In the beginning, after all of us had been accepted into the Leadership Global Perspective of the DMin program at George Fox Evangelical Seminary and before settling in with our assignments, we were getting our shots and passport ready for our first Leadership Global Perspective, Advance 2015 in Hong Kong. The excitement was stirring in the air, and I was eager to meet everyone face to face. The day finally arrived, it was Sunday September 20th, 2015. I arrived at the Chicago O’Hare International airport three hours earlier , just to be told the flight was delayed for two hours, which turn out to be one delay, after another… there is more to the delayed story. It was to be 15.5 hours flying time; but it turned out to be 36.5 hours including airport and flying time … hanging out, around United Airline, waiting for Flight # 895, to leave Chicago for Hong Kong.
Finally on the plane and now we are flying…Yes! Introduction:
The question in my mind was who can or where can one find information about the city of Hong Kong while traveling, I thought perhaps, one can get a true picture of a city, from the tourist guide? This is how the guide described Hong Kong, as “A city of contradictions, Hong Kong’s steel and glass exteriors belie its traditional heart. Fast-paced, innovative, and ambitious, this is also a city where Buddha has his own mountain, noodles are slurped in alleyways, and Cantonese opera is sung on the streets. Here, Shama offers residents a choice of serviced apartments in the city’s most happening neighbourhoods: hip Hollywood Road, exciting Central, thrilling Tsim Sha Tsui, and convenient Fortress Hill. Each offers an enviable location, supreme style, and all the comforts of home”. It sounded great and I thought I was in for a treat.
Yes I was expecting just that, but my own observation shows another picture with different colors, this was my first experience in HK. As I departed the airport, jumping into the taxis as my choice of transportation, it was around 11:30 pm reaching the hotel., but to my surprise Hong Kong taxis, came in 3 colors, the red taxis have the highest fares among all, and serve all areas of New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, how, unfortunately that was the area in which my hotel was located. I learned that the green taxis was the second most expensive, serve only parts of the New Territories, including Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Pak Tam Chung, Tai Po, West of Ting Kau and North of Chuen Lung, except Lantau Island, and lastly Lantau taxi was the blue taxis run exclusively on southern Lantau Island, Tung Chung, the Airport and Disneyland, thus they are restricted to a small area. They are not quite as ubiquitous: there are only around 50 of them. So I rode in a red cab and arrived at the hotel safe and the driver assisted me with my luggage.
Color Me Hong Kong:
I choose to call my story “Color me Hong Kong”;because of my first experience and later learned that Chinese culture is the big daddy of cultural symbolism, the hidden meanings behind colors, especially in connection to effective marketing and communications in China. The highly resonant symbolic memes run so old and deep so… there is a “Symbolism of Colors”, “Associations of The Five Elements in Chinese Beliefs and Feng Shui”.
There you have it! HK Lights… “Color Me Hong Kong”
wednesday September 23rd 2015 Program: “Orientation cohort LGP6
We, the twelve’s cohortLGP6, met with our mentor, advisers and each other face to face for the first time. an introductory took place and we did a little small talk. I learnt a lot regarding the culture of Chinese society and took some notes as well. In the meeting, I learnt about communication in a forum context. I practiced the various communication theories, that have written about in some of my blogs. Then it was time for the twelve of us to split into our personal groups of four or more to meet our advisers.
First things first… meeting mentor, advisers
The Four of us with our adviser…”FACE TO FACE”:
I’d almost forgotten how important real conversations, in real time, in real rooms, could be. That day I was reminded again that there is nothing like a face-to-face meeting. I’m a huge fan of social media. We are learning on it, I write about it; our media site is for the Leadership and Global Perspectives LGP6 Cohort at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. It consist of a group of twelve cohorts, and within that group, we are a group of four, who are bonded together to builds our strategies together to reaching our goal. After spending just few hours with my cohort group, I had a significantly deeper sense of who they were, how they operated and their personalities. All of which will help make me more productive in working with them in the future.
Our reading assignment was bringing the some of the part together for us, to see the whole picture by the end of the semester.The first reading assignment, I called it “Word by Word”then we read doing“Visual Ethnography”, which gave us the visual picture of what we write and how we see things, but it has layers, I called it the “Real World”.
Next was a Guide to Critical Thinking, which I called it, Student’s Supplement Guide (SSG) for us to carry with us on the DMin journey. Now we are in” Hong Kong, at Advance 2015. At this Point, we have been given three Reading Assignment, which gave us three focus…“What you read, what see and how you think”. We had read about our HK Advance; but we are here and it is real. This is the real World, our real assignment, we are getting the real picture, but it has many layers of real work that lie ahead for us. We are at a real Place…Hong Kong; therefore we need to do some Critical Thinking about our mission and the undertaking of our DMin journey.
Two Days Later … the Gang were there …Cohort LGP4, LGP5:
They told us that Cohort LGP4 was the lively group. What do you think?
The Impact of the DMin Program:
The program made me appreciate people of different cultural background. I learnt that colors in Hong Kong and China in general meant a lot. Adapting to a new society calls for understanding of the general community and accepting the people living there. I enjoyed my stay with Chinese right from the time I landed at the airport. The taxi man was a cool guy with nothing much to say. He meant business and giving his clients the best, it seemed to be his aim. He assisted me carry my luggage to the hotel. That was quite courteous and welcoming. Chinese are great people. I looked at the positive side of everything, therefore it was easier for me to interacted with their culture and my stay in Hong Kong was great!
Meeting in the Lobby
Field Trip: Hong Kong Lutheran Social Services :
There were several scheduled field trips, including the Lutheran Center for the Elderly, which Assist senior to remain in the community and to live a healthy and well respected live style. They are also providing daycare facility serving the children of Hong Kong. One of the places of interest to me was St. Stephen’s Society Hong Kong; we were graced with many positive words of encouragement in being servant-hood leaders, by Jackie Pullinger, who is currently house 200-300 men and women, facing all kinds of addiction problems? They live in houses around Hong Kong where they are healed, restored and prepared to go out and share the love of Jesus…
The Impact of the population :
China is among the populous nations in the world. The population of China is 1.36 billion and is mainly centered in the Chinese cities, Hong Kong being one of them. The large population makes business a rewarding opportunity in China. There is always a stable market for all types of products in China. Besides this, the large population encourages unity and community in doing some projects. The picture below (eating at round table) is a symbol of unity among the Chinese people.
I spent some time interviewing local businessmen about the pros and cons concerning the local markets. Some of the challenges faced by the local businessmen are the increased local products in the Chinese market. The other challenge is strict competition from many local firms. The advantage of the local firm is that most of these firms is that most tourists prefer their products because most of the products are natural.Hong Kong’s Fading Tailoring Industry
One of the shop owner told me that “Hong Kong’s tailoring industry has been declining for years, by the digital age; and many of owners of tailor shops have watched their businesses dry up” so they are eager for visitors buyers. They get it. They know fashion. They know what looks good on you. And they’re not afraid to take a chance on something either. These Tailors are fantastic, who are super talented, professional, and best of all–down-to-earth friendly people. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting a suit made there or getting pants hemmed, they treat you right. You can get customized suits and shirts made by the popular tailor, made in two days at great prices. Well, I was told by my friend, “Don’t come back to the states without having a custom made silk suit from Hong Kong.” What do you think I did?
The local Chinese market is full of various products. Most of these products are used locally by the people living around Looking keenly, they adopted some elements of the Western culture in their shops, and this gave their products some kinds of global appeal. Hong Kong is a treasure trove for anyone who would like to shop. In China, travel agencies have contracts with local markets such that when tourists shop, they get part of the money. This way, the market is improved and services are efficiently offered. Some of the local markets have Chinese handicrafts from different parts of the country. Walking through the shop gives nothing but a perfect authentic feeling. Culture is very important in China and the shops selling handicrafts are highly valued. The shop gives newcomers to the country feeling of belonging ,to a different society. The Chinese are not left behind in fashions. As evidenced in the picture below, there are different kinds of fashions. We can note the colors, the nature of the products, and the writings. As we know, Chinese have their language which is quite different from English. It was a surprise to me to see the writings in English “Tokyo Style Plaza.”
The high fashion shops
Trust is the Glue that holds, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Leadership Global Perspective, DMin Program together.
Reflection on Leadership:
Hong Kong was the perfect Place chosen for our first Advance 2015; which captivity the Global Perspectives, and the leaders ensure that the environment was one that encourages everyone to work to the best of their abilities. This process started us building relationships, a primary function of those serving in a leadership role. Life is about relationships, and success in the workplace or ministry is intricately tied to the personal connections that are built and maintained. Self-help author Brian Tracy said, “The glue that holds all relationships together—including the relationship between the leader and the led—is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” Establishing trust is the most basic requirement of any relationship. Without it, all else falters. I admired and take my hat off to salute our servant-hood leadership, their spirit of humanity, and how they served us well in HK ,therefore they set a high standard for the Leadership Global Perspective, DMin program at George Fox Evangelical Seminary Advance 2015, the bar was raised. There is no other program quite like it!
I am proud to be in the DMin program .
Relating my visit to Hong Kong to the “contemporary social theory”, I learnt a lot regarding the theory and its practicality. At some points in life, we tend to believe or imagine that we are much better than other people and thus we make the best decisions. Before travelling to Hong Kong, I knew very little regarding Chinese culture. I had imagined that Chinese can be very friendly and hardworking. The taxi driver and his courtesy made me, be surprised. As Anthony Eliot puts it, what constitutes the contemporary social theory is the relationship between individuals and society or the impacts of our decisions and actions on the social structure of the society. Eating on a roundtable, going to stalls, and meeting friendly sellers and other shoppers made me change my attitude and beliefs about China. China is a great society but what we, the West think sometimes is not right. We need to travel and know people, by where they come from and how they behave before making judgments.
The values that dominate the society define the nature of that society. China is dominated with kindness and love for each other and visitors. I also had a belief that Chinese prefer purely strange dishes. This was not the case. Chinese are liberal. Fish is one of the most common foods they eat. The photo on the left is an example of a Chinese cutting and preparing fish for cooking.
I also learnt something about leadership theory in Hong Kong. The other reading asks “What is leadership Theory?” The leadership theory enables us understand what is required of leaders. Leadership is all about being a servant rather than a rule. It is all about accepting other people’s behaviors and improving their abilities. It is all about motivating others. Our adviser, Dr. Simmons was an embodiment of good leadership during our stay in Hong Kong. She shared a lot regarding
Chinese culture and how to live in a differ culture, yet respect that culture. It may have looked a little simple and obvious introduction but it was a sign of great leadership since it was meant to make our lives better in Hong Kong. In addition to this, the Chinese I interacted with always showed kindness to help us understand their culture, during our stay in their city.
The “history of the media” was my last reading. It involved understanding the transformation that the media has gone through. It elaborated the manner in which audio-visual media became popular and face-to-face communication seriously affected. It explained the impacts of technology such as mobile phones on communication and media. While in Hong Kong, I learnt that Chinese people being some of the most entrepreneurial in the world appreciated technology a lot. This is evidenced from the type of products they sell as well as the manner in which they are displayed at the stalls. Another notable observation is that the large population in China makes face-to-face communication much easier sometimes compared to other types of communication. Visual communication is also common. As I call my story “Color me Hong Kong”, color in China has a lot of meaning. Different colors communicate different messages to the people. As illustrated above, in China, taxi colors define the fare prices. That makes everything easier for travelers when choosing the type of taxi for a given location.
Hong Kong Experience:
It was a great experience; but it caused me to looked back over the events of my life, and wonder, how could a girl born in rural Magnolia, Pike County, Mississippi, and later move to the small town of McComb, Mississippi, with such humble beginnings and upbringing, and have such vast experience, end up in doctoral program. On my flight home, thoughts of my early educational training which was done under circumstances that today would be considered deplorable. Despite the odds, learning took place. Boys and girls were inspired to look beyond themselves and their circumstance and dared to say, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” Here I am today, late in life, a student at GFU. God has been merciful to me. Let my words make a joyful sound, I am thankful, grateful to God for his favor on my life .Just my thoughts
This is us Folks!
On the City of New Orleans, going home.
The Midnight Train “
Color me Hong Kong”
But the real value of the DMin program is working together in the spirit of Excellent The END