Weekly Rewind: Flying Pigs in China, Golfing in Vietnam, and Cambodia's Child Grooms

A father teaches his son how to golf at the Hanoi club golf center March 10, 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Welcome to Asia Society’s Weekly Rewind, featuring some of the best Asia-related content you may have missed. This week:


In China, Pigs Are Flying. Almost.
Chris Buckley | New York Times

Platform diving… for pigs? Chris Buckley reports that “swine across China are jumping or being shoved off platforms and splashing into pools and ponds.” The practice has been marketed as a form of exercise for pigs, a selling point for pork, and even as a tourist draw. An example: The Piggy Kingdom Family Amusement Park in Zhejiang Province.

Vietnam Embraces Golf as a Driver of Jobs
Deb Price | Wall Street Journal

Why is the Vietnamese government embracing golf? “Vietnamese golf dates back to the early 1930s, when Emperor Bao Dai opened a course in Dalat, about 200 miles northeast of Hanoi,” writes Deb Price for the Wall Street Journal. While the golf industry faces challenges in China and the United States, it is thriving in Vietnam, where it has been recognized by the government as a job creator.

Cambodia's child grooms
Joseph J. Schatz | Al Jazeera

While child marriage in Cambodia has dropped from 24 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2010, it appears to be on the rise among certain ethnic minority groups, such as the Jarai tribe. From Ratanakiri Province, Joseph J. Schatz analyzes the phenomenon, unique in the fact that the husbands are as young as 14.

‘Are They From the Zoo?’
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian | Foreign Policy

On Monday, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual Met Gala. The theme for the evening was “China: Through the Looking Glass,” and celebrity attendees including Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Sarah Jessica Parker graced the red carpet in “ostensibly Chinese garb.” But the reviews on the outfits were mixed at best in China, where the gala became the top trend on Weibo.

How Photographers Are Using Instagram to Help Nepal
Olivier Laurent | TIME

Through the Nepal Photo Project, photographers are working together to gather and distribute information from the ground in Nepal after the devastating April 25 earthquake. “[It’s] our way of attempting to make sure that the visuals become more functional and personal in nature as opposed to just devastation porn,” says photographer Sumit Dayal, who helped launch the project shortly after the earthquake hit.

Some South Koreans say 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' shows Seoul's ugly side
Steven Borowiec | LA Times

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” hit theaters last weekend, becoming the fifth-largest ever worldwide opening. Parts of the film were filmed in Seoul last year, with nearly $2 million in support from the South Korean government. But while “Age of Ultron” has performed well at the South Korean box office, some are criticizing how the film portrays the city of Seoul.



Living Dioramas in the Mongolian Desert
Rachel Nuwer | The New Yorker

In the series “Futuristic Archaeology,” Korean photographer Daesung Lee explores the cultural effects of climate change in Mongolian landscapes.

Thailand Does It Again With This Brutal and Beautiful Ad About Kindness
David Kiefaber | Adweek

Thai mobile company TrueMove has released an acclaimed advertising spot as part of a campaign called “The True Meaning of Giving,” telling the story of World War II in Thailand. 

Video: Compassion is true communication (TrueMoveH)


Overheard This Week

“In my view, 20 is a hell of a lot of bombs.”

—Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, on the possibility that North Korea will have 20 nuclear weapons in its arsenal by the end of 2016 [New York Times


By the Numbers

$800 billion — The projected nuclear energy investment needs in Asia [Bloomberg Business]

$40 million — The average investment per golf course from the Vietnamese government over the next five years [Wall Street Journal]

2,000 — The number of acres in China’s campaign to construct artificial islands [ABC News]


Each week, Asia Blog will feature highlights from Asia-focused feature writing, photography, and multimedia. Do you have recommendations? Please email a link and any related details to blog@asiasociety.org (we regret that we won’t be able to respond directly to each inquiry).

Opinions expressed on highlighted articles are solely those of the author(s), not of the Asia Society.

About the Author

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Tim Lau is a Content Producer at Asia Society. He is a New Jersey native and has also lived in Greater Chicago and Washington, DC.