Egg Shortages Crisis

You may have read a number of reports recently regarding egg shortages. A widespread and ongoing outbreak of avian flu has disrupted the supply of eggs. How the shortage of eggs is impacting on the Chinese community in the UK? 

To cope with the current egg shortages, which has seen some empty shelves, supermarkets across the UK have introduced temporary limits on the number of eggs customers can buy, to try and ensure availability for everyone. Asda, Morrisons and M&S have introduced a limit of two boxes of eggs per customer due to unprecedented demand. 

Current status of egg sales in supermarkets

In the past few weeks, eggs were very scarce in the supply market. The owner of a Chinese restaurant in London Chinatown told me: “The recent shortage of eggs that the UK has been experiencing for a long time has made it difficult for the restaurant to get eggs, or we have to pay very high prices to buy them. This has resulted in many of our dishes not being able to be prepared, so we had to increase the price of some dishes to reduce the cost of operation.”

“Before that, we had a lot of dishes containing eggs that sold very well and were very popular with customers. After the shortage of eggs, many customers would rarely order those dishes because the price had risen some. Sometimes when there are no eggs in the kitchen, these dishes will be crossed off the menu.” The Chinese restaurant owner said.

In addition, some other restaurants have also replaced the dishes that need to be made with eggs with other dishes. For example, some brunch restaurants replaced the eggs in the set meal with bacon or sausage to make up for the inability to supply eggs to customers.

Nutritional elements chart for eggs

Eggs are good source of protein, with a medium egg containing around 6g of protein. They’re quick to cook, versatile and can be enjoyed at any meal in the day. But there are lots of alternative sources around if you find them hard to come buy, including pulses and veggie proteins such as tofu. 

Many Chinese use tofu as a substitute for eggs

When Chinese people cannot buy eggs or the price of eggs rises, in order to supplement the protein needed by the human body in daily life, people will buy tofu made from soybeans or mung beans. Tofu has a high protein content and is of better quality than the protein found in grains and is close to the protein found in meat. Every 100 grams of tofu contains 15.7 grams of protein.

But my Chinese friends said: “For Chinese baked goods, the impact of the egg shortage is so great that many baked goods cannot be made at all because substitutes are hard to find.”

Nobody knows when the egg shortages will end as so many of the contributing factors are still ongoing, such as the war in Ukraine, rising prices, the cost of living crisis and avian flu. Although the government has tried to reassure the public that the shortages will be a short-term issue. 

Eggs are indispensable ingredients in Chinese cuisine. If this is the case for a long time, egg shortages will largely affect Chinese community in the UK and imperceptibly change some of our daily eating habits. Everyone hopes that this crisis can be solved as soon as possible. After all, eggs are very important for the nutrition needed by the human body.

Young people and traditional cultures

Many regions in China have local traditional cultures, which play an important role in the local area. Is it the responsibility and mission of the younger generation to promote and carry forward these distinctive cultures in fast-paced development and the influx of new trends?

Due of China’s vast territory and large population, there are cultural differences between regions, which has led to the creation and development of traditional culture and artistic products with local characteristics in each place. Some of them have been in development for many years now, and have gradually developed into large-scale and influential regional culture characteristics, even to the nation and the world.

The local traditional culture is the symbol of the region and the outstanding material representative that the local people are proud of. It is a common phenomenon that many natives, especially young people, know little about them and even ignore their existence and significance. This is probably a bad thing for the transmission of local culture, which would mean that these outstanding cultural goods would leave the limelight and be disappear in some day.

In recent years, traditional Chinese art forms have caught the attention of more and more young Chinese, due to their innovative nature. One of the most popular among young people right now is Suzhou Pingtan, a folk ballad about the art of story-telling. Pingtan is a regional variety of opera and a musical and oral performance art form popular in southern Jiangsu. As a native of the area, I was exposed to this form of music art when I was a child, but only stay at the level of having some impressions.

The long history has also laid a solid foundation for Pingtan’s development. Its contents are rich, though the form is simple. “story telling, joke cracking, music playing and aria singing” are the performing techniques, while “reasoning, tastes, unexpectedness, interest and minuteness” are the artistic features. After that, Pingtan became a new form of performance by innovating and carrying on the tradition.

I spoke to Mr Wang Chi-liang, the deputy head of the Suzhou Pingtan Performing Arts Troupe, he told me: “Young people have an inestimable and guiding role in spreading and publicizing traditional culture and folk art forms such as the Suzhou Pingtan. Their influence is extremely huge in today’s society.”

“Going to the theatre to watch a live performance of our Pingtan Art Troupe, and then posting wonderful clips on their social media, which are good to propaganda and support for the local traditional culture. After that, more and more people of the same age will contact and understand this art form.” He said to me.

Suzhou Pingtan live performance in China Central Television

As he said, this is indeed the case. The appeal and the communication power of young people are very powerful, and it is with such strengths and characteristics that they can be the executors in promoting the outreach and wide circulation of local traditional culture. As a new force in the national modernization drive, young people are placed with unlimited hope. They just make some modest contributions will have a positive and promoting effect in some extents.

Mr. Wu from Nanjing University told me “Local traditional culture is the precious cultural wealth and folk specialty, also adding some colour to people’s lives, which is deserved to be protected and respected. The contemporary youth should have shouldered the heavy responsibility of inheriting Chinese traditional culture.”

A variety of art forms emerge one after another. In the era of commercialization, traditional cultures and other cultures are more like competitors in some ways. The old artists undertook the task of passing the tradition on to the new generation. Pingtan is popularized by radio, television and Internet. Meanwhile, it faces challenges as a result of the popular entertainment industry. 

With the rapid development of science and technology, young people have a strong sense of freshness with the emergence of some new entertainment methods and artistic performances. This is a huge blow on traditional culture, which means that fewer and fewer young people will get to know these great local cultures that have been passed down for years, while more people will try out the emerging cultures to experience their charms. How to attract young people to experience traditional culture is a thorny problem.

Culture is the soul of a nation, and traditional culture is the root of the local people. It is imperative to carry forward traditional culture. China is now vigorously developing its intangible cultural heritage, which also requires many people to inherit. They may endure loneliness and isolation in the process of inheritance. Nowadays, most young people seek fame and make a fortune, but they identify too little with their sense of responsibility to society.

The cultivation of a cultural concept is not an overnight thing, but a long-term and lasting thing that needs to be accumulated. Culture needs to be infiltrated, young people can’t really feel it and go deep into it in a short time. At present, what is most needed is for influential people to really like it and spread it forward.

Where is the pure football?

How the non-league game is a far removed from the glamorous, wealthy, over-hyped image of English football presents to the overseas football fans through their consumption of the Premier League?

Football is essentially a second religion for many people in England and around the world. The British football industry is the most advanced and successful in the world. There are multiple levels of football leagues in the country, however, with so many leagues and divisions, it would be simple for someone unfamiliar with the system to become perplexed about the English football pyramid.

Despite the low standard has its low position in the football world, there are plenty of reasons why non-league football is well worth watching, particularly in England where the lower leagues are taken much more seriously by fans and players than elsewhere in the world outside the UK.

Non-league football often gets an unfair label of being fairly agricultural in comparison to the Premier League. Playstyles might differ between the top and the bottom of the football pyramid but passion runs deep throughout. While it’s clear the quality in non-league football is below that of football league teams, there is still plenty of great action to witness.

To experience the distinctive ambiance of the local football scene, hear interesting tales, and have some intriguing experiences need to go to the scene in person.

Clearly, the stadiums in non-league football certainly don’t have the facilities, size or glamour to match those that you’d find in the Premier League, but that isn’t the point of non-league football. It’s all about the charm, and the passion, which is better demonstrated at non-league stadiums than anywhere else in football.

Stadiums like Champion Hill, Meadow Park and The Hive, have a certain element of comfort about them that simply can’t be replicated by a bigger team with a bigger fan base. You will have a totally different experience to watch the game at the home of a non-league team.

The Hive Stadium, the home of Barnet Football Club, a professional football club based in North London. The team compete in the National League, the fifth tier of the English league system. In this field, people can even stand very close to the grass of the stadium to watch the game, with beer in their hands, and also dance, as if they were celebrating a festival. There were also some fanatical fans who form a circle and sway to the music and sing the team’s exclusive cheering songs as if they are the main characters in the stadium. We absolutely can’t see such a scene in the Premier League clubs game.

FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round in The Hive Stadium
Recorded by Junsheng Xu

In fact, there were almost 2,000 fans standing in the stands. It was hard to imagine that this side in the UK’s fifth level football league has such a large fan base. You remember the entire day, not just the game being played on the field, and non-league clubs definitely have more memorable individual details than most professional ones.

In a game held in that stadium, a teenager who stand in front of me and looks very energetic, he said “I am a local of Barnet and live nearby. On every match day of Barnet, I always come to the stadium with some friends to watch games and almost never miss them. This has become our daily life habit for a long time.” He swayed joyfully with his friends again. I even thought he was at a party right now.

“We gather here to support the players on the field, which is like our entertainment way to release pressure.” he added.

Barnet FC fans celebrate scoring a goal
Recorded by Junsheng Xu

People don’t think they come to the hive stadium just to watch the match, but they see it more as a social place in this block. Here, they can enjoy their favourite activities including singing, dancing, drinking, and making new acquaintances. 

In the modern day, where loyalty seems to be a dying quality, it is of great comfort that there are still those people out there who seek to support their local sides rather than simply selecting a random big-name team to support, with no emotional attachment to them, simply because they think they’ll win trophies.

The latter is no type of football fan, whereas the former is more likely to have some genuinely emotional and enjoyable experiences while supporting their local team, because of the history that’s there and the attachment to the local area.

There is a sense of pride when watching your local non-league team win, as you realize it is mainly comprised of people from the near surroundings and may even contain some friends, or you may even have played for this team as a youth.

During the halftime of the non-league club Barnet FC home game, a middle-aged fan named Charlie told me

“I came to watch the match with my father today. He is a veteran fan of Barnet FC and has supported this team for more than 30 years. I was influenced by him and fell in love with this team since childhood. We really enjoy cheering for this hometown team here”.

By contrast, most supporters of bigger clubs don’t quite feel the same attachment towards their own team. You feel as though you’re not only supporting your team, but also your town when you go to watch your local non-league team, and this feeling cannot be underestimated in a time where people are attempting to take the heart from football and treat it solely as a business. The purest football is the most advanced enjoyment.

Ticket prices in English football are probably the worst thing about it. The cheapest adult ticket for the West Ham United on home vs Arsenal game I watched before was £65. That’s an absurd amount of money to regularly pay to watch the team they love, and many fans are forced not to watch their Premier League teams because of the horrendous prices, as West Ham are not alone in having high prices.

Compare this to the game I attended recently, Barnet FC vs Weston-super-Mare, where the price of admission was only £10 for what turned out to be a fantastic match, with several goals ensuring a 3-0 win for the home side. The home team successfully entered the next round of the FA Cup. It was a good game but at such cheap prices, it’s well worth attending a match.

Full Match Score: Barnet 3-0 Weston-super-Mare
Football and money closely linked

As we are all aware, Premier League has a very strong and profound football culture, and the competition atmosphere is excellent. With the gradual commercialization and maximization of benefits, the Premier League has shown more high brand value and huge profits, which has lost the significance and essence of some football itself. In non-league games, we can continue to enjoy the most primitive and pure football, place ourselves in the team, integrate ourselves into the club, and experience the real charm and happiness of football.

23 February 2009: Fans of football team show their dismay at the influence of big business on football prior. (Photograph by Joern Pollex/ Getty Images)

Non-league football is inclusive and community driven with supporters just as passionate about their clubs as their professional counterparts. Going to a non-league game opens you up to a world of unique footballing experiences no longer available at your average Football League or Premier League match day.

Storms Malik and Corrie: disruption extends to fourth day

The news mainly introduces that winds of up to 92mph were recorded in northern parts of the UK over the weekend as storms Malik and Corrie swooped in from the Atlantic. Thousands of homes remain without power, transportation was severely impacted, forcing some schools in Scotland to remain closed on Tuesday as a result of back-to-back storms.

Overall, this piece of journalism follows “The Inverted Pyramid” to narrate the event. The beginning of the news clearly tells readers the lead of the main thing, which are who, what, when, where and how. The middle section of the news gave a more detailed description of the event including important information and expansion on the lead. Some paragraphs also contains some quotes, which gave the news new impetus, could be the focal point of the news. The Journalist brings the news to life by supplying evidence from people who lived in the place of the incident.

However, from my point of view, there are still some deficiencies. Some paragraphs in last paragraphs are little bit abrupt and inappropriate. It can also be said that there is a lack of logic and order, which makes people feel that there is no hierarchy and focus. We can see that just after saying the paragraph “The back-to-back storms were linked to two deaths over the weekend”, then occur the paragraph “Storm Malik was named by the Danish Meteorological Institute and Corrie by the UK Met Office.” They have no clear relationship or connection I think, that seems kind of weird.

As a result, I believe the journalist was successful in conveying the story to the reader to a large extent.

Interview with Patrick Tan: Sports make him become a better person

Patrick Tan, a first-year student in King’s College London, he always appears to be quiet and introverted. The first meeting gave people a gentle temperament, so it’s difficult to picture him as someone who can’t live without sports. It’s surprising how well he can grasp a variety of sports including football, volleyball and table tennis and produce outstanding outcomes in a large number of contests. He was a gifted athlete who captained the varsity squad in three sports in high school. Patrick Tan shared some stories about how sports had changed his life and helped him become a better person.

When did you first develop a strong interest in sports?

“Oooh, honestly this question brings back some childhood memories. By chance, I was fortunate enough to watch a World Table Tennis Open live with my father when I was eight years old. These excellent players staged wonderful competitions for the audience. Their outstanding abilities and enthralling game atmosphere wowed me. I was greatly moved by players’ tenacity and never-give-up attitude. Since then, I’ve got a great desire to participate in sports and attend matches.”

How much time and effort do you put into sports?

“I’ve been a member of the table tennis school team since elementary school and have trained every day. Usually I was sweating and training in front of the ping pong table while other students were playing and resting after school. The hard-working spirit I cultivated since I was a child makes me look out of tune with other classmates, but this is what I like to do. Furthermore, I also spend a lot of time playing football and volleyball, as you know haha…”

Do you think it is worth?

“Yeah, absolutely. I believe my exertion and reward are proportional. Through accumulated training and dedication, I achieved excellent results in many large-scale competitions and was successfully selected into the provincial table tennis team when I was in middle school. I’ve always believed that “no pain, no gain.” My teammates and I also won the student volleyball and soccer championships two years ago.”

How do you think table tennis has changed you?

“That is a good question. Table tennis taught me that the best way to progress is to put in steady effort day after day. Never be afraid of your opponent in a game; even if you are far behind, you must not surrender. The same is true in life. I am not afraid of any challenges and will do everything in my power to overcome them and persevere until the end.”

Is this true for other sports as well?

“Not quite the same. In high school, I was the captain of the football and volleyball teams. I used to be a little shy and apprehensive about approaching others even dislike interacting and communicating with people. Through these team sports, I learned a lot of communication skills and social skills that help me get along with people and solve problems in life better.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Inspirational and Admirable Life

With an almost unpronounceable surname and a thick Austrian accent, who would have thought that a brash, quick-witted bodybuilder from a small European village would become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, marry into the prestigious Kennedy family, amass a fortune through shrewd investments, and one day be Governor of California? The amazing story of megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger was a true “rags to riches” tale of a penniless immigrant making it in the land of opportunity, the United States of America.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in a small town in Austria, the term “rags to riches” is perhaps overused in showbusiness, but it can be applied quite literally in the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger. No one can think what he will achieve in the future. His father was a police officer, and his parents always expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps, but Arnold had other plans. From a young age, he took a keen interest in physical fitness and bodybuilding, going on to compete in several minor contests in Europe. These dreams started when he saw the bright lights of Hollywood on the television, he saw America as the land of opportunities, the land that he wanted to make it to. After seeing ‘Reg Park’ on the front of a magazine and seeing how successful he had become as a bodybuilder turned movie star in America. It was from that moment Arnold decided his future, he wanted to pursue bodybuilding and become ‘Mr. World’ in the bright lights of Hollywood. Schwarzenegger can seemingly do anything he sets his mind to “with empty pockets but full of dreams.”

After many setbacks and people telling him he’d never make it, Arnold proved the world wrong by moving to the United States of America in 1968 and rising to fame. He became a huge movie star through his effort. Not only is Arnold our beloved movie star from well-known blockbusters such as ‘Terminator’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘Batman and Robin’, but has also had a very successful political career and he was best known as “The Governator of California”.

“Never ever think small, if you’re going to accomplish anything, you have to think big and shoot for the stars” Arnold Schwarzenegger said. He would always be visualizing his dream, and therefore he would consistently do better than the best that he could possibly do. In his wise words, he explains and encourages people to work hard in life, keep working, and to never give up or give in. If you want to be successful and live your best life, the first and most important thing you can do is work hard. Arnold was one of the most popular and famous people alive today. He was doubtlessly the most famous bodybuilder who ever lived, for one, as well as one of the greatest action movie stars of all time. There was no doubt that his life was inspirational and varied which was admired and respected by many people.

“The Legend of 1900”: A haunting and thought-provoking film

“I was born on this ship, and the world passed me by.” If someone ask me to make a list of movies that make me feel a lot of emotions after watching them, “The Legend of 1900” will undoubtedly be on it.

This film tells the life of the legend in 1900 from the perspective of the best friend of the male protagonist. The protagonist of the story was abandoned on a Virginia cruise ship in 1900. One day, coolie Danny on the cruise ship found an abandoned baby in first class, he decided to adopt him. Because it happened in the first month of the first year of the new century, he was named 1990. 1900 first showed his piano talent one night, at that time, the sleeping captain, crew and tourists on board were awakened by the sudden beautiful melody in the concert hall, but unexpectedly, 1900 sat in front of the piano and played music in the concert hall. After 1900 growing up, he became a famous mysterious marine pianist. Later, he fell in love with a girl on a boat. He struggled to get off the boat to pursue the girl for love, but he gave up. More than ten years later, the ship became an abandoned ship. When the ship was about to be blown up, he still chose to stay on the ship and disappear in the world with the ship.

The persistence of refusing to get off the ship is actually to find the meaning of life, which is also the core idea embodied in the film – “Existentialism”. “Existentialism” is actually a very rebellious theory from the perspective of history and a very realistic theory from the perspective of the future. The reason why this film can become a classic that many people repeatedly aftertaste is that it covers too many romantic and illusory feelings, including the persistence of sticking to the heart, peace away from the noise, simple human nature and free soul. The crisscross of urban streets on land that made 1900 feel “fear” and “collapse”, and all kinds of uncertain are human desires. This endless desire is the real reason why artists lose themselves. But he refused, unwilling to fall into a huge and nihilistic vortex. As a pure artist, living in the abyss of endless and unknown desire, he will lose his true self and real music.

The spiritual core of “The Legend of 1900” is undoubtedly innocence and freedom: the gifted 1900 is such a symbol, he is uninhibited and unmoved by the world, just because playing is his lifelong love, he does not have to get off the boat and must be immersed in music all the time in the purest joy. This film is dedicated to those who always yearn for simplicity and distance from the hustle and bustle. Innocence is their inherent property that does not change over time. The film was nominated for a variety of awards worldwide, winning several for its soundtrack. This is a film worth watching and reflecting on numerous times.