Monthly Archives: March 2013

Eat Your Greens!

March 28, 2013

Kampf der Apotheken

How many of us were badgered by our mothers to “Eat your greens” when staring at the dinner plate, preferring to polish off the spaghetti, fried chicken, or pizza, letting the green stuff sit. Spinach? Broccoli? Collards? Yuck! In Germany, there are a couple of seasonal, very “green” traditional foods, consumed mostly in the Fall and Winter when the first frost occurs, and continuing on until spring. I am sure most people don’t really think about the health benefits of what they are eating, however, there is no accident that these traditions happen when our immune systems are lowered by cold weather and the bacteria that germinate indoors, during those months.

Once again, I’ve noticed some interesting and inspiring differences between Germany and America. I just can’t help it. One of the areas of great interest to me is healthcare, and attitudes towards health and healing. Both Germany and America have amazing foundations for medical care and treatment, as well as great education in the healthcare fields.

But one thing I’ve noticed which constantly astounds me is the proliferation of neighborhood Apotheken, or Pharmacies. I swear, there is a small pharmacy on just about every other block, and every second corner, even in the smaller villages. It’s crazy, how many pharmacies there are. Americans want to be fit and healthy and Germans want to be sure they stay healthy and just assume they will be fit as a result. However judging by the number of Apotheken, I would venture to say that they have a serious preoccupation with health.

Of course all Germans can afford it, but I won’t go in to the health-care-for everyone-regardless-of-your-ability-to pay aspect, here in Germany. That is for a later blog. What I want to concentrate on is the foundation of traditional medicine, and educational opportunity, and how that plays out in both Germany and America. Traditional medical systems in all countries around the world use phytotherapy as the basis of their doctrines, and it is the basis for most modern medical practice.

About a year ago, while doing research for a book, I came across an article with a wealth of information regarding the African Diaspora’s contribution to modern medicine. An article titled, In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy, in the Atlantic World, the author Brian Grabbatin states, “…The slave voyage may have ended at the auction block, but Africa’s botanical legacy did not.” 1

I began an ongoing exploration about Slave Healers who used their powerful core knowledge of plant remedies and cures. Slave Healers on antebellum plantations were the black “nurses,” assigned by the slaveholders to staff plantation hospitals, and they did not only treat other slaves, but worked with white patients as well. Ex-slave narratives contain many accounts of these inter-racial encounters, and the work of these “herb, or root doctors.”

In a slave narrative, the former slave John Mosley is quoted, ”When the slave became sick we most time had the best of care take of us. Maser let our old mammy doctor us and she used herbs from the woods… Yes if we got a leg or arm broken Maser would have the white doctor with us, but that was about all, for our old negro mammy was one of the best doctors in the world with her herb teas. When she gives you some tea made from herbs you could just bet it would sure do you good.” 2

Check this out. In 1847 when The American Medical Association (AMA) was formed, many of the founding physicians in South Carolina also played active roles in the development of the “plantation hospitals.” Francis Peyre Porcher was a young doctor who was among the numerous white physicians who needed information on the medicinal plants of the United States, as they were not listed in their European catalogs of botany or their Materica Medica. To fill that void, the newly formed AMA created the committee of Indigenous Medical Botany. In an eye-opening article by Marita Graham Goodson in the Western Journal of Black Studies, she relates that while describing the medical wealth and extensive healing properties of the plants in South Carolina, Francis Porcher made “…more frequent reference to information obtained from Africans than he did to that from the white medical men who had been his teachers.”

She further recounts that the efficacy of these slave-plant remedies provided the basis for Porchers medical school thesis, and subsequent report to the AMA. Included in that thesis was knowledge of plants he collected from Native American medical practitioners as well as accounts of the African-based medical practices of slaves on Caribbean plantations. These remedies would later help combat the rampant epidemics of Yellow Fever, Cholera and Malaria, which swept through the South in the late 1840’s.

During the Civil War, in what can only be seen as a perversely ironic, twist of fate, the Confederacy published Francis Porcher’s book, Resources of Southern Fields and Forests, which was based on an expanded version of his medical thesis gleaned from “…fifteen years of experience among the sons and daughters of Africa, practicing medicine on them and watching them practice as well…” Those African slaves made a sadly invisible yet invaluable, fundamental contributions to the future medical standards of the AMA.

So what does that tell us about the power and use of medicinal plants and their place in contemporary medical practice? At the beginning of the 20th century, traditional plant medicines, or phytotherapy declined due to the rapid development and fiscally profitable production of synthetic medicines. However, people in low and middle-income countries never stopped using plants as their main source of medicine. And, as rising medical costs plague most societies around the world, we have seen a renewal of interest in traditional practices and herbal remedies.

However in 2013, the global marketplace of medicinal plants has brought the issues of regulating and safeguarding against contamination and residues to the forefront. Of course, in the pre-industrialized, pre-chemical world, this kind of quality assurance was unnecessary. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that nearly 80 % of the world’s population is dependent on traditional medicine for primary health care, and has published guidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines in an attempt to help governments develop regulations that ensure herbal and plant based medicines are safe and safely administered. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s14878e/s14878e.pdf

Pass the Oscillococcinum (?)
Herbal medicine is more readily accepted in Europe than in the United States, and a number of the Homeopathic remedies in the U.S. are imported from the EU. The French company Boiron produces Oscillococcinum, a first symptom homeopathic remedy for the Flu, which is highly effective and sold in the U.S, but oddly enough, not allowed in Germany due to trade restrictions. However, European physicians, health professionals and researchers have formed ESCOP, the European Scientific Cooperative for Phytotherapy. This organization is publishing monographs on individual herbs used in clinical medicine as well as those used for self-medication.

Back to the corner Apotheke. In Germany, every single one of those corner Apotheken are well stocked with phytomedicine. Bulk bags are dispensed by pharmacists who are trained in both Western bio-medical and plant medicine. Wow. Go ask about herbs for; bronchitis, hypertension, gallstones or a liver detox and they know exactly what you need. They disappear into the back and come out with several bags of herbs, root, and flower cures, and proceed to ask you questions about your condition. I find that to be a wonderful benefit. This does not happen in a local Walgreen, Rite Aid or CVS! Everyone in Germany as far as I know, uses phytomedicine first and synthetic medicine and prescriptions as a last resort.

In Germany, the Ministry of Health has a separate commission, The German Commission E, which compiled 380 monographs evaluating the safety and efficacy of herbs for licensed medical prescribing in Germany. There is an English translation by the American Botanical Council. The commission itself was formed in 1978 and is presently part of the “Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte” (German equivalent of the FDA). German doctors study herbal medicine in medical school, and since 1993, all physicians in Germany must pass a section on these medicines in their board exams before becoming licensed. So cool!

In America, the FDA (U.S. food and Drug Administration) attempts to regulate the burgeoning herbal and supplement industries, but there is currently no licensing body for the practice of herbal medicine in the United States. However, America has wonderful schools which license and teach practitioners the Western bio-medical model, and Oriental approaches, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Within the Western medical community, naturopathic physicians have a solid foundation in botanical medicine and phytochemistry, and many hospitals in the U.S. are now acknowledging and implementing the traditional medical practices of the immigrant communities. I’ve listed links to several organizations and schools at the end of the blog.

Things are slowly changing, and Homeopathic Pharmacies are popping up, at least in my home state of California, where you can go to find quality medicine, and expert advice from trained homeopathic professionals. Sadly these are far and few between, and usually only found in “higher income” areas. The general population is still in the dark in regards to herbal medicine, which is labeled Alternative and sometimes regarded as “quackery.”

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy originated in 1796, and according to The Society of Homeopaths, “ …Is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, given mainly in tablet form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their specific symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to each patient.” Homeopathy has been extensively studied and clinically proven to work and the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH) is the organizing body for homeopathic medicine in the U.S. The NCH provides accurate and up to date information about homeopathy to the public, as well as offering the NCH Summer School which provides, “…instruction to those who wished to learn self-help skills for family use, as well as highly specialized classes for health care professionals in medical specialties such as medical doctors, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, veterinarians, and other health practitioners…” They even offer webinars on their website for those that are interested: http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org

Eat Your Greens!

Here in Germany, a traditional and quite delicious dish is Grüenköhl, or Kale. Super rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, Grüenköhl, is eaten with gusto and is really full of health promoting power. The other is Frankfurter Grüen Sauce, a deeply green sauce of 7 blended herbs (4) which is absolutely delicious. All of these herbs are medicinal and I found it really interesting that these healing plants are readily enjoyed by just about everyone. O.K., they are often accompanied by fatty pork dishes, but still… The power of these plants to heal has worked its way into popular cuisine, under the radar of even the most stubborn skeptic!

So, no matter what type of medicine you prefer for healing, go eat your greens! I certainly am.

Jeannie Winston Nogai
Owner / Winston Nogai Design
www.jeanniewinston.com / E: jeanniewn@gmail.com

Footnotes

1. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World (review)-Brian Graabbatin
-Southeastern Geographer 
Volume 51, Number 3, Fall 2011 – http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/southeastern_geographer/v051/51.3.grabbatin.html

2. John Mosley interview, Rawick, suppl. 2, vol. 7.6, Texas, 2805.

3. Medical-Botanical Contributios of African Slaves to American Medicine—Marita Graham Goodson,
The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 11, No 4, 1987

4.Herbs in Frankfurter Grüne Sauce: Italian Parsley, tarragon, Chives, Dill, Chevril, Sorrel, Lemon Balm

Links:

American Botanical Council: http://abc.herbalgram.org

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences: http://www.scnm.edu/-Southwest

HerbNet-List of University Programs in the US: http://www.herbnet.com/university_p2.htm

Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine Links: http://blog.chestnutherbs.com/links

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Dispatches from Tokyo, Japan

March 21, 2013

1 asakusa sensoji 2011b

Ever heard of the Thiel Fellowship 20 Under 20? Neither had I until I settled in my seat on board the United Airlines flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles and watched the 90 minute documentary “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow”. The Thiel Fellowship is the brainchild of billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel who thinks students with big ideas need to have the freedom to pursue them. He does not believe that education is needed to innovate. Instead, he believes that innovative ideas need to be acted upon right now and not be put off into the future after a college degree has been earned. Thiel’s mission is to offer students a chance to trade school for Silicon Valley. The Thiel Fellowship “encourages lifelong learning and independent thought” to 20 candidates under the age of 20 by offering them each $100,000 and two years free to pursue their dreams. The decision these young people have to make is drop of out of some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. or Canada for two years to pursue their vision. This is a big risk they are to take, as there’s no guarantee that their idea is going to take off. But we need some people to take risks on some big ideas if we want innovation to happen.

Having just spent two weeks in Hong Kong and Tokyo, this idea of dropping out of college and stepping into an entrepreneurial venture is the antithesis of what students from the Asia-Pacific region are raised and educated to follow. While the young high school graduates from for example China, Hong Kong, Japan, S. Korea are preparing themselves for admission to the top 10 universities in the U.S., their counterparts, at least those aspiring to qualify for the Thiel Fellowship are making the giant leap of dropping out of the very colleges these students are coveting and stepping into the entrepreneur’s abyss. A Chinese, Japanese, or Korean student returning back to his/her home with a degree from one of the top 10 U.S. universities expects to find a better job with higher pay and enjoy the prestige that comes with having a degree from a brand name institution.

This idea of fostering innovation is what we’ve been conditioned to believe is the very function of our institutions of higher education alongside acquiring a rounded liberal arts education. But does innovation truly need a degree to be realized? Certainly that was not the case for innovators like Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (FaceBook) who dropped out of college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. For a list of other successful college-drop-out entrepreneurs click on this link: http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/100-top-entrepreneurs-who-succeeded-without-a-college-degree/

In Tokyo, as was the case in Hong Kong, students in elite schools are preparing themselves for university at an early age by round the clock tutoring, test prepping, cram schools, and foregoing holidays and summer vacations with more of the same. A Hong Kong colleague with two small children under the age of five complained about the pressures put upon parents to begin preparing portfolios of their children’s accomplishments when they’re as young as two!

One thing I learned while in Japan is that with the decline in birthrates and the slowing of their economy, Japanese students and their families are no longer looking at U.S. institutions to pursue higher education. Those who can afford to are looking at the top 10. Just like Hong Kong, the Japanese want to send their children to Harvard, Yale, MIT or Stanford. Otherwise, they are perfectly content with staying in Japan and enjoying a comfortable standard of living.

Having briefly browsed through markets and grocery stores in Tokyo, I was humbled by the overwhelming abundance and varieties of produce, vegetables and fruits. They certainly made our WholeFoods markets look like second-rate grocery stores. Of course, the impeccable displays and packaging at the Japanese markets can make the most humble looking orange or broccoli look like a gift from the heavens. Mind you all this beauty and presentation comes with a high price, which can also be said for Whole Foods, though nothing comes even close to the űber attentive service and staging offered at the Japanese stores.

The lack of litter on the streets and sidewalks in Tokyo or in its subways was also a remarkable sight to experience, as was the fact that no one locks their bicycles left on racks alongside buildings. As a non-Japanese speaker, I was heartened to see subway signs, automated ticket machines, restaurant menus in both Japanese and English. Contrary to what I had heard from those who had visited Japan a decade or so ago, more Japanese seem to have a basic understanding of English and those I’d randomly approached on streets for direction were more than happy to help in English. In fact, on a subway ride to Asakusa, to visit the famous Senso-ji (Buddhist Temple) and market, my colleague, Zepur Solakian with CGACC (Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges) and I had a lovely chat with a Japanese family and their two children, a boy of about eight and a girl of twelve who spoke English. When we asked them where they learned their English, the young girl told us they both started in the kindergarten at the Little Angel Academy & Kindergarten in Tokyo. (An interesting side note on this school’s teaching methodology is that it offers early education based on the Indian curriculum. “The school teaches Indian Mathematics in English and uses English drills to teach English. However, it combines both Japanese and Indian methods of education at the preschool stage.”)

We also learned from an American colleague in Tokyo, that some Japanese are turning in their Green Cards at the U.S. Embassy seeing no future need of holding onto their residency permits in the U.S. They are perfectly happy living and working in Japan. If anything, it is the international students living in Japan—the children of ex-pats or of Japanese-American parents—who are interested in studying in the U.S.

Earlier, while I was in Hong Kong attending the APAIE (Asia-Pacific Association of International Education) conference, where Zepur and I were presenters on a panel discussing partnerships and collaboration between U.S. community colleges and higher education communities in the Asia-Pacific, I was overwhelmed by the aggressive growth of higher education institutions in the region and their desire to become more global in their reach. I was a little crestfallen, thinking that the U.S. had lost its competitive edge and that the Asia-Pacific region had had us beat and ahead. Apparently I’m not alone in this observation, when I asked Zepur on her thoughts, here’s what she had to say: “In the past 18 years I have seen East Asia region transform and grow and embrace globalization; the enormity and magnitude of which can only be understood when witnessed… the written word or videos can only attempt to describe/convey what is really going on.”

But I shall remain optimistic. If the “20 Under 20” student-entrepreneurs I saw in the documentary on the Thiel Fellowship is any indication, innovation and thinking outside of the box—the hallmark of American ingenuity—is alive and well.

I’m not convinced that a college education is worthless or has little or no merit. But I also see the importance and value of creating an environment free of the traditional academic rigor and structure, like the two-year time-frame of the Thiel Fellowship to support innovation. According to Peter Thiel “the greatest challenge of the 21st century for US is to find a way to go back to the future and to go back to the time when people believed in progress and in the ability of technology to transform our society radically for the better.” Fresh new ideas need to be fostered and nurtured immediately rather than postponed. A combination of a life-long learning and independent thought with academic instruction may be just what the U.S. needs to stay competitive and relevant in today’s global market in education and business.

Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
www.acei1.com

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Dispatches from the 2013 APAIE Conference in Hong Kong

March 14, 2013

Hong Kong

There’s nothing like beating jet lag after a 17-hour flight from Los Angeles-San Francisco-Hong Kong, with a ride on the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island first thing in the morning for a meeting. It actually proved to be a relaxing way to get a start on the next two weeks as Zepur Solakian, Executive Director of CGACC and I make our way through Hong Kong at the APAIE Conference and then onto Tokyo, Japan, for a continuation of our discussions on the 2+2 model of US community colleges and universities and importance of international credential evaluations.

We met up with Angel Lau, Senior Advisor with Education USA, a service of the US State Department, at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. Ms. Lau had arranged for us to meet with Ms. Ellie Tang, Higher Education Adviser at West Island School, a multi-ethnic international school funded both privately and by government offering Grade 6 to 12 lower and upper secondary education. We learned that WIS offers secondary curriculum intended for the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the Business and Technical Education Council (BTEC) International Diploma. Ms. Tang’s main concern was to help U.S. colleges and universities have a better understanding of the BTEC qualifications and their equivalence to the British General Certificate of Education Advance Levels. Ms. Tang was happy to learn that it is in fact through the actual credential evaluation process that U.S. colleges and universities will learn of the approximate educational equivalence of the BTEC qualification.

Our next meeting began with a lunch hosted by Mr. Peter P.T. Cheung, Secretary-General of the Federation for Self-Financing Tertiary Education (FSTE). We were joined by two members of the Federation: Professor T.S. Chan, Associate VP of Lingnan University and Professor Reggie Kwan, President of Caritas Institute of Higher Education, as well as Ms. Dorothy Hon, Senior Executive Officer (Projects) at the Federation. Both Professors Chan and Kwan shared with us their own personal experiences as international students at U.S. universities during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Professor Kwan, a graduate of Montana State University spoke fondly of his undergraduate and graduate years and his love of nature and American football. Professor Chan’s academic experience began at Whittier College in California and continued onto the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Our hosts all stressed the value of studying abroad and wished to see the same pathway opened for their students. They saw the 2+2 model as a cost effective approach to access U.S. higher education. We later presented the 2+2 model with an overview of the international credential evaluation process at a workshop hosted by FSTE to several of its institutional members. Our presentation was well received helping clarify some of the myths the attendees had about U.S. community colleges. The concept that students in the U.S. can complete two years of general education at the community colleges for a fraction of the cost of what it would be at a four-year institution and then transfer to a university to complete the remainder of their undergraduate education for the Bachelor’s degree is contrary to their counter parts known as “self-financed tertiary institutions” in Hong Kong. “Self-financed,” means that these institutions charge tuition that are, in fact, higher than fees charged by the universities. These self-financed tertiary institutions are seen as a last resort option for those unable to enter the university system with little upward mobility. Unlike the U.S. community colleges, completion of studies at the self-financed institutions in Hong Kong does not guarantee transfer credit to university degree programs. Seeing that Hong Kong students can look at the U.S. community colleges to further their education at the university level as an alternative is beginning to be seen as a viable option.

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a walk through the Night Market in Kowloon, Stanley Market, Victoria Peak (for a magnificent panoramic view of the HK skyline), and the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. I’m happy that I had the weekend in between meetings and the start of the APAIE Conference to do some sightseeing before transferring to the conference hotel near the convention center miles and miles away from the city center.

At the conference, I served on a panel with Dr. Reza Hoshmand of Hong Kong Baptist University, Zepur Solakian, and Angel Lau (EducationUSA) discussing the 2+2 model and seeing how through Dr. Hoshmand’s efforts the 2+2 model has been implemented at HK Baptist University. We presented our session in the form of a round-table discussion and heard from attending colleagues from Australia, Poland, China, and Canada. Clearly, the U.S. is unique in its 2+2 model and making access to four-year universities possible through the community college route.

A walk through APAIE’s Exhibit Hall brought me in direct contact with the many Asian universities ACEI has been receiving transcripts from for evaluation. It has been a wonderful experience connecting with universities from S. Korea, Japan, Thailand, and China, to name a few.

Friday, March 15th marks my last day in Hong Kong. I’m scheduled for a site visit to the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I’ve had an amazing time in Hong Kong and at the conference. I look forward to continuing the exchange of ideas at the next APAIE Conference in 2014 to be held in Seoul, Korea.

I leave for Japan this Saturday for another round of meetings with educators. Stay tuned for news of my visit to Tokyo in next week’s blog!

Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
www.acei1.com

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20 Interesting Facts about Hong Kong

March 07, 2013

As ACEI’s President and CEO, Jasmin S. Kuehnert, embarks on her trip to Hong Kong next week where she’ll be attending the APIEA http://www.apaie.org / Conference and presenting a session on “Partnerships and Collaborations with EducationUSA, higher education communities in the U.S. and the East Asia Pacific,” we thought it would be interesting to share some facts about Hong Kong.

1. Hong Kong’s official name is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or Hong Kong SAR.

2. Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor.

3. Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and several other smaller islands spread
over 1,092 square kilometers.

4. Hong Kong’s official languages are Chinese (Spoken Cantonese) and English.

5. Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce’s per person than any other city in the world.

6. Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers (classified as building with more than 14 floors) in the world; double that of its nearest rival: New York City.

New_York

7. Hong Kong is counted amongst the most densely populated areas of the world.

8. Hong Kong was taken over by the British forces after the defeat of China in the Opium War of 1842. On July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China.

9. The emblem of the reunification of Hong Kong with China is Sousa Chinensis (the Chinese White Dolphin)

HK_Flag
The Flag of Hong Kong

10. The terrain of Hong Kong is pretty hilly and there are outdoor escalators in the Central district of the Island.

11. Every year, between April and May, residents of Cheung Chau Island organize a bun festival. It’s intended to keep hungry ghosts residing on the island content. They build a tower of buns, but lately they use plastic instead of the real baked version.

Bun
Source image courtesy of http://www.atinyrocket.com

12. The Hong Kong dollar is the eighth most traded currency in the world.

13. In Hong Kong, architects take Feng Shui (wind/water elements) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui into consideration in the design and construction of buildings.

14. For nearly 40 years, Sam’s Tailor http://samstailor.com/ , the famous tailor in Burlington Arcade in Hong Kong is reputed to have made clothes for heads of state and celebrities like Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Pavarotti, and Michael Jackson.

15. The 1955 film “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” based on a romantic novel about an American war correspondent (played by the actor William Holden) who fell in love with a Hong Kong Chinese doctor (Jennifer Jones) in the run up to the Korean War was filmed in Hong Kong.

JenJones

16. Dai Pai Dong, Fast Food Noodle Shops, are common sites in Hong Kong offering an inexpensive bowl of noodles for around HK$20 and free tea.

DaiPai

17. Eating noodles on one’s birthday is considered by the residents of Hong Kong to afford one a long and blessed life.

Noodles
Source image courtesy of http://www.equator.eftours.com

18. The saying “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” originated in Hong Kong. The writer Noel Coward wrote the words referring to the Noon Day Gun in Causeway Bay fired every day at the stroke of midday since colonial times.

Cannon
Image courtesy of http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/culture-heritage/historical-sites/colonial/noon-day-gun.jsp

19. The Tsing Ma Bridge is the world’s longest road and rail suspension bridge and a Hong Kong landmark.

HK_Bridge

20. As for education, Hong Kong government extended free education in the public section from 9 to 12 years effective 2008/09 school year.

And, here’s one more bonus fact:

21. A new academic structure at the secondary level was implemented in September 2009 and comprises of 6 years of secondary education (i.e. 3 years of junior secondary and 3 years of senior secondary education). The new curriculum leads to one public examination at the end of Secondary 6 and award of the new Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination which replaces the former Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE)

Other useful links:
http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/factsheets/docs/education.pdf
http://gohongkong.about.com/od/travelplanner/a/factsaboutHK.htm
http://www.asiaimpressions.com/articles/hong-kong-facts.html
http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-hong-kong-1524.html
http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Geography/Hong-Kong-15030.html

ACEI

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
www.acei1.com

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