Showing posts with label Youth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Youth. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2019

Taiwan Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill Today: A Look Back at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

people holding up a large waving rainbow banner at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

Big news today out of a Taiwan:
Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.

The vote came almost two years after the island's Constitutional Court ruled that the existing law -- which said marriage was between a man and a woman -- was unconstitutional. The panel of judges gave the island's parliament two years to amend or enact new laws.

On Friday -- only a week off the two-year deadline -- lawmakers in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality. It will go into effect on May 24.
Over eight years ago, I shared some thoughts about stumbling upon the 2011 Taiwan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in Taipei:
Seeing people freely and openly march for a social cause in a land rich with Chinese culture felt surreal. Nothing like this was possible in mainland China where I had been living for over five years. The parade also brought to mind several friends who had repressed their sexuality but felt comfortable during their college years to "come out".
I then shared a personal account to demonstrate one way that decreasing LGBT discrimination would not only obviously benefit the LGBT community but heterosexuals as well. While I still agree with the main point I wanted to make, I later wished I had expressed myself much better (reading it makes me cringe now) and, perhaps more importantly, done so in a separate piece. That way a post which included a video and numerous photos could have been much more focused on the people who had marched and rallied.

So to finally rectify my mistake to a degree and to provide some more context and color for what happened today in Taiwan, without further ado I will share here the video and 16 photos I shared before plus 14 more photos I haven't previously shared of a parade eight years ago in Taipei that was part of paving the way to a long sought and significant gain in rights for many.

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

young man holding a sign and dressed up in a maid's outfit at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

people holding up a large waving rainbow banner at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

Photography on the street at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

young women hold signs that say free hug and LGBT at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

young women hold signs that say "Follow Your Heart" and "Equal Love" at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

paraders carrying signs at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

paraders at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

police policing  at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

two young men with rainbow flags at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

"LGBT Fight Back! Discrimination Get Out!" sign at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

same two young women who are dressed with minimal covering and vines at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

two young women holding hands with Chinese writing on their backs at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade
The young woman on the right has “我是夏娃” written on her back.
It translates to "I am Eve".
The other has "我爱夏娃" which translates to "I love Eve".

Android Robot mascot and people wearing shirts with two Android Robots holding hands and a rainbow flag at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

group standing behind the sign Promise Giver Christian Action Network

two young women with rainbow stripes painted on their left cheeks

man in bondage outfit at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

man dressed up in colorful women's clothing and wearing a large wig at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

stage at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally

Young men being photographed at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Night in Changsha, China

Five years ago I shared photos from Changsha, Hunan, indicating Halloween's growing popularity in China, and two years ago I shared a similar set of photos from Shaoguan in Guangdong province.

This year I was in Changsha yet again for the holiday. Later I will post more about the business/marketing side of Halloween. But first, below are some Halloween night photos from an area covering Hualongchi to Taiping Street which has several pedestrian streets and many shopping centers, restaurants, and bars. The photos range from children in costumes to people selling Halloween-related items to a dance club's spruced-up entrance. The last photo reflects that most people who were out weren't dressed up for Halloween. It didn't necessarily stop them from having a good time though.

two young women dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

two young men dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

two children dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

woman selling Halloween-related items in Changsha

young woman dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

young man dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

two young women dressed up for Halloween buying corn in Changsha

Halloween-themed entrance to the Muse dance club in Changsha

young woman dressed up for Halloween in Changsha

three children wearing Halloween masks in Changsha

disposed Halloween mask in Changsha

young men enjoying a late night meal outside in Changsha

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Lightsabers in Hong Kong

During the recent New Year's celebrations in Hong Kong I didn't notice any pro-democracy yellow umbrellas, but I did see people carrying lightsabers.

people carrying lightsabers and a Captain America shield across an intersection in Hong Kong

Since several rather different possibilities come to mind, readers are free to find any symbolism in the scene on their own. Clearly, though, Captain America was enjoying the "sweet taste of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs" that night.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another College Student's Part-time Job on a Street in Changsha

On Huangxing Middle Road in Changsha last week, I saw a college student handing out leaflets. As I passed by she paused before handing one to me. After I looked at the leaflet in her hand we both laughed. It advertised an English language school.

female college student handing out leaflets in Changsha

She reminded me of a college student I met in Changsha three years ago. Both students handed out leaflets as a part-time job but the pay has changed, increasing from 40 yuan to 50 yuan (U.S. $7.84) for four hours of work — a sign of how paper leaflets remain a common way of advertising and how labor costs have risen in China.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Complicated Romances and Bloodthirsty Pencils: Two New Chinese Movie Posters

Two of the movie posters outside a theater at the Fengdu Road Pedestrian Street in Shaoguan especially caught my eye during recent days. One, for the poses and expressions:

movie poster for Youth Never Returns (既然青春留不住) in Shaoguan, China

Youth Never Returns (既然青春留不住) premiered at the Montreal Film Festival, which provides this synopsis:
When Wang Jinhui enters university, he immediately becomes one of its most popular students, certainly to the girls. But not Zhou Hui. When he asks her to help him cheat in exams, she reports him instead. Still, she does help him study, and eventually they warm to each other. They become a couple. An unsteady couple, with ups and downs -- lovers, enemies, lovers again. And finally a breakup. Years later, having become a successful restaurant operator, Wang Jinhui learns about Zhou Hui’s ill health. He comes to help, but once again they separate. Is there one more reconciliation in the cards?
And if Wang Jinhui now becomes ill, will Zhou Hui run the restaurant in his absence? Or given how the cheating incident worked out, will she instead report him for tax evasion to help rekindle their love yet again? Indeed, more ups and downs could be in store. Youth Never Returns opens in China on October 23. If offered free tickets, popcorn, and really good beer, I will consider going.

The other movie poster caught my attention because it reminded me of the Death is Here 3 movie poster I saw last year in Zhanjiang. Yes, folks, the terrifying giant pencil is back.

movie poster for Campus Mystery (笔仙魔咒) in Shaoguan, China

In addition to gratuitous cleavage, other movie posters for Campus Mystery (笔仙魔咒) include gratuitous gore, upskirt views, and water. I haven't yet seen them displayed in Shaoguan.

For reasons I can't explain, this movie did not premier at the Montreal Film Festival, so I will not share a proper synopsis. Instead, I will share a guess about the plot:
After Wang Jinhui enters university, an evil giant pencil convinces him to cheat in exams. But Zhou Hui, his occasional lover who has an interest in tax law, discovers it isn't a number 2 pencil as required and . . .
Wait, maybe I shouldn't confuse films. Anyway, whatever the real plot, if any, presumably a really big pencil appears in the movie, which is all you can ask for. Campus Mystery opened in China last Friday, and I will consider seeing it as well, assuming similar conditions. Given my curiosity about the pencil, though, I am willing to forfeit the popcorn and beer in a plastic bag is good enough.

These two movies probably don't best represent the overall state of movie-making in China today, but they still remind me of a recent conversation I had about Chinese movies with a high school student in Zhongshan. She said she used to only enjoy foreign movies. But now she was finding more Chinese movies she enjoyed and believed they were getting much better. She is definitely not alone in her opinion

On its opening weekend in China, Campus Mystery didn't captivate as many viewers as a number of other movies and only grossed U.S. $840,000. Recent domestic success stories for the Chinese film industry, comedies Goodbye Mr. Loser and Lost in Hong Kong, fared much better though. And showing that ants can trump pencils, even in a market clearly gamed to benefit domestic films, the foreign film Ant-Men, also opening in China this past weekend, came in number one grossing over $43 million.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

More National Day in Zhongshan: War Ground, Budweiser, and Fake Sprouts

On this last day of the long holiday, light mention of three more things (other things here, here, and here) which caught my attention in Zhongshan, Guangdong, on National Day:

1. Earlier this year in Zhongshan I saw a Women's Day sale at the military-themed clothing store War Ground. So it wasn't surprising they also had a National Day sale.

I wonder whether they will have a Christmas sale.

2. I didn't see anything specifically mentioning National Day, but along with some other nearby temporary tents a Budweiser promotional tent appeared to be targeting the holiday crowds. Although it declared "Made for Music", any time I passed by I only saw Western movies offered as entertainment.

Budweiser products were available as well. Some of the people who watched the movies even drank them.

3. As seen in one of the photos in an earlier post, a new fad in China has made its way to Zhongshan. Sometimes referred to as fake sprouts, a wide range of plantlike hair pins are now available. On National Day they appeared to be selling well, as they were elsewhere in China, and I saw many younger people with fake plants sticking out of their head.

I gave it pass. I did have visions of wearing an entire bonsai tree on my head though.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Today's Interview Subject in Zhuhai: Me

the female college students, one wearing a "LOVE" hat, in Zhuhai

While I waited for a meal at a Singaporean restaurant at a mall in Zhuhai today, three college students approached and asked if they could interview me. They were all business English majors and as part of a class project needed to interview foreigners in English. Considering all of the impromptu interviews I have conducted in China myself, I figured this could be a small way to do something more in return. As I was about to agree one of them added, "Oh, and we need to video record the interview."

In similar situations in the past students had simply requested a photo, but their teacher desired more compelling evidence. After I commented the video request was rather unusual, one student shared that all of the foreigners they previously found had refused upon learning about it. I wasn't at all surprised. And the student added that if she was similarly approached while in another country, she would respond int he same way.

Still, I decided to submit myself to their questioning. But I felt inspired to add a stipulation: the one student would lend me her hat to wear during the interview. We had a deal.

After I finished my meal, the interview was recorded on a Huawei mobile phone. The questions were light and typical, such as "What's your favorite city in China?" Soon they had sufficient material and stopped recording, though the conversation continued afterwards with me now taking the opportunity to ask a few questions. It isn't an interview I would want shared with the world, especially in video form, but I will likely survive if it isn't deleted as promised. Hopefully none of it appears out of context in a surprise China Daily piece.

The students' challenges reflects a tension in China between schools seeing value in their students speaking with fluent (or more fluent) English speakers yet seemingly not valuing it enough to invest money to make it happen more regularly in environments where "natural" opportunities are few. More thoughts on this issue another day.

And yes, I really wore the hat.