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Showing posts from August, 2008

Taste the Moon!

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It's that time of the year again when Chinese children carry lanterns and Chinese eat mooncakes! The Hungry Ghost Festival is over and here comes Mooncake festival or mid-autumn festival. Traditonally, some Chinese families will place an altar at the courtyard and offer prayers and goodies including mooncakes to the Moon Goddess on the fifteenth of the eight month of the lunar calendar when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. I suppose not many people do that now especially after Apollo 11 stepped on the moon but the tradition is kept alive by commercialism. In Malaysia, even before the Hungry Ghost Festival ends, mooncakes are already made and in shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets, one can easily buy lanterns and mooncakes. And mooncakes, selling at over RM5 and above depending on the ingredients used, do not come cheap!


Mooncake Festivals...

Buying mooncakes...


Mooncakes sold in supermarkets...


Mooncakes in boxes...


Lanterns sold in supermarkets...

Migrating to Australia

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When I met Harry Koay the other day in his office, we had a chat over old times. He told me of a couple who gave up their teaching jobs in Malaysia to go to Australia.It seemed that the couple now teach and give tuitions in their new homeland. His tale reminded me of my own school teachers who had migrated. At least one went to Singapore and two went to Australia. That was in the seventies. I read that there was archaeological evidence that suggest that Chinese traders might have reached the coast of northern Australia before European colonization. Darwin, a major city in the Northern Territory has in fact a long-established Chinese population and it had even its first Chinese mayor in 1966. Things probably was not so easy for Chinese there though. Chinese population was already visible in 1851 when many went to New South Wales, attracted by the discovery of gold in the so-called New Gold Mountain. Then, they became the targets of violent attacks and discriminatory legislation. There …

Of Hungry Ghosts and Olympic Songs

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It's that time of the year when Chinese ghosts walk the streets; yes, it's the month of the Hungry Ghosts. Chinese believe each year the ghosts in Hades will be let out from their prisons and prayers are often carried out to appease these wandering spirits. In Penang, Malaysia, a Chinese temple in Lebuhraya Jelutong had prepared something special for the earthquake and cyclone victims of Sichuan, China and Myanmar. They had burned two luxury condominium towers for them! How thoughtful and all these while, I was just thinking of posting some Olympic songs here while I take a break from blogging...! Hope you enjoy these songs...

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Theme Song Beijing Welcomes You



Another Olympic song, Our Dreams performed by Korean Star Jang Na ra...



More Olympic songs... In my heart...



A song by Taiwanese songbird, A Mei, Forever Friends...



Beijing will Shine...



One World One Dream by Na Ying and Liu Huan...

An Olympic Song

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Prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, there was a song that was constantly aired in TV, We are ready sung by various Chinese artistes from Mainland China and Hong Kong. I recognised some singers from Hong Kong, most notably, the forever young Alan Tam (inset) , Gigi Leung and Eason Chan. I didn't think much of the song until I noticed that my four year old grand niece stood up and danced and even sang to the song each time it was aired. Here's the song for your listening pleasure...

Giant flag bearer

Heard that the 7 foot 6 inch Yao Ming carried China's national flag during the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. A giant as a flag bearer! Who needs a flag pole here! It would be fun to see his father, Yao Zhiyuan and his mother, Fenddi Fang walking with him. Standing at 6 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 3 inches respectively, Yao Ming's parents were the tallest couple in China when Yao Ming was born. The centre for the Houston Rockets is also the tallest player in the NBA and besides being China's favourite athlete, his should be a familiar face to many since prior to the 2008 Olympics, an advertisement featuring him and kung fu superstar, Jacky Chan tickled the funny bone but if you think his appearance is too short to deserve a mention, there is always an old Pepsi advertisement featuring him and Taiwanese musical genius, Jay Chou...

Yao Ming and Jacky Chan in a pre-Olympic commercial...



Yao Ming and Jay Chou in a Pepsi commercial...

Olympic Games Chat

Just this morning, I heard a few friends chatting merrily over last night opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. One of them was awed by Li Ning who lit the Olympic torch.The opening ceremony was a hit but I missed it and had therefore, surfed the Net to see what the hoo-haa was all about. Have a look at the following YouTube videos and say what you think... There was just one thing that I want to say about Li Ning, the prince of gymnastics who is most famous for winning 6 medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics . He isn't as muscular and dashing as he was in 1984. At 44, age has, I guess caught up!

Olympic 2008 Opening Ceremony...



Li Ning lighting up the Olympic torch...

Once Upon a Time in Kemasik, Terengganu

Terengganu, which is situated in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia did not receive many Indian or Chinese migrants, and in this state then, in the 2006 census, the Chinese reportedly, made up 2.6% of the 1,080,286 or so population. In the 80s, when I was working in the little town of Paka, some 30 km or so from Dungun, I rented a room form a Hainanese lady who ran a hairdressing saloon. There was a small population of Chinese in the fishing village, the majority being Hainanese and they opened shops and restaurants there. One night, my landlady and her family invited me to join them for a trip to another small town, Kemasik where a free Chinese Opera was being staged. When we reached there, the opera had already started and a big crowd of old and young people were already having a gala time. When the show ended, some youngsters went up the stage and garlanded the actors with money. That was the one and only time that I saw a live traditional Hainanese Opera and the one and onl…