May 17, 2023
Women in the Malayan Communist Party are still alive, and it is our task to find them

This article aims to retell the story of women in the Malayan Communist Party, one among many other groups. It offers a glimpse into this period of history and how these women employed their voices and actions as active participants in wars and revolutions.

February 13, 2023
The 1965 US-backed genocide in Indonesia

During the Cold War, some proxy wars engaged by the US, against the spread of communism, were highly discussed or contested. Other ‘wars’ against communism and its adherents were being played in the shadows and dealt with discretion. In 1965, the US successfully conspired with the government of Suharto to eradicate the communists in Indonesia, and was fully complicit in the mass murders of more than hundreds thousands of human beings.

January 23, 2023
Oshogatsu: New Year’s food and tradition in Japan

In Japan, New Year’s celebration is called Oshōgatsu. It is celebrated from New Year’s Eve until January 3rd. On New Year’s Eve, people visit shrines and temples, listen to the temple bells ring 108 times on the stroke of midnight, and enjoy some buckwheat noodles. The following days are filled with visiting family, friends and acquaintances. Some also go for the traditional first visit to the shrine of the year.

November 28, 2022
Buddhism and the Spirit Dance (Fuan Pii)

Fully dressed up in ancient Mon attire like women mediums with flowers decorating their heads, sometimes smoking cigarettes and mostly drinking alcoholic beverages, the group of gay, transgender, and queer people have been gradually taking over the role of mediumship in the spirit dance in Northern Thailand, known as Lanna

November 21, 2022
Hong Kong Education: Ending or Worsening Poverty?

Behind the scenes of a great, flourishing city, over 1.4 million people are living under the poverty line. Increasing the education level of the next generation becomes the only hope for Hong Kong’s disadvantaged to change their fate, starting a competition among children from birth

May 18, 2022
Confucius Institutes – A Chinese tool for soft power or a scapegoat for the West?

Confucius Institutes have been discussed in Western media in varying degrees of intensity over the last couple of decades. They have been subject to criticism for being tools of Chinese soft power and have been labeled as a threat to academic and individual freedom in different countries. But what are Confucius Institutes exactly, and how should we address them?

May 8, 2022
Imperial succession in Japan

Japan’s imperial family currently faces issues with maintaining sufficient family numbers and ensuring stable succession. In December 2021, an expert panel published a report that suggests two potential solutions for that, but none of these open up the possibility of allowing an empress and matrilineal successions as drastic approaches.

March 21, 2022
Two years of opposing the system: An overview of the Thai political protests 2020-2022

Since February 2020 Thailand has seen continued protests led by Thai Youth. With demands reaching from reforms of the educational system to demanding reform of the monarchy, the protests have shooked Thailand's politics and society at its core. This article gives an overview of what has happened in the country over the last two years.

February 28, 2022
China in space: lone ranger or cooperative power?

“To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is our eternal dream”. This declaration from President Xi Jinping reflects the outlines of China’s strategy in outer space. While the country shares various similarities with fellow space powers, one can wonder about China’s space strategy considering its tense situation within the international community. Are they playing the lone wolf, or are they willing to contribute to mankind’s biggest challenges?

February 14, 2022
The peculiar hype around ‘ugly’ buildings in China

Extravagant architectural structures attract attention in many ways. They can either evoke admiration, prestige and beauty, or they can cause outrage, irritation or ridicule. While the concept of beauty in building design depends on individual taste and local context, China struggles with what is generally considered ‘ugly’ architecture - prompting discussions of vanity, regulation and the emergence of a new self-consciousness in architectural spheres.

December 13, 2021
Interview with the Education Divison of the Taiwan Mission in Sweden

On a bench outside of Wenner-Gren Center, I met Stacy Huang, Head of the Educational Division at Taipei Mission in Sweden. We discussed different study and work opportunities, as well as what it is like living in Taiwan for international students.
Our interview went as follows.

October 10, 2021
Women in spotlight: Japan's pop culture casualties

From losing control over life choices to excessive stalking and abuse, Japan’s idol culture has left women who participate in it incredibly vulnerable. Follow the history of Japan’s idol culture to learn how this glittering industry has lefts its stars alone. The shimmering lights of Japan’s entertainment industry have placed women in increasingly dangerous positions without any support.

April 22, 2021
Romanticizing Mafia is not cool, not even when it gets a K-twist

The recent release of Vincenzo, the popular K-drama narrating the passionate story of an Italo-Korean mafioso navigating Seoul’s corporate corruption, has won wide praise but has sparked too few questions on the propriety of this particular crime-syndicate plot device. Soon after, however, a popular K-pop group titled a song after the Mafia—but this time, the news did not go unnoticed and an internet war broke out in K-pop Twitter, with an unexpected twist...

April 12, 2021
Minority Language Policy in China: An Extrapolation

Culture and identity are shaped and borne by language. But when language becomes a tool of political interests, that culture and identity can come under imminent threat. THE LUNAR TIMES spoke to Colin Williams of Cardiff University to explore notions of if and how the language revitalization process of Wales might give insight to the trajectory of regional languages being squeezed into a corner by the Chinese State.

March 15, 2021
Are you sure if it is a K-pop event?

Have you ever heard of Gangnam Style or BTS so-called K-pop? K-pop refers to mainstream music of South Korea, and it has enjoyed growing global popularity for the last decade. However, are you aware of the scary fact that K-pop is being misused for a completely different purpose? Something unwanted may approach wearing the mask of K-pop and put you in trouble! Sounds intriguing? Stay Tuned!

March 14, 2021
Let the value of chocolates define my love for you

Whilst Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated in countries around the globe, White Day is only celebrated in a limited amount of countries in East Asia, including Japan. On March 14th, Japanese men will have the chance to dole out reciprocal gifts to those who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. These two special holidays have a strong bond with each other—the traditional Japanese Valentine’s celebration would not be complete without one of them.

March 8, 2021
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most oppressed of them all?

In the era of the Internet and neoliberal economy, gender wars are raging in South Korea. Officially begun in 2016 with the tragic Gangnam Murder, these wars are recruiting youths to confront the opposite sex on both online and offline battlefields, where social resentment and sharp words are wielded as weapons. But to have a deeper understanding of this raging hostility, a concept rising from the depths of the internet needs to be studied: that of Hell Joseon.

February 14, 2021
How much is my love worth to you?

The Lunar New Year officially began two days ago—and yet another celebration is taking place today. While Lunar New Year is a holiday for family and friends, Valentine’s Day is a holiday for lovers. The style of celebration, however, differs slightly depending on where it is held. This time, let’s focus on how Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan and what products are demanded by the Japanese market during this romantic consumption day.

February 8, 2021
Lunar New Year: The Economic Impact on China

The Lunar New Year reunites friends and family across East Asian countries. Like hardly any other festive seasons, this massive holiday carries not only a high traditional, but also a tremendous economic value for any country celebrating it. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, there are a lot of changes in the economic growth over the past year. Photo Credit: Fritz Hoffmann.

January 29, 2021
The pandemic has uncovered the harsh reality of migrant workers in Singapore

In the early stages of the pandemic, Singapore stood out as a role model for its successful strategy. However, later outbreaks among the migrant community have exposed an entrenched societal division between native Singaporeans and foreign workers. Now that the country seems ready to move forward, migrants are again left behind.

December 25, 2020
That time of the year: Christmas 2020 Special
November 23, 2020
Household debt in South Korea: Should it be taken seriously?

Today, South Korea has one of the highest household debt burdens in the world with regard to its economic size. With income growth lagging behind the increase in debt, the debt-to-disposable income ratio is even at its highest since it began being recorded in 2007. The Korean government is now facing growing household debt in combination with an uncertain housing market. A question thus arises: what could this mean in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic?

November 9, 2020
The double plight of suicide and sexual harassment in South Korea– a prominent case

Torn by spiking suicide rates and ever-increasing gender tensions, Korean society is facing deep-seated challenges. For many years, the Democratic Party of Korea has pledged to repair the social fabric and stand on women's side. But evidence would suggest otherwise.

October 19, 2020
The old prostitutes of Seoul

Once upon a time, Korean old ladies were guaranteed a serene old-age surrounded by the love and care of their families. Nowadays, Korean grandmothers are often abandoned, and only one resort is left to escape the “Big Bad Wolf” of poverty. Unfortunately, this is the happy ending–less tale of the Bacchus Ladies: old prostitutes hanging around the streets of Seoul.

September 28, 2020
The dogs of Beijing

What started as a silly game among exchange students revealed a political and social issue in the city of Beijing. Since 2003 “dangerous” dog breeds and those reaching a height of more than 35 centimeters are banned from the capital’s inner districts. Interestingly, it took the city’s authorities 10 years until the law was strictly enforced. Since then regulations got more stringent. The article sums up the events and aims to incorporate the issue into the broader historical background of dog keeping in China.

September 14, 2020
Out of sight, out of mind: where our waste really goes

The increasing amount of waste we produce daily has become one of the biggest challenges of our time. Despite rising environmental consciousness throughout the world, most people show little awareness of global plastic waste trade and its harmful consequences on the environment. But now the centre of this global network, Southeast Asia has started showing signs of repentance.

August 24, 2020
Beware the Kpop stans!

Passionate, internet savvy and powered by a strong political conscience: these are Kpop stans, the young fans of Korean pop music who recently made headlines for their political activism. Armed with a keyboard and backed up by a powerful network, Kpop stans are engaging with current political and social issues through a fervent online activity. But who really are these new political militants?

August 23, 2020
The contradictions of Songdo IBD

Songdo International Business District is praised as a state-of-the art business hub and smart city project, equipped with the latest data technology and high sustainability standards. Skyrocketing buildings and aesthetically landscaped parks invite you to believe you are walking on the streets of the next urban utopia. But does Songdo really stand for a better, brighter and greener future?

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