Street Food Red

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I took these photos a couple of weeks ago, right in the middle of Hong Kong. Apart from bits of red, they all have something in common. Can you find what it?

On Tuesdays, just post any photo you like (it must be one of your own) that contains the color RED and then link to this blog.

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This lovely new badge was created by Leora from Here in HP.

Hygiene in HK

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Since the SARS outbreak in South China in 2002-2003, HK residents have become more aware in terms of personal and public hygiene.

The elevators all have a layer saran wrap over the buttons that gets changed out or cleaned several times a day. Similarly handles and handrails are regularly disinfected.

Before you enter a building or a block of flats, you will walk on a bleached rug so that your soles are freed of germs.

Most stores and public toilets have hand sanitizer dispensers. Regarding the latter they are much cleaner than the average lavatories in France. Besides there is always a cleaning lady on the premises who regularly mops and cleanses. Finally if you are dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the place there is the phone number of a person you can contact.

Do you find that people are as careful in your country?

Kosher Products in HK

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If you eat kosher, self-catering in HK is not impossible but it is not easy either. If you google “kosher products” and “hong kong” you will find a few addresses which you might find useful.

On the main island, you have basically two kosher stores:the JCC Koshermart (at the Jewish Community Centre) and Shalom Grocery.

The JCC Koshermart is stocked with imported kosher groceries, deli, meat and poultry products. Apparently it also offers freshly prepared dishes for Jewish Festivals as well as freshly baked breads and bakery products.

Shalom Grocery is located in Central, 61 Connaught Road, and holds a variety of Mehadrin Kosher products from Israel and the U.S.A.

However those of you who are familiar with kosher shops must keep in mind that these two stores are quite small and only offer a limited number of products such as canned food, snacks, buiscuits, some breads, wine and grape juice, a few dairy products and some frozen meat and fish.

Chabad of Hong Kong also mentions that “there is a wide variety of kosher products available in the Hong Kong Supermarkets.” I’d nuance this and say that there are some kosher products in some Hong Kong Supermarkets; most are products from the USA and Canada and bear printed hasgachot.

Thus you will find some kosher products at:
– Olivers in Princes Building
– Wellcome Supermarkets
– “Great” Supermarket, beneath Seibu Pacific Place which has a kosher section (products from Israel

While Oliver’s and Wellcomes certainly sell kosher products, don’t expect to find lot o f things there. I am not sure about the kosher range at Great’s but it can’t be very big since I didn’t see it when I went there. I did find a few kosher products scattered here and there around the shop though.
I’d suggest that if you see items you fancy, it is a good idea to buy them you might not find them as not all stores hold the same food.

Chinese New Year for Beginners

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– Chinese New Year is also called “Lunar New Year” because it is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar.

– It is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Han Chinese populations such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. (Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of mainland China.)

– The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the dinner every family will have. A dish consisting of fish is usually served but not eaten completely, as the Chinese phrase “may there be surpluses every year” sounds the same as “may there be fish every year.”

– Floral decorations are popular for the New Year and are available at new year markets. Thus malls and appartment buildings are richly decorated.

– The most common greeting in Cantonese (the language of Hong Kong)is Kung Hei Fat Choi which loosely means “Congratulations and be prosperous”.

– Traditionally, Red envelopes are distributed during the Chinese New Year’s celebrations. They usually contain money. The traditional custom is for elders to give to younger people. Here people exchange envelopes at work and also give some to the people who work for them. Even if you are not Chinese you are expected to give envelopes to the people around you.