Ethics & Fashion Magazine — Funded by Uni of HK

EFM cover

EFM is the first magazine in Hong Kong that focuses on the topics of ethics & fashion, and sustainable fashion.

More contents will be uploaded shortly, first on the Chinese version of my blog, then here in English. Keep yourself tuned!

Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania (2)

Amish people also hang their laundry outside the door, haha! It’s quite similar to Chinese families but not American families. When Amish girls reach 16 – 18, and boys 20 – 22, they will decide whether or not they will receive sacrament. In addition to traditional Christian ceremonies, they must also vow to a series of principles, including the prohibition of premarital sex. Amish people can choose whether or to they will receive the sacrament, but once they do, they must live up to their vows. In circumstances when Amish people break the vows, they will receive punishments such as being isolated by everyone else. Do you think such punishment works?

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Amish people can also choose to live a urban life. When Amish people reach adulthood, their parents will ask about their life choice. In a survey conducted more than 10 years ago, about 2 in every 10 Amish people wish to live in the city. According to a recent survey…… guess how the situation has changed?

 

Amish girls’ and boys’ clothing. There are not many varieties in styles because Amish people believe in simplicity. Boys all wear black trousers with braces and shirts. They wear western suits with ties when they go to Church on Sunday, as to show their respect to God. Amish dressing styles resist any kind of modern element, for example, they only use bottoms but not zips, and only monochromatic clothing but never chromatic ones. All girls wear dresses with aprons, fixed by pins. It looks kind of dogmatic to me; after all, pins are not so safe especially for girls’ clothing.

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Amish people live up to the principle of simplicity even when they decorate their houses. There is only basic furniture, but no television. Fully decorated curtains show that the house owner is not married. Having no television doesn’t mean they receive no information from the outside world; everyday Amish people listen to the radio to learn about the world.

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Amish people rely on kerosene lamp rather than electricity. They invented this “mobile gas holder” to ensure safety as well as energy saving.

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They travel by carriage rather than car. I saw quite a few carriages on the road. Felt like they were living a medieval rural life.

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Night acitivity with local community. The performance was achieved by innovative representatives from every country. In the end, those of us from China sang the song “Jasmine Flower”, accompanied by a gorgeous young man playing piano. I didn’t really remember any other lyrics except the first line……Oooops

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These two aged lady and gentleman welcomed us into the community. Out of their love for God, they voluntarily received guests from around the world. They could have just stayed at home and enjoyed their life, but they chose to spend five tiring days with a group of people from diverse backgrounds, making sure everyone was safe and happy. They only wish that God’s Gospel travelled to more people!

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This guy is from Taiwan, and the girl from Mainland China. Before the performance started we invited him to join us in performance since they were such a small group, but he rejected the invitation without any hesitation. Surprisingly, he introduced himself on stage by saying “I’m from Taiwan and this girl is from Mainland China. You guys all know how complicated the situation is between us, so I’d like to invite this lady to perform with me.”

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This girl is from Saudi Arabia. She tried hard to change the general stereotype that women in Arabic world have an extremely low social status. She said that in her country, women’s life is just the same as women in any other country – they receive equal opportunity in education and career development; they can also hang out with their friends on the street and drive a car. Even the clothing aren’t so different, except that they must cover the head with a scarf.

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Fellows from Japan introduced the Japanese “Toilet Culture”. According to them, it would be a complete enjoyment to use a Japanese toilet: you will be welcomed by music as you enter the toilet, more music as you sit down, and you will be washed with warm water when you finish. Haha!

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A Pakistani man who lived in Israel. I asked him about the their relationship with Jewish people, and he said there was no problem at all living with Jewish people. Politicians and the media retorted their real relationship, maximizing the negative influence while neglecting the positive news. Although I knew that they shared a common ancestor Abraham, I only learned today that their languages, Hebrew and Arabic, are kind of closely related too.

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Egyptian girl talking about current situation in Egypt. Unfortunately my mind was wandering for a few minutes and I didn’t remember anything……

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Linguistic teacher from Russia. He read Pushkin’s poems in Russian. “I loved you one day.”

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Mountain Joy, three hours away from New York by train. A villa in that area costs around 150 – 200 grands. The price is so attractive, compared with that in China. No wonder so many Chinese people are buying estates here. My landlady bought a mobile house for only 70 grands — and it’s permanent property rights! The small town looks like a great place for vocation and retirement!

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Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania (1)

Arrived in Pennsylvania. Spent Thanksgiving here. Travelled with 40 people from over 10 different countries. In my host family lived a old lady who lived in awe of God. She spent the hardest days of her life with a strong faith in God, bringing up four kids all by herself. Life treated her with hardships, yet I saw no complaint but only joy and gratitude in her.

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Spent Thanksgiving in my host family in Pennsylvania. It was the first time I spent Thanksgiving in an American family. We had turkeys, corns, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Many Chinese people hold the traditional view that we do the best in performing our obligations to our aged parents, but from what I have seen, most Americans also take very good care of their family, even better than some Chinese people these days. It really warmed my heart when the old lady placed her head on her son’s shoulder when we were watching tv.

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Roofed bridge. Guess why they roofed the bridge?

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Amish kids. Amish people migranted from the Netherlands to the new world in early 16th century. Back then the United States of America were yet to be established. For hundreds of years, Amish people have lived as a self-contained community, resisting any type of modernization and urbanization. There is no electricity in an Amish family. They have their own educational institutions and (Christian) churches, as well as their own communities. Amish communities are agriculture based, but it doesn’t mean that they are broke. Most Amish families actually have a quite deep pocket, but they believe in living a simple life.
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Weather forecasting in Amish communities
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Shops owned by Amish people. Most of the products here are for tourists. Their own clothing are not as colorful.
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Amish people’s school. Most Amish schools are pretty small because it’s community-based. There are no more than 20 kids in total, and kids from the same grade sit in a row. A bit similar to the primary schools in Chinese countryside, where the teachers teach kids from more than one grade. The students study English, German, Literature, History and Maths. Amish schools offer education until the 8th grade, so if you wish to continue studying, you have go somewhere else. But most Amish people are satisfied with this amount of education because they find it enough for an agriculture-based community. They only pursue higher degrees if they want to be a lawyer, doctor, or what not
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But don’t think that Amish people have low standards for social behaviors just because they receive limited education. On the contrary, their educational system is quite well-established. Amish children also do better in exams than kids from other public schools. This is because of the high quality of Amish teachers, and the fact that students in higher grades keep reviewing what they have learned in previous years because they sit in the same classroom with younger students.
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New York, New York (3)

Harvard University

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I’ve seen peddlers in almost every place I’ve visited. This man in the picture (doing coffee business) makes his way around the city with his small handcart. He was a music major from Australia. I just don’t understand, why is there such a tension between peddlers and urban management staff in China?

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Boston Food Market

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Lobsters in boston. 20$. Very delicious.

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Boston city view

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New York, New York (2)

9-11 Memorial. The sorrow was temporary for an outsider, but permanent for their families. Paid my respect to the heroes.

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In many parts of NY, it’s become hard to tell whether you are in China or the U.S. All the Chinese people, Chinese languages, and Chinese lifestyles going around here……

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. The stories behind those pieces of china…

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Van Gogh’s self portrait
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More photos from Metropolitan Museum of Art
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New York, New York (1)

Started a new journey in the Big Apple! This was a show for graduate students of Fashion and Society at Parsons. Parsons is one of the best fashion institutions indeed – most of these graduates’ designs are good enough to enter the market. Their works show strong personal styles but are also very practical; they can just wear their designs to go to work/school! lol

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An interesting course at Parsons: learning how to critically coment on fashion design through the study of literature. They learn about how writers contruct the meaning of something, say, cigarrete. A cigarrete has a short life because it will be thrown away immediately after use; usually, cigarrete users also have a relatively shorter life. Meanwhile, cigarettes are companions to the smokers; they make the smokers feel warm and bring a sense of security, especially when people are alone at night. Cigarette is also a way of socializing, particularly among men. Some become friends by asking for a light. The brand of cigarette can signal certain social class.
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An excellent writer can construct numerous meanings out of a single piece of cigarette. The same goes for fashion design. Being a fashion commentator is analyze the stories behind a design in a unique and multi-demensional perspective. It is not about how the designers create it, but how the viewers understand it. An excellent design needs no words to express itself – it resonates with the audience at heart.
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American Chinese fashion designer exhibition in New York. Jason Wu, who was shot to fame after designing dresses for Michelle Obama
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Jade lai. I never heard of his name before…
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Derek Lam’s work
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Anna Sui’s sketch
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Vivienne Tam‘s work
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Peter som
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Zong toi’s work. Knitwear
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Vera Wang’s gown
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Adventures in Israel (3)

Dead Sea Scrolls was in Qunram, which became one of the most important archeological discoveries in the 20th Century! This discovery shocked the world and improved the accuracy of when the earliest Bible was stored — even before Jesus was born. The scrolls were completely in pieces when they were discovered, some were burnt into ashes, and they took tens of archeologists more than tens of years to sort out the materials — what a vast project! Even more amazingly, the Hebrew scrolls were almost the same as the version of Bible we read today. I’m sure the servants of God were almost extremely careful with their work when documenting His words.
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Synagogue in Chorazin. Chorazin has also left frequent remarks in the Bible. For example in Luke 10:13, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” Synagogue was like the church for Christians; it is where people gathered for a meeting.
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Bedouin tents in the desert. As a nomadic people, the Bedouins live by the side of camel in desert. They have an intimate relationship with the camels: the man in the picture built a new house in the city for his father, but his father just couldn’t get used to living in a room and decided to let the camels live there instead, while he returned to live in the tents built for camels.
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While we were listening to the tour guide talking about the history and culture of Bedouin, this man silently served tea and snacks for us. I wished to say thank you through eye contact but our eyes never met – he was just doing his job with his head bent. It felt like we were not in the same world; he probably felt like he had been constantly ignored by the tourists and would never receive attention from anyone. He probably felt like he was just an invisible person. How empty were his eyes. There are people in this world who just haven’t received the attention and respect that they truly deserve!
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Biblical garden, sponsored by a Finnish couple. This place is now a center of Biblical translation. In the WWII, 8 Jews came to Finland seeking help. The Finnish government first decided to provide protection, but was later threatened by the Nazi. These 8 Jews did not escape from a cruel slaughter, and the Finnish people built this garden to express their regret…
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Wailing Wall and Temple Mount. Wailing Wall is really a place where you can see people wail. The women prayers all look like they are in griet, and some are weeping silently. There are separate spaces for men and women – men on the left side while women on the right side. The crevices of the wall were filled with small pieces of paper, which were left there by prayers. I was curious about what people would write, but it would be a sin to invade others’ privacy. It was rude to God if you walked out with your back to the wall, so you must walk backward…
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Adventures in Israel (2)

A wooden boat from 1st Century (found in Galilee) and the Museum of Fishing. Back then, fisherman is a quite decent occupation, and there were actually some people who worked in the fishing industry in the first disciples of Jesus. It must be a lot courageous to make such a decision – giving up the old job, stepping out of comfort zone and just following one’s faith in Jesus. But the Fisherman Peter didi it, and he was one of the most loyal servant of Jesus.

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Port Herod, where the fishermen used to work back in the 1st century, including Peter.

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A bird view of Galilee and some restaurants nearby…

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The Court of King Hazor, built between 1300s – 1400s BC. The style was strongly influenced by Northern Canaanites — set foundation in wooden and was assisted by stones and clods. The Court was burnt to the ground by the Israelite, as recorded in the Bible Joshua 11:10-13. Many people think Bible is a book of myths and metaphors, but if you read carefully it is actually a history book. God nominated tens of writers to complete the Bible, and this book contains numerous wisdom from the history of human civilization. The writers were born into different times and backgrounds, but they wrote as if they were one person. Our Almighty God!
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The headstream of Jordan, which left its remarks for several times in the Bible. How lucid the river is!
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Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was said to have taken place here, but it is yet to be confirmed by the archeologists. Now this place has become a Catholic church, invested by Mussolini. How surprising – or was he trying to find some comfort to conceal the his guilt?
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Ancient ruins from Pan the Samaritan. The ancient Israelites used to worship the fake God for several times in history, which annoyed Jehovah. Now there are only some gravels and niches on the hill. From the fifth picture we might have a glance at the magnificent ancient architecture…
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Adventures in Israel (1)

Starting a trip to Israel. For most Chinese people, Israel is a land of mystery. I was mostly concerned with safety issues before I left for this country. My team chose to travel via EL AL Israel Airline because it was the only flight that went straight to Israel. My first reaction was, would it really be safe to travel on this airline, run by a country with great political sensitivity? My mind even wandered to the potential threat of missiles. However, my experience completely changed my opinion of the Israel Airline. Having gone through the most careful scrutinization and strict procedures before flight took off, I was convinced that they are definitely one of the safest airlines in the world!

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The Sea of Galilee! It is one of the most important places in the Bible; many events involving Jesus took place here. I was surprised to see that the “Sea” was actually more like a lake. Later I met a translator of Bible, from whom I learned that in Hebrew the place was originally named as a lake rather than sea. Translating is a great challenge, especially from Hebrew because this source language contains many words that have multiple meanings, and it is hard to find equivalents in the target language. The Christian translators around the world have taken great pains in interpreting His words, and they have been so careful not to misinterpret anything. But variation in meanings is unavoidable in translation because of the differences across cultures. So we must learn more about the Jewish language, history and culture to understand things from the Bible.
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Church of Annuciation, Nazareth, Israel. It was built in commemoration of Immaculate Conception reported by Gabriel to Maria — His Son is to be born! The earliest building here is a church built in the 1st Century, and the historical foundation of the church can still be found there. Later the church has been rebuilt for three times, and the one we see right now is from the mid-20 century. On the walls and doors are painting of the stories of Jesus. Paintings of Maria and Jesus from different churches are preciously stored there.
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Where the Jews lived in 1st century. Nazareth. In the old days, the Jews lived underground, and the whole family would sleep on the floor in the center of the room. Inside the room were food storage and livestocks, because according to the Jewish tradition, the precious things should be placed deeper inside the room. This explains why, when someone came at the door to borrow from food in the Bible, the owner would answer “my family were already in sound sleep”, meaning that it would be inconvenient to fetch the food, because he would have to walked past his family and probably disturb their sleeping.
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The Jewish churchyard built in the 1st century. Notice that outside the cemetery, the stones are round. This explains why the verb “rolled” was chosen in Bible when talking about the door of cemeteries. For example, in Mark 15:46, “And he got a linen cloth and, taking him down, put the linen cloth round him, and put him in a place for the dead which had been cut out of a rock; and a stone was rolled against the door.”
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More pictures of the Church of Annunciation, Nazareth
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Is this cross much smaller than you have imagined? At least I think so. There are many different kinds of cross, and the shapes of a cross changes the process or time of death. Most crosses are not as big as we have imagined, and the prisoners were at the eye level of passers-by so as to reinforce the power of authority. Of course, Jesus made sacrifice for us, and his blood washed off our guilt; we could enter the holy Heaven because of Him.
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Jewish lifestyle during the 1st Century. Jesus was born into a family of carpenters. Imagine the young Jesus doing carpentry for his father… Women usually took charge of some handwork. Also, sheep-farming and grape vine planting played an important role in Jewish people’s life. That is why Jesus frequently uses grape vines as part of his metaphors when he enlightens people.
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Exploring Morocco (4)

A blue garden in Marrakech, Morocco! Designed by a master in the 1920s. Blue is really the most beautiful color I’ve ever seen in my daily life, and it’s everywhere in this garden! A big collection of rare animals and plants are reserved in the garden. In the 1980s, the famous designer Yves Saint Laurent bought this garden and it was shot to fame overnight. Even Laurent’s ashes are spread here upon his death.

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Right next to the blue garden are lots of boutique. Perhaps it’s the influence of Saint Larent, there are still some good local designers. The designs are unique, and they are most suitable for those who don’t follow the mainstream but have a taste for good designs. Unfortunately, they probably don’t fit with Chinese body, because I bought two beautiful T-shirt, only to find that I’m too slim for them……

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Souvenir shop next to Saint Laurent Museum

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A glance at Marrakech

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