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Collaboration of Tradition and Modernity: Seoul, Jongno District

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Seoul, the dynamic capital city of South Korea, has a history of more than 600 years dating back to 1394 when the Joseon dynasty rulers decided to relocate the capital here.

Originally named Hanyang, the city gradually became the nation’s center of politics, economy and culture. And with the passage of time, the Jongno district emerged as the capital’s center. Today, this bustling area of modern-day Seoul not only carries a huge historical significance but also symbolizes the center of Korean cultural tourism.

New Intangible Cultural Heritage Laws to Protect and Preserve China’s Vast and Diverse Culture

Friday, July 1st, 2011

In past decades, as instances of Chinese cultural heritage leaving its shores increased at an alarming rate, so too did the growing concern amongst academicians about this.

The Chinese government saw that it needed to act quickly and effectively to reduce or halt this trend. Hence, after prolonged reviews of existing cultural rules, new stringent guidelines have come into effect. These are applicable to on-site survey and on-site data collection by overseas surveyors. These laws, called Intangible Cultural Heritage, will come into effect from June 1st, 2011.

Students in Wales to Learn Chinese Soon

Monday, June 6th, 2011

In the past several years and in the run up to the start of the new academic year, there has been a lot of activity happening at English schools in China. Oxford and most of the leading British universities today have a presence in China, and almost one in twenty children is preparing for the Scholarship Aptitude Test (SAT) exams to enter the hallowed portals of British education in England or back home in Chinese campuses of these schools and colleges.


Qigong: The New Age Yoga?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

At the center of almost of every ancient culture are several energy building and energy equalizing exercises, or mediation-cum-exercising routines, that have evolved over several centuries.

India has its Yoga and Tai chi is very popular in China. Qigong is an older generation of sequences of body movements that are graceful but which build inner mental focus as well as balanced abdominal breathing, which creates in the person the proverbial ultimate vital energy, referred to as the Qi.

bicycle chick

Fixed Gear Bicycle: New Fashion Trend

Monday, April 4th, 2011

When subcultures adopt an iconography from other groups, sometimes they create wholly different niche markets with independent cultural significance.

Introduced by bike messengers and adopted by street hipsters and young professionals, fixed gear cycling has become a cultural and fashion trend in every major city, including New York, Paris, London, Tokyo and throughout Asia.

Chung Ju-yung

Hyundai Endures as Worldwide Brand

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The Korean economic miracle said as much about Korea’s rise from the devastation of the Korean War as it did about rising pressure for democratic reform.

In Seoul for USA Today, writing about the 1988 Olympics, I had another mission in mind, that of a book about Korea’s leading business empire, one of the “engines” of the miracle. The result was Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung, published in 1994 by M..E. Sharpe in New York and Asia2000 in Hong Kong.

asian games

What the Southeast Asian Games Did for Laos

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Laos in its successful aftermath of hosting the southeast Asian Games is on the fast track to development The government of Laos believes that the Southeast Asian Games are a magnificent point to reiterate the immense reach and power of sports. By hosting the most prestigious games of the region, Laos has finally set foot on the world map.

(3P) Solutions for Korean Peninsula

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

It hardly takes any convincing to any one who matters, that we need a Productive, Practical and Proper (3P) solution for the North Korean Nuclear Stand Off, in order to gain Peace, Progress and Prosperity (3P) on the Korean peninsula.

Mutual trust and cooperation is the core mantra of the 3P formula to solve the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.


In Korea, Music Mends Fences

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

When British soldiers arrived in war-ravaged South Korea in 1950 ready to do battle with the communists, one of the first things they noticed was a rag-tag U.S. army band struggling to keep in time.

Increasing Social Alienation in Korea

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Clinging to one another in a tight embrace, the chilling image purporting to show a 43-year-old man and his 11-year-old son moments before their untimely deaths encapsulates the tragic reality of life in modern South Korea.

The grainy CCTV grab released in mid-September showed the moments before they became the latest statistics in what has rapidly become the country’s most glaring social ill: suicide.

Chinese Supercomputer Expected to Revolutionize Calculation

Monday, November 29th, 2010

For centuries, Chinese people tabulated sums using the abacus, an invention that figured prominently in the proto-scientific aspect of their society. Now China is set to leap far into 21st century number crunching, not with fingers flicking wheels of wood along spindles -- but with a super computer. The world's speediest such unit is called the Tianhe-1A. Changsha University in Hunan Province, central China, started to construct the mainland's third National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) to house this machine on November 28 for completion at the end of 2011.

PUMA Set to Acquire Liberty China Holding in January

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Next year PUMA will gain 100 percent of its long-term Chinese joint venture Liberty China Holding Ltd.Effective 1 January 2011, PUMA will be in full control of its business activities in China and Hong Kong. The company notes that Liberty has been a Joint Venture between PUMA and Swire Resources Ltd., of which PUMA has owned 51 percent. Till date, PUMA China Ltd. and PUMA Hong Kong Ltd. have been responsible for the distribution of PUMA products in Hong Kong and Mainland China.


It's More than Asia's Biggest Slum - It's Home

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Dharavi is one of the largest slums in Asia, located in the suburbs of Mumbai, India, surrounded by Sion, Bandra, Kurla, and Kalina. Some call this place a shanty town; others see entrepreneurial business opportunities. Still, others believe that there is a hidden irony that depicts the life of people living in informal housing; a sort of perseverance, combating resilience.

Declining Shine of Mt. Paekdu Reserve

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

It is the birthplace, North Koreans are told, of their “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. It is also said to be the cradle of the reputed founder of the first Korean kingdom, Tan¬gun, almost 4,500 years ago – the son of a god and a bear. Both of those stories may be debatable – Kim’s because Russian documents suggest he was born in Sibe¬ria during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula and Tangun because it is considered a myth passed down the ages – but there is one indubitable truth about the Mt Paekdu region: it is a verifi¬able ecological treasure chest.

Culture Rules! Open Culture

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

A friend and I were strolling one holiday evening through a Park Street neighborhood, looking for a place to dine. My friend suggested Muglai cuisine.

I took notice of the parking attendant’s smile and greeting when he said “chust Urdu.” The doorkeeper opened the door and mumbled something in Urdu that sounded like a nice greeting, too. As we were about to take a seat, a couple of helpers arrive from nowhere and help us settle down.

chung ju-yung

Chung Ju-Yung - Legacy Surpasses Dreams

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

It has been nine years since the death of Chung Ju-yung, the founder and honorary chairman of the Hyundai Group, but his legacy lives on. Chung passed away in May of 2001, leaving behind one of the largest multinational conglomerates in South Korea, which continues to succeed after his passing, even after being split into many satellite companies in the 1980s. He made his name attempting to reconcile the two Koreas, developing the first Korean car, and being instrumental in developing a nondock ship making method with Hyundai Heavy Steel Company and many other greats which Korea boasts as its own today.

The story of Chung Ju-yung’s rise to prominence is remarkable, and very much related to the continued success of his company and his country at large. Chung Ju-yung was born the oldest child of six in 1915, in Tongchon, Gangwondo, during the Japanese occupation of Korea. His burning desire to do something better than what he was saw him become a successful businessman, despite a foreign occupation and a civil war during his lifetime.

Chung ran away from home to work in the big city when he was young, and had a succession of jobs as a dockworker, a deliveryman, an accountant and a mechanic, all at the objections of his farmer father. He saw several rises to success, and several falls from grace, due to occupation and war. But the man didn’t give up, and managed to turn his businesses into some of the most successful in the world.

Ticket to Hollywood

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The presence of Hollywood is not new in India. But the way these Hollywood films have done business in recent times is definitely surprising. Generally, the Indian audience is fond of stories involving a love triangle, but now tastes are changing, so in the business of these films, Hollywood has magical effects on the people. To put it simply, the business of Hollywood films is growing smoothly.


Women Friendly Seoul

Monday, February 1st, 2010

In a male-dominated society, women in South Korea complain they are treated as second-class citizens. Now Seoul’s civic leaders, both in and out of government, seem determined to do something about it – setting an example and a precedent for the rest of the country and possibly the entire region. Thus, Korea’s thriving, cosmopolitan capital is awakening to a reality that most people have long realized, but have done little to combat.


Chakraa: An Indian Success Story

Friday, January 1st, 2010

  In 1999, Prince Jacob and his wife Shanti arrived in Korea with a dream - to be the first to offer authentic Indian food in the Seoul area. They started out simply, offering a place for friends to come when they wanted home-cooked Indian food. As the customer base began to grow, the Chakraa chain was born. "As Koreans are not used to strong Indian flavors, we have to make some small changes, but we kept the food completely authentic," said Jacob.  


King Saud University: On a Mission

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
King Saud University is the premier university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is highly respected in Arab and Muslim countries, along with receiving several international recognitions. It is the oldest university in Saudi Arabia and has educated many members of the national business, political and academic elite, including the royal family. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate courses in the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and professional studies as well as generous scholarships which are available for Saudi and international students.

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