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Showing posts from December, 2007

Chinatowns

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Now, Chinatown generally does not refer to the 1974 movie directed by Roman Polanski starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston about a private detective investigating an adultery case who stumbles on to a scheme of murder involving many other things. A Chinatown is more about a section of an urban area associated with a large number of Chinese within a city outside the majority-Chinese countries of Greater China. Chinatowns occur all over the world including East Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. The largest Chinatown outside Asia is supposed to be in San Francisco. In the past, overcrowded Chinatown s in urban areas were generally shunned by the non-Chinese public as ethnic ghettos but nowadays, many old and new Chinatowns are considered significant centers of commercialism and tourism. In fact, in 2003, to lure the ever-increasing numbers of Chinese tourists and investors, local government in Incheon, just outside Seoul, transformed a dilapidate…

Green Post - Global Warming Threatening Islands

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What can global warming do in Indonesia? According to Indonesian scientists many of Indonesia's islands may be swallowed up by the sea. Large islands may shrink, forcing coastal communities out of their homes and depriving millions of a livelihood. Already, tides had burst through sea walls, cutting a key road to Jakarta's international airport and doomsters had begun to predict that by 2035, the Indonesian capital's airport will be flooded by sea water and rendered useless; and by 2080, the tide will be lapping at the steps of Jakarta's imposing Dutch-era Presidential palace which sits 10 km inland. Maybe, it's high time we built another ark!

Chinese Songs In Different Chinese Dialects

A Mandarin song



A Hokkien song



A Cantonese song



A Hakka song




A Teochew song



A Shanghainese Rap




Daniel Chan Hiu Tung

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Daniel Chan Hiu Tung or in Mandarin, Chen Xiao Dong, is a singer and an actor who first appeared in a 1996 movie called Hu Du Men where he won an award for Best New Performer. He acted in a few popular films after that but was himself only popular around 1997 to 1998. He was one of the 300 Asian celebrities to pose for renowned Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee for Kee's 2006 charity photo-book Super Stars dedicated to the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster. Daniel Chan Xiu Tung speaks a number of languages including English, Mandarin and a few other Chinese dialects like Hakka, Cantonese and Shanghainese. Chinese Language is rather diverse. The official language spoken by a big section of Chinese, Mandarin is taught in schools and is in fact one of the seven international language in the world. Major dialects including Cantonese and Hokien are widely spoken in Southern China, South East Asia and other part of the world where there is a sizable Chinese popul…

A Chinese Temple in Kuala Lumpur

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Chinese temples are houses of worship. They actually symbolize the long history and rich culture of China, and over there in China, they are even regarded as valuable art treasures. The temples in China are called Si, Ta or Shiku if they are Buddhist temples, Gong, Guan or Miao if they are Taoist temples and Kong Miao if they are Confucian temples. Buddhist temples can be easily identified since besides a temple, they include a pagoda and a grotto. When my nephew dropped Terence and I at a temple near Makhota Cheras in Kuala Lumpur for us to explore while he went on an errand therefore, it must be a non Buddhist temple since there was no pagoda and definitely no grotto there. It was more a Taoist temple and Taoist temples incidentally could be found all over Malaysia where there is a sizable Chinese population. These temples normally functions as houses of worship and not as centers of dissemination of the Chinese Language or Culture as I think it should be. The …

Chang Cheh

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Now, I have always associated the word Godfather with a drug kingpin or something like that. That must be due to the Godfather movies starring Marlon Brando, which I really love and which I am sure, would not get tired of watching again and again. I like those old Shaw Brothers movie from Hong Kong too, including the ones directed by Chang Cheh who incidentally was known as the godfather of kung fu film. Chang Cheh was a Taiwanese who made mainly Hong Kong movies. He wrote his first script The Woman with the False Face which became the first Mandarin-language film to be shot in Taiwan. The theme song, Gao Shan Qing which he wrote for the movie Storm Cloud over Alishanwhich he also co-directed, became a big hit and it had since became a classic and an evergreen. How's that for a godfather?

Nezha - A Scene From A Black And White Movie

Literature - Nezha

When my nieces and nephew were very young, I loved to take them for walks and often I would tell them the same old story of a little boy made from lotus roots. Well, I didn't tell them that this was NezhaorNa Zha(Chinese: 哪吒; pinyin: Nézhā; Japanese: Nataku or Nata), a deity originally of Chinese mythology but introduced to the WestthroughJapaneseanime. Nezha is often depicted flying in the sky with a wheel of fire under each foot, a golden hoop around his shoulder and a spear in his hands. His mother conceived for three and a half years and had delivered a meat ball which his commander father had split with a sword. Nezha had jumped out of the meat ball fully grown but with a mischievous temperament of a child. He got himself into many troubles and after killing Ao Bing, the third son of East SeaDragon KingAo Guang, Nezha was forced to disemboweled himself, but was later brought back to life by Taiyi Zhenren, a Taoist immortal sage who used lotus blossoms to reconstruct a body fo…

A Chinese mixed Breed

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Over my PA blog, my plant and animal blog that is, I just posted a YouTube video on some kind of shelter for animals. In this video, there is a liger, something that immediately reminded me of some Chinese in Philippines. It seemed that there used to be a group of Chinese there known as Chinese- Filipino mestizos. These refer to offspring from the union of Chinese males who took Filipino brides and they were a visible group especially in the 1630s when the Spanish rule Philippines. When the Spanish period ended, they disappeared as a separate group and children of mixed marriages were either Filipino or Chinese. This is understandable since during the Spanish period, the mestizos were given opportunities that full-blooded Chinese or the native Filipinos do not have access to.The mestizos who are still around today are economically more successful than the local population and own a large percentage of land or plantation. Their fairer complexion is a coveted attribute among Filipinos. …

Green Post - Orangutans threatened

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It was said to have already happened. Orangutans have started invading plantations to eat palm oil seedlings in Indonesia and were getting killed for it. It was not just deforestation that had driven Asia great apes out from their natural habitats. Climatic change had played a role too. A longer dry season would reduce the production of fruits just like this dry weather would induce fires that destroy the fruit bearing trees. Orangutans are known to conceive only when there is enough food. Today, the population of the orangutans is estimated tobetween 45,000 and 69,000 n Borneo and 7,300 in Sumatra. Now, what do you think man can do?

Silk Road

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The Silk Road, a name coined by German scholar, von Richthofen, was not exactly a road. It is made up of land and water routes along its entire length and has three major routes from the capital of the Tang dynasty, Chang An (present day Xi An) to distant Europe, via Central Asia, West Asia and Africa. While fabric was the most important trading item, silk was known to be transported along other items like gold, ivory and plants. Half the Silk Road is located in the China province of Xinjiang, today a place of many cultures and ethnic groups. The Silk Road was responsible for the spread of religions throughout China, most notably Buddhism from India and the Chinese classic; Journey to the West was based loosely on Xuan Sang, a Buddhist monk traveling along the Silk Road. Marco Polo was another famous Silk Road traveler. The Italian teenager had traveled with his merchant family from Venice along the Southern route to the court of Kublai Khan in Khanbalik (present day Beijing). The Sil…

In the Eyes of the Beholder

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Oh! Miss China is Miss World! That really reminded me of a male Chinese teacher and a non-Chinese lady teacher. The former was a moody weirdo who taught Mandarin in school but had nothing nice to say about Chinese ladies. The latter was a mixed breed, a woman with very dark complexion who seemed to envy fair skinned people. Both shared similarities in that both thought that Chinese ladies are ugly. While the male said Chinese ladies with their slitted eyes would never be crowned world beauties, the female often threw sarcastic remarks on all Chinese. I would not say though thatZhang Zilin, from Shijiazhuang in Hebei province who managed to beat 105 contestants to become the first Chinese to win the pageant had proven them wrong. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and how could the few judges in the pageant be right? Just ask the magic mirror of Snow White's evil stepmother!