Download Ask any young Asian living in Scandinavia about the Fried Rice Network and chances are they’re a member.
It’s been a social lifeline for Asians for seven years – and claims to be the largest Asian network in the region.
The big annual event is InspirAsian, showing off the latest fashion trends in Asia.
In Stockholm, Ric Wasserman went to the party.
One hour before show time, the finishing touches are being put to the catwalk.
This year will be the 8th annual InspirAsian event, held in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen on the same weekend – with all-Asian models.
Backstage, young male models are blow-drying their two-toned hair while a female model is searching for her other shoe.
One of the founders of the Fried Rice Network Vincent Tse jumps onto the catwalk with some final instructions.
"Everybody got it. OK, we actually only have time for one more rehearsal, so let’s do this.”
Vincent is giving this everything. Expectations are always high for this night – the dance floor surrounding the catwalk is packed every year.
Vincent was born in Sweden – but his parents came from Hong Kong 30 years ago.
He and his friends started the Fried Rice network as an online social group.
“Actually there are three of us behind Fried Rice. It’s me Vincent, my partner Seven Lamooi and Dung Nguyen. Dung’s in Denmark today, hosting another event. Seven Lamooi started doing events long before Fried Rice and when he moved to Stockholm he decided to involve IT and community to connect better to the people, and that’s when I started and that’s when Fried Rice began.”
Today the network has over 15,000 members throughout Scandinavia.
Fried Rice organises many events - from Miss Asia Scandinavia beauty contests, to Asian music concerts, fashion shows, and social gatherings.
But why the name?
“The name Fried Rice is something that is all over Asia. It’s a mixture of different things. Different people, which is symbolic for Fried Rice.”
Backstage the models adjust clothes, hairdos, make-up and shoe straps.
The models aren’t professionals, this is all just for fun.
Errol Lim from Singapore is on a one-year scholarship to Sweden to study engineering
He’s wearing a blue hooded top, loose gray gabardine pants, grey loafers, and he’s sporting big-frame sunglasses.
“To me fashion is something very important I think. I think it brings out the identity in each one of us. Each of us have our own colourful way of dressing up and to be in Stockholm of all places. Stockholm is really a very fashionable city. You see people wearing colourful socks, even when they’re on a bicycle and dressing up in winter and summer. It’s delightful.”
It’s showtime – and the crowd goes wild as 32 models strut their stuff.
Women in high heels take to the catwalk, with pleated shorts, floral playsuits and boat neck tops. Some come with cheetah patterns or racing stripes.
Then the guys come out with angle-cut sleeves and denim pants.
Errol will return to Singapore in a few months, taking back something he never expected to find here.
Before joining his friends on the dance floor, he sums up the whole point of the Fried Rice Network.
“This is a great opportunity. The organization Fried Rice and having this whole event, InspirAsian, it’s really good coverage for me, exposure for me. I’m here in this collective society of the Asian community making friends with Koreans, [from] Hong Kong, China, all sorts of Asian places. We’re all on the globalization train; the world’s getting very mixed so it’s great to jump onto the bandwagon.”
1) two-toned hair: rambut yang dicat dua warna
2) surrounding: disekeliling
3) mixture: campuran
4) rehearsal: latihan
5) founders: pendiri
6) backstage: belakang panggung
7) hairdo: tatanan rambut
8) delightful: menarik/menyenangkan
9) sums up: menyimpulkan
10) bandwagon: kereta musik
01) What is InspirAsia and where is held?
02) Who are the founders and what do they hope to achieve?
03) What is the response of the communities who take part in them and how many years has it been running?
04) How many Fried Rice Network members are there?
05) What does Errol think about the network?