Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Archive for the ‘Close to Home’ Category

Spicing up Macau’s culture

Posted by Kimberly on September 23, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
September 23, 2007, page 2 (1,111 words)

Macau is widely known as being somewhat of a melting pot; a mixture of Portuguese, Chinese, Indian and African, among others. And for the past 26 years, the Indian aspect has come predominantly from Aruna Jha, whose restaurant is now the only Indian free-standing one in Macau.
It and she, have become as much an institution in Macau as the ruins of St Paul’s, whose cuisine can take you back to that former British colony and whose hospitality reminds you of sit-down family meals.
Aruna arrived in Macau in 1983 at the behest of the government’s cultural institute who requested she set up a program to teach students the Indian way of dance.
“I was told Macau was a place where no one knew about the Indian culture and that I needed to come here,” she says.
“My expectations [of Macau] was that I was here for three months, to teach my culture and go back,” she adds.
Her father was “a great dancer” so since the age of four, Aruna had been studying the art.
In fact all six sisters are dancers, with Aruna the fifth of nine siblings. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Close to Home, Food | 2 Comments »

Passion and people pay off for cafe owner Nina

Posted by Kimberly on September 9, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
September 9, 2007, page 2 (1,188 words)

Nina Lichenstein has her claim to fame. She was the little girl who handed the governor’s wife flowers during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Taipa-Coloane causeway back in 1969.
More recently though, the fame has come as a result of being co-owner of the Red Spot Cafe, both in Nam San Gardens Taipa and the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) campus.
That’s because she’s not the usual sort of boss. This one actually dirties her hands, so to speak.
“I love being around people,” she says, adding that “you really need to be friendly in this sort of business. If you’re not a friendly person, don’t do it.”
And there has to be passion.
“It wasn’t easy in the beginning but I guess you need passion with everything you do. If you don’t have passion you might as well get out and don’t waste anymore time into whatever you’re doing,” she adds.
Such a nature has allowed the café’s to achieve a level of popularity that was acquired simply by word-of-mouth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Combining work and pleasure for the greater good

Posted by Kimberly on August 27, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 27, 2007, page 6 (1,029 words)


Picture this scenario. A young woman stands at a local bus stop staring at a map with tears welling up in her eyes. It might seem a little over-dramatised but it’s not an uncommon scene for those who’ve uprooted their lives to come live in Macau. Confronted with a country they know little about and a language they don’t understand, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
That’s where the International Ladies Club of Macau (ILCM) comes into the picture.
Sure, there are the monthly morning coffees and book club meetings, the drinks at the end of every month and the weekly mahjong sessions.
None of these events should be discounted, as they provide an essential means of social interaction for those so new to Macau, they don’t even know where Senado Square is.
But the Club is so much more than that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Henrique de senna Fernandes, a Macanese institution

Posted by Kimberly on August 13, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
August 13, 2007, page 4 (1,023 words)

Dr Henrique de Senna Fernandes is an institution in Macau. The 83-year-old Macanese lawyer is uniquely poised as a bridge between the Portuguese and Chinese cultures. He is also the only living literary voice in the Macanese community, having published several texts, the most recent of which is A Trança Feiticeira or The Bewitching Braid.
It tells the story of a romance between a Macanese boy, Adozindo, and a Chinese girl, A-Leng, using 1930’s Macau as the historical backdrop.
But more significant than any of that, is the language of his youth, patuá.
“We are all familiar with the language,” he said, adding that it’s a common language among Macanese throughout the world. Even those that speak pure Portuguese can understand patuá, he says.More…
The Macanese that left to live in Hong Kong, Shanghai and other parts of Mainland China have their own patuá.
“Some words are different but as whole we understand each other through that language,” he said.
The language is no longer spoken though, with very few people left in Macau that speak it fluently. Read the rest of this entry »

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