Entries from June 2007 ↓

World Demography

This morning I had the time to scan through the world demography web page which published the July 07 estimates. Whilst Mauritius birth rate is given as 15.26 per 1000 population, it is worth to note that the top score is held by Niger at 50.16 per 1000 population, i.e over three times that of our country whilst Hong Kong trails at 7.34 per 1000 population i.e.half of our rate.


The world population stands at 6,602,224,175 with a growth of 1.167%. The sex ration figures are telling.

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.064 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.024 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.781 male(s)/female
total population: 1.014 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

These are some of the some indicators that interested me.


Christians 33.03% (of which Roman Catholics 17.33%, Protestants 5.8%, Orthodox 3.42%, Anglicans 1.23%), Muslims 20.12%, Hindus 13.34%, Buddhists 5.89%, Sikhs 0.39%, Jews 0.23%, other religions 12.61%, non-religious 12.03%, atheists 2.36% (2004 est.)


Mandarin Chinese 13.69%, Spanish 5.05%, English 4.84%, Hindi 2.82%, Portuguese 2.77%, Bengali 2.68%, Russian 2.27%, Japanese 1.99%, Standard German 1.49%, Wu Chinese 1.21% (2004 est.)
note: percents are for “first language” speakers only and therefore do not add to 100%


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 82%
male: 87%
female: 77%
note: over two-thirds of the world’s 785 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Egypt); of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions, South and West Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arab states, where around one-third of the men and half of all women are illiterate (2005 est.)

Joe Rogers ?

Way back in 1997, when I attended a month long course in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, at Winter Park, I met with Jane Rogers. A very brave English lady who migrated earlier to Nova Scotia, Canada, with her family followed the same course to improve her skills. We shared a few meals together and exchanged views on raising a family.

Few months after, Jane got in touch with me and requested for some assistance for her son, Joe who just graduated from university in marketing & psychology. Joe wanted to have some international experience before starting a career. After we set up a meeting in Montreal Canada, Joe decided to take up the challenge of spending a year at Rogers & company as a management trainee at the Consumer & Retail cluster.

During his year in little Mauritius, he had the opportunity to work on different projects to hone his skills. The small and almost intimate surrounding of the Mauritian business environment yielded a large and enriching experience to him. It was possible to learn from many sectors of the business and to have a first hand experience in different fields: Fuji photoshops, white goods retailing, supermarkets, car dealership…etc..

He thereafter found no difficulty in securing a job at Leeds, in the UK in a business strategy and design consultancy firm. Today he is heading the Australian branch of an international firm renowned for having won numerous awards.

The good news is that after at absence of 7 years, Joe is back for a short surf and kite surfing holiday. Joe renewed with his friends and rekindled the friendship with the lot he left to pursuit his career.

Last week, I met him with great pleasure. He has become an international businessman braving the big names of the industry he wages in. Steadily and surely he is climbing the ladder of success. Now based in Melbourne, he has managed to double up the size of his branch in less than a year and a half and captured markets of big names of the like of Nike, Coles, Fronterra….

Joe yesterday shared his experience with a group of entrepreneurs. He focused particularly on his thinking for the “Coles Chain of supermarkets: Creating emotions to the brand. “What are you famous for?” was the take home punch line of his enriching presentation.

Thank you Joe.

Giving Creates Success

Your true feeling of success will only come from what you give to the world through your work and love. Entertainment is based on what you can get from the world.

That explains why people who don’t worry about what they’re going to get are the ones who always seem to get the good stuff. And those who come to get something wonder why they can’t obtain it. They wonder why life always feels so unfair.

The hands-off manager models, inspires and nurtures this giving approach. He or she mentors contribution. When you take your hands off people’s lives and let them give what they’ve got, you’ll be allowing them to succeed. They will look to see what’s inside them and they will look to see how they can give that to the world.

I like the idea of Giving creating Success. Most sensible humans will be glad to help you out when asked. Would you open your purse when an appeal is made to you for a noble cause? I certainly will. Steve Chandler & Duane Black in ‘The Hands-off Manager‘ drive this idea. “We can allow the results to emerge in the world outside of us if we take care of this world inside. And there’s so much less stress”

Creating Results: The Benefits of Hands-Off Management

Duane Black has seen company after company in the home-building business focus only on their percentage of profit in every final sale. That’s what they think about all day long because that’s what they think they’re in business for and how they’ll be successful.

Every one of them had their profit margins decline over the years, because all they focused on was the end result. So they found themselves in an ever more competitive environment delivering an average level of product, an average level of customer service and an average level of community and environmental involvement. But customers don’t want to pay a premium for “average.” Customers don’t get excited about “average.”

So these companies ended up not making big margins. Soon they had to do bigger volume to try to offset their mediocre product. And their volume negatively affected their quality, so the spiral went downward and it wasn’t long before they were in real trouble. That’s the tragedy of the outside focus.

Duane’s many years in the highly successful SunCor Development Company have been characterized by the company’s inside focus. SunCor decided long ago not to obsess on volume of sales. They trust that volume will occur naturally; they let volume show up when volume is appropriate.

They’re more focused each day on perfecting the inner system that will create great communities and phenomenal land planning. For example, they insist on always having really good architecture, they don’t build unless they have great locations and they always have a staff of people who love what they do and are aligned with it and therefore are naturally, effortlessly committed to doing a great job.

Duane doesn’t want his people to have an attachment to results so that not getting them will make them feel discouraged. Instead, he trusts the universe to reward the inside game. It’s a process of being who you want to be right now, instead of straining to reach a future goal.

The absence of stressful external goals and never focusing on how many houses they were going to sell to accomplish this level of success – they had the ingredients of success built in. It was an inner process they committed to, followed through on and delivered.

SunCor’s enduring desire was to build a quality product and to provide good customer service. The other goals – the goals of result, the goals of success – weren’t needed. Things occur naturally from the inner desire of who we were going to be.

We can allow the results to emerge in the world outside of us if we take care of this world inside. And there’s so much less stress. You never need be disappointed when you have a “down month” in results. Down months happen. There’s nothing wrong with them. But if your quality of work keeps evolving upward, better and better results over the long run will show up.

Innovation Value Chain

All enterprises have to innovate; more so in the fast changing world where alternatives to your products or services are plentiful, ready to replace you and the market finicky and not loyal. Morten Hansen writes about the innovation value chain. The chain starts with idea generation, but then moves to prioritising and funding ideas, to converting those ideas to products and finally to diffusing those products and business practices across the company.

His thought which is condensed in an article available on the net is worth reading. A three prong look at innovation namely: in products and services; new business models and best practices has captured my attention. Today whilst reflecting and proposing an innovation scheme to a company, I used the three prong methodology and came up with some interesting innovation areas to roll out.


Daniel Robin looks at negativism in an interesting way. A visit to his company website has given me a couple of ideas to increase positivism in an organisation.Identifying ‘negatizers’ in organisation and making use of their ideas brings positivism. Enjoy the extract I have to share with you today. A negative attitude or deed I was told could well be a positive one to have at some other time and in some other context.
One Person’s Lemon is Another’s Lemonade

Two people could approach the exact same challenge; one will swim, the other, drown.

  • The one having a tough time would filter out all the good stuff (“What good stuff?”) and pay exquisite attention to only the obstacles or difficulty. Often, this person’s reaction is more determined by their prior mood, stress, and energy levels than by the true severity of the issue. In extreme cases, the mood itself comes from habitually seeing the worst in everything – just lemons everywhere. If I pay attention to the clouds that accompany every stinking silver lining, eventually, there are only clouds.
  • The one who would swim through the adversity will have the ability to step back, define the issue, look for root cause(s), evaluate options, and take action to change it or adjust to it. Even if it’s the wrong action, any sincere attempt to resolve the situation will be better than drowning in it.
Outlook or Outbreak

Let’s make a distinction between folks who stay in the negative out of habit – a negative predisposition – and those who occasionally find something major to complain about.

If a coworker who is usually positive and upbeat goes on a momentary tirade, suddenly gets afflicted with an outbreak of “this sucks and let me tell you why,” you know it’s for a reason, and can usually be sorted out. With half an invitation to vent, out it all comes, including whose fault it is, and then magically, just like the hijacking never occurred, normal breathing resumes and the person returns to their original upright position.

But if someone has been waking up on the wrong side of their life for months (or years?), they can “poison the pond” without even noticing how it is affecting others. Indeed, when down for the count, it would be momentarily satisfying if the entire department became just as disgusted as they are. Perhaps this inspired the saying “misery deserves company.”

We’re In This Soup Together

The “negatizer” is often so unpleasant to be around that few sane people would volunteer to coach or mentor them. First instincts would be to run away screaming, give quick “fix it” advice, or tell them to seek therapy. Keeping a healthy boundary prevents their stuck-ness from spreading like a contagion. Of course, if you get hooked by or complain to a third party about this “difficult person,” yet another problem arises.

If you focus on what’s inside the “circle of influence” (and abandon what is not); it helps free up resources for rising above it.

II. Gripe to Grip

Most of the workplaces I’ve known are in a state of perpetual chaos and disrepair … they are immense and never-ending exercises in surfacing problems and (in some cases) actually solving them. By contrast, highly bureaucratic or rigid organizations simply do not allow problems (denial anyone?). However, allowing personal attacks, emotional overwhelm, or whining endlessly doesn’t help either.

There’s a balance point between chaos and order, bureaucracy and anarchy, and the key to handling problems comes from involving employees as if that negativity is stored potential for organizational improvement – as if there’s a positive intention behind even the most annoying critical comment or seemingly irrelevant complaint.

Indeed, research suggests that the human side of handling workplace negativity – skill and diplomacy with people – is even more important than the perfect business plan or strategy.

At best, skillfully dealing with negativity in others can be challenging and fun – if criticism, crankiness and complaints are shaped into a constructive forum for change. At worst, if left unstructured, such negativity can be frustrating and painful to be around.

Perhaps the goal is to complain and criticize constructively – without casting blame, without adding interpersonal friction to the catalog of work-related roadblocks – so you can get intended messages across and get breakthrough results. This column outlines a series of practical tips to get at the fun and payoff while skipping that other stuff.

Dealing with Habit Negatizers

Although people who focus on the negative to the exclusion of all else have a hard time staying employed, they do occasionally land in a workplace that happens to include you. With a reputation as a troublemaker or a complainer, they aren’t likely to be taken seriously (which, ironically, reinforces their negative predisposition). Pick a moment when they aren’t completely bent to offer these suggestions:

1. Pick the largest and most important issue, and compartmentalize the rest. Writing down all the dislikes and putting the entire list in “storage” seems to help.

2. Define the problem or issue. Perhaps this effort alone will help put things in perspective.

3. See if anyone else shares the concern. Suggest that they bounce the topic off others -preferably neutral sounding boards – before escalating or developing a proposal to management. Build constituency and avoid going to the boss solo unless the issue is personal or personnel-related. If there’s baseline support for the idea, …

4. Develop a proposal that defines the problem (with supporting evidence based more in objective fact than in opinion), and outline a goal with two or more ways to reach it.

5. Make an appointment to present and discuss the proposal and get feedback.

Encourage them to find creative ways of venting and clearing layers of frustration out of the way, first, so they don’t “poison their pond” at work. Negatizers pay a huge price for emotional seepage – far greater than they probably realize.

So, rather than griping or complaining (“You know what bugs me the most?!”), make it constructive (“With these changes, we’ll get far better results….”).

If we assume that people are already motivated to do productive work, then we need only structure the day-to-day environment and interact respectfully to unleash this vast ocean of human energy – to rise above the problems – to accomplish great things with ease.

Reflexion Dominicale

Is 49,1-6.
Écoutez-moi, îles lointaines ! Peuples éloignés, soyez attentifs ! J’étais
encore dans le sein maternel quand le Seigneur m’a appelé ; j’étais encore dans les entrailles de ma mère quand il a prononcé mon nom.
Il a fait de ma bouche une épée tranchante, il m’a protégé par l’ombre de sa main ; il a fait de moi sa flèche préférée, il m’a serré dans son

Lc 1,57-66.80.
Quand arriva le moment où Élisabeth devait enfanter, elle mit au monde un
Ses voisins et sa famille apprirent que le Seigneur lui avait prodigué sa
miséricorde, et ils se réjouissaient avec elle.
Le huitième jour, ils vinrent pour la circoncision de l’enfant. Ils
voulaient le nommer Zacharie comme son père.
Mais sa mère déclara : « Non, il s’appellera Jean. »
On lui répondit : « Personne dans ta famille ne porte ce nom-là ! »
On demandait par signes au père comment il voulait l’appeler.
Il se fit donner une tablette sur laquelle il écrivit : « Son nom est Jean.
» Et tout le monde en fut étonné.
A l’instant même, sa bouche s’ouvrit, sa langue se délia : il parlait et il
bénissait Dieu.
La crainte saisit alors les gens du voisinage, et dans toute la montagne de
Judée on racontait tous ces événements.
Tous ceux qui les apprenaient en étaient frappés et disaient : « Que sera
donc cet enfant ? » En effet, la main du Seigneur était avec lui.
L’enfant grandit et son esprit se fortifiait. Il alla vivre au désert
jusqu’au jour où il devait être manifesté à Israël.

Deja dès 300ans après la venue du Christ, St Augustin avait ecrit :

« Il faut qu’il grandisse et que moi je diminue » (Jn 3,30)

La naissance de Jean et celle de Jésus, puis leurs Passions, ont
marqué leur différence. Car Jean naît lorsque le jour commence à diminuer ; le Christ, lorsque le jour se met à croître. La diminution du jour pour l’un est le symbole de sa mort violente. Son accroissement pour l’autre, l’exaltation de la croix.
Il y a aussi un sens secret que le Seigneur révèle…par rapport à ce
mot de Jean sur Jésus Christ : « Il faut qu’il croisse et que moi je
diminue ». Toute la justice humaine…avait été consommée en Jean ; de lui la Vérité disait : « Parmi les enfants des femmes, il n’en est point surgi de plus grand que Jean Baptiste » (Mt 11,11). Nul homme, donc, n’aurait pu le dépasser ; mais il n’était qu’un homme. Or, en notre grâce chrétienne, on nous demande de ne pas nous glorifier dans l’homme, mais « si quelqu’un se glorifie, qu’il se glorifie dans le Seigneur » (2Co 10,17) : homme, en son Dieu ; serviteur, en son maître. C’est pour cette raison que Jean s’écrie : « Il faut qu’il croisse et que moi je diminue. » Bien sûr Dieu n’est ni diminué ni augmenté en soi, mais chez les hommes, au fur et à mesure que progresse la vraie ferveur, la grâce divine croît et la puissance humaine diminue, jusqu’à ce que parvienne à son achèvement la demeure de Dieu, qui
est en tous les membres du Christ, et où toute tyrannie, toute autorité, toute puissance sont mortes, et où Dieu est tout en tous (Col 3,11).

Ma réflexion ce dimanche s’est confondue avec une lecture faite dans la semaine où je réflechissais sur le mot du sanskrit « Dharma ». Quelque était le « dharma » de Jean Baptiste ? Jean Baptiste, par son voyage interieur dans le temps passé dans le désert, prit conscience de sa mission. Et après, sa vie entière ne fut que la réalisation de sa passion : Convertissez vous et préparez la voie du Seigneur. Guidé par cette mission, il vit dans une humilité sans le moindre soupçon d’orgeuil et sut endurer les conséquences de sa conviction jusqu’a sa mort.

Ai-je recheché et discerné ma mission ? Est-ce que je la vis une fois trouvée ? Suis-je prêt à endurer les conséquences de cette mission et passion ?

Professionalism in Mauritius? Myth or reality?

Ah, if only the people around us were more professional

I would wish that the Mauritian work force becomes more professional. I was horrified last Thursday at Domaine Les Pailles where I organized a conference. I experienced a total lack of professionalism. Against my calm nature; I refused to pay the bill presented to me and requested compensation for the harm suffered. I was a shameful Mauritian in the face of foreign and eminent speakers invited to talk to a bunch of selected CEOs of our country.

Our lives would be easier, our businesses would grow more effortlessly, we’d find our jobs more fulfilling…the list of dramatic benefits can go on and on. But what does it mean to be more professional? More importantly, what can we do to make sure that we, and our associates, are becoming ever more professional?

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, a professional is a person who is “worthy of the high standards of a profession.” And a profession is, “a vocation or occupation requiring advanced training… and usually involving mental rather than manual work.”

There are some key words here. Let’s focus on these: High standards. The word “standards” implies that there are discernable ways that people consistently behave that set us apart as members of our profession. And the word “high” implies that we do these things better than the average.

To consistently behave in ways that are better than the average, i.e. to achieve high standards, is not easy. In our rapidly changing, ever more complex economy, achieving high standards is not an event which we mark, rather it is a continuous process which calls on us to persistently and positively change and grow.

That’s a major challenge. And that challenge calls for us to develop one of the foundational characteristics of true professionals: We must be serious about our occupations.

In other words, we must understand that our occupations are challenging, with high expectations of discernable standards, and we must consistently want to do better – we must be dedicated to succeeding.

There are those of your associates who make light of this foundational requirement. “The job is only a job,” they may say. “A means to an end. Just do the basics in order to keep your boss off your back. Real life is lived outside the confines of your occupation.

I can certainly understand these sentiments. And if you share them, that’s fine. You’re just not a professional.

Understand that I’m not suggesting that you work excessive hours to the detriment of your family. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.

A professional understands that we work 40+ hours a week, and that we spend more time on the job than in almost any other endeavor. Our occupations, just in terms of hours, truly fill one of the biggest pieces of our lives. To be serious about our occupations doesn’t require us to invest more time. Rather, it does require us to use that time more effectively. If we’re going to live life fully, we need to be serious about that big chunk of time.

To allow it to pass us by untouched is to waste much of our lives. To coast through, oblivious to the daily challenges to become more of what we can become, is to squander rich opportunities for personal growth. To be anything less than serious about our occupations is, frankly, a shame.

If we are serious about our occupations, we’ll see ourselves acting that out in a number of ways. In other words, our underlying attitude of seriousness will show itself in the way that we behave. Consistently, over time, we’ll act in ways that show the people around us our commitment. Here are two indications of the degree to which we are serious about our occupations:

1. We’ll want to do better in everything we do.

Better than we did before. We’ll exhibit a never-ending quest to improve our performance in every variable, every project, every transaction, every relationship, and every detail. I call this the characteristic of “personal discontent.” Our personal status quo is never acceptable.

That’s not to say that we can’t celebrate and enjoy our success. We certainly should. But after we’ve congratulated ourselves for our excellent performance, we then need to take a deep breath, and recommit to doing it better next time.

In other words, a leader who is discontent. Regardless of the degree of current success, discontent in the executive office is the surest indicator of a company on the move. Passing the buck to the lap of some one else seems to be the system in Mauritius. This is in opposition with personal discontent. I am Ok he is not Ok.

It’s true for every individual and every organization at every stage of an organization. A professional executive is discontent with his organization’s performance. A professional manager is discontent with his team’s results. A professional of any kind is continually discontent with his/her performance.

At every level, in every occupation, the professionals are always striving to do it better the next time.

2. We’ll seek opportunities and relationships that will challenge us to grow.

James Allen said, “Men are often interested in improving their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves. They, therefore, remain bound.

That is decidedly not true of a professional. What is an observation of the mass of people does not apply to professionals. As a professional, we distinguish ourselves by our dedication to personal growth. It’s the natural and logical progression from the state of continuous discontent.

It’s one thing to be discontent; it’s another to do something about it. And, while it is possible to be discontent about our circumstances, a professional realizes that it is his skills, attitudes, and behaviors that shape his circumstances. So, the solution to changing your circumstances is, ultimately, to change yourself.

A professional understands this, and seeks continually for opportunities and relationships that will stimulate him to grow.

Again, this shows itself in a number of ways. Professionals take guidance and direction from their managers. Professionals work to implement the ideas and skills they gain from training programs and seminars.

Professionals are always reading something which prompts them to grow and develop. Professionals aren’t afraid to try something different, to stretch out of their comfort zones, understanding that the stretch, while it might be uncomfortable, will cause them to build additional capabilities. Professionals seek cohorts that stimulate them to think by joining small groups and internet communities.

Partly extracted & inspired from an article written by Dave Kalhe

Prominent Hakka Deng Xiao Ping

Most of us have been trained through out our tender years to think and confront opposites. “Either; Or” have been ingrained in our thinking mode. Great men of the like of Deng Xiao Ping became famous and were acclaimed for their creativity and success because they have been able to reconcile what seem to be opposites.

Communism had until the Deng Xiao Ping in the 80’s been in opposition with capitalism. Deng Xiao Ping moved and proved that China’s political policy could combine a new Communism with capitalism. In his reformed socialist model elaborated in 1987, he formulated the concept of “one country: two systems”. He very cleverly fought the ‘left wing’ of the ruling party with left trends at the same time gained the battle of the ‘right wing’ with the right trends whilst maintaining the four cardinal principles of Marxism inherited from Mao.

According to me, the success of the economic takeoff of today’s China is well rooted in Deng Xiao Ping’ genius and drive. I am proud that to note that Deng is another brother Hakka.

Deng Xiaoping had stressed all along that it is of strategic importance to bring younger people into positions of leadership and that the destiny of the Party and the state hinges on this question. He has stood firmly for abolishing permanent tenure in leading posts and has taken the lead in this connection. When new leading bodies were elected at the Party’s Thirteenth National Congress and the First Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Central Committee, he withdrew his candidacy for membership in the Central Committee and its Political Bureau, accepting only reappointment as Chairman of the Central Military Commission. However, with his high prestige and profound wisdom he will continue to play a great role in making major policy decisions of the Party and the state.

Through a lifetime of service to the people, Deng Xiaoping has earned the respect and affection of millions of his compatriots.

Raphael Touze Thank you

The story of an industry bringing in substantial revenue to Mauritius and gave an international recognition to the craft of Mauritian artisan only started less than forty years ago.Ships of Mauritius! I use to boast that may be Mauritius owns the world’s largest shipping yard of naval sailing ships. I saw the birth of this industry and followed its development and growth. The teething issues of the transport were the transport of the bulky Ship model to comply with the baggage allowance of the passenger. Air France accepted to make special concession for the transport by air at special Cargo rates.

The model boat business started in 1969 when Raphael Touze, the first French ambassador to the newly independent country, admired a model made by a friend of his chauffeur’s and ordered one for himself. The hobbyist, Jose Ramar, was so proficient at turning out these small masterpieces that Mr. Touze had the plans of the great ships of history sent to him from the Musee de la Marine in Paris, France’s leading maritime museum. Mr. Ramar recruited a few friends, and his hobby became a business.

Was it not for the idea and drive of Raphael Touze we would still be looking for some creative handicraft ideas? What have we learnt from this page of history which could be replicated?

“Flowers of the world”  by Maujean,was another idea which caught on quite well so somtime until the novelty of the idea worn off.


Reading the Hakka website, and following the definition of a Hakka by Luo XiangLin: I would qualify to be a Hakka as I satisfy all 3 criteria. Beyond the criteria I was born in a Hakka homeland.


The Hakka people are quite an interesting group among ethnic Chinese. As a branch of the Han Chinese, the Hakka is believed to be different from the neighbouring people. Most people follow the conclusions of Luo Xianglin, who claimed that the Hakka is the “noble pure blood Han from the Central Plain”, and have been migrating to the South since the third Century in five waves. Because they are late comers, they are named Hakka. Because they retain the most precious culture of the Chinese, they have a sense of superiority and refused to be assimilated. Instead they identify themselves as Hakka and keep their own language and culture even after centuries of migration.

Luo Xianglin had listed three criteria for Hakka:

(1) one’s ancestors lived in the Hakka homeland),
(2) identifies himself to be Hakka,
(3) able to speak the Hakka dialect.




 It is worthy to note that the great majority of Chinese in Mauritius are Hakka. My family whose last dwelling in China was in Mei Xian according to our records had migrated to MeiXian some 600 years ago. We would have formed part of the third wave of migration from central plain China to the South.

I recommend you to read about the Hakka people who have their own customs & characteristics forged by their own history. The story of the Hakka woman is another interesting and telling event in the whole history of China which depicts the determination for survival of the people.

Another Quote from the preface of the book: The origin of Hakka People

I have been asked many times, “Why are you interested in Hakka? It is a dying language, and a disappearing culture.” My answer may be quite surprising to many, including Hakka. My interest started from the curiosity to find out about my own roots. It grew into the exploration of how cultures are preserved and how they interact with others.

The study of Hakka is a study of conservation and survival of an ancient heritage under constant impact of others, which is something all cultures are facing in today’s world. Some paraphrase Hakkas as Jews of Chinese. I think a more appropriate paraphrase may be dandelion. A little flower, tough enough to survive the harshest environment, travels to all corners of the world, plants its roots in the poorest soils and blooms with yellow flowers. It has a lot of useful culinary and medicinal applications yet few people know about them. There are many varieties, tall and short, large and small. They adapt to the surrounding, but still remain well recognizable as dandelion.

 I am proud to be a Hakka.