Why We Love Living In Cities. Especially Asians

City life. Some of us love a lot of the things that come along with being in the city.

I’m one of those city-loving folk in Melbourne. Whenever I have a free day, I usually head down to the city and see what’s going on there.

Silhouettes of Melbourne as the sun goes down. Princes Bridge | Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

Silhouettes of Melbourne as the sun goes down. Princes Bridge | Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

We love living in cities because everything is literally at the tip of our fingers here. Shops and restaurants are just around the corner in Melbourne: Nike shoes to Nintendo games, Hong Kong yum cha to Spanish paella. Convenient, and variety is never dull.

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Why We Get Names Wrong

When I was born, my Malaysian parents named me Mabel (may-berl). They also gave me a Chinese name, Li Teng (lee ting, 丽 婷), which is my middle name on my Australian passport.

I’ve always went by my English name. Growing up, my parents called me Mabel at home. I introduced myself as Mabel when I went to school and still do today.

When we look in the mirror or reflect on who we are, we see imperfections in ourselves. Our name is a big part of who we are | Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections.

When we look in the mirror or reflect on who we are, we see imperfections in ourselves. Our name is a big part of who we are | Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections.

In this world made up of so many cultures, there are countless of us non-Caucasians who have Western first and last names. But there are times when some assume we go by “exotic” names if we aren’t Caucasian. If we’re dark-skinned, some might think we’re a Muhammad or Suresh. If we’re Asian, our first and last names might be Lee or Nguyen.

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The Lunar “Chinese” New Year: A New Beginning

When I was a kid, I celebrated the “Chinese New Year” in Malaysia with my family.

When we moved back to Australia seven years after living in Asia, to my confusion I learnt that the “Lunar New Year” is often used to refer to the “Chinese New Year” in Melbourne. Both phrases are used interchangeably literally everywhere here – on posters, flyers and billboards to name a few – time and time again.

Call it the Lunar or Chinese New Year, the start of the lunar calendar is a new beginning | Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Call it the Lunar or Chinese New Year, the start of the lunar calendar is a new beginning | Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Do the two phrases mean the same thing? Do people confuse the two terms?

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The Asian Obsession With Taking Photos

Photos of food. Monuments. Flowers. Sunsets. You name it.

When a good number of us see that something we don’t see too often, we pause. Whip out our camera phones. Snap a photo of it. Or two. Sometimes three or more just in case the first two turned out blurry.

When our eye fancies something, some of us rush to snap a photo of it. Photo: Mabel Kwong

When our eye fancies something, some of us rush to snap a photo of it. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Then we upload the photos to Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps Twitter. It seems the cool, in-thing to do at the moment for anyone from Gen-Y regardless of race. Right…

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The Right To An Opinion – Project O

Everyone has something to say. Everyone has an opinion. And we should respect all opinions and express all opinions respectfully because we’re all people.

Respecting the right to an opinion is the message Opinionated Man is trying to get out there through Project O, a blogging project collating responses to a series of questions on this topic throughout this month. It is a global project dedicated to exploring how various factors such as location, nationality, sex, age and cultural background have the potential to affect the formation of opinions.

Protestors sitting on the road and voicing their opinions at Swanston St/Bourke St. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Protestors sitting on the road and voicing their opinions at Swanston St/Bourke St. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Below is my submission (questions edited for brevity reasons) for Project O. It was first posted here. Check out the other submissions here – all very different from mine but well worth the read.

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