When is a landowner not a landowner? According to the law of adverse possession, squatters can claim ownership of land they have occupied without the owners' consent after a statutory period of time. Advocates say squatters' rights ensure land is used while critics argue it is a kind of theft. Whatever the case, it seems adverse possession disputes are set to increase Hong Kong continues to press ahead with urban redevelopment and the development of rural areas.
Marry First, Love Later
Arranged marriage may seem like an anomaly in a society saturated by images and stories of love, romance and dream weddings. But for many members of Hong Kong's ethnic minorities, arranged marriage is a cultural norm and an accepted fact of life. Varsity listens to their stories.
Mainstreaming Mothers’ Milk
The recent dispute over the shortage of infant formula highlighted tensions between Hong Kong and the Mainland. But it also shone a light on the territory's low breastfeeding rate. The ratio of mothers who still breastfeed their babies after six months lags behind most Asian countries and regions. As Varsity discovers, many mothers complain Hong Kong lacks a supportive environment for breastfeeding.
A Call For Speech Professionals
Speech problems and communication disorders can have a devastating impact on a child's learning, development and personality. With timely professional intervention, these problems can be significantly lessened and even overcome. But as Varsity learns, Hong Kong suffers from an acute shortage of qualified speech therapists and lacks a recognised standard professional accreditation system.
Death, Life and Everything in Between
Talking and learning about death can help us to embrace life but death is a taboo subject in Chinese culture. In Hong Kong, death education used to be associated with the elderly and the terminally ill. But this is beginning to change. Varsity talks to those who are pioneering life and death education for young people, in the hope that understanding more about death will help them appreciate life.
Hong Kong Rainbow Families
It takes more than blood ties to make a happy family. Adoption can be a fulfilling way to create a family. Here Varsity speaks with Hong Kong families that have transcended genetics and race to build loving and lasting bonds.
Safeguarding Personal Data
We live in a world of unsolicited junk calls, junk letters and junk e-mails. Often we wonder how these cold-callers and message senders managed to get our contact and other personal details. Help could be at hand in the shape of tightened regulations on handling personal data and tougher penalties for those who misuse personal information.
The Model Asian
The sight of more than 100 topless hunks waving from the upper deck of an open-top bus in Central this summer provoked caterwauls, admiration, criticism and envy. Most of the models hired by American fashion retailer Abercrombie and Fitch to promote the opening of their Hong Kong store, were recruited from overseas. But there were a few locals as well and they reported a much more muted response from customers. What does the whole episode tell us about how the East Asian male body is perceived in Hong Kong?
B&B Hong Kong Style
B&B or "bed and breakfast" is a popular choice of accommodation for travellers in many parts of the world, including Asian destinations such as Taiwan and Japan but in Hong Kong, many of them operate in a grey area due to the lack of specific regulations.
Alternative Paths to Universities
Associate Degrees were introduced in 2000 to provide more opportunities for students to pursue tertiary education if they failed to get onto a traditional undergraduate programme. They were supposed to lead to either jobs or to eventual entry into a university degree course. Varsity looks at whether they have fulfilled their promise.