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2 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
The future of expats in Asia
here is a growing debate about the future of expats in Asia with an increasing number of observers taking the view that time is running out implying that expats will not be much use here anymore.
To my mind this is an all too rigorist almost mechanical view of current trends. Admittedly the costs of expats combined with the rising performance level and competence of Asians living here or coming back from the U.S. or Europe makes the traditional expat enjoying extremely lavish treatment and high salaries dying specie. But this is far from the same as saying that the expat does not have a future in Asia. Only it will be another and different expat having adapted to new circumstances. The plain fact, visible in all statistics about education in Asia, tells that an increasing number of Asian graduates from universities, technical universities, and business schools enter the job market including segments hitherto reserved for expats. The statistics and various surveys also shows that not all of them, actually a share much under half depending on which country we look at, has an education comparable with the standard set by Western universities and finds it difficult to be employed by Western multinationals operating in Asia. So the crux is whether the buoyant Asian market calling for higher production, bigger consumption and investment needing more qualified people will outweigh the number of qualified Asians bidding for jobs in Western multinational companies. Add to this the trend that many Asian companies are now entering Western markets. We see the contours of Asian companies transforming themselves into big multinational companies competing with Western multinationals and consequently entering the American and European market – a process that obviously opens job opportunities for expats, maybe not in a Western company doing business in Asia, but for an Asian company doing business in the U.S. or Europe. These tendencies or trends will generate job opportunities in Asia. But it also follows that the job opportunities will be different and no expat can expect conditions offered say ten or fifteen years ago. Wages, holidays, school allowances, and insurance will gradually be brought in line with what an Asian employee costs. The difference between an expat and an Asian in costs will reflect the difference in performance and competence and there is no doubt that Asian graduates are catching up albeit there may still be some way to go. The Western expat must hone skills to perform in other kinds of jobs and increasingly spot opportunities for job openings in Asian multinationals looking at penetrating Western markets. Adapt and accept wages and working conditions to be more Asian in the future. If so there is definitely a future for expats in Asia.
Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in China ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish residents in China. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in Thailand, Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.
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Young Professionals’ Swedish Midsummer Celebration in Shanghai
n June 21, the Swedish Young Professionals organized their annual Swedish Midsummer Party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Shanghai. The party featured a smorgasbord of traditional Swedish food and drinks. Over 160 attendees enjoyed the outdoor event, which contrary to the traditional Swedish celebration also featured perfect weather. After hours of food, drinks and singing the fun party continued at Bar Rouge. This year’s event was sponsored by several Swedish businesses including: Gold sponsors: Absolut Vodka, Advokatfirman Vinge, Alfa Laval, Mannheimer Swartling Silver sponsors: Current Consulting, SCA Bronze sponsors: Gambro And additional support from: 8 Lakes Wines, Scandic Foods, Särklass
The Embassy in Beijing holds summer party for Danes in China
n Saturday June 8, the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing and Danish Chamber of Commerce in China (DCCC) held the annual summer party for Danes in Beijing and the surrounding area 280 adults and children showed up in great mood despite the rather unstable weather. During the day different activities for both children and adults took place. Among them a dance lesson, a Tai Chi lesson and a treasure hunt with a quiz about Denmark, where the lucky winner won a deluxe champagne brunch for two persons at St. Regis Hotel in Beijing. Furthermore there was a large bouncing castle, where the children could play, while the adults enjoyed a hot dog and played croquet. At the party the hotel Radisson Blu provided a barbecue and Carlsberg were in charge of the cold refreshments for the guests, who enjoyed a Chinese band. The day ended with the singing of the Danish song “Midsommervisen”
4 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
Young Professionalsâ€™ Swedish Midsummer Party in Beijing
rganised by Swedish Young Professionals Beijing, the Young Professionals Swedish Midsummer party was held on June 22 at Radisson Blu Beijing. Many young Swedes turned up for a fun lunch party, wearing flowers on their heads, singing songs while drinking unsweetened, flavoured schnapps and downing a whole load of pickled herring, sill served with delightful new potatoes, chives and sour cream. All in all, participants enjoyed a grand day out. Apart from Christmas, midsummer is the most important celebration in a Swedish calendar. Midsummer Night is the lightest of the year and was long considered a magical night. Midsummer celebrations in Sweden were held to welcome summertime and the season of fertility. Swedish Young Professionals is an organization under guidance of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, aiming to provide a platform for young driven Swedes living in Beijing to build their own professionals and social network.
August 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.China 5
Bang & Olufsen’s new flagship store opens in Shanghai
n June 27, Bang & Olufsen held the grand opening of its brand new flagship store in Xintiandi district of Shanghai in presence of the Danish Consul General Mr. Karsten Ankjær Jensen. The event gathered more than 100 VIP guests and media. Considered one of the first lifestyle centers in China, this new-retail-concept store is a special celebration of the 88th anniversary of the timehonored brand. The flagship store in Shanghai is only the second store in the World to showcase the new store concept of Bang & Olufsen. Combining top-quality sound and stylish design, the store features the loudspeaker show-wall among other classic and time enduring audio pieces. “To provide the Chinese customers with a unique shopping experience is a great way to set oneself apart from competing businesses on the harsh Chinese market. The store is also a testimony to the innovative nature of Danish design,” Consul General Karsten Ankjær Jensen says. Mr. Lars Galsgaard, CEO Tue Mantoni and managing director for Greater China from Bang & Olufsen welcomed the Consul General to the store. The guest list also included the world famous Chinese pianist Li Yundi.
Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing celebrates the Danish Constitution Day
n June 5 the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing held a reception in order to celebrate the Danish Constitution Day. On the occasion of the Danish Constitution Day the Royal Danish Embassy held a reception in the Ambassador’s residence on June 5. Among the guests was the Vice Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Zhai Jun, who had an official talk with Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen. “It was an honour to welcome the Vice Minister to the Royal Danish Embassy. We had a good talk about the strong and important relationship between Denmark and China and about the strengths of both countries,” says Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen. The Royal Danish Embassy had invited more than 1.200 officials to participate in the reception. The guests were representatives from Danish and Chinese companies, officials from Chinese ministries, scholars, educational experts, social workers and journalists from both Chinese and Danish media. At the same time the reception was a good opportunity to strengthen the good work relations between the Royal Danish Embassy and its business partners. 6 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen and his wife Birgitte Wilhelmsen together with Vice Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Zhai Jun.
Nordic Informal Summer Lunch in Hong Kong
rganised in turn among the four chambers of commerce (Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark), Nordic Informal Summer Lunch was held every Friday in July in Hong Kong. The summer lunch on Friday July 19 was organised by the Norwegian chamber of commerce, gathering about 20 participants at the restaurant FINDS (Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden). There was no agenda and no speakers, participants just enjoyed themselves having lunch and mingling together. The last summer lunch was held on Friday July 26 at the usual place – the Nordic restaurant FINDS.
SKAGEN DENMARK The White Label collection of timepieces from the Danish lifestyle brand SKAGEN DENMARK stands out for their unique design and functional qualities.
fter more than twenty four years in the accessories design world, the watch collections of SKAGEN DENMARK has in the opinion of many designers reached a level of contemporary culture of their own. The White Label watch collections displays Danish design at its best, with graceful styles, slim lines, subtle, inspiring colors, and a quality that will make the time piece last year after year.
DENMARK’s KLASSIK collection combines the enduring qualities of Danish design with the pure elegance of Denmark’s natural landscape. Offering a slim profile and expertly crafted bands, this collection proves that simple can be altogether striking.
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PERSPEKTIV The Perspektiv collection offers a combination of uncomplicated, minimalist design with a sophisticated style. From the renowned Designer Series to timepieces inspired by elements in nature, this collection presents itself with more daring colors, distinctive materials and new evolutions in Danish Design.
All three collections reflect the qualities of traditional Danish design: Light, Pure, Clean, Tailored and Enhanced by Color. SKAGEN DENMARK has since the beginning focused on producing authentic, high-quality Danish lifestyle products at prices that are accessible for design enthusiasts around the globe. The brand has a distinct design – a quality that design enthusiasts call the “design DNA” – rooted in simplicity, natural elements and modern design. The mix of natural and modern design makes them desirable function-driven objects for today, tomorrow and beyond. The watches are available in over 220 concession stores throughout China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam, and the Philippine.
For further details, please visit the website www.skagen.com PERSPEKTIV
The White Label watches are available in three main collections:
KLASSIK This is the timepiece to consider if you want to invest in a timeless style that will look as great many years from now as it does today. SKAGEN
August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 7
Melting ice pulls Norway closer to Asia
China buys retirement home expertise in Denmark
here is an increasing demand for eldercare in China and the Danish tradition of retirement homes are in high demand. An agreement of managing a retirement home with a Chinese woman who manages eight retirement homes in Chongqing in western China has been signed.
he town of Kirkenes in northernmost Norway used to be further away from Asia than virtually any other European port, but it suddenly seems a lot closer. The reason: Global warming. Melting ice has opened up the Northern Sea Route along Russia’s Arctic coastline, changing international trade patterns in profound ways – even if so far it looks more like a sleepy county road than a busy, four-lane highway. In a change of potentially revolutionary significance, the travel time between the Japanese port of Yokohama and Hamburg in Germany has been cut by 40 percent, while fuel expenditure is down by 20 percent. “For the first time in history we are witnessing a new ocean opening up in the high north which will have a major impact on both trade and provision of energy,” said Sturla Henriksen, the president of the Norwegian Ship owners’ Association.
Danish Minister of Finance Bjarne Corydon visits China
In June, a Chinese delegation visited Denmark to sign another contract of the establishment of retirement home in Shanghai, which means some 400 homes can be ready at the end of 2014, according to Danish media Kristeligt Folkeblad. Emil Tang, who is the CEO of Danske Diakonhjem, which owns 35 retirement homes with almost 1600 residents in Denmark, explains that it is not about preaching Danish elderly care. “We are not going to China to preach, but we want to meet people with some of the same values as us, so we can help export a Christian view of humanity,” he explains. Danske Diakonhjem’s expenses will go to travels and hiring Danes in China. Soon they will send two employees to China to explain how retirement homes are managed in Denmark. Director Bente Strager from the Health School in Silkeborg says that the school will cooperate With Danish Diakonhjem in educating Chinese staff. Emil Tang explains that the Chinese are now seeing the consequences of the one child policy as they do not have the time and money to both work and take care of elderly family members. That is why there is a growing demand for retirement homes.
ollowing the invitation by the Chinese Minister of Finance, Lou Jiwei, the Danish Minister of Finance, Bjarne Corydon, paid a visit to China on June 23 – 26. Minister Corydon was the first ever Danish Finance Minister to visit China. He exchanged views with his Chinese counterpart on the general economic situation in China and Denmark, including an exchange of views on the economic challenges in both countries. During his visit Minister Corydon met with Minister Lou Jiwei on June 24 as well as Vice Minister Liu Jieyi from the International Department of the CPC Central Committee. The Minister also had meetings with the People’s Bank of China and China Development Bank. On June 25, Minister Corydon travelled to Suzhou by high-speed train in order to visit Danish companies in the Suzhou area. After the visit to Suzhou, the Minister was in Shanghai on June 26. In Shanghai the Minister visited several Danish companies as well as financial institutions and economic experts.
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LÆS MERE PÅ WWW.HERLUFSHOLM.DK 8 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
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China, Finland look to boost parliamentary cooperation
Finnish Parliament Speaker Eero Heinaluoma met with China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang and top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng on June 13.
Norway disappoints Chinese tourists
hina and Finland on June 14 agreed to further their interparliamentary cooperation. The agreement was reached as visiting Finnish Parliament Speaker Eero Heinaluoma met with China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang and top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng on June 13 in Beijing. In April, leaders of the two countries reached an important consensus on constructing a new cooperative partnership, bringing the relationship between the two nations to a higher level, Zhang said, pledging that the NPC would make joint efforts with the Finnish parliament to maintain friendly exchanges at various levels on managing national development, democracy, legislature and the legal system. Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), gladly recalled his recent visit to Finland and hailed China-Finland cooperation in the fields of trade, education, science and technology, and culture. China is willing to step up its cooperation with Finland on environmental protection, green development and Arctic affairs, Yu told Heinaluoma. In regards to recent disputes between China and the European Union (EU) over the EU’s provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, Yu expressed his appreciation for Finland’s adherence to the principle of free trade and its opposition to trade protectionism. He noted that China will try to resolve the disputes with the EU throu he hopes Finland will continue to play an active role in helping to resolve the issue. Heinaluoma also extended his congratulations to China for its successful launch of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft. He also vowed to boost ties between the two parliaments and the two nations.
B a g s væ r d k o s t s k o l e gymnasium tid til talent
ourists from China spend more money than other nationalities visiting Norway, but they’re also the least satisfied, Norway’s travel authorities have found. The Chinese seem to be most unhappy with hotel service levels, and with the food. The number of Chinese visitors at Norwegian hotels doubled in July last year from the year before. The increase is expected to continue this year, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported. According to Per-Arne Tuftin, tourism director for Innovation Norway, only 41 percent of Chinese tourists were “quite satisfied” with their Norway experience, while 12 percent left Norway “satisfied.” That indicates that almost half the Chinese visitors last year were not happy with their trip to Norway, DN reported. Meanwhile, 85 percent of Russians are “quite satisfied” and the rest “satisfied,” suggesting no Russian tourists were unhappy. Tuftin told DN that their theory is that the Chinese visitors are used to staying in Asian hotels that typically have far more staff than Norwegian hotels and are renowned for their high levels of service. Tuftin said Innovation Norway will address the problem, aiming to bring expectations among the Chinese to a more “rational” level.
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August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 9
Swedish experts warn of new global bird flu virus
wedish experts have warned that a newly discovered flu virus in China shows worrying signs that it could spread around the world this autumn. “The virus seems new to mankind. The entire world’s population could be affected if it gains momentum,” said Annika Linde at Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet - SMI) to Sveriges Radio. The newly discovered flu virus H7N9 in China is a variant of the bird flu, and the first infectious cases became known this year. The virus is known to cause severe respiratory infections. The virus carries with it a high mortality rate among those infected by the H7N9 virus. At least 43 of the more than 130 infected have died so far, according to WHO statistics. The mortality rate is far lower than that of the H5N1 virus a decade ago, but higher than the H1N1 that raged from 2009 to 2010. Annika Linde warned in an article in the esteemed medical journal The Lancet a month ago that the H7N9 bird flu could reinvigorate this autumn and begin to spread worldwide.
Angry Birds theme park to open in Haining, Zhejiang in September
Chinese flock to Denmark
he number of Chinese overnight stays has doubled from 2009 – 2012. VisitDenmark, the organisation in charge of marketing Danish tourism, reports that numbers have gone up from 55,000 to 115,000. “The Chinese market cannot alone save Denmark from a decrease in tourism but the market is exciting because it is developing so fast,” said head of VisitDenmark, Flemming Bruhn. He says that from 2007 to 2012 the number of Chinese tourists to Denmark has increased by 120 percent compared to the rest of Western Europe where the increase in the same period was 30 percent. The increase is the effect of campaigns in China made by VisitDenmark and Nordic Tourist Council. “It also helped that the Little Mermaid got huge coverage during the World Fair in 2010 in Shanghai,” said Flemming Bruhn. Typically the Chinese only have 1-2 nights in Denmark because they have a combined Scandinavian tour and most only experience Copenhagen. VisitDenmark is now trying to change that by also trying to market trips to Fyn.
10 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
he Haining city government and Rovio, a Finnish entertainment media company and producer of the Angry Birds game, announced on June 26 that China’s first real-life Angry Birds theme park will open in Haining in Shanghai’s neighboring Zhejiang province in September. A state company under the city government has invested 20 million yuan (US$3.24 million) in building the theme park. The park will include a bird’s castle, a SUTU interactive square for guests to play various versions of Angry Birds and a parkour zone, according to the report. The park will also have a 4D theatre and exhibition halls. All major facilities will be imported from Finland. The theme park will open for trial operations in late August or early September, according to the report. Construction of the world’s first Angry Birds Theme Park was completed on 28 April 2012 in southern Finland. On June 4, Rovio and Johor Bahru city in Malaysia signed an agreement to build an Angry Birds theme park in the city. The prospective Angry Birds theme park in Haining will be the first outdoor Angry Birds theme park in Asia. While the Angry Birds theme park is set to open in Haining, Zhejiang, the development of Shanghai Disney Resort is taking place 150km from the theme park and set to open in 2015. Given Disney’s legendary success, no company has tried to compete with the global leader in the amusement industry. However, the Finnish Rovio has become popular globally through the Angry Birds game. This has also prompted the company to develop a wide variety of Angry Birds derivative products, including games, media production, costumes, toys, gifts, and daily appliances. Rovio’s first head-to-head with Disney will be in China.
Nordea opens private banking branch in Singapore
o serve the growing community of Nordic individuals in Asia, Nordea has opened a private banking branch in Singapore. Nordic businesses are growing in Asia and are thereby attracting more Nordic professionals to live and work in the region. The Nordic expatriates in Asia are also staying longer than they used to. Singapore is the centre for private banking in Asia, and Nordea offers private banking services to the growing community of wealthy individuals from its newly opened branch in Singapore.
“Asia-Pacific is an engine of growth for the world”, says CEO Jhon Mortensen of Nordea Bank S.A. “To present the growing number of Nordic individuals in the region with the same high quality private banking service as we do in Europe, we have opened a branch in Singapore, thereby making their access to the financial markets easier, more efficient and more secure.” For five consecutive years, Nordea was named the best provider of private banking services in the Nordic & Baltic region by the international financial magazine Euromoney. Nordea
is the leading Nordic provider of international private banking services, and the Nordea Group is Northern Europe’s leading universal bank, with around 11 million customers, more than 1,000 branch offices and EUR 224 billion in assets under management. Nordea is one of the leading international banks in shipping, providing a diversified range of services for that sector. The company has a dedicated team in Singapore with strong market knowledge and structuring capabilities to assist clients in several Asian countries. The new branch will be headed by Eric Pedersen, who started as an analyst in the Bank’s Treasury department, and, since 2000, has worked in senior roles within Asset Management and Private Banking. “Besides our reputation for seeing things from the client’s point of view, Nordea’s financial strength and the retained AA-rating is clearly an added attraction for wealthy clients looking for a safe and reliable private banking partner,” he says. The Singapore team is composed of experienced, senior private bankers with financial market expertise who are supported by highly qualified operational staff. In the team of account managers are Jonas Bergqvist (Swedish), Haavard Farstad (Norwegian), and Kim Osborg Nielsen (Danish). For further information: Eric Pedersen General Manager, Nordea Bank S.A., Singapore Branch Phone +65 65 97 10 81
Eric Pedersen August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 11
Inspired in China Finnish artist Kristiina Koskentola shares her experiences, inspirations and views on art scenes in China and Europe. Her latest work “ONE HUNDRED TEN THOUSAND” explores a seemingly dark subject: Graveyards in marginalized spaces of globalization. More specifically, it focuses on villages in the suburbs of Beijing that are being or due to be demolished. By Alexandra Leyton
12 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
ased in China for many years, Finnish artist Kristiina Koskentola has her works exhibited in many countries. Currently, she divides her time between London, Amsterdam and Beijing. It was 2007 that Kristiina was tired of the Eurocentric way of viewing art and decided to travel to Mongolia to do research for an exhibition that she was slated to hold later in the year. Her flight from Europe had a stop in Beijing so decided to spend a few days in the Chinese capital. A few days, however, turned into a few years. That was how Kristiina Koskentola ended up as a resident in Beijing. “Beijing became kind of a home. I entered into my relationship with China without any great expectations. I wasn’t expecting to find such an open and welcoming culture. Beijing is cosmopolitan city and its people are very warm and open. It is different from my previous experiences in Chinese communities abroad since most of them appear as closed and introverted,” Koskentola says.
communicates and the importance of a dialogue between different cultures and languages.”
Charm of the differences After spending several months in China, Koskentola returned to Europe to continue her work on other projects. However, after a couple of months, she began to miss China so she decided to return. “Living and working in a foreign country, and certainly in one that is so different from yours, forces you to rethink and reformulate your ideas. In a certain way, meeting the unfamiliar simultaneously opens up a larger, and more intimate, dialogue. Because of this, you become closer to yourself and your subject matter. It is very important for my art,” Koskentola says. “Contemporary China is very dynamic. It is constantly evolving. Because of its rich historical heritage, multiculturalism and rapid urban development and globalization, people are living their lives by adapting to new surroundings, while they continuously connect with the past, present and future.
Kristiina’s first project in China: Ludra She came to believe that foreign media presented — and generally misinterpreted — a one-sided view of China. That inspired Koskentola in 2008 to create Ludra, her first project in China. “Ludra was inspired by the failure of global media to understand China. When I first arrived in China, I was confronted with the one-sided, and somewhat misleading, images that the global media created. The installation was about the ambiguity of information and language, and about foreign media’s inability to identity China. It was a critical comment on the global media responsibility and how misinterpretations can lead to one-sided views,” Koskentola says. The installation consisted of three large objects hanging from the ceiling, a shelf with newspapers and the materials used to create the objects. Koskentola collected newspapers from several embassies and institutions. She also had friends bring newspapers, from around the world, when they visited her. The size of the objects refers to the size of the human body. “This was seen as a metaphor for the influence of information and the constitution of identity. I built the objects on a ‘skeleton’ with many layers of newspaper. The newspapers created a ‘skin.’ I perforated a pattern by sticking my fingers through it. It helped to manipulate the pattern,” Koskentola says. “The first project received a very positive feedback from all levels of society, including the art community. Local people understand how media
The art scene in China is still emerging and therefore more flexible. While many individual artists have extremely interesting art practices and work internationally Chinese art scene in general is still very isolated and introverted and therefore it is difficult to create a wider dialogue and exchange.
ONE HUNDRED TEN THOUSAND
“I am very interested in this paradigm shift. I find it challenging to think about and to explore. Identity is a very complex notion: It is not a fixed one. It is not just a set of narratives that are constituted by the environment or genetics. It is not static. It is always in development. It is changing and reformulating. It is a reaction to everything that happens around it and to its context,” Koskentola says.
Art scenes in Europe and China Europe’s art scene, she adds, is developed, structured and institutionalized, especially when compared with China’s art scene. But that also makes Europe’s art scene rigid and somewhat predictable, and the current political climate in Europe has thrown the whole cultural field into crisis,» she says. “The art scene in China is still emerging and therefore more flexible. While many individual artists have extremely interesting art practices and work internationally Chinese art scene in general is still very isolated and introverted and therefore it is difficult to create a wider dialogue and exchange,” Koskentola says. Nevertheless, commercialization of China’s art scene frustrates Koskentola. “As an artist, it is difficult to be accustomed to the commercialization of art. I was shocked the first time I was here. I got angry. I thought to myself ‘I am going to break those paintings.’ When art is your profession and you really love art, you become frustrated when art becomes solely a mean for capitalization. The economic boom in China has created opportunities and opportunists. I do believe that at some point this will pass, and a new kind of art community will emerge,” Koskentola says.
One hundred ten thousand Her latest work “ONE HUNDRED TEN THOUSAND” is an installation that consists of photographs, praying pillows, documents, sounds and odors. It has received international recognition. The work is now exhibited in Holland. As the project reflects Chinese people’s beliefs and prayer rituals, Koskentola collaborated with local people in suburban the Beijing and visited some of China’s rural communities to better understand residents’ feelings about the dead, and their thoughts about the imminent demolition of graveyards in their villages. “My greatest experiences in China are those that occur in everyday life situations such as at dinner with friends or during random encounters with strangers. Such things have opened up unexpected dialogues and situations. I believe that curiosity is the only domain where you can truly express yourself,” Koskentola says. August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 13
Ebbe Sand Looking for China’s first international football star Legendary Danish footballer Ebbe Sand has started a football academy in Shanghai in the search for local talents. The Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy wants to find and develop players who can make it in international football. By Mikkel Keldorf
ifty Chinese school children aged 10-12 are lined up in a clubhouse in Pudong, Shanghai. Wearing uniforms and traditional red scarfs, they are getting information about today’s adventure. They have come from the Shanghai suburbs and are all migrant children. Only a few of them have ever touched a football. “Your coach today will be Ebbe Sand. He has played on the Danish national team and is the attack coach for the Danish national team today,” says a representative from Championship Manager Online, who have arranged the event. The kids are thrilled, their eyes are sparkling and jaws are dropping. Entering the room is Ebbe Sand and his coaching assistants Mads Davidsen and Didier Njewel. They are ready to give these 50 migrant children their first football training session ever. “To develop a young Chinese football player and send him further up in the system would be amazing. I know that it is possible if we get them when they are young. In a country as big as China there are certainly talents and the Chinese people have the right mentality already,” Ebbe Sand tells ScandAsia.
Chinese football’s international breakthrough The event is only a small part of Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy’s work towards finding China’s first international football name. The former Schalke 04 striker, who became top scorer in the German Bundesliga in 2001, has put a lot of effort, money and time into the difficult and time-consuming project. “In the long run – maybe 10-15 years – the goal is to have a player getting a breakthrough in international football. It is very difficult because they do not have very developed training environment and talent scouting system in China,” Ebbe Sand says. 14 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
China has never had any player making it in international football and the country is currently ranked at number 98 on FIFA’s ranking of football nations right in between Iraq on 97th and Benin on the 99th place.
China needs a role model in football Last year Chinese football received worldwide attention when newly rich club Shanghai Shenhua signed international superstars Nicholas Anelka and Didier Drogba. However, they both have left the club by 2013. This makes it even more important to find the first big Chinese football name considering the reputation of Chinese football. Head coach at Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy, Mads Davidsen, is in charge of the everyday training in Shanghai. He
hopes to develop football in China in the same manner as basketball. “Football needs a role model, like Yoa Ming is for Basketball. He was a big name in the NBA for Houston Rockets (selected 8 times for the NBA All-Star Team) and since then basketball has been huge in China.” “If we can get one player to play for Manchester United, Real Madrid or Bayern Münich it would give Chinese football a massive boost. The potential is huge with the attention from Chinese media, so it would be very attractive for European clubs to get a Chinese player as well,” Mads Davidsen says.
12-year-old Chinese training in Denmark
One of the names mentioned as a possible future star is Tycho Collins. The young Chinese-American is part of the Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy and has already made headlines in Chinese media. In January 2013 he got two weeks of training in Denmark in the Danish clubs, Brøndby IF and FC Nordsjælland. The goal was to test his level and give him the competition that is hard to find in China. Media attention was enormous with nationwide media Politiken, DR 1 and local media TV2 Lorry making stories of the little Chinese footballer. “Tycho is definitely one of the best 12-yearolds in China. No doubt about that. In the academies in Denmark there might be 4 or 5 players better than him, but he has an advantage because of his nationality. He maybe only has to be 90 % as good as the Danish players e.g., because the effects of having a Chinese player are so significant.” “He has without a doubt the potential to live of football in the future. Whether it will be as a professional in Europe, China or maybe even semiprofessional is impossible to tell, but my goal for him is to make him live of football,” Mads Davidsen says. Making football the number one sport in China Back in Pudong, Shanghai the 50 migrant children are on the pitch kicking, running, laughing and yelling. “Shoot!! Run! Go over there,” the children shout to each other. Even though the players have no football shoes, no Barcelona football jerseys or even basic training pants, the spirits are high. And that is exactly what this part of the project is about. “We wish to give all children the possibility to train on a high level with professional coaches. We know the importance of joining a team and the great things you learn from a sporting environment,” Ebbe Sand says. August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 15
Swedish Homebuyers in Trouble While some Scandinavians retire in the Philippines and some settle in Malaysia, most Scandinavians still buy their second home in Thailand. But it is not always a smooth journey. By Josephine Freje
uying a house and settle down in Asia is a dream for many Scandinavian expats. The Swedish embassy in Thailand estimates there are 10.000 Swedes who have bought property in Thailand. Many settle down smoothly, but again and again new cases surface where everything did not go quite as well as planned. ScandAsia visited in June the Swedish couple Mrs. Gunilla and Mr. Håkan Kolmodin who live together with 22 other Swedish home buyers in Sakao province east of Bangkok. Their property is secured with a thirty year lease on the land, registered on the land deed at the local Land Department. Yet a minority owner of the land is trying to bully them all to make them give up and move away. “We would like to share our experiences so that no more Scandinavians end up in our situation”, says Mr. Håkan Kolmodin.
ticle about homestaying. They wanted to share their beautiful traditional Thai home and life in the countryside with other Scandinavians. But it all went terribly wrong. “The problem came from a Thai national who at that time worked for us as our driver and later become a local politician. He helped us with all the practical arrangements with building our Thai wooden houses, but we should never have trusted him”, says Mrs. Gunilla. Many years of their life were affected with worries over the conflict and they don’t even want to think about the money they lost. The driver eventually ended up in prison, 3.5 years, for the crimes he committed against Mrs. Gunilla and Mr. Håkan. The couple was forced to take the drastic measure of dismantling their houses and rebuilding them at a new location. They chose Soi Dao: “We decided to move here for a new start”,
The first house It all started more than ten years ago when their house was built the first time. At that time Mrs. Gunilla and Mr. Håkan met ScandAsia for an ar16 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
Mrs. Sakorn Andersson and Mr. Kjell Andersson
says Mrs. Gunilla. “We had hoped that it would be quiet and peaceful here and we looked forward to seeing other Swedes in this little village after the hardship we had gone through.”
The second time This time around the couple checked all the paperwork carefully, but despite this – they now find themselves in a new conflict which has also affected 22 other Swedish house owners in the small Swedish village in Soi Dao. One of them is Mr. Peter Dahlström, from Lund, southern Sweden. “This has been one of the most horrible experiences of my life. We have been forced to hire security guards to patrol the area to protect us,” he says. ScandAsia have interviewed several of the Swedish homeowners and they bear witness to how men armed with machetes have entered their compound. Water and electricity has been turned off for long periods. In their quest for justice the Swedes are assisted by Mrs. Sakorn Andersson, a loyal Thai majority shareholder. Right now six separate lawsuits against a local co-owner are in progress: “The problem is that one of the minority owners is trying to take control over the land and the houses through intimidation and harassment,” explains Mrs. Sakorn. Mrs. Sakorn Andersson lives in Soi Dao with her Swedish husband Mr. Kjell Andersson. “Nobody wants to buy the houses as it stands now. The local minority owner is trying to get us all to give up which would mean the loss of tens of millions of Thai baht,” says Mr. Kjell. The house owners have now written to the Swedish embassy in a cry for help. The Swedish house buyers have now also got help from a Thai lawyer who tells ScandAsia that the co-owner can face up to 3 years prison, if they win. The Swedes are still waiting for the
local police to take action against the minority owner, who one night entered the compound armed with a loaded gun. A crime that the local co-owner acknowledges in a taped interview with ScandAsia:
say they got all their paperwork in order and so far they have received fair treatment in the local court where they have already won one case against the local co-owner.
“The Swedish liars”
“What to keep in mind is to have a good land lease contract, which clearly specifies that you are the house owner and that your lease contract is registered at the Land Office with the right to stay on the ground for 30 years. It is extremely important”, says Mrs. Gunilla, who despite all the problems they have gone through never has considered to leave Thailand. “No, oddly enough, Håkan and I feel that this is our home and we enjoy living in Thailand. We take it day by day and I think it is the Thai attitude that has helped us to take it easy and to not get too much emotionally involved.”
“Yes, I was in their compound with a gun, but it was only because I had cleaned the gun for my father that I happened to have the gun in the waistband. Everything else that the Swedes say is, in my opinion, just lies”, says the accused coowner who has also mounted discouraging signs in the area, written in Thai, where the Swedes are accused of having links to the Mafia. An absurd assertion given that some of the Swedish homeowners are retirees and law abiding citizens. Mrs. Gunilla, Mr. Håkan and the other Swedes are still hopeful that they will win in court. They
tips for buying a house in Thailand:
About 10000 Swedes have houses in Thailand today and there are thousands more Scandinavians living here. Here is the Swedish embassy in Bangkok’s advice to those who want to buy property in Thailand: 1) Check with the Thai “land office” who owns the land and that there are no hidden conflicts. 2) Always take the assistance of independent legal experts. 3) Translate all documents. 4) As a foreigner, you can only rent land, or own as a partner. 51 percent of the shares must be owned by Thais. 5) Make sure you got a lease on the land on which the house rests, you register the lease for 30 years term at the land office.
Mrs. Gunilla and Mr. Håkan Kolmodin August 2013 • ScandAsia.China 17
Frikadeller By Anders Holm Nielsen
Ingredients • 1/2 pound ground veal • 1/2 pound ground pork • 1/4 cup milk, or as needed • 1/2 cup finely grated onion • 1 egg • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, or as needed • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour • 1/4 cup seltzer water • Salt and pepper to taste • 1/4 cup margarine
Are you done?
hen you have completed the above puzzles, please send your solution by fax to +66 2 943 7169 or scan and email to puzzles@ scandasia.com. We will make a lucky draw among the correct answers. Five lucky winners will receive a ScandAsia polo shirt. Name:
Deadline for submitting your solution is 15 September 2013 18 ScandAsia.China • August 2013
• Mix the veal and pork together in a bowl, and stir in the milk, onion, and egg. Mix the bread crumbs into the meat. Sprinkle in the flour, and knead well to mix. Stir in the seltzer water, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix well. The mixture should be very moist, but not dripping. • Chill the meat mixture for 15 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator, to make the meatballs easier to form. • Heat the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. • Scoop with a large spoon, and form the mixture into a slightly flattened, oval meatball about the size of a small egg. Place the meatballs into the heated skillet, and fry for about 15 minutes per side, until the meatballs are well-browned and no longer pink in the center.
August 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.China 19
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