwich class”. He is at the bottom of the middle class, which means he can neither afford a large property nor can he enjoy benefits of economic housing.

COURTESY: http://www.macaubusinessdaily.com%2FProperty%2FHousing-market-curbs-forecast-lose-effect&ei=cXdeUf-JG-qaiAfBpoCADA&psig=AFQjCNENdil31KZTH4huFAO91KjTaLgEpA&ust=1365231840802701 76 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES


COMMUNITY

19,000 units of economic housing have been provided in Macao.

The Macao government announced that a new round of economic housing applications for one-bedroom apartments will start between March 27 and June 26. There are about 1544 apartments for sale at prices between MOP520,000 and MOP700,000. Iong hopes that he can have his own apartment. However, his dream seems hard to come true under the skyrocketing prices of Macao real estate. “I think it is important to have my own place because I need a space to build up my own family,” he said. To make his dream come true, he has made his own effort applying for the economic housing, however, according to the housing policy, the monthly income limit for the one person family is MOP22,240, and the two people one is MOP44,479. Obviously, his salary was over the limit, so he is not qualified to apply for the economic housing.

properties. According to the policy, if you are a Macao permanent resident who has not owned any property for three years, is not a beneficiary of the previous 4% bank interest subsidy policy and has not applied for economic housing, you can apply for the maximum of MOP400,000 guaranteed loan by the government and maximum 4% bank interest subsidy for the down payment if you buy an apartment worth MOP2.6 million or below.

Johnson Iong

a new set of rules. Although there are some housing policies for the “sandwich class”, they still feel unprotected and depressed. “I think it is nonsense if the limit is fixed. I really urge the government to pay attention to the inflation rate and to set the limit accordingly,” said Iong. Nowadays, the price of commercial housing is very high and keeps increasing at a crazy speed. To help young people buy their own apartments, the government has created

According to the Policy Address presented by the Chief Executive last year, the Macao residents will be exempted from the housing tax and stamp duty when they buy their first home (such buyers are classified as the “home starters”). Also, the Housing Department has reinforced the “4% bank interest subsidy” policy in order to help the “sandwich class” to purchase their own

Also, the Chief Executive emphasized that the government will focus more on the housing problem in Macao and try to relieve young buyers from the property burden by introducing the policies of “Home Purchase Guaranteed Loan Scheme” and “Home Purchase Loan Subsidy Scheme”, which are different from the “4% bank interest subsidy” policy mentioned above. Also, he stated that the government would monitor the inflation rate to adjust the income limit requirement for economic housing applicants. “I think that the policy might help me to build up the confidence for buying my first house. However, the government should have its long term policy to lower the crazy price of housing, in order to let more and more “sandwich class” people afford an apartment,” said Iong.

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COMMUNITY

UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY: RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES

T

he University of Macau (UM), one of the first two big structures on Taipa island, has been standing on the top of the island for over 30 years. However, it has made an unprecedented decision to move to Hengqin Island and started a new page. Especially, it emphasizes on the Residential College (RC), a completely new concept to university students. Will students accept and get adapted into the new environment? UM submitted a proposal of moving the whole campus and establishing RCs

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in Hengqin Island to the Macao SAR Government in March 2008. President Hu Jintao of the Central Government held the ground breaking ceremony of the new campus on the Macao Handover Day of 2009. This affirmed and encouraged UM to become a world-class university. With the support of the Central Government and the governments of Guangdong and Macao, the new campus of UM is being built up. It covers an area of approximately one-squarekilometre, which is about 20 times larger than the current campus. It can accommodate

By Kary Fong

approximately 10,000 students. The concept of RC is central to this new campus project. According to the UM official website, the university has observed the problems of a lack of interactions between professors and students. Professors are busy with their research and publications, and students feel that they are being neglected when they encounter any difficulties, including academic studies or their personal and inter-personal development. The concept of RC is aimed to solve this


COMMUNITY problem. Living in RC, professors can have time to interact and communicate with students through learning and extracurricular activities. This can also encourage students to build up a sense of belonging in school life and cultivate to be a “whole person”. In fact, the RC system has been practiced by the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. The concept has also been adopted by Asian universities such as The Chinese University Of Hong Kong. With the limited space of the current campus, it is difficult for UM to implement the RC system. However, the new campus provides an unprecedented opportunity to UM. The Hengqin campus will be an ideal place to establish a full-scale RC system. UM plans to build 8-12 RCs, each can accommodate

approximately 500 people. Two RCs were built on a trial basis in the current campus in September 2010, namely East Asia College (EAC) and Pearl Jubilee College (PJC). During the semester of 2011/2012, living in the EAC cost MOP12,000 while PJC cost MOP10,000. According to the staff of PJC, there are 204 students who live in PJC this semester. The local students and non-local students have a different payment scheme; local students pay MOP4,000 in an academic year, while nonlocal students MOP5,000. For EAC, there are about 300 students living in EAC this semester. The payment for local students is MOP4,800 and non-local students is MOP6,000, according to the staff of EAC. Eunice Ian, a local student of UM expressed her opinion towards the topic, “It can allocate more resources on education and expand the structure of RC, and this can help cultivate students to be a “whole person”. Another year one student Nelson Chan also supported the move of UM to Hengqin Island, “RC consists of students in different majors and UM is adopting the General Education System, students in different majors can counsel and help to solve problems with professors or one another.” He added, “This is also a chance for students to sacrifice their time in working on part-time jobs and focus on studies.”

There are also students who are concerned about the influence after moving to the new campus. Jacob Iong, a non-local year one student said, “In my opinion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to live in the RC. I am a non-local student and this increases the chance for me to meet with more local students, however Hengqin Island is still under development, and many facilities are not fully equipped.”

very inconvenient for those who do not own a motorcycle.” According to the Transport Bureau of the Macao SAR (DSAT), there are two bus routes departing from Macao and Taipa bus stations. “It is still uncertain which route it will take as DSAT has not yet announced it. It might be in Areia Preta or A-Ma,” said Elvo Sou, head of Student Counseling and Development Section of Students Affairs Office (SAO).

Local students are concerned about the cost of living in RCs. “Macao is a small island and it is not reasonable to live in the RC as it is quite expensive,” said year three local student, Aries Un. According to the UM official website, local students who are willing to live in the RC should pay MOP12,500 (MOP6,250 per semester) while non-

Moving to a new and special environment, the new campus will provide about 2,500 parking space for light-duty vehicles and 1,200 spaces for motorbikes. The school will provide shuttle buses inside the new campus so that students do not need to walk for a long distance from one place to another. Besides, there are also some bicycles for

local students should pay MOP20,000 (MOP10,000 per semester). The fee covers 15 meals per week, activities, overseas exchange activities (applicants who meet all the requirements will be granted funding), water and electricity subsidy, etc. UM meets with the principle of high standards and low fees, said the website.

renting; 12 bicycle parking stations and 1,085 bicycle parking spaces. The most concerned problem for students is the personal security, according to Sou. “The new campus has Macao Public Security Police Force and Fire Services Bureau, they will be providing 24 hours service everyday, the same service as the campus has now. However, the clinic cannot operate 24 hours, rather we can encourage it to extend the office hours,” said Sou.

Another concern is the transportation. Un continued, “As a student, the most concerned problem is transportation. It is

Elvo Sou, head of Student Counseling and Development Section of Students Affairs Office. UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 79


COMMUNITY

THE HOUSE OF DANCING WATER

By Abbi Mitchell-Morley

F

amous for being the worlds largest water-based show The House of Dancing Water combines the arts of acrobatics and dance with water to bring to their audience a truly unique experience.

is pulled into a whirlpool and ends up in strange and magical land. The fisherman meets a stranger and together they embark on the journey of a lifetime to save the princess from the Dark Queen. The House of Dancing Water will have you a fit of emotions as you

Performer, and Belgium native, Jessica Peeters arrived in Macao in 2011 for simply one reason, to be apart of The House of Dancing Water. Having completed her unique two-year training in Belgium alongside an estimated 80 other performers and cast members from all over the world. “It was an exciting experience, but it was very hard because we are all trained dancers and all of a sudden we were being taught how to high dive and perform in such a unique way,” she says of her time in the required training course. Peeters continues to speak of the continued ups and downs of her profession, “What we do everyday, sometimes twice a day, is actually dangerous so we train and practice many times a day, a week, to make sure nothing can go wrong. We may have been trained for this but accidents do happen and with all the pressure from the audience and our directors, we all just have to trust in one another and our ability and training.” She ends the interview with one statement that truly conveys the combined hardship and wonder of this profession; “We are a team, a family”.

The story tells of a young Macanese fisherman who 80 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

watch the stranger and the princess fall in love, cast move as a human chandelier, divers leap from platforms of up to 24.5 meters, motorcycle stuntmen perform tricks up to 15 meters in the air and 20 meter jumps. 

Jessica Peeters in action


GATEWAY

UMAC BRIDGES SPRING 2013 81


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82 SPRING 2013 UMAC BRIDGES

Abbi Mitchell-Morley


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