Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(Wedding) Gifts Registration (结婚)禮品登記

In America, people give gifts in many occasions, such as graduation, birth of a child, or a wedding.  For big occasions like wedding, many engaged couples register with department stores, listing the items they would need in their married life.  Friends and family who can choose their gifts from the list, which usually have different price levels to suit people's varied ability to pay for gifts.  Of course, people still can send gift they deemed more appropriate not included in the gift registries.

For a wedding, the gifts can be brought to the wedding or separately, usually with identifications so the bride would know whom to thank for the gifts her spouse receive - it's a custom that bride should write thank you card to the people who send the gift within reasonably time frame.


,通常包含​姓名​標識,讓新娘知道感謝誰的禮物 - 習俗是新娘應該合理的時間框架内的禮物的亲友寫感謝卡

Red Flowers / 红花 / Rote Blumen
"Red Flowers" - Oil on Canvas © Matthew Felix Sun

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buying Books and Paintings from Friends or Asking for Free

Recently I read some comments online saying that amongst Chinese people, when one has a book published, many friends and acquaintances would ask for a free copy.  The comments saying that in the West, people recognize the time and energy authors put into the work and usually would not ask for such free copy.

The comment was, though a bit sweeping, more or less on the mark.  Indeed, recalling my life in China, I remembered that many people I know who had published something usually gave free copies.  It would be insulting to ask friends to buy one of the books.

This is the same as painters, mostly in Chinese style water color on rice paper, and calligraphers.  People would make great efforts to ask accomplished painters and calligraphers to give them something.  Considering the execution time in that style is rather short - they practice hours upon hours to perfect a stoke, usually they would oblige, after some deflection.  This kind of obligation is very hard not to comply.

In order not to devalue their commercial works, usually they would state explicitly on the painting or calligraphy that the work was given to such and such exalted person and that little statement usually greatly dent the price of this work if it ever reached market.

In the US, I did give something away to great friends but not often.  My family members and friends insist on paying me for my labor.  I have attended book-signing events when my friends had books published and we  buy a copy of the book at full price and have our published friends sign the books.  Nowadays, even have a book or two published doesn't improve one's financial standing.  It's also our humble way of supporting our friends. 






Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Medical Records Protection 保护病例资料

In the much publicized Murdoch bugging scandals, one thing was perhaps quite lost to Chinese people
was the significance of the story reported by ABC News: "The Sun [one of the newspapers owned by Murdoch family] went much further when it allegedly stole Brown's family's medical records."

In the U.S., when a person takes medical leave, he or she even does not need to tell supervisor what troubles him or her, while in China, illnesses are openly discussed and commented upon and there is hardly any concern for privacy, not just amongst families and friends, colleagues are usually informed of every details of the ailments.

This is not to say that an illness is automatically concealed in the U.S.  People often choose to share certain information to let their immediate colleagues to understand their issues but usually it was expected, implicitly or explicitly, that the information should be kept confidential and it would up to the patient to choose what they want to disclose and to whom.  Medical records are very personal and private as well.

Therefore the Sun's behavior so unacceptable in the west and rather not an issue in China.


美國廣播公司新聞報導:“太陽報 [默多克家族擁有的報紙之一] 走得更遠時,涉嫌偷了布朗的家庭的醫療記錄。”




 Matthew Felix Sun's Live Drawing_7144