Emeraude Monnier

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A mess of signs in Hong Kong
AHVAL NEWS

From Punjabi To Breton: Five Language Controversies Around The World

More than just a vehicle to communicate, language expresses and helps construct identity. As such, it has the power to inspire and unite people — but language can also be a source of division, or an impediment to peace between groups already in conflict. From squabbles over things like spelling and pronunciation, to minority groups fighting for the survival of their mother tongue — and everything it stands for — language politics can be deeply disruptive. Here are five examples from around the world:

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Bringing back Western Han Dynasty business?
China

Chinese Business Meets Confucius, On The Enduring Power Of Relationship

BEIJING — Chinese talk about ancient China as an "acquaintance" society, structured with a unique pattern of human associations. Such a pattern is also referred to as "difference in intimacy of relationship" and means that each person deals with their own social relations — close or distant, without regard for the people's status — provided that they follow this ritual set of guidelines.

In traditional society, Chinese people's trust circle was usually turned towards their relatives. This is the reason why today in modern China, many companies are family businesses. It is however quite difficult for these companies to grow because, though family members have a mutual trust between each other, they have a hard time taking on non-relatives and accepting them, so much so that it tends to hinder business expansion. In such a case, people's close interactions often depend on whether or not they can develop an intimate bond despite so-called "social distance," thus resulting in an eagerness of employees to become friends with each other, even on formal occasions.

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Extra! On The Perils Of Low-Cost Plastic Surgery In China
China

Extra! On The Perils Of Low-Cost Plastic Surgery In China

Over the past decade, there have been countless reports about the boom in cosmetic surgery in Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea. Names have even been given to particular facial features in vogue, including the term "red net face," taken from the "red net" young female internet celebrities making a mark in China's popular culture.

These online superstars, including live-streamers, self-published writers, bloggers and assorted digital-minded fashionistas, tend to share a particular set of facial features: high cheekbones, big eyes, double eyelids, a narrow nose bridge and a V-shaped jawline. The overexposed digital stars often cover each step and slice of their plastic surgery across their social media accounts. But now, China Newsweek has featured a cover story this week about the downside of such body transformations, including pain, scars and the risk that operations are being illegally carried out in beauty salons by uncertified surgeons.

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Troops at a requiem mass for Edson Luís in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 4, 1968
EL PAIS

Spain To Senegal To Brazil, 'Other' 1968 Movements To Remember

PARIS — Political conflict and social movements around the world in 1968 made it a year for the history books. The 50th anniversary of several signature episodes are being marked throughout this year, from the Prague Spring and monthlong French student uprising of May "68, to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in the U.S. and black power salutes at the Mexico City Olympics.

But the upheaval that year spread beyond just a handful of internationally iconic events. Among the other notable moments and movements of 1968 are four chapters that may not have made it into your high school history textbook:

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