Culture & People

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Great Leaps: Finding Home In A Changing ChinaGreat Leaps: Finding Home In A Changing China by Flahive, Colin Thomas

In Great Leaps, Colin Flahive explores China's rural-urban migration against the backdrop of his own transition from Colorado to southwest China. There, in Yunnan province, he partnered with three friends to open a cafe that became much more than simply an outpost of Western cuisine in a far-flung corner of the world. Over the course of a decade, Salvador's Coffee House became home to more than 50 young women from mountain villages in the surrounding countryside. Most knew nothing about coffee or Western food, but they moved to the city to work at Salvador's and earn their independence. Great Leaps follows the challenges faced by Colin, his partners and his employees as they leave their old lives behind to make a new home in a foreign land. They encounter unlikely successes, endure heartbreaks and nearly lose everything. But by taking the leap together, they all find their own places in the modern Chinese dream.

Thailand's Movie Theatres: Relics, Ruins And The Romance Of EscapeThailand's Movie Theatres: Relics, Ruins And The Romance Of Escape by Jablon, Philip

In the 1950s and 1960s, movie theatres across Thailand were important architectural statements and centres of social and cultural life. At a time when few houses had electricity, the local movie theatre was where people came together, irrespective of class or occupation. In today's era of shopping-mall multiplexes and movies streamed on personal devices, the popularity of the standalone cinema has become a thing of legend; few remember the once-familiar scenes of overflowing crowds spilling out onto the streets or frantic ticket buyers thrusting fists full of cash through small ticket windows.

M Kula: From Estate To CabinetM Kula: From Estate To Cabinet by M Kula Segaran

This is a rags to riches story of an estate boy whose determination to avert the limited prospects of people of his background led him to make good at his profession and go on to pursue a political career which led him to the top of Malaysian politics. From Estate to Cabinet is M. Kula's chronicle of his rise from an underprivileged existence to national prominence as a lawyer and politician, up to the beginning of Malaysia's 14th General Election. It's a story Malaysians will find interesting for they can easily identify with the episodes and experiences described in the book. As Lim Kit Siang says in the foreword, Kula's life is "quintessentially Malaysian" because it is a product of the Malaysian dream.

Tales Of Southeast Asia's Jazz Age: Filipinos, Indonesians And Popular Culture, 1920-1936Tales Of Southeast Asia's Jazz Age: Filipinos, Indonesians And Popular Culture, 1920-1936 by Keppy, Peter

Luis Borromeo was the Philippines's "King of Jazz," who at the height of his popularity created a Filipino answer to the Ziegfeld Follies. Miss Riboet was a world-famous Javanese opera singer who ruled the theater world. While each represented a unique corner of the entertainment world, the rise and fall of these two superstar figures tell an important story of Southeast Asia's 1920s Jazz Age. Leaning on cultural studies and the work on cosmopolitanism and modernity by Henry Jenkins and Joel Kahn, Peter Keppy examines pop culture at this time as a contradictory social phenomenon. He challenges notions of Southeast Asia's popular culture as lowbrow entertainment created by elites and commerce to manipulate the masses, arguing instead that audiences seized on this popular culture to channel emancipatory activities, to articulate social critique, and to propagate an inclusive nationalism without being radically anticolonial.

Wayang And Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television And The InternetWayang And Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television And The Internet by Mrazek, Jan

Wayang, or Javanese puppet theater, has been around for millennia. Television has been around for decades. The two formats seem like disparate pieces yet they are both intensely part of the Javanese world. They are inescapable from each other in a relationship that has been described as a "difficult marriage": intimate on the one hand, deeply alienating on the other, institutionalized yet at the same time mercurial and shifting. This book explores the ways two complex forms of media coexist and meet as well as haunt and invade each other. It looks at performance aesthetics and the technicalities of television production, as well as issues of time, space, light, place, and movement. It compares audience experiences of live and televised performances, and highlights the collaboration and struggle between performers and television producers.

Under Red Skies: The Life And Times Of A Chinese MillennialUnder Red Skies: The Life And Times Of A Chinese Millennial by Kan, Karoline

Karoline Kan was born in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square massacre: her generation has always been caught between China's authoritarian politics and its hyper-modern technology and economic boom. In her quest to understand the shifting sands of global, connected China, Karoline turns to her family, who have survived Maoism and its legacy by breaking with tradition. Navigating a society beset by poverty and often violent political unrest, the Kans swapped rural villages for crowded city streets in search of a better way of life. Now a journalist, Kan recounts gripping tales of her grandmother, who struggled to help her family through the Great Famine; of her mother, who defied the One-Child Policy by giving birth to Karoline; and of her cousin, a factory worker scraping by on less than £1 per hour. An ambitious millennial pursuing her career and personal life in a time of dizzyingly rapid social change, Kan discovers her own story's roots in the China of previous generations.

British Serial Killer In Singapore, A: A True StoryBritish Serial Killer In Singapore, A: A True Story by Tan Ooi Boon

This is the true story of a man who went on a world tour to hunt his victims with a sinister skill. Body parts murderer John Martin, who was trained in butchery, was the first serial killer to be convicted in Singapore. His modus operandi was to first bash his victims with a hammer and then cut up their bodies at the joints with a small knife. He could have gone scot-free but for underestimating the mettle of his foe - the Singapore Police Force. Also included is an epilogue where the author re-imagines how a similar case would pan out if it happens today.

Reluctant Editor: The Singapore Media As Seen Through The Eyes If A Veteran Newspaper JournalistReluctant Editor: The Singapore Media As Seen Through The Eyes If A Veteran Newspaper Journalist by Balji, P N

These are the hitherto unpublished stories about the stories that you may have read in Singapore newspapers over the years. PN Balji was an active participant in mainstream journalism, having spent nearly 40 years working in five newsrooms. He was part of a hardy generation of newspaper editors who wrestled with editorial issues and made tough decisions, sometimes against the will of Lee Kuan Yew. He also had a ringside view of his colleagues' tussles and confrontations with the government. In Reluctant Editor, Balji weaves a compelling narrative, with anecdotes, of an alternative story of how some editors of his generation managed to hold the ground when Lee was at his rogue best.

Chinese Entrepreneurship In Singapore History, Faith & CultureChinese Entrepreneurship In Singapore History, Faith & Culture by Lim, Clive

What cultural factors lie behind Chinese entrepreneurship, especially among the Singaporean Chinese community? What is the place of the Chinese work ethic in the light of biblical Christian values? Do these ideologies clash, or, what common ground do they share? This book aims to tackle these questions with a close look at Chinese history and culture, as well as the theological basis of entrepreneurship. Case studies of 12 contemporary Singaporean Chinese entrepreneurs provide hands-on perspectives of the challenges of taking the entrepreneurial plunge.

Life And Legend Of The Sultan Saladin, TheLife And Legend Of The Sultan Saladin, The by Phillips, Jonathan

An epic story of empire-building and bloody conflict, this ground-breaking biography of one of history's most venerated military and religious heroes opens a window on the Islamic and Christian worlds' complex relationship.

Fight Through Cartoons: My Story Of Harassment, Intimidation & JailFight Through Cartoons: My Story Of Harassment, Intimidation & Jail by Zunar

This book chronicles Zunar's fight through cartoons from 2009 to 2018. Peppered within the pages of this book are some of Zunar's timeless philosophies on cartooning, which have kept him going despite the odds stacked against him - arrests, court charges, banning of books, travel ban. In this book, Zunar also sheds light on the methodological approach he utilises in his cartoons to effectively deliver his messages. From the conception of a cartoon right down to inking it, Zunar bares what goes on his mind when he draws these cartoons. From being labelled controversial to becoming an award winning cartoonist, this is Zunar's fight through cartoons in his own words.

Love, Money And Obligation: Transnational Marriage In A Northeastern Thai VillageLove, Money And Obligation: Transnational Marriage In A Northeastern Thai Village by Lapanun, Patcharin

Globalization means transnational marriages and intimacies become increasingly viable options for women and men. Patcharin Lapanun explores the marriages of Thai women with farang men, and complicates conventional views about materiality and intimacy in these settings. The sentiments and life stories of women and men engaging in these transnational relationships highlight the complexities of the associations that are shape and reshaped by love, money and gender obligations on the one hand and the dynamics of socio-cultural and historical contexts on the other. Transnational marriages challenge gender relations, perceptions of sexuality, marriage and family as well as existing class divisions in rural Thai communities.

Haunted Houses And Ghostly Encounters: Ethnography And Animism In East Timor, 1860-1975Haunted Houses And Ghostly Encounters: Ethnography And Animism In East Timor, 1860-1975 by Shepherd, Christopher J.

This book presents a history of Western ethnography of animism in East Timor during the Portuguese period. It consists of ten chapters, each one a narrative of the work and experience of a particular ethnographer. Part 1 deals with colonial ethnography and Part 2 with professional anthropology. Covering a selection of seminal 19th- and 20th-century ethnographies, the author explores the relationship between spiritual beliefs, colonial administration, ethnographic interests and fieldwork experience. It is argued that the presence of outsiders precipitated a new "transformative animism" as colonial control over Portuguese Timor was consolidated. Bringing colonial and professional ethnography into the one frame of reference, it is shown that ethnographers of both types not only bore witness to these processes of transformative animism, they also exemplified them. The book presents an original synthesis of East Timor's history, culture and anthropology.

50 Shades Of Love: Unearthing Who We Are50 Shades Of Love: Unearthing Who We Are by Ong, Anthea Indira

The labyrinths of the heart are as complex as the fungal network of the soil. We begin small like the seeds. We absorb from the world around us-the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful-much like how the roots take in nutrients from its environment. We grow and spread our wings like the branches of the trees that lend themselves to the crowning glories. But sometimes we falter like the trees that fell, devastated, but not defeated. We learn to bend like the willow and face the storms like the great oak. If trees could talk, what stories would they tell? This book chronicles one woman's endeavours through the different seasons of love and celebrates the unique relationship between humans and trees.

Seah Eu Chin: His Life & TimesSeah Eu Chin: His Life & Times by Seah, Shawn

This book captures a snapshot of Seah Eu Chin's life, and the lives of his famous sons, especially Seah Liang Seah and Seah Peck Seah, interwoven with other early pioneers such as Tan Tock Seng, Whampoa, and Sir Song Ong Siang. Told against a backdrop of a declining China and a rising British Empire, the book also tells the story of the founding and rise of a small maritime settlement nominally under British rule and its agricultural industry - and the rise of the "King of Gambier and Pepper". And it tells the story of the Chinese secret societies, including episodes of rampages and widespread outbreaks of mayhem like the Anti-Catholic Riots of 1851 and the Hokkien-Teochew Riots of 1854, and how the hapless colonial authorities turned to respected Chinese leaders like Seah Eu Chin for help.

Leader & Legislator: Seah Liang SeahLeader & Legislator: Seah Liang Seah by Seah, Shawn

It was the heyday of the mighty British Empire. In the colony of Singapore, a young man from a prominent local family rose to become a successful businessman, Teochew community leader, and member of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements. Straddling both East and West, he lived an exciting life marked by public service, profit and parties. This remarkable man was leader and legislator, Seah Liang Seah. This book tells the incredible story of the man behind Liang Seah Street and Bendemeer, as well as the stories of his Straits Chinese contemporaries, such as Tan Jiak Kim, Dr Lim Boon Keng and Sir Song Ong Siang, and the larger social and economic history of Singapore in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Place For Us, APlace For Us, A by Chiu, Cassandra

Disability is neither strange nor distant. Part autobiography, part reflections of social advocate Cassandra Chiu's experiences as a person living with visual impairment, A Place For Us is the story of the first woman to be a guide dog handler in Singapore and the first Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in Southeast Asia who happens to be blind. Cassandra's story starts with her growing-up years in 1980s Singapore, chronicling how her life unfolds with the onset of Stargardt disease, which causes progressive vision loss. From pursuing an education, navigating motherhood, to building a career as a psychotherapist, Cassandra openly discusses the attitudes towards disability and her journey towards true independence with her guide dog Esme.

Tan Kim Seng: A BiographyTan Kim Seng: A Biography by Tan, Vivienne

It is remarkable that no biography of Tan Kim Seng has been published until now considering that his imprint on 19th century Singapore is so significant. Tan Kim Seng was not the typical refugee from South China. His family had already been in the Nanyang for three generations when he arrived in Singapore in the 1820s. With business ecumen and gaining trust with British merchants, he built an empire with warehouses, mansions and the largest single piece of property which stretched from the coast of Pasir Panjang to Ulu Pandan to Tanglin. The details of his will, designed to repel "the curse of the third generation", is founded on his values and beliefs. But what he did not anticipate was how his well-thought-out plans would be unravelled primarily by English Law.

When Life Throws You Curveballs: A Memoir - Finding Hope Amidst Raging StormsWhen Life Throws You Curveballs: A Memoir - Finding Hope Amidst Raging Storms by Lim May Kwun & Lynette Lim

These words from Jesus Christ are particularly pertinent especially in recent times with increasing uncertainty and insecurity around the world, and uncontrollable events affecting our daily lives. What hurts more is when these heartbreaking events hit us when we least expect them. This book documents the faith journeys of two sisters, May Kwun and Lynette and their family who encountered the pain of grief and loss successively through a spate of heartbreaking events over seven years.

Unveiling ChoiceUnveiling Choice by Lee, Maryam

"What people need to understand is that the hijab can be both liberating and oppressive, depending on the situation and context. The problem is not the hijab per se, but the social conditions that compel a woman into or out of her hijab. Muslim women, hijabi or not, in considering whether the hijab is compulsory in Islam, must agree that their common enemy is disingenuous men who insist on telling women what to wear. How could a person who was only taught that orchids are white make a meaningful choice between white orchids and orchids of other colours? How could a person who was never taught that orchids of other colours even exist, make a choice for other-coloured orchids at all?"