Country / City: China, Hong Kong
Profession / Occupation: Journalist and blogger, founder of the e-magazine Hong Kong Madame
Manon Tiano-Mailleux grew up in Paris in a world of journalists since it was the chosen profession of her grandmother, mother and aunt before her, whereas her father was a photographer. It was therefore very natural that she chose to study communications, specialising in the media and the press, in Paris. When she arrived in Hong Kong with her husband almost six years ago, she decided to create the site Hong Kong Madame with a friend and associate.
Why did you decide to live in this country and what aspect of your new dual culture do you find most enriching?
We had the opportunity to come and live in Hong Kong as part of my husband's work. The decision was taken quite quickly. Hong Kong being a very dynamic city where everything's extremely fast paced. Here, anything is possible! Today, almost six years later, we're still doing equally well. And, most of all, we don't regret a thing! The dual culture brings a certain open-mindedness that we might not have if we'd stayed in France. Moving abroad is always an opportunity to encounter people that you would have almost certainly not have rubbed shoulders with otherwise. Becoming an expat means opening up to others and to different cultures, adapting, making compromises, creating connections and being prepared to experience other adventures. It means changing your daily life, your habits. Living in Hong Kong not only allows you to discover Hong Kong's culture but also those of the neighbouring countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, etc.
What French touch do you pass on there in your daily life and/or in your profession?
Hong Kong Madame is an e-magazine with a French slant because it was founded by two French women. The initial idea was really to share our finds and best picks.
The e-magazine is read mainly by women living in Hong Kong and offers a range of news in different areas: Health & Beauty, Fashion, Bars & Restaurants, Travel, Children, Men, Recipes, Good Tips and Suggestions, as well as a Privilege Card which gives reductions and other irresistible offers to its members.
Even though Hong Kong Madame's readers are still mainly French, we're seeing a significant increase in English-speaking readers, especially Hongkongers. We're always on the lookout for the latest spa which has opened, the most recent restaurant creating a buzz, or French establishments flourishing in Hong Kong. It's a little crazy!
Which experience epitomising French Art de Vivre in your country and/or city would you recommend?
"French May" of course, the annual event which showcases French culture. It's a festival which brings together several fields such as art and gastronomy. Hongkongers love it! And the French too, of course! We're delighted to be able to see French films and discover new artists.