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Showing posts from July, 2008

Shattering News!

According to a report in the Internet, Commander Seyfullah of the Turkestan Islamic Party had claimed credit for several attacks: the May 5 Shanghai bus bombing which killed three, an attack on police in Wenzhou on July 17 using an explosive-laden tractor, a bombing of a Guangzhou plastic factory on July 17 and bombings of three buses in Yunnan. The commander had also warned of new attacks in China during the coming Olympics in Beijing, China. Talking about Olympics, the other day I came across some facts on Liu Xiang:, the Chinese 110 metre hurdler, a native of Shanghai and an Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion. Liu Xiang is the first Chinese athlete to achieve a triple crown for athletics which include a World Record Holder, World Champion and Olympic Champion. Forget Seyfullah's threat to shatter the world for a moment and watch Liu Xiang shatters the world record...

A Fishy Tale

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If you rush through the two pictures above, you'd probably think that the first picture shows a brown fish and the second, a white one but the truth is the first and second picture shows the two sides of the same fish! If you were to scrutinize further, you would see that the first picture show a more complete fish and this side of the fish in fact has two eyes while the other side has none! I came across this fish in a wet market in Borneo, in Mukah, Sarawak to be exact. This is the first time I have seen this fish but a friend told me that it could be found in the East Coast of Malaysia, that is in Terengganu and Kelantan. Mr. How even furnished me with a Chinese folktale about the fish. It seems that a Chinese Emperor was served this fish once upon a time and finding that it was so tasty, decided to release it into the sea. The half-eaten fish swam away; I heard it swims like a ray fish with the brown part facing the sky and was thus called the 'sole' fish in Chinese an…

Cover Up!

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A Taoist Temple in Kuching, Malaysia...

Taoism, I presume is more a Chinese religion than anything else. While many Chinese profess to be Buddhists, many probably could be called pseudo Buddhists since many unashamedly practised rites that could be found in both religions. In Malaysia for example, many Chinese throng to Buddhist temples during Vesak Day and on other occasions, they could very freely go to the many Taoist temples which have been erected for the various deities from the Chinese pantheons of Gods. I read in the Star paper todaymembers of the Tao Tin Hu Keng Association in Pasir Mas, Kelantan has organised an outdoor community concert to celebrate the birthday of the Taoist Gods. It is a common practice that concerts are organised on such days but in Malaysia a permit must be obtained first from the local authoritites. I remember those days when Chinese Opera, most notably Hokkien Operas were performed to huge crowds. Everyone is free to come and watch but since most of th…

Romancing the Kingdoms

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Many probably know John Woo (inset), the internationally and critically acclaimed Chinese film director who directed John Travolta and Nicholas Cage in the box office hit, Face Off which grossed over $100 million in US alone and made him the first Asian director to hit mainstream there. His films said to be stylised and reknown for balletic action sequences and the use of slow-motion could be seen earlier in Hong Kong action films, A better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled and the Killer which starred the popular and charismatic Chow Yuen Fatt. For such violent movies with lots of blood and gore, it is surprising to find out that as a young boy, Woo had wanted to be a Christian minister. Presently, in the movie circuit, an epic which holds much promise from John Woo is Red Cliff, a movie based on the popular novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The novel has always been a subject of movies and TV series and here you have, the opening scenes from an immensely popular series from TV l…

Three Stars

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If you happen to visit the home of a traditional Chinese family, you may perhaps see three very special statues standing together in a special place in the living room. These three statues are the deities, Fu Lu Shou (traditional Chinese: 福祿壽; simplified Chinese: 福禄寿; pinyin: Fú Lù Shòu), sometimes referred to as the Three Stars. Separately, they are known as the Fu Xing (Fu Star), Lu Xing (Lu Star) and Shou Xing (Shou Star) and Fu blesses the household with good fortune, Lu blesses the household with prosperity and Shou, with longevity. That should generate great positive energy, don't you think?

Dim Sum Delights

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When I went over to Miri, Sarawak to visit Mau Wei last June, I took the opportunity to visit Poh Lee too, an old friend of mine from campus day. One fine morning, Poh Lee and her daughter and Mau Wei and I made up a foursome at a Chinese eatery, 2020 and had a sampling of Miri's Dim Sum. If you do not know what Dim sumis, well it is a Chinese cuisine where a wide range of light dishes is served alongside Chinese tea. Dim Sum () literally means touch the heart or order to your heart's content. Dishes come in small portions in little plates or a small steamer basket and may include meat, seafood, vegetables as well as desert and fruit. Dim Sum are tasty but don't come cheap. Thanks Poh Lee for footing the bill!

Dim Sum...