karen ONE

think more, on the basis of facts

Month: October, 2012

A simple life

HONG KONG_ She made the vital decision at the age of 25, Zhi Rong, a Buddhist nun had her hair cut in the tonsure ceremony, where she got her current name, meaning “wisdom” and “harmony”. Now, she is 46.

In the living room of a small Buddhist temple near Kowloon Tong, Zhi Rong, wearing a light gray robe and a pair of rimless glasses, sits down at a table. “Have some tea,” she says while smiling. A deeply tranquil presence seems to surround her.

It was not until she witnessed her fathers suffering from a serious disease did she realize the uncertain nature of life and the existence of karma.

“People’s motivation may differ, but it more or less deepens after they suffered something. In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to end the circle of repeated death and rebirth by seeking enlightenment,” she explains.

Born in Taiwan, Zhi Rong became a Buddhist nun in Hong Kong eight years ago. She got a Bachelor degree and had some different jobs before she became a nun, but not married.

For Zhi Rong, Buddhism is not passive. “We have to fulfill our commitment to our families,” she says, “I once said to my father, ’when women got married, sometimes they may not necessarily be the daughters of their fathers anymore, but I will be your daughter forever after I become a nun. ’”

She took an oath on the first day she became a nun of not breaking the 348 commandments, whose specific terms are kept confidential to outsiders. “This is because the commandments are for the purpose of self-discipline, but not for you to judge others by this system of measurements,” she says.

Among all the commandments, avoid eating meat is an obvious one. “We believe that all beings, including animals, have once been our parents in the many lives we lived, so we need to protect them,” she says, “Vegetarian diet makes you comfortable and feel at ease. It also gives you pleasant body odor.”

In this 21st century, Master Zhi rong also has a cell phone—not an iPhone 4S or a blackberry, but an old, black-and-white screen NOKIA, which costs HK$198. She didn’t learn to use the computer. “People are easily indulged in it,” says Zhi Rong.

Life is simple, but sometimes they are happier because they already learned to satisfy.


Living with or without——summary of a radio program on “This American Life”

Nubar Alexanian had been suffering from the annoying, loud tones in his head all the time for over 10 years. It is tinnitus. The first doctor that he went to said there was no cure and he had to learn to live with it. He went to several other doctors and tried almost every means through out these 10 years. But it only turned out that the first doctor was right.

Nubar was a photographer. He used to travel constantly until the tinnitus suddenly stopped his career.

Nubar said he couldn’t imagine losing his hearing. However, for his teenage daughter Abby Alexanian, living with perfect hearing was unimaginable either. Abby had a hearing loss and had to wear a hearing aid.

Coincidently, those high frequent tones which Nubar always wanted to remove from his head  were just the ones that Abby missed from her hearing loss. She just can’t hear the tones that her father hears.

After the tinnitus, Nubar was forced to slow down his life. He spent much more time at home with her daughter. “I got more of you.” “And I think that was really good for the family.” her daughter said.

A real Hong Kong behind statistics

What is the most impressive image of Hong Kong in your mind? For most people, Hong Kong may be an international metropolis with big shopping malls and various kinds of delicious Dim Sum. However, statistics would be helpful to reveal more facts of Hong Kong in depth.

1. Air-conditioners

The “no air-con night” event proposed by Green Sense can reduce, at one night, the CO2 emission by 370 tons, which equals to the amount of CO2 that 15,000 trees may absorb in a whole year.

no air-con night in Sep.2011

According to government statistics, among the total electric energy consumption, nearly 60 percent is consumed by air-conditioning during July and August of each year.

Although the government recommended temperature is 25.5 °C, many places such as cinemas, subways, and classrooms are still extremely cold. (some even under 19 °C) This forces many children, women and senior citizens to wear coats to keep warm.

check out the link for more details: http://noaircon2011.blogspot.hk

2. Non-eligible deliveries

Compared with last few months, fewer pregnant women from Mainland China rushed to the AEDs to give birth to their children.

statistics from Hospital Authority

The number of deliveries by non-eligible persons via public hospital AEDs dropped from 57 in August to 52 in September.

check out the link for more details:


3. Public Housing in Hong Kong

According to the housing statistics released by Housing Authority, about 46 percent of Hong Kong residents live in public houses funded by the government, with an average living space per person of 12.9 square meters.

residential buildings stand closely against each other

Hong Kong is no doubt a compact city with more than seven million people live in a small land. Residential buildings are usually vertical extended to make advantage of the limited space.

check out the link for more details:


4. Hong Kong People love eating outside

Hong Kong residents spend 27.5 percent of their money on food each month, among which 17.1 percent are used  for meals away from home.

Moreover, the catering industry is highly developed in Hong Kong. There are over 12,000 restaurants in Hong Kong by the end of 2010.

check out the link for more details: http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/m/o270.jsp

5. The Residential Care Services for Elders

By the end of August 2012, there are 29047 elders who are in the waiting list to move into the eldercare center.  And statistics show that the average waiting time for the elders to move in is more than 25 months, which is about 2 years.

Statistics on ‘Waiting List for Residential Care Services’ and ‘Waiting Time
for Residential Care Services’

The Hong Kong movie “A Simple Life” (Sister Peach) brought people’s attention to the living conditions of elders. But from the statistics we can conclude that moving to the eldercare center is not easy and still needs a lot of time.

check out the link for more details: