About Mabel Kwong

I'm a writer and multicultural blogger from Melbourne. When I'm not writing, I'm either playing video games or out exploring with a camera in hand.

Swearing And Cursing In Chinese And Cantonese: The Profanities We Say, And Why

Swearing in Chinese culture is always a colourful affair. Some vulgar, curse words in both Chinese language and Cantonese dialect get straight to the point, while others are more subtle and rather hilarious.

When I was growing up, my parents threatened to slap my palm with a ruler if they heard me uttering a profanity in English (my first language), Chinese or Cantonese. Being the timid kid that I was, I never did. The years went by and today this is no longer true: I’m not anti-swearing and admittedly curse every now and then.

Some of us might find swearing and everything vulgar intimidating, and curse words make us feel small. Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski | Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up.

Some of us might find swearing and everything vulgar intimidating, and curse words make us feel small. Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski | Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up.

Swear words are said for certain reasons in certain situations at certain times. Quite a few of them in Chinese and Cantonese may seem confusing at first but breaking them down word by word, they translate into nothing really complicated and the meaning behind them is simple.

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Why Mental Illness Is Stigmatised in Asian Cultures: My Struggle With Anxiety

Mention metal illness in Asia and chances are you’ll get odd looks. It’s a topic usually unspoken here and within many Asian cultures, it’s a topic shunned and hushed.

I was born in Australia to stereotypical Chinese-Malaysian parents. No one in my household brought up the subject of mental health when I grew up. For a long time, I thought it couldn’t exist in the family. But earlier this year, I was diagnosed with both social anxiety and panic disorders.

Mental illness is one of life's curveballs - a time when you may feel alone and unloved | Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve.

Mental illness is one of life’s curveballs – a time when you may feel alone and unloved | Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve.

Anxiety is feeling stressed or worried on an ongoing basis. There are many forms of it, just as there are many kinds of mental illnesses – depression, anorexia, substance addiction and bipolar disorder for instance. Mental illness can affect anyone, and support towards overcoming it is all around today. But for someone from an Asian background, reaching out for that support doesn’t always come easy.

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Why Some Asians Like White Skin, And Makeup That Makes Skin Luminous

White, fair skin is skin quite a number of Asians long for and actually go after. With the help of makeup and beauty products, a fair complexion is very much achievable for any of us.

When I was younger, I considered alabaster skin – skin as pale as the typical Westerner’s fair face – the epitome of beauty and explained why in a previous blog post. Today my tune has changed: when I do my makeup, some days I go for a look that is lighter than the natural colour of my face while other days, darker.

Some of us go to great lengths to look fair-skinned | Weekly Photo Challenge: Sparse.

Some of us go to great lengths to look fair-skinned | Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare.

We all have our reasons for liking and looking a certain way. For some of us stereotypical Asians, having a light complexion is not only a marker of beauty, but also a marker of pride and status.

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What Are Some Of Australia’s Favourite Hobbies And Pastimes?

When it comes to hobbies and pastimes, Australians have quite a few of them. One way or another, there’s always something we can do to fill our leisure time in Australia.

As someone who works a 9-5 office job, I cherish my free time. Usually around mid-week, I’d plan a few things I want to do on the weekend or after work the following week.

In this world, there are so many places to see and explore in our free time | Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth.

In this world, there are so many places to see and explore in our free time | Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth.

Depending on our personalities, each of us has our own ways of enjoying our spare time and time outside of work.

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The Art Of Chinese Gift Giving Etiquette: Best And Worst Gifts

Choosing and giving someone a gift can be hard. It could be a thank you gift, something for someone at their wedding, a parting present for someone on their last day at work or a birthday gift. To some of Chinese background, some gifts might be better than others.

Next week is my birthday. About a month ago, my Chinese-Malaysian parents asked me what I want for my birthday this year. That annoyed me – I don’t celebrate my birthday and don’t like attention. But I suppose they want to, and they know I’m a fussy person.

Sometimes when it's our birthday, we get cake after dinner. Our birthday gift | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime.

Sometimes when it’s our birthday, we get cake after dinner. Our birthday gift | Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime.

There is much superstition surrounding gift giving in Chinese culture. There are gifts which some believe bring the receiver good luck, and others not as much luck.

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