Showing posts from May, 2009

Chinese Holocaust

Steven Spielberg's 1993 box-office hit, Schindler's List about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish Jewish refugees was set during the Holocaust, a term generally used to describe the genocide of Jews during World War II by Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler. There was a Chinese holocaust in Nanking, China on December 9, 1937. Known as The Nanking Massacre or The Rape of Nanking, this merely six-week period following the capture of Nanking by the Imperial Japanese Army saw the Japanese soldiers committing atrocities such as rape, looting, arson and execution of both prisoners of war and civilians. Chinese are often termed the Jews of the East for their business acumen and here, I suppose lies another similarity. Just that, here they were bullied in their own country!

Nangking, being raped...

What ever happened to Yao Su Yung?

Her songs must have dominated the radio air waves in the 70s, Yao Su Yung's songs, I meant and I am pretty sure of that since I often heard her voice blaring from my father's radio then. Many of her songs must have become evergreens, especially this, jin dian bu hui jia orToday I am not going home fast number, which I happened to hear again not too long ago when an aspiring contestant sang it in the Astro Classic Golden Melody Singing Competition which features aunties and uncles dressed flamboyantly, belting out Chinese oldies - some sort of American Idol or Britain has talent for senior citizens, you could say. Yao Su Yung, the Taiwanese singer must be very hot at one time. I think I must have read somewhere before that she married a musician. Hers is not that kind of fairy-tale Grace Kelly's kind of marriage where a beautiful, famous star marries a rich man and a big shot at that and in Grace Kelly's case, it was the king of Monaco and ride into the sunset and limel…

Of Devils and Babies

Fancy a baby jumping festival! This event which is held in Castrillo de Murcia, Spain is really nothing new, having been staged since 1620 to celebrate the Christian Feast, Corpus Christi. During the festival, grown men dressed as the devil leap over a row of babies lying in the street. Talking about the devil and babies, in ancient China, it is the norm to name babies AhTu or Ah Kow which means pig and dog respectively. Naming the babies after animals purportedly confuses the Devil and stop the latter from harming them. I wonder about the significance of the devil jumping over the babies.

Cantonese Operas

In Sandakan, a coastal town in Sabah, Malaysia, there is a Dr Sin Sun Moi who practises medicine by day and becomes a Chinese opera performer by night. Not much of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character here, I suppose but her story really reminds me of Cantonese operas and some Cantonese opera singers from Hong Kong especially. Veteran TVB actress, Lisa Wang Ming Chuen for example was said to have met her long-time boyfriend Law Kar Ying when performing together in a Chinese opera in 1988. Both of course, were accomplished Chinese opera stars. The latest is that both have tied the knot in Las Vegas.Then of course, there were female opera stars like Yam Im Fei and Bak Suit Sin who appeared in the first Cantonese opera movie ever in 1959. In the acclaimed Princess Cheung Ping or better known in Cantonese as Tai Lui Fah,Yam Im Fei, took the role of a male and a lover of Bak Suit Sin.Chinese opera was introduced to Sandakan almost 97 years ago in 1928 when the Ping Min Amateur Dramatic Club…

A Peep at a Chinese Garden

There is something interesting about hydroponics, the technique of growing plants in solutions containing the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients. It is said that hydroponic is not something new. Throughout history, many different civilizations utilised hydroponics techniques.The famed Hanging Garden of Babylon is said have used the techniques just like the Aztecs of Mexico and Chinese who incorporated it in their floating gardens. In Mexico city, there is the Xochimilco's Floating Gardens but I am not sure if there is an ancient floating garden in China but I do know that traditional Chinese gardens are rather exquisite and beautiful. There is one called Zhouzheng Yuan or Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in South China, originally built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It started as a private garden of Wang Xianchen, a former government servant who had intended to do some gardening after retirement. The garden has since become one …

Chinese Controversy

Jackie Chan or Chen Long just announced his plans to film his 100th movie, tentatively titled Chinese Zodiac, a film he has wanted to make for over 6 years but has not had the opportunity. The Hong Kong kung fu star who became famous to Asian audiences through the 1978 blockbuser Snake in Eagle's shadow and to American audiences through the 1995 hit Rumble in the Bronx has however been in the limelight currently for a different kind of reason. In the local paper, an article by Seah Chiang Nee stated that Jackie Chan’s assertion that the Chinese need to be controlled has not gone down well in Singapore where the people want more freedom. Taiwan and his native Hong Kong weren't very happy too as Jackie said that the two places with their freedom had been rather chaotic. Jackie Chan purportedly had been blunt when he said that the Chinese people are not civic-conscious and Singapore is not yet a civil society where people behave well without the threat of punishment. Seah further…