Why so many Penang lang settling in HK

Why so many Penang lang settling in HK

Why are so many Malaysians from Penang settling in Hong Kong? HONG KONG (SCMP): When Cheah Cheng Hye left his hometown of Penang in northern Malaysia in 1974 for a higher paying job with The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong, his plan was to stay a few years until he saved enough money to buy his family a house.
Unable to afford a flight, Cheah – 20 at the time – travelled to Hong Kong on a cargo ship. These days he is the proud owner of a BMW with a special licence plate that reads “Penang”. He is also the founder of one of Asia’s largest independent asset management firms, Value Partners. Like Cheah, many Penangites have left in search of greener pastures as part of a nationwide trend that has seen an estimated 1 million Malaysians living and working abroad. The diaspora has increased rapidly since the 1980s and continues to rise, according to the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor.
About 15,000 Malaysians now live in Hong Kong, according to the Consulate-General. Though the Consulate does not record what state they come from, Penangites are widely thought to be the largest group in the city. “Better career opportunities, higher income and quality of life are decisive factors influencing Malaysians who leave,” said Hwok-Aun Lee, a Senior Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore who studies labour and social policy in Malaysia.
As in the case of Cheah, whose move meant an immediate 500 per cent pay rise, the higher salaries Hong Kong has to offer have long been a beacon for Malaysians seeking to work abroad.
Chess Yip first came to Hong Kong in 1987 to work as a flight attendant. Now, more than 30 years later, she has returned to the city to work as a service associate at a Southeast Asian restaurant.
“Like many others, I came for economic reasons,” said Yip. But what drew her back to Hong Kong was something different. “It is so much more diverse and global, more cosmopolitan,” said Yip, now a mother of two teenage sons.
A year after she first arrived in Hong Kong, her childhood sweetheart joined her, though they returned to Penang in 1999 to raise their children. “I always wanted to come back. I liked Hong Kong because I found it very organised and the people are much more straightforward, kind of like me,” she said.
The two cities also share a common past. George Town, the capital city of Penang, was founded in 1786 by Francis Light as a free port for the British East India Company. Its location along the Malacca Strait made it a popular landing spot for immigrants from all over Asia and particularly southern China.
“For some older Penang Chinese, there are strong cultural links and family links too,” said Cheah. “People from these two places can instantly recognise many similar elements,” he added.
But when the state’s free port status was revoked in 1969, its economy took a hit. Today, George Town’s laid-back lifestyle and its Unesco World Heritage Site in the city centre draw in the tourists but are less attractive to professionals, who find the city lacking in career opportunities.
“Until 1985, Penang had more college graduates than Kuala Lumpur but not as many jobs, so Penang exported skilled labour to the nearby British colony of Hong Kong,” said N. Balakrishnan, an entrepreneur who was educated in Penang and spent more than two decades in Hong Kong.
Balakrishnan says the similar colonial history means the two places share professional and business standards based on the British model, making it easy for those in accounting, medicine and law to work in Hong Kong.
“After five years in medical school and another year’s residency in the hospital, you’re used to the system,” said 61-year-old Philip Beh, an associate professor of Pathology at HKU. For him, staying in Hong Kong after completing medical school at the University of Hong Kong was a no-brainer – and not just because he married a woman from Hong Kong.
However, Beh had another, more pernicious reason for leaving – he was 11 when the bloody May 13 race riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays broke out in 1969, mainly in Kuala Lumpur, where Beh was studying at the time. Urban areas with larger Chinese populations were also affected, including Penang and Malacca.
The riots led to the death of 200 people, according to official records, but unofficial accounts from Western diplomats put the death toll higher, at 600. Most of the dead were ethnic Chinese.
“After that, everything changed. As a Malaysian Chinese, suddenly you realise you’re not welcome anymore,” Beh said.
Following the riots, the government at the time proposed the New Economic Policy in 1971, an affirmative action plan meant to eradicate poverty, particularly among the Malays who were forced into making a living through subsistence agriculture under British rule.
Fleeing Discrimination
Under the NEP and later the 1991 National Development Policy implemented by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his first stint in power from 1981 to 2003, the ethnic Chinese and Indians living in Malaysia began to face increasing discrimination in Malaysia. Many chose to leave, sparking worries of brain drain in the country.
In 2010, then Prime Minister Najib Razak’s promise to undo race-based affirmative action policies was embraced by many non-Malays, but he later backtracked on the pledge. Hwok-Aun Lee says the dashed hopes for reform of many Malaysians, particularly Malaysian Chinese, may further fuel the brain drain.
“This is what I would call a vicious loop of hollow promises and overzealous expectations,” said Lee. “The failure of the country to have a candid, measured and critical conversation on race-based policies further polarises Malaysians and perpetuates this cycle of false promise and dashed hope.”
Whether the new government will be able to reverse the current exodus of talent, Lee thinks those that left are likely monitoring developments at home before making a decision. “Returning home carries more weight because it is more permanent, and also may entail financial sacrifice,” said Lee.
The World Bank’s Malaysia economic monitor estimates almost 90 per cent of the Malaysian diaspora in Singapore are ethnic Chinese. From that, Lee says, it can be deduced the percentage of ethnic Chinese in the global Malaysian diaspora is disproportionately high.
However, the discrimination and lack of opportunity faced by Chinese Malaysians has also made them more resilient, says Gan Khai Choon, who co-chairs the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau with Cheah Cheng Hye.
Ethnic Chinese make up most of the population on Penang Island – Penang state also includes Seberang Prai on the Malay Peninsula – according to the last census in 2010.
“They’re more hungry, more flexible and more hardworking,” said Gan, who is also from Penang. “It is a fact of life that Malaysians, and Penangites in particular, are probably the best employees at a management level,” said Gan.
Gan also says people from Penang have an added advantage over other migrants – they come from a state which is home to several of Malaysia’s oldest schools, including the Penang Free School, founded in 1816, as well as Convent Light Street School, the oldest girls’ school in Penang, founded in 1862.
This has led to Penangites becoming globally competitive, and in Hong Kong, many of them find a place in multinational corporations, law firms and as faculty members of Hong Kong’s universities.
Yet despite their successes, the people of Penang who have found their fortune in Hong Kong remain loyal to their hometown, Gan says. “You feel a sense of belonging to Malaysia. In fact, some of us are even more passionate about Penang than those living in Penang,” said Gan.
Cheah Cheng Hye agrees. “There are a number of social causes that have benefitted from the flow of money sent home by Malaysians living in Hong Kong,” he said.
Hong Wrong?
Hong Kong, however, also has its drawbacks. Chess Yip notes the rising cost of living in Hong Kong is making it harder to save money. Cheah says overcrowding and air pollution are other negatives.
Indeed, some people turn to Penang as an escape from Hong Kong’s high costs and crowded streets. Many who have worked in Hong Kong for years return to seek comfort and luxury in the streets of George Town.
Mariam Lim, originally from the mining town of Ipoh in Perak state, northwest Malaysia, has retired comfortably in Penang after working in Hong Kong as a human resources manager for multi-national corporations for 11 years.
“When I was working in Hong Kong, I always had to remember to leave for a Hong Kong antidote,” she joked. “I love Penang, my friends are here, the people are nice and it’s culturally very rich. My family isn’t too far away either in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, I didn’t have second thoughts about coming home,” she added.
Lim’s sentiments are shared by Hongkongers looking for a quieter place to retire, and the Malaysia My Second Home scheme, which grants foreigners 10-year visas to live in the country, has made Penang one of their top choices.
Some of them are retired Hong Kong policemen, who declined to be interviewed, wanting to keep a low-profile.
“Initially I thought I would promote Kuala Lumpur when I was asked by my Hong Kong clients where to stay in Malaysia, but they like Penang,” said Sam Choong, a lawyer who works with applicants of the Malaysia My Second Home scheme.
“It’s a dream for them to have a more tranquil, holiday island style life and they have more space,” said the agent, who has offices in both Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Lorinna Gehrig, who was born and raised in Hong Kong but married a Swiss husband, first made her way to Kuala Lumpur, before being convinced by people at the Embassy of Switzerland in Malaysia to retire in Penang.
“When I first arrived in Penang, we were staying at the Eastern & Oriental hotel and sitting outside looking at the Malacca Strait, it felt like Hong Kong 40 years ago,” said Gehrig. “And I was thrilled to hear the Indians here speaking fluent Cantonese,” she gushed.
Gehrig has been living in Penang since 2007. Property prices were a huge draw for her. Along with an apartment, she and her husband Stefan Gehrig bought a row of heritage shophouses in George Town, where they have invested in a cafe, a boutique hotel and an art gallery. “For the same price, I can get a place 10 times the size of a Hong Kong property,” she said. She also appreciates how accepting Penangites are of her mixed marriage, saying: “No one looks at us strangely here.”
For the Penangites that have left, their hometown continues to call to them.
Pathology professor Philip Beh, who has been away from Malaysia for more than 40 years, finds himself dreaming of Penang’s world-famous cuisine. “My taste for the food never diminishes,” he said.
While Cheah Cheng Hye insists he can never fully retire from running his company, he hopes to spend more time in Penang. “When world-class opportunities in cities like Hong Kong, London and Singapore are available, it is hard to resist when we’re younger. But I think Penang has a good environment, apart from a few traffic jams here and there.” – SCMP
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019…ZdkKlTygCoDz.99
This post has been edited by p1ulua3 : Today, 05:42 PM

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Bombay Street Food Brings Indian Snacks to Life in Columbia Heights

Home / World Localities / Bombay Street Food Brings Indian Snacks to Life in Columbia Heights Bombay Street Food Brings Indian Snacks to Life in Columbia Heights World Localities Growing up in Bombay, Asad Sheikh would buy plates of bhel puri or a paneer pakora from street corner vendors all over town. Once he immigrated to the United States, he found those tastes of home much harder to find.
“Americans knows butter chicken and chicken tikka masala,” Sheikh says before trailing off. In the restaurateur’s mind, many Americans are missing out on some of the finest food India had to offer — Bombay street food. “It’s about the heat, the flavor, the spices, the small plates,” he says dreamily. “It’s something I was never able to find in D.
C.” Last November, Sheikh took matters into his own hands, opening the aptly named Bombay Street Food in Columbia Heights .
After opening a string of successful Indian restaurants in Northern Virginia (Curry Mantra, London Curry House, 1947), he chose to base his first D.C.
project on the flavors that dominate his childhood memories. Now called Mumbai, Sheikh’s hometown is known for tantalizing sounds and scents: the spicy-sweet, nose-stinging tang of tamarind chutney ; the sour chill of dahi (yogurt); the sizzling sound of fried pakoras; and the gentle crack of crispy puris being filled with lentils and chutney water.
That’s Sheikh’s Bombay. The coastal city’s name was officially changed in 1995 to shed vestiges of British colonialism and embrace the Indian goddess, Mumbadevi.
It’s a major hub in India for finance, entertainment, and, of course, street food.
Bombay Street Food owner Asad SheikhRey Lopez/Eater D.
C. The scenery that welcomes customers at Bombay Street Food may look like it’s over the top.
It’s not. It’s the very essence of Bombay life — large, fun, and loud.
Murals depict snippets of the city’s life , including Bollywood scenes and the Gateway of India , a monumental arch and tourist attraction. The blown up photos include one of Anthony Bourdain digging into vada pav — a humble sandwich stuffed with a spiced potato patty that has turned out to be the restaurant ’s best seller.
There’s also a pav bhaji, which stuffs a roll with a thick, tomato-based curry made with vegetables and potatoes. “It’s simple food,” Sheikh says, “but most Indian restaurants [in D.
C.] don’t go in this direction.
” The menu holds a detailed explanation of the restaurant ’s background and purpose, followed by a long list of appetizers that encompass the street foods of Bombay. There are also “American-Indian” staples. “The first thing Americans know about Indian restaurants is butter chicken ,” Sheikh says. “If you don’t have it on the menu, it’s difficult to get people to even come in.
” Sheikh is OK with the fact that some people will only order butter chicken , because he hopes it can serve as a gateway to the vibrant cuisine elsewhere on the menu. Here’s a look inside the dishes at Bombay Street Food:
<img style="max-width: 800px" src="http://www.
enjoytravelling.info/wp-content/plugins/OxaRss/images/48fecacfc9677734792ac4022cf3e1da_Daal.
Daal makni from Bombay Street FoodRey Lopez/Eater D.C.
Daal Makni Sheikh is proud of his restaurant ’s humble lentils. This dish simmers overnight on very low heat in the “dum” style of cooking — which means slow and patient — to infuse the right amount of flavor into the lentils.
This version is exceptionally rich thanks to the amount of ghee, or clarified butter. Like the butter chicken , this basic dish is intended to bring people back and get them to explore other parts of the menu.

Paneer pakora from Bombay Street FoodRey Lopez/Eater D.
C.

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6 days itinerary from bengaluru to rameshwram…

We are planning a 6 days road trip from bengaluru to rameshwram, madurai, kodaikanal and Coimbatore . We will be leaving bengaluru on 14th April morning and we have to reach bengaluru back on 19th April till night. Please suggest a good itinerary for this trip. We are pure vegetarian so please suggest any good restaurant on route and on these places. We would love to have south indian food, fruits and local cuisines. We are very excited to see danushkoti, please tell what is the best time (morning or evening) to see danushkoti. We will avoid night driving. Also pleae tell good hotels (not too costly) or accomodation at these places.

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Memeteca18.com • Paatra (Jaypee Vasant Continental)

20 am Sagar Ratna (The Ashok) Sagar Ratna is the best place to get familiar to the orthodox atmosphere of South India and taste the typical South Indian pure vegetarian food. Seven is a classy Indian restaurant that showcases seven different styles of Indian cuisines with live ghazals to make your evening more special. Fire (The Park Hotel) FIRE is a Pan Indian restaurant designed with keeping in mind the basic element of fire. Paatra (Jaypee Vasant Continental) Paatra offers the best of Pan-Indian cuisine. Live music in the evening makes the dining experience of this restaurant popular for vegetarian and non-vegeterian cuisines, more appealing. Bhunee Chaat, Mutterwali Tikki, Jhingai Lajawab and Guchchi Murg served here are just irresistible for the lovers of Chat-pati local Indian dishes. Yellow Chilli (Hotel City Park) Yellow Chilli is an authentic Indian Restaurant introduced by Master chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Yellow Mirchi at Hotel City Park, Delhi is a nice venue in the bustling city of Delhi to sit in a cozy ambience and enjoy lustrous food along with live music. Rasoi (Centaur Hotels) The restaurant Rasoi of this four star Delhi hotel serves Indian food in ethnic Indian style and ambiance. Hyde Park (Hotel Diplomat) Hyde Park at the four star Delhi hotel Diplomat with a multi-cuisine menu offers mouth-watering Indian food cooked and served in traditional style. Gulnar Restaurant (Hotel Janpath) Hotel Janpat Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential Suomi , New Delhi at its Gulnar Restaurant provides classy ambience to take the full pleasure of a candle light dinner with live ghazals. Gulnar Resturant specializes in Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines Author’s Resource Box Go Heritage India Journeys is a blooming travel agency that takes you through an incredible journey in India through its exquisitely

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The Mumbai Market By Karen Anand

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After completing over 60 successful markets in 8 different cities, Markets by Karen Anand is kicking off their first Mumbai market of the year in the gorgeous green space of Westin Woods at The Westin Mumbai Garden City on Saturday 6 th and Sunday 7 th April.
The Mumbai Market is an opportunity to experience a market that represents sustainability, quality food, drink and natural lifestyle with exhibitors from all over the country sharing a common goal.
SOME OF THE EXHIBITORS AT THIS MARKET FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY INCLUDE…
Keya foods with freeze dried herbs and spices , Safe Cup from Pune a breakthrough for women, Clay Hot Pots with an organic way of cooking, Paul & Mike with farm to bar chocolates from Kerala , Bottega Pereira from Chennai..meet Fiametta and Godfrey with their fabulous range of table linen, The Tea Shelf, a new brand of innovative tea blends, Eye Cool an indispensable travel aid, Lily Aunty’s with her own Goan masalas, Earthon with organic snacks, Native Tongue with nut butters.
To tempt you further, there’s a line up of restaurants. 5 of the city’s best eateries come together to offer an array of delicious cuisines. These include the new coastal Mangalorean restaurant The Ferry Wharf, Fatty Bao brings us baos and dim sum and some delicious Italian and Indian fare by The Westin Mumbai Garden City.
Enjoy a selection of International and local wines; cool refreshing beers by Kingfisher, Moonshine Meadery and refreshing Ketel One cocktails.
Fun activities include the now infamous beer chugging challenge and our interactive food & beverage quiz, The Great Food Quiz hosted by Sasha Anand! We have a dedicated kids area with Eco Kids doing loads of fun activities for children. Other fun activities include Multifit and beer yoga. Shake a leg as you groove and sway to the music of our live bands from Pune; Derek and Shaun with funky pop music on Saturday 6 th April and some retro classics by Zayn and Jude on Sunday 7 th April.
There’s something for everyone… bring along your family and friends and get ready to enjoy a fun filled weekend only at The Mumbai Market by Karen Anand .

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10 Buffets in Metro Manila With Birthday Freebies

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(SPOT.ph) Birthdays only come once a year so might as well go all out when celebrating them. And nothing says “party” more than unlimited food. Drop by any of these buffets around Metro Manila where you can avail of deals on the day (or within the month) that you were born—it’ll be hard not to feel extra special.
Also read: Here are buffets in Metro Manila that offer freebies on your birthday: Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot PHOTO BY four seasons Facebook page
Hot-pot enthusiasts will have a field day at Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot. You can have your unlimited fill of a vast selection of hot-pot accoutrements like different kinds of noodles, balls, vegetables, and more—plus different kinds of broth to mix and match with these, too. Drop by on your birthday and you get a buffet for free as long as you’re with one paying adult; on any other day within your birthday month, you can dine for free as long as you’re with three paying adults. Be sure to bring a valid ID as proof of birth date!
See a list of Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot branches . Spiral PHOTO BY Spiral Facebook page
Celebrating a special milestone? It’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself and the fam to Spiral by Sofitel. You’re sure to feel like royalty as you dine at their 21 “dining ateliers,” with cuisines that range from Japanese and Chinese to North Indian delicacies—plus they have their own ice creamery, chocolatier, and a cheese room. Dine on your birthday, three days before or three days after as a group of four or more, and you get to eat for free. Plus, you’ll get a special birthday cake, too.
Spiral is at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City . Vikings PHOTO BY Vikings Facebook page
When it comes to extravagant yet affordable buffets, Vikings is one of the first names that come to mind. You get the classics from all around the world in one spot, from Italian and American, to Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino. They’ve got a pretty awesome birthday promo, too: Dine for free on your birthday as long as you come with one paying adult. For the rest of your birth month, you can get your buffet for free as long as you’re with three paying adults. Just be prepared when the staff gifts you with a pretty explosive song-and-dance number—and makes you wear a Viking hat, too.
See a list of Vikings branches . The Food Club
If you like a show with your meal, drop by The Food Club. Each of their four food stations—Asian-Chinese, Western, Cold (sushi and sashimi), and Desserts—has an open kitchen, so you can watch your food being prepared in front of you. Birthday celebrants have two promos they can avail: If you’re dining with three paying adults, you get your meal free on your birthday month. If you’re dining with a smaller group, you can still get a 20% discount on your meal. Win-win all around.
The Food Club is at Unit E Blue Bay Walk, President Diosdado Macapagal Avenue corner EDSA, Pasay City. Sambo Kojin PHOTO BY Sambo Kojin Facebook page
Can’t choose between hot pot or yakiniku ?You can have both at Sambo Kojin. Aside from those, you can also feast on other Japanese and Korean staples like sushi, sashimi, katsu , bibimbap, and more. Drop by on your birthday, within three days before, or within three days after your birthday with one paying adult and get your buffet for free. Plus, you can avail of the promo 14 times within the mentioned time frame—though only one birthday celebrant is allowed per group.
See a list of Sambo Kojin branches . 7 Flavors Buffet & A La Carte
Tucked in a quiet part of San Juan City is 7 Flavors, a pretty affordable buffet choice at P500 per person on weekdays and P600 per person on weekdays. Their buffet spread is a selection of homey comfort food and Pinoy staples like Roast Chicken, Salisbury Steak, Tofu Sisig, and more. It’s a great place to have a more intimate celebration—plus, if you drop by on your birthday month with five paying guests, you dine for free.
7 Flavors Buffet and A La Carte is at 196 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City. Tong Yang Plus PHOTO BY Tong Yang Facebook page
Get the best of both worlds—hot pot and barbecue—at Tong Yang Plus. Aside from a buffet of hot-pot broth and toppings, as well as different cuts of meat and seafood you can grill right at your table, you can also feast on Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Filipino staples. Plus you can eat for free on your birthday—just bring a paying companion. Can’t drop by on your birthday? Visit any day within your birth month and you still get a free buffet, as long as you’re with four more diners.
See a list of Tong Yang Plus branches . NIU by Vikings PHOTO BY NIU by Vikings Facebook page
NIU is the sixth concept by the Vikings group and their elevated version of their buffet experience. Aside from opulent interiors, you can feast on premium items like foie gras , lamb, steak, lobster, and more. It’s enough to make you feel extra special on your birthday, but they up the ante with a birthday promo: Drop by on your birthday with one paying adult, and you can dine for free. You can also drop by on any other day—as long as it’s still within your birthday month—and get a free meal as long as you come with three paying adults.
See a list of NIU by Vikings branches . Dads World Buffet PHOTO BY DADS World Buffet Facebook page
One of the giants when it comes to buffets is DADS World Buffet—their selection also includes Kamayan and Saisaki. Dine here and you can find almost everything you’re craving from roasts, pasta, and pizza to Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese staples. You get seven days to avail of their birthday promo: On your actual birthday, three days prior and three days after. Bring one paying adult and claim your free meal either during lunch or dinner—you can claim your promo multiple times within the timeframe, for up to 14 times at that.
See a list of DADS World Buffet branches . Gen Korean BBQ PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
On your birthday, you deserve to treat yourself in the most extra way possible—and it doesn’t get more lavish than having your unlimited fill from Gen Korean BBQ’s 30 different cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and seafood plus soup and side dishes. Plus, the LA-born Korean restaurant has several birthday promos for you to choose from. During your birth month, you can dine for free as long as you bring four paying adults with you. Bigger groups can choose between two more promos: A group of 10 paying adults gets a free buffet, and a group of 15 paying adults gets two free buffet meals.
Gen Korean BBQ is at Building J, Unit 1-16, SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. More stories from Spot.ph

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Israel’s Tourism Triumph

Home / World Localities / Israel’s Tourism Triumph Israel’s Tourism Triumph World Localities
The virulently anti-Israel movement known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—BDS—is roiling through campuses, overflowing into city councils, encroaching into corporate boardrooms, and now chomping at the essence of Israel’s special niche in the world: its travel and tourism industry . Everywhere, the boycotters have been asking to isolate Israel. BDS even convinced Airbnb to stop listing Jewish locations in Judea and Samaria—also known as the West Bank (a term invented after Jordan invaded in 1948, when the UN’s partition suggestion failed to create two states). In Ireland, a bill advancing through Parliament may criminalize visiting the old city and even purchasing lunch or a keepsake.
Whereas similar boycotts against other countries have inflicted withering effects on national economies, in Israel—it simply hasn’t worked. The opposite is true. Yes, boycotters are busy demonizing Israel. Yet despite this, Israel’s tourism industry has rocketed to a singular triumph and now employs tens of thousands. Flights are packed and new non-stops are being added across the globe. Even though new luxury hotels are going up as fast as the Mideast sun will dry concrete, rooms remain in high demand and, thus, are scarce and expensive. Israel has become world famous for creative cuisine and trendy eateries; so if you want to get a table at the most popular restaurants, you’ll need to book weeks in advance.
Travel and tourism to Israel has dramatically changed. It’s not just synagogue sisterhoods and Jewish organizations. Swelling up from Israel’s “Start-up Nation,” world famous top chef culture, and hard-won penetration of markets beyond America and West Europe, as well as its sophisticated travel industry burnishing, Israel is now a destination for the entire world. Traditional Jewish-American travelers from Miami to Seattle must now compete with Silicon Valley techies, Chinese students, Indian tourists, East European Christian pilgrims, and diverse businessmen from across the planet. The numbers are multiplying.
In 2016, 2.9 million total worldwide visitors visited Israel. By the close of 2018, that number had boomed to 4.1 million—and the totals keep climbing. Within the coming decade, Israel expects to employ 98,000 people in its tourism sector.
When Israeli tourism prospers, so does the Palestinian community. Christian pilgrims make a beeline for Bethlehem. Thus, tourism bre economic interdependence and strengthens co-existence.
Arrivals stream in from everywhere.
Today, most North American travelers to Israel are not Jewish; they are Christian, often seeking Biblical discovery. From North America , Jews comprise about 40 to 45 percent of the travelers, while Christians generally hover at about 60 percent year to year, according to official estimates. While the Jewish-Christian percentages remain the same, the growth spurt for North America has seen the overall numbers increase by 42 percent since 2016.
In 2009, only 20,000 Indians visited Israel, reports Israel’s tourism office in New Delhi. Some years ago, Israel hosted Indian travel agents knowing that in India , such agents book most of the travel . Reciprocal travel programs tapped such markets as India ’s Kerala Christians. Dramatically improved diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Jerusalem combined with thrice-weekly direct Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner service —which was granted special Saudi flyover permission, saving more than two hours—has created a steady flow of Indian visitors. This year, Israel expects more than 80,000 Indian arrivals, with travel officials working to achieve a further 65 percent increase. That may happen if, as planned, the Israeli film industry entices Bollywood producers to use Israeli locations.
In 2015, only 30,000 tourists visited Israel from China . But when direct flights between Ben Gurion airport and numerous Chinese cities were added, the number more than trebled to 100,000-plus annually. Today, China is Israel’s greatest growth market. Celebrity Chinese chefs are now flown in, and Chinese-speaking guides are easily found.
Air connections are the lifeblood of Israel’s tourism as well as its international viability. Nowadays you can fly nonstop to Israel from numerous North American cities. From New York ’s JFK, Delta is launching a twice daily nonstop . From Newark’s Liberty, United also flies nonstop twice daily. From Washington, D.C.’s Dulles, United will soon inaugurate thrice weekly non-stop service . From Toronto, Air Canada offers daily non-stops. From Montreal, Air Canada will fly twice weekly during the summer. From San Francisco, United flies daily, primarily for the surging nexus to Silicon Valley.
North American carriers all compete with El Al, which is by far the dominant carrier linking our continent with Israel—boasting 45 nonstop flights weekly that carry more than 50,000 passengers per month. For many Israel-bound travelers, El Al is the one and only carrier. And it has vastly improved. With the exception of the Jewish sabbath and holidays, Israel’s star-emblazoned national carrier flies day or night, rain or shine, good news or bad news, rockets or not. Its unique extra security, where young security staffers at the airport ask invasive personal questions to evaluate risk, are sometimes viewed as a mix between reassurance, ritual, and a Jewish guilt trip. “You’re coming to Israel? Why now?” Or the classic: “Who do you know in Israel?” Answer: “Everyone.”
El Al has conquered labor problems, on-board religious tiffs, and more to expand and enhance its daily service to and from multiple U.S. cities. Not only can you fly El Al nonstop direct from New York , Newark, and Miami, but now also from Boston, Los Angeles, Toronto, and this summer, from Las Vegas and San Francisco. In spring 2020, Chicago service starts. Most of all, El Al predominantly offers Dreamliner service . On its 747 and 777 fleet, El Al still offers Economy Seat PLUS, relatively affordable, spacious, and comfortable—especially in the bulkhead row. For many traveling to Israel, El Al’s Economy Seat PLUS is now the go-to booking. What’s more, you can purchase business class check-in at either JFK or Newark for $35–$45, and your travel experience will be delightful. The lounge is restful and stocked with good food and beverages, allowing you await departure in luxury.
Israel’s tourism triumph would not have been possible without an airline triumph as well. That triumph in the skies has finally happened. Google News: Tourism India site-frontpagemag.com Related Post

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Home » College Reviews » California Colleges » Soka University of America Soka University of America A.K.A. SUA, Soka University, Soka ( 4.10 /5.00) Soka University of America is a Soka Gakkai, Buddhist, Non-Profit, College established in 2001 . The campus is located in Aliso Viejo, California, USA and hosts 436 (2012) students with an endowment of $1.04 billion (2012). OVERALL QUALITY Address: 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, California, 92656, USA Phone: +1 (949) 480-4000 Institution Type: Soka Gakkai, Buddhist, Non-Profit, College Established: 2001 Social Profiles: Facebook • Twitter • Google+ • Wikipedia • Flickr • YouTube • Google News • Yahoo News Leave A Review – Free Speech Is Welcome! By posting a review at CollegeTimes you agree to our Terms. In summary, by reviewing any college or university in our database, you confirm that you are a current or former student from the given institution, a parent or relative of a current or former student, or a former (but not current) employee. Leaving fake ‘positive’ reviews is strictly prohibited, and illegal. Suspected transgressors will be reported publicly on our Twitter handle. Please also realize that accusing anyone of a felony (serious crime) is against our Terms of Service (criminal matters such as assault or violence should be immediately reported to the local police or appropriate authorities). Lastly, please refrain from defaming, slandering, or lying about any individuals by name. OVERALL QUALITY Administration/Staff HOTNESS FACTOR Please do not forget to click on all the stars above. Every category must be rated for your review to be approved and displayed properly . One star is the minimum rating for each category (please do not leave “zero” stars for any category). Thanks! 48 Student Reviews of Soka University of America Student April 2, 2019
Small class size made me think who I am and what I can do to improve this society as a person. Most professors are really friendly, and they are always willing to help students. Mandatory study abroad program is one of the most popular characteristic of Soka, and as an International student, going to the US and studying abroad to another country broaden my future options and gave an opportunity to grow as a person. Overall Score: ( 4.54 /5.00) November 27, 2018
I am currently a third-year student at Soka University. As an international student, I really feel the positive influences of the diversity here. Leaving my home country, I realized how hard it is to overcome differences (any differences like nationality, race, gender, sex, language, social status, personality…). People automatically categorize others and have biases if they are not like “us.” That’s why diversity sometimes hurts- we may experience exclusion, contempt, stereotype, disrespect, and so on. I should admit that it happens at SUA too. It’s very hard to avoid anywhere in the world. However, I feel that SUA really changes students’ perspectives by giving an opportunity to be a “minority.” At Soka, students from over 45 countries live on campus together and study abroad in their 3rd year. I see many people start to respect others thanks to these opportunities. After coming back from study abroad, some domestic students told that they didn’t expect how hard living abroad and learning new language was and started to respect international students more.
I notice that there are both positive and negative comments here. I found a review saying that “brainless” SUA students never be able to change their lives at SUA, but I definitely disagree with that because of the reason above. You might be confused if my opinion is wrong or other people are biased, but you’ll never know the reality until you actually visit SUA and talk to Soka students. I can’t tell which college is the best for you; the only thing I can tell is that Soka is a great college for me so far, and I hope you love it too. Overall Score: ( 4.45 /5.00) November 5, 2018
I’m currently a second year student at soka university of America. Soka truly embraces diversity; students come from more than 45 different countries. I learned many different cultures in terms of food, manner, and values. I have so many friends who are religiously, culturally, and nationally different from me, but I can say that all of them are wonderful human beings. I believe that Soka represents a world, where people can understand each other and create friendships beyond any differences. If you want to become a global citizen who contribute to a society as a member of humanity, I would recommend this Soka university. Overall Score: ( 0 /5.00) November 2, 2018
I am currently a second year student at SUA and have no regret to have chosen this university!. Classes at Soka often involve dialogue and discussion, and we have a lot of opportunities to work in small teams. The average class size at Soka is about 12 students in a class, and the student-faculty ratio is 8:1. Professors are very passionate about teaching and always welcome to answer students’ questions. Despite of its small campus size, Soka has high quality facilities including recreation center and performing art center. What makes Soka special would be its affordability. Financial aids are available for any students depending on their economic situation and academic performance. The fee of mandatory study abroad program is included in tuition, which can also be covered by SUA scholarship. I also want to emphasize the beauty of our campus! Our campus is modeled after the Italian village, and you will find many travertine tiles used in the buildings. Thanks to the proper care and treatment of flowers and trees by the staff members, we enjoy the beautiful nature at our campus. You will absolutely love the campus life here. 🙂 Overall Score: ( 4.45 /5.00) July 20, 2018
Soka University of America has a unique mission statement: to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life. I’ve never seen such a mission statement or focus of a university like this before. While learning and academics are one of the main reasons for my decision to attend college, I wanted to become a better, more socially aware person. To me, Soka seemed like a great fit.I’m a sophomore at Soka University of America. It’s definitely a unique environment when it comes to small class sizes, having more contact with professors, and the generous amenities (aka spacious dorms and no communal bathrooms). Some aspects of Soka may not be your cup of tea; but like any college, you receive what you put into the experience. Thanks to Soka, I have so many resources at my disposal to further my education/experience such as networking to alumni who are in my field of study and generous study abroad curriculum in my choice of country. This school isn’t perfect (small student body, only four concentrations of study, quiet surrounding area and student life) but it’s a great deal and I’ve grown so much here. Soka is definitely worth it. Overall Score: ( 3.90 /5.00) July 11, 2018
I’m currently a first-year student at SUA. This campus has a lot of opportunities to learn cultural differences. Many students are international students, so in daily life, we face lots of difficulties caused by cultural differences. However, we talk each other and find a solution for this situation by our selves. I believe this is a precious experience in my life. I definitely recommend this school for future students. Overall Score: ( 4 /5.00) May 10, 2018
I’m currently a first-year international student from Nepal enrolled at Soka University of America. Soka is a great liberal art college with students from over 40 nations of the world. It has a small student body, which facilitates interaction with professors within and outside the classroom. The interdisciplinary education and diverse community of Soka provide students with an ability to view things from a broader perspective.What I particularly like about Soka is its unique program called Learning Cluster that takes place during the month of January. A Learning Cluster is a research seminar where students work in teams with faculty facilitators to investigate a specific question. It helps in bridging theory and practice, and evoke an educated outcome. Apart from its great education, Soka is aesthetically gifted with a beautiful campus and natural beauty of the surrounding canyon. It’s a great place to visit and take a walk! Overall Score: ( 4.27 /5.00) March 13, 2018
I’m currently a first year student at SUA and having a wonderful opportunity to learn and get along with my friends. Soka has been my dream school since when i was young. I visited the campus at the age of 11 from Japan and got impressed with the campus and people studying there. I was longing to get in and decided to go to the high school in the United States to get into SUA. I’m so happy to be here now and enjoying so much to learn something new every day. What I got most impressed was the discussion in class. Although American education is half based on discussion and lecture from my experience in high school, Soka offers us incredible opportunity that regards discussion. Since we’re from over 30 different countries and 23 different states, the discussion often gets diverse. This always makes me think that this diversity always makes me learn and try something new every day. I really love this environment and so glad to be here. I would like to keep studying in this wonderful environment and be a global citizen who truly contribute to helping other people. Overall Score: ( 4.63 /5.00) June 16, 2017
I am currently a third-year student at Soka University of America. This school caught my attention with its small class sizes, international focus, and emphasis on humanistic education. I chose to pursue my undergraduate education at SUA because I wanted an academic experience that would nurture me as an individual, and provide the environment for me to strive alongside my peers and together with my mentors to gain the intellectual foundation for my future educational and career pursuits.
Classes at SUA are small and intimate, with 12 to 18 students in a typical classroom. There are about 8 students per faculty by-the-numbers, so it’s easy to get to know professors. Classes are always taught and graded by the actual faculty themselves rather than teaching assistants, so throughout each semester, students develop a direct relationship with their instructors. Learning Clusters provide a month-long opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary study of a particular topic of interest; examples range from sustainability in South America, to the politics of Southeast Asia. Some of these classes even have the opportunity to travel abroad. The best thing about the academics at Soka is that you receive as much value from your interactions with your fellow classmates and professors as from the class materials themselves. This puts a personal touch on the educational experience and allows students to engage in genuine experiential learning.
SUA has a mandatory study abroad program that provides students the opportunity to solidify their foreign language skills in a country where the target language is spoken. Currently, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish are taught. The international focus of the schools is also reflected in the diverse student body, of which about 40% comes from outside the United States. The meeting of cultures and languages on campus is a manifestation of SUA’s commitment to global citizenship. Sharing ideas with people from all over the world who strive to become leaders in the global community is clearest way in which SUA provides a practical, concrete way for students to contribute to world peace. SUA’s mottoes, values, and mission are not mere abstract concepts, but are realized in the day-to-day elements of all students, faculty, and staff.
Residential life at SUA is organized yet diverse. First-year students live in double rooms with a bathroom, while upperclassmen get suites. This means that students never need to share a room (or bathroom) with more than one other person during their four years at Soka. The residential life staff works hard to make sure that students are supported all throughout. There’s plenty of opportunity for socialization, whether in one of the campus’ many student-led clubs, or by having fun in students’ free time. Students can choose to hang out during free time, but there is never any pressure to do particular activities simply because of certain peer groups. The campus community is very open and accepting of different preferences, aiding the school’s focus on humanism and educating the whole person.
On the whole, I am very thankful and happy for my decision to study at Soka University of America. Generous financial aid from the institution works to eliminate whatever concerns about college accessibility, so students from all backgrounds can pursue their educational goals. SUA works diligently to make sure that Soka graduates are equipped with the intellectual and social principles to live contributive lives on any path they choose to follow. Overall Score: ( 4.90 /5.00) June 15, 2017
Studying at Soka University has been a truly life-changing experience. Soka University of America is a small (approx. 450 students) liberal arts college founded upon Buddhist principles of pacifism, sanctity of life, and environmental stewardship. Soka’s location is on a hill surrounded by a county natural reserve, canyons and a residential community in the sunny South Orange County, California. Even though Soka’s campus presents unparalleled architectural mastery and splendid views of nearby canyons, it’s biggest strength lies in academics. Soka’s progressive and inclusive curriculum has allowed Soka University to rise rapidly (over past 15 years) among thousands of American liberal arts colleges and place itself as one of the TOP 50 Liberal Arts Colleges in the US. Soka University has achieved national recognition due to strong emphasis of its values, such as global citizenship, diversity, financial aid, and rigor. The faculty members become students’ mentors; they are acclaimed in their fields and always available to students. Soka University mandates all of its students to study abroad and to join hands-on learning periods. Soka has great modern facilities, and each student has more than 100 square ft. of personal space. Overall Score: ( 4.54 /5.00) June 6, 2017
I am currently a student at Soka University of America. I am so thankful that Soka offered me many opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. Soka students come from 23 US states and 40 countries, and I get to talk to these people and form friendships through chatting at the dining hall, doing club activities, etc. I treasure my friends at Soka and dialogues with them. They make me laugh, give me some insights about life, and take challenges together. The student body is like a family because we have such a small number of students, which is 450. I also made precious friends in Spain through our mandatory semester study abroad program. I chose Seville, Spain for my study abroad location because I heard so many good things about the program in there. The best part about my study abroad was that I made wonderful Spanish friends whom I still keep in touch with. I learned a lot about Spanish cuisine and cultures from them. I feel so fortunate to go to Soka. Overall Score: ( 4.90 /5.00) April 6, 2017
I am a fourth-year-student at Soka University of America, and I am very grateful for the education I received here. One of the amazing experiences I had was study abroad. SUA has a mandatory semester study abroad in student’s third year after 4 semesters of learning foreign languages. Students have options of taking one of four languages: Chinese, Spanish, French and Japanese. I studied Chinese and went to Beijing University for a semester. The homestay experience with local Chinese family, friendship from all over the world, and travels across China not only helped me better understand its cultures and language, but also helped me grow and be a better person. Although I had several challenges – being sick etc, I will treasure these experiences for my life. I am very thankful for all the benefactors who make this education possible to everyone. Overall Score: ( 4.27 /5.00) March 8, 2017
I think the reviewer who called it a “school upon a hill” never read the text “city upon a hill” after which this school was satirically named in a local news article. It is not a good thing to be associated with a group of people who are delusional in their beliefs, and that is what the student body at Soka is. Religion can truly make you think that nothing is something. Teachers here are average. The small student to teacher ratio is annoying when your teachers treat you like children and try to guide every step of your education like overbearing mothers. This is the school to go to if you are afraid to go to a real college. But admin is pretty horrible for such a small school. Make sure they get your transcript right and be prepared to talk to financial aid advisors who don’t take the minimum initiative to help you. Overall Score: ( 1.18 /5.00) November 12, 2015
Liberal arts education here has helped me look at the world from many different points of view. I have also developed critical and creative thinking and communication skills, which are necessary for any kind of job. Small class size helps us actively engage in learning through class discussion. Also, it is easier here to reach out to professors (Student/faculty ratio is 8:1), and they help your learning with passion and kindness. You can find your favorite professors and make strong connections with them. You could even create an independent study with a professor where you can learn the subject you like with the full support of a professor. In addition, because of the diversity we have here and the small student body, you can meet and work with people of different race, nationality, and culture and learn from each other regardless of any difference. You can make friendships beyond boarders. Also, SUA is very student-centered, so students take responsibility of their learning and campus life, and professors, administrators, staff fully support them. I wouldn’t say it’s flawless, but as long as you have a will to learn, SUA offers a lot of resources for you. Overall Score: ( 3.63 /5.00) November 6, 2014
I am currently a senior at SUA. SUA has given me so many opportunities to broaden my perspectives and explore various places of the world over the past few years. First of all, I went to China for study abroad and had precious experiences there, which helped me deepen my understanding of Chinese culture and also think about my future career. I lived with a Chinese host family and we had meals together. Not only was I able to study Chinese on site, but also I learned how to survive in China. Because I learned to appreciate China and the Chinese people, I am planning to go back to China for my work in the future. In addition to the study abroad program, there are many wonderful professors who teach valuable things in our life. For example, I have learned works of ancient and contemporary philosophers, which enabled me to think of things from multiple viewpoints. Besides philosophy classes, I have been taking several psychology classes as my concentration is Social and Behavioral Sciences. Through studying psychology, I was able to expand my views of how and why people behave in certain ways and how to live life fully. I really appreciate SUA for giving me such wonderful opportunities to develop as a well-rounded person. Overall Score: ( 4.63 /5.00) October 21, 2014
I am currently a student at Soka University of America. Through attending Soka University of America, I have gained great experiences which helped me broaden my perspectives and reinforce my belief. One of these experiences is dormitory life. At Soka University of America, all the students are required to live in dormitories. Since 38% of the students come from abroad, diversity each student brings coexists on campus. The diversity is especially perceived in the dormitory. By actually sharing a room, spending a lot of time, and eating together with friends who have different perspectives, I was able to learn from other cultures and values, rethink who I am, thus deepen my character as an individual. For academics, although the school is liberal arts (which means we will get diploma of Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts), we have four concentrations: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, International Studies, and Environmental Studies. Here at Soka, the relationship between instructors and students is very close and we can ask questions freely. Professors are willing to help me and very caring. I am very grateful for this. Classes are interesting and eye-opening too. The good thing in liberal arts education is that we can explore broader field of study. I first thought biology is not interesting at all, but I found out I am actually very interested in this. Many people may think that Liberal arts education is useless for job hunting, but I can confidently say that liberal arts education enables me to realize my new possibilities and capabilities I would’ve never thought of, therefore the education and experiences at Soka definitely have enriched my life. Overall Score: ( 5 /5.00) July 11, 2014
Soka University might not be the best school in the US but it’s certainly very decent (Top 50 National Liberal Arts Colleges, not too bad for a 13 years old school).The most important factor that students should consider when applying here is its extremely generous financial package. Anyone with whose family income is less than $60,000 will receive free tuition; plus, there are other types of scholarship like merit-based, athletic, legacy, research, etc. So, it is even possible for an international student to get full ride here (i.e. no charge for food, housing, nothing). I myself is an example, all the way from Vietnam and yet I haven’t even touched my parents’ emergency fund, paid everything myself so far.In terms of academics, since this is a Liberal Art College, courses here are designed to “broaden your perspectives” rather than specialize you in one field. So yeah, if you’re not sure what you want to pursue or looking for an interdisciplinary experience then this place suits you better. That being said, it is possible for one to pursue serious research if enough commitment to the field is demonstrated. For example, SUA is not very strong in Sciences, since most Sciences courses are pretty new, and a lot of people here keep whining that Sciences are too hard for them. However, I am one of those rare students who actually love Sciences (I came here because it’s the only school I can afford myself), and I was fortunate enough to work and learn from Professor Robert Hamersley, a well-respected microbiologist. Thanks to him I’ve got to work in the Jennifer Martiny Lab at UCI, one of the top Genetics Laboratories in the nation. Also, I was able to go to Hawaii, Peru, and next year Spain to attend conferences and to present my research, best thing is that the school pay for all of the fees, even food and hotel. Yes I know it sounds unbelievable, so come here and check it out yourself.Next, since this is a small school, everyone knows everyone, even the staff and faculties. Nevertheless, like any place in the world, there are plenty Mr. Nice Guys and a lot of Scumbag Steves. There are people here that will become your “bros for life.” One of my Hispanic friends calls me “yellow monkey” and I can ask him if he had any trouble crossing the border lately, or my Chinese American roommate whom I can “ching chang ching chong” with all the time and he can retort with whatever Vietnamese sounds like to American people. I don’t have to mention what I said to my Caucasian friends at dance nights, do I. Some professors are very friendly as well. My Physics Professor once told my class he can read palms, and he told me I was struggling with my sexuality, just to explain a faulty way to reduce statistical errors. And of course there are people you can’t stand, for me would be those hyppies who know nothing about GMO yet keep on arguing how bad they are. Some professors are that close-minded as well, but thanks to the student evaluation, they got kicked out pretty quick, except for one since she got tenure. Another thing is that the school fight pretty hard to maintain its ideal of peace and harmony so unorthodox methodologies are not always welcomed, but you know, you can always walk in the President’s Office, open door policy.A lot of people have mentioned the school being sectarian, affiliating with SGI. Well, guess what, I was a member, and I quit, nothing happened (SGI is too peaceful for me, or maybe I’m too cynical, or both). I have friends who are Christian, Islamic, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, traditional Buddhism, etc. Most professors are not even SGI. The reason why there are a lot of SGI student members here is because the school was founded and partially funded by SGI, so their parents told them to check it out, plus a lot of them are international students, the financial aid alone was enough to convince them. Some of them can be annoying, that, I agree, but some are awesome people, it’s like anywhere else, there are always good guys and assholes. In short, yes, this school has SGI members walking around its campus, but they are not summoning Satan or brainwashing students to turn them into secret soldiers so get over it.If you want proof or more information about anything, you can always come here or contact me directly (but I’m graduating next year so yeah, do it soon). Overall Score: ( 4 /5.00) February 3, 2014
I am currently a student at SUA and I absolutely love it here. SUA has been a dream school for me and coming here is almost unbelievable. The main reason why I loved this school is because of it’s mission to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life. I love the fact that almost all the students and faculty are here for the same reason: to change the world for the better. Having everyone with the same mindset allows education for all to be easier. We all know why we are here and our purpose. SUA is also a beautiful school located in Southern California, therefore the weather is always amazing. The opportunity to study abroad without having to worry about it financially is also great, because every student will be able to really be a global citizen. As freshmen, all students also receive a laptop. Overall, SUA has met my expectations. Overall Score: ( 4.54 /5.00) December 26, 2012
Dorm experienceStudents, in general, are very sociable. The campus has only around 450 students. Approximately 98% of students live on a dormitory. Students can naturally remember everyone’s faces. For homework, we have some group presentations, group papers. Since we live in a dorm, it’s very easy to get together to work on a group project. We can cultivate our group work skill.
EventsThis school has many events such as peach gala, spirit festival, student festival, Halloween, winter formal and international festival. Student body is very small, 450 students, so students have many opportunities to get a leadership experience. For example, Halloween needs many leaders for planning, recruiting monsters, managing the budget of decorating the basement of a gym as a haunted house, dealing with tickets, advertising this event to the community, traffic control, making sure the safety in the haunted house. Thus, this university gives students various opportunities to learn leadership.
Culturally diverseOur university is culturally diverse. There are Indian Dance club, Japanese Taiko club, Hawaiian dance club, Korean club and so forth. Besides, Performing Arts Center, which is the auditorium with 1034 seats and opened in 2010, had culturally diverse performances like Italian opera, Chinese acrobat. We appreciate diverse religions. In dormitories, there are two multifaith rooms where students can pray at any time for any religions.
Financial AidI’m confident that our school’s financial aid opportunities are one of the best. Every student whose parents’ income is less than $60,000 doesn’t have to pay tuition. Based on SAT scores, grades, etc, students have a chance to get respective free scholarship. In addition, 80% of students get some kinds of financial aids. Overall Score: ( 4.81 /5.00) November 14, 2012
This school is very average and to say it’s exceptional is a self-indulgent lie. One thing this school has more than enough of is PRIDE. It’s sickening. I was a student here. I watched people eat dinner, conforming and avoiding any criticism of this place. People responded like hungry wolves when one single article mentioned a tiny bit of doubt about the perfection of the school system. That’s how you spot weakness – cruel attempts to cover up your own flaws. Overall Score: ( 2.45 /5.00) October 31, 2012
Soka University of America (SUA) is an exceptional institution. Based on the belief that education is for the happiness of the learner, we have small classrooms (average 13 students per class), we live on campus with neighbors from all over the world, we have many extracurricular activities we can join, we have the opportunity to shape the curriculum with the guidance of professors and the deans, and we have multiple resources for financial aid and career services. I am currently a senior at SUA and I have loved 99% of being at SUA. The remaining 1% refers to the fact that there is no public transportation and, although there is a shuttle service every 30min provided by SUA, it would be wonderful if there was more accessibility to get out of Aliso Viejo and Orange County. I wish every person in the world could attend SUA, for it has really made a difference in how I look at life and how I take responsibility of the world issues. I am happy to have come to SUA. Overall Score: ( 3.90 /5.00) October 16, 2012
Dorm experienceStudents, in general, are very sociable. The campus has only around 450 students. Approximately 98% of students live on a dormitory. Students can naturally remember everyone’s faces. For homework, we have some group presentations, group papers. Since we live in a dorm, it’s very easy to get together to work on a group project. We can cultivate our group work skill.
EventsThis school has many events such as peach gala, spirit festival, student festival, Halloween, winter formal and international festival. Student body is very small, 450 students, so students have many opportunities to get a leadership experience. For example, Halloween needs many leaders for planning, recruiting monsters, managing the budget of decorating the basement of a gym as a haunted house, dealing with tickets, advertising this event to the community, traffic control, making sure the safety in the haunted house. Thus, this university gives students various opportunities to learn leadership.Culturally diverseOur university is culturally diverse. There are Indian Dance club, Japanese Taiko club, Hawaiian dance club, Korean club and so forth. Besides, Performing Arts Center, which is the auditorium with 1034 seats and opened in 2010, had culturally diverse performances like Italian opera, Chinese acrobat. We appreciate diverse religions. In dormitories, there are two multifaith rooms where students can pray at any time for any religions.
Financial AidI’m confident that our school’s financial aid opportunities are one of the best. Every student whose parents’ income is less than $60,000 doesn’t have to pay tuition. Based on SAT scores, grades, etc, students have a chance to get respective free scholarship. In addition, 80% of students get some kinds of financial aids. Overall Score: ( 4.81 /5.00) September 27, 2012
I love that these last few comments criticize a school that you have not attended. I believe most people would use the term “hater” for you guys. This school takes a humanistic approach to education by actually empowering individuals, along with a good education. They don’t just shove knowledge down your throat and say regurgitate. How can you be upset about studying abroad being a requirement? To me that already puts an individual ahead of other students because they have experienced things outside of our American box that most people never take the time to step out of. Open your mind before you disrespect this school. Overall Score: ( 0 /5.00)

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Sid Sahrawat launches new Tuesday Test Kitchen experience

Home Auckland Sid Sahrawat launches new Tuesday Test Kitchen experience Sid Sahrawat launches new Tuesday Test Kitchen experience April 3, 2019 0
Diners will soon be able to enjoy a taste of all three of chef Sid Sahrawat’s award-winning restaurants under one roof, with the upcoming launch of his Tuesday Test Kitchen.
Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month, this very special dining experience will see customers served two dishes each from Sidart, Cassia and Sid at The French Café.
Hosted in the private dining room, The French Kitchen, at Sid at the French Café, diners will also get to see Sahrawat doing what he does best, as he cooks, plates and introduces each dish.
The Tuesday Test Kitchen’s menu will change each month, delivering a superb taste of the cuisine on offer at Sahrawat’s entire stable, where the dishes are always made with the best of New Zealand’s seasonal produce and finished with the chef’s signature flair.
Diners can enjoy the contemporary Indian food that Cassia has become famous for, the flavours of the progressive Indian cuisine now found at Sidart, and the European-style menu offered at Sid at The French Café.
“People often ask me which of our three restaurants I think they should visit,” Sahrawat says. “This new format will give our diners a little taste of each restaurant under one roof, in a fun and communal atmosphere.
“The style of food at each of our establishments may be different, but they all follow our ethos of using the best produce in innovative ways to give our diners an elevated experience.
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming guests to our table and showcasing this for them.”
The Tuesday Test Kitchen is priced at $175 per person, which includes canapés, the six dishes from the Sahrawat stable of restaurants, the choice of a glass of champagne, Seedlip cocktail or beer on arrival, as well as Vittoria water and after dinner tea or coffee.
The Tuesday Test Kitchen dates for 2019 are: June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st and November 5th. Each will open from 6.30pm for a 7pm prompt start. The Tuesday Test Kitchen can cater for some dietary requirements – customers are advised to contact the restaurant directly before booking.
Tickets are limited to just 30 guests per session.
Sid at The French Café 210 Symonds St

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What makes Ravana Garden different?

What makes Ravana Garden different? Home » What makes Ravana Garden different?
Ravana Garden Boutique Hotel was recently recognised as the ‘Most Outstanding Tropical Hotel’ in LUXlife’s 2019 Global Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards programme. Yet this accolade doesn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to the hotel’s truly unique dedication to sustainable tourism. Here, Rasika Perera, Ravana Garden’s Founder, breaks down how his establishment breaks new ground in this ever-growing industry-wide movement. What makes Ravana Garden different? We embrace Sustainable Luxury, which in turn gives way to a Guilt-Free Vacation that leaves the tiniest of carbon footprints behind We have not sacrificed so much as a single tree in the construction of our property Our organic / semi-organic culinary options are not only made with locally produced and sourced fresh ingredients, they’re also completely devoid of MSG (including Ajinomoto), and are in no way processed. With most of our local spices made in-house, the food is as healthy and natural as it comes Poised between lush green paddy fields on one side, and the Indian Ocean on the other Outdoor bathtubs, private gardens, and verdant green walls encourage indulgence in the natural environment, re-establishing connection with nature Pampering at its best, through personal butler services and customised service offerings to suit individual requirements Digitisation of typically manual operations, by way of e-billing and in-suite tablets for instance Our signature sustainable destination wedding options and honeymoon choices Energy-neutral private dining and excursions Sustainable gifts and souvenir choices to take back with you The ability to strengthen personal relationships with loved ones through memorable experiences Sustainable spa on the beach – mostly made from recycled materials
Guilt Free Vacation As of late, there has been a significant rise in the number of holidaymakers and, in turn, the number of holiday deals and travel options in order to satisfy this burgeoning demand. Encouraging as this development can seem, it is also causing a palpable negative impact on an already fragile environment. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we are aware of our carbon footprint, and what our holidaymaking means for our planet. After all, if not us, then who?
Which is precisely why Ravana Garden was conceptualised and set-up with sustainability as its core ethos. Every inch of the property and every service has been designed with the aim of ensuring a guilt-free vacation for all. From the experiences and comforts provided to the proper management of waste, from start to finish we have entwined all the best and most effective sustainability practices so you need not stress about anything. And when you leave, you get to leave with the incomparable satisfaction of knowing that you have indeed been a part of it all and done your bit by simply being here.
Organic, Semi-Organic Cuisine There’s no doubt that Sri Lankan cuisine is world-renowned for many reasons, including a spectrum of flavours, textures and colours, not to mention nutrition. For centuries, Sri Lankan ingredients have been hailed by kings and dignitaries alike, with our spices revered as being second-to-none. Which is why you’d be glad to know that we have designed, created and maintained a vibrant, thriving, organic herb and vegetable garden on-site right here at Ravana Garden, where we grow our own organic produce to serve within the resort’s restaurant and dining experiences. Fertilised with nothing other than natural organic compost that is eco-friendly and biodegradable, our growing methods enable us to keep our on-site dining experiences low impact and sustainable, which naturally complements our guests’ dining preferences.
We encourage you to get involved and experience our organic garden concept during your stay. Find out more about how we manage the landscape and our agricultural practices without harming the land, and how all that delicious cuisine makes it to your table with minimal environmental impact. Choose from a tantalising variety of organic and semi-organic options, all passionately made fresh to order and delivered with love.
Private Gardens Ravana Garden’s location was carefully selected from many contenders, owing to its exceedingly calm, beautiful and invigorating surroundings. An area virtually untouched by humans, it is an utopia of sorts, serene and incredibly healing for both the body and mind. As such, we wanted to enhance its experience as much as possible, with characteristics that had to be integrated right from planning. As a result, of the many various features the property now boasts, our private gardens are a particularly loved attraction, one that elevates your experience to a whole other level.
For those days when you don’t feel like venturing out and about but would still like some time by yourself with nature, these private gardens don’t disappoint. Beautifully designed to complement your surroundings, you have your very own Secret Garden, to enjoy as you please either by yourself, or loved ones.
Private Outdoor Bathtubs Our private gardens led us in turn to ponder on what else we could include to further intensify your experience at Ravana Garden, which gave birth to our private outdoor bathtubs. That’s right, you get to enjoy a refreshing bath outdoors , with not a soul to disturb you. At least, not any human souls! Surrounded by the panoramic landscape of nature all around, you may well spend hours soaking in your tub, without a care in the world. Wash away your stresses and worries, and allow yourself to immerse in the spectacular backdrop as you take out some much-needed time for yourself.
Our private outdoor bathtubs are an excellent option for when you come back after a day of exploration and discovery. Just in time for a delectable and nutritious meal too!
Both Beach & Paddy View The beauty of Ravana Garden is that there is so much to be offered within seemingly so little. Our guests have the option of choosing from two different types of stay: Beach and Paddy View. The first overlooks the gently curling and gurgling ocean lapping at soft, sandy shores, whilst the latter looks onto mesmerising, velvety green carpets of paddy fields that stretch on as far as the eye can see. It is a favourite Sri Lankan pastime to sit by such paddy fields and read a book or dream, as you let the cool breeze first twirl around then engulf you. If you wish, you can even choose to mix-and-match your stay preferences, for instance, a few days with Beach View, and a few days with Paddy View if you want the best of both worlds.
Personal Butler Services What more could make this better you ask? Why, personal butler services of course! We believe that quality service and unforgettable experiences lie in the little details, which is why we have placed a butler to serve you. They are some of the nicest folk around, trustworthy and with a genuine affinity to help. No matter what it is your heart desires, our butlers are committed and dedicated to ensuring they make it happen for you. You will be taken care of hand and foot, so if there ever was a time to leave your baggage behind, it’s now!
Should you have any specific requirements, do let your butler know, and we assure you we will do our very best to accommodate them.
Private Dining Options Can’t remember the last time you consciously ate a meal? You’re not alone. With today’s busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, mealtime has become more of a secondary option, something we simply ‘add in’ to our daily routine. Hence, most of us don’t really get the time to indulge in gastronomy the way we’d like to. Well, Ravana Garden takes care of that too for you, with our private dining options. Whether you’re travelling solo or with company, we guarantee immersive dining experiences like no other. Enjoy fresh local cuisine brought right to you, with a butler to assist should you need anything whilst dining. Take your own sweet time and savour every bite as you take in the fabulous surrounds serving as your dining location.
Energy-Neutral Excursions As you may have realised by now, we take sustainability and environmental impact quite seriously, and as such have integrated it into every possible facet of the property. However, did you know that we have also used this same train of thought across our excursions? Choose from an exciting list of things-to- do in and around the area, with the knowledge that they have all been set-up bearing minimal impact on the delicate ecosystem in mind. With ample nature and biodiversity to enjoy, we have a responsibility to ensure these systems are preserved and taken care of to the best of our ability, which being fulfilled, makes these experiences all the more special in their own right.
Head out on challenging treks and hikes, indulge in some yoga or enjoy picnics on a rock in the middle of a lake to name just the tip of the iceberg.
Connect With Nature & Family With ever-demanding lifestyles draining us on a daily basis, it is easy to overlook things that indeed make life worth living at the end of the day: Connecting with family, and nature. Sadly, we tend to underestimate the power of both these elements in our lives, as we unwittingly make them secondary priorities and understandably so. Ravana Garden aims to reinstate these connections, making you re-discover their joys and helping you fall in love with those emotions all over again. Spending time away from the hubbub of the world can do wonders for your mind, body and soul, and enhances your well-being especially when surrounded by your loved ones and of course nature’s endless restorative beauty. Forget all about the concept of time as you allow yourself to sink into this whole new world.
Sustainable Beach Spa Of course we know that treating yourself is the main agenda on your getaway, which is why we are thrilled to offer the services of our beach spa. And yes, you guessed it, it’s sustainable too! Why not relish some well-deserved pampering, and spend some time in our wonderful spa, with treatments offered by experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated staff who ooze with Sri Lankan hospitality to make them that much more unique? If you’re feeling especially stiff and strained, let them know and they can help you alleviate those aches and pains, making you feel like a whole new person.

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