INTERNeX Canada: How were your holidays?

Happy 2013 everyone! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

It’s a new year, meaning new resolutions and new goals, but before we get to that, let me tell you about my trip to Hong Kong for the past two weeks.

It’s a completely different world with so many people everywhere all the time and skyscrapers everywhere! I love that I can simply walk downstairs from my apartment and have 50 different restaurants and 5 different malls at my fingertips. That’s pretty much all I did for two weeks was eat, eat and eat. I got to try different foods like dim sum, snails, different kinds of seafood and buffets!

I also got the chance to reconnect with my family and spend the holidays with them. My mom’s side of the family is huge so it was really great to catch up with them once again. I got to do things that I normally wouldn’t have such as celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday with a huge party for her and counting down New Years Eve at my cousin’s barbecue!

Though Hong Kong is my original home, I still got to become a tourist and visit some of the most popular attractions. My favourite places are The Peak or Victoria Harbour where the view of the skyline is just incredible. It’s something that everyone must see and kind of makes Vancouver look like a village.

I also got the chance to visit the big Buddha where you have to take a cable car to reach and a place that never fails to make me happy: Disneyland!

The last two weeks was a good getaway from all the stress and rain, but sometimes it was just too crazy and I did miss Vancouver a lot. If I could only merge the two cities together, it would be perfect!

How were your holidays? Did you go home to spend it with your family or stay in Vancouver?

Cheers,

Queenie

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

 

 

 

INTERNeX Canada: International Vancouver- Chinese Community!

Vancouver is one of the most international city in the world with 52% of the population not having English as their first language! Last week we told you about the Indian community and the celebration of the Diwali festival, today let’s learn about the Chinese community in Vancouver!

The Chinese Canadian population makes up 18.2% of 2.5 million people in Vancouver and are the largest visibly minority group. Though, the term “Chinese” represents a mix of the dialects used by different Chinese communities such as Cantonese or Mandarin.

The first Chinese immigrants came to British Columbia for the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 and played a prominent part in building the Canadian Pacific Railway. This railway is still in use today and passes through the dangerous Rocky Mountains.

Flash forward to the 1990s, many Chinese people from Hong Kong decided to move to Canada in anticipation of the return of being a British Colony to being part of China. Moving here when I was 7 in 1998, I can definitely identify as part of this group and recognize myself as both Canadian and Chinese.

In Vancouver, the previous generations of Chinese immigrants used to settle mainly in Chinatown. While Chinatown remains a symbol of the Chinese community,  many people have decided to love in other neighbourhoods such as Burnaby, Richmond and West Vancouver. Still, this area remains full of thriving businesses and history.

The Millennium Arch, a gate that signifies the start of this neighbourhood is the biggest in North America and contains the beautiful Sun Yat-Sen Garden that is for sure worth a visit.

You might also be surprised to find out that the best Chinese food, isn’t actually in China or Hong Kong, but that Vancouver was awarded to have the best Chinese food in the world in 2010 by Conde Nast Traveller. Take advantage of the many restaurants available from traditional Chinese restaurants offering dim sum and seafood to more trendy restaurants such as bubble tea cafes to dessert places.

Cheers,

Queenie

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

 

 

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Having lived in Vancouver, Canada since I was 7 (now 23), I asked myself: what am I still culture shocked with? I can only recall my experience from the move to Canada. The lifestyle was the biggest shock to me.

In Hong Kong, everyone’s lives moves at 150 km per hour because they seem to be busy all the time. Working 12 to 13 hours, excluding overtime, is the norm, and yet the locals go out to eat or drink afterwards like sleep doesn’t matter.

Moving to Vancouver, the pace of the Canadian lifestyle was definitely a shock.People are much less self-absorbed in that they would say ‘hi’ to you on the street if you pass by them. On the other hand, I had a conversation with someone the other day about how there is nothing to do because stores or restaurants close fairly early. Even the bars generally close at 2am. As Vancouver becomes more metropolitan, these restrictions are definitely changing.

Yet contrary to those thoughts above, I was having a chat on Facebook with a fellow Canadian friend, Joe, who is currently studying hospitality management in Switzerland. I asked him what are the cultural differences in Switzerland or Europe compared to back home in Vancouver.

His thoughts are what inspired this post.

Joe said that people in Europe hold a higher sense of traditional values and persuasions. This is obvious in that Canada is a very young country, having only been constituted in 1867. Our upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving, is one that we celebrate religiously every year, on the second Monday of October. I was surprised to learn that it has only been around since 1957.

Joe also told me that in Europe, people tend to be much more laid back and aren’t constantly rushing around like in Vancouver. He says Europeans seem to enjoy the quality of life more or find ways to do so. I found that kind of odd because I find Vancouver pretty easy going already, most of the time anyway. Maybe then, Vancouver is the best of both worlds, where it’s becoming a bigger and more vibrant city, but on the other hand, there is still the nature, mountains and ocean to escape to when you need a break.

Now, my friend’s thoughts may just be his own generalizations and may not apply to other people’s experiences, but he has taught me that you need to try out different cultures and lifestyles in order to be able to compare to your own. You wouldn’t know if you are stuck in a bubble or doing the same routine unless you get out there and experience something different!

Cheers,

Queenie

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com