Tag Archives: Australia

Q&A: Cosmetic Surgery in Shanghai

On any given day in Shanghai it’s not unusual to see and hear people originating from all corners of the globe. With such a mash-up of different cultures, languages, races, and influence I’ve been curious to know what the ideals of beauty are here. I mean, other than ginger folks who quite obviously sit at the epitome of cross-cultural envy.

Dr Sheena BurnellDo Chinese women want to look more western? Do western women want to look more like Chinese women? And what about the guys? We know both local and foreign men spend too much time on their hair but what sort of physical enhancements do they seek? And is it really true that in these economic times cosmetic surgery is being used to land jobs?

Well to help answer those questions and more I asked Shanghai East Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic’s Director of Clinical Liaison, Dr Sheena Burnell, an Australian trained Doctor and ex-pat in Shanghai. As a professional with experience in both Australia and China Dr Burnell brings an insightful look into the world of cross-cultural beauty, cosmetic surgery in Shanghai, and the people who seek cosmetic enhancements.
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Should China eat Kangaroo?

While the world press fixates itself on the future of China in the world economy there’s been a bit of a stir back home that’s hit the front page news: China eating our Kangaroos.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: poor old skippy, one minute he’s jumping around the countryside, having a great time reproducing at a rate that the environment can’t sustain, and the next minute he’s $4.95/kg in the supermarket.

Well this storm in a teacup started when Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, recently visited China to encourage locals to nibble on some Kangaroo. Australia has been exporting Kangaroo meat and products since the 1950s to places like France and Germany – who seem to love the taste – why not China? In fact, the back of the roo currently contributes around 200 million Aussie dollars to the economy.

The promotion caused offense to Australia’s Animal Liberation, a left wing group which exposes animal cruelty, like eating kangaroos. So much so that Mark Pearson, the executive director of Animal Liberation, is to visit China and give them a report which backs his arguments that kangaroos shouldn’t be eaten.

Who Pearson is going to give the report to in Beijing or who will actually care is unclear. Mr Pearson claims the report, called “A Shot in the Dark”, written by kangaroo ecologist Dror Ben-Ami, deals not only with animal welfare but hygiene and sustainability issues with harvesting kangaroos. No doubt Pearson will play the fear factor to whoever listens to him in China – what if, be careful, wild game, and so on.

Personally, I find kangaroo delicious – a bit gamey – but quite tender. I recently bought some kangaroo jerky back to China and gave it to our Ayi. She thought it was ‘hao chi’ (good food).

My tastes aside kangaroo meat is low in fat, high in protein, and quite healthy. Even those hippies from Greenpeace endorse eating kangaroo. The group recently released a report which claims Aussies can dramatically reduce their carbon footprint by eating less beef and more of the local wildlife.

It seems kangaroos, well, fart less which causes less greenhouse emissions. They also do less damage to the topsoil, require less food, and are better suited to Australia’s drought-prone outback. And while kangaroos are rather cute there are simply too many of them in certain areas for the local wildlife and bush to sustain their numbers.

On the food streets in Shanghai and the wet markets its easy to see that almost anything goes. I say, why not a kanga banga on the barbie?

A Moment to Pause


I’d like to take a moment to pause from my random rants and pass on an important message to readers about a tragedy which has devastated my partner’s family. 3 weeks ago my partner’s niece passed away from whooping cough in Australia.

Australia, like many other western countries, is seeing a comeback of preventable diseases because of poor immunisation rates amongst children and adults. According to the medical experts whooping cough is hitting epidemic levels in parts of Australia. Other diseases such as measles are also making a comeback.

This is a heavy story but if you’re a parent, around young children, or just not aware of why you should have vaccination shots then I recommend reading the open letter from the parents of Dana Elizabeth McCaffery – a 4-week old baby that never stood a chance.

It shouldn’t matter where you live – China, Australia, Europe, US – with the rapid movement of people due to modern travel its important for everyone to vigilant.

For more information please visit the site – http://danamccaffery.com/.

Will China vote Ying or Yi for the “Best Job in the World”?

Meet Yao Yi, a 30-something year old from Guangdong, and Yu Ying, a media professional and documentary maker from Beijing. They’re the lucky Chinese candidates shortlisted from over 34,000 YouTube video entries submitted from all over the globe for the ‘best job in the world’ – Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

And now its in the hands of the world’s biggest Web population to vote one of them to join the Wonka tour interview in person for the job on Australia’s Hamilton Island.

The worldwide marketing campaign set up by Queensland Tourism, a group set up to promote tourism in Australia’s north-east state, was initiated to find a suitable caretaker and spokesperson for the world heritage marine park. Responsibilities will include; Exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef to discover what the area has to offer; report back via weekly blogs, photo diary, and video updates; Feed the fish; Clean the pool; Collect the mail via the aerial postal service. Sounds tough, right?

To be in the running job applicants had to create a YouTube video on why they should have ‘The Best Job in the World’. The carrot set the Internet abuzz via various online social networks and even coverage on TV, radio, and print around the world.

Within the last week the top 50 shortlisted applicants representing over 22 countries, including Ying and Yi from China, have been announced. Queensland Tourism will choose the top 10 applicants based on their own judgement but the final wildcard position will be decided by Internet voters around the world. The successful top 11 will be flown to the Great Barrier Reef for the last round of face-to-face interviews to determine who gets the final job. Oh, and for their trouble, the winner will get a salary of $150,000 Australian dollars – a lot of $USD money until a few months ago.

At the time of writing, Yi and Ying were a long way from the lead and sitting in 13th and 14 respectively. Clare from Taiwan is out in front with a country mile lead of votes. The question is, can China’s netizens – the biggest Web population in the world – rally behind Yi and Ying and get one of them to the top?

To vote visit the Web site http://www.islandreefjob.com. Voting closes March 24. The site is in a variety of languages, including simplified Chinese. Two thumbs up to Tourism Queensland for an interesting – and so far successful – online campaign to promote Australian tourism.

Here are the video applications:

Yao Yihttp://chinadiver.blogspot.com/

Yu Ying

What does Australia mean in Chinese?

One of the first things I learnt in Chinese class a while back was “Wo shi Ao Da li ya ren” – meaning “I am Australian”. It’s a good ice breaker when speaking to locals because many assume you are American or European. It usually follows a similar conversation you’d have in parts of America about Australia – “Yes, back home I ride a kangaroo to work”, “Yes, Koalas are vicious animals who lurch on unsuspecting children”, “Yes, a Platypus is what happens when a duck has sex with a beaver” (yes, somebody really asked me that in Wyoming).

Suffice to say people overall seem to like Australians even though they are “fat” and “drunks”. Guilty as charged.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. When Chinese assign a name to some countries (not all) I hear they find words in Chinese that sound like the syllables of the name and somewhat reflect the image of that country. They then use the characters which stand for those syllables. As I’ve said, Australia is “ao da li ya”. If the translation is right this means: harbour, big, advantage, Asia.

Australia in Chinese

Victorian bushfire appeal in Shanghai

In the last week bushfires (forest fires for the yanks) have ripped through the state of Victoria in Australia. It’s been the worst natural disaster the country has faces in over 100 years and so far has claimed the lives of more than 180 people with many more injured.

The fires have destroyed over a 1,000 homes leaving many homeless or seeking refuge. Many towns have been completely destroyed. The fire has had a devastating impact on the environment with over 1 million animals estimated to be dead and millions of hectares of bush wiped out. While a financial sum can’t bring back what has been destroyed the bill for rebuilding is going to run into the billions.

So, if you’re in Shanghai and would like to donate (and drink) AustCham Shanghai together with sponsors Just Beer, Kakadu, and Elders are donating all proceeds from beer and raffle ticket sales at Aussie Drinks this Friday to the Australian Red Cross bushfire efforts.

Entry is only 30RMB for non-members and Australian beers will cost between 20-30RMB, and Australian wine between 35-45RMB. With those bargain basement prices for imported drinks I don’t think many could afford not to help out.

The raffle will cost only 10RMB with the following prizes up for grabs:
* Voucher for 2000RMB to redeem on a pair of ECCO shoes
* 4 cases of VB home delivered, valued at 1008RMB sponsored by Just Beer
* Dinner for 6 at the Kommune Great “Ozzie BBQ” on Wednesdays, valued at 888RMB
* 400RMB voucher for home delievery plus a bottle of Hugh Hamilton “The Rascal” Shiraz valued at 298 RMB per bottle, Sponsored by Elders.
* Donut King Party voucher valued at 680RMB sponsored by Donut King
* Box of 25 gourmet meat pies valued at 600RMB sponsored by Allied Pickfords
* Travel package for two people to Zhou Zhuang valued at 600RMB sponsored by Sunrise Travel
* 600RMB travel voucher to be redeemed on flights, tours etc. sponsored by Classic Travel

What: AustCham Friday Drinks (Bushfire appeal)
When: Friday 13th February 2009
Where: Kakadu, No. 8 Jianguo Zhong Lu nr Chongqing Lu
Address in Chinese:
建国中路8号卡卡图澳大利亚餐厅, 近重庆南路 (往重庆路开到底在建国路口下车)

For more information visit the Austcham Shanghai Website.