Showing posts from March, 2011

Conveniently Cheng Beng

Just the other, I was on my way to Penang when Thuan Hee SMSed me, saying that he could see clearly the Kuang Yin or the Goddess of Mercy from where he was and my immediate response was to SMS back, Oh, you must have attained Nirvana. But then, he added that he was going to a wat after that. A wat is a Thai temple and I gathered then he must be in a temple in Air Itam and the goddess he mentioned was the immense man-made structure in the famous Kek Lok Si temple. Most certainly, it was Qing Ming or Cheng Beng Festival where Chinese traditionally go out to cemeteries and columbariums to pray to their departed ancestors. The festival falls on April this year but praying can be done 10 days before and after the actual date. As it is, I would only be going for Cheng Beng next week. People of the past do make it very convenient for people to pray during Cheng Beng, don't you think? Praise their good souls!

Taoist Mecca

Wudang Mountains (;), or Wu Tang Shan or simply Wudang, a small mountain range in the northwestern part of Hubei Province in China , should be to the Taoists what Mecca is to the Muslims. Taoists are followers of Taoism, the latter being a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced East Asia for more than two millennia. The traditional Chinese religion emphasizes the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation and humility and the followers generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应); health and longevity and wu wei (action through inaction) so that harmony with the universe is achieved. Historically, Wudang Mountains were known for their Taoist monasteries which were academic centre for the research, teaching and practice of meditation, Chinese martial art, Chinese medicine, Taoist agriculture practices and related arts. Since the 19th century, Taiosm is said to have influenced the Western world and i…

Green Post: How Long?

A cartoon in a local daily depicting popular Japanese icon Ultraman(inset) running away from an oncoming tsunami drew flukes from the public in Malaysia. Deemed distasteful and insensitive, the cartoon created a buzz on social networking sites. Japan just went through a devastating tsunami where more than 10,000 people were feared dead. On top of all that, the cooling systems of a nuclear plant in Fukushima had been knocked out and an ensuing explosion had sent smokes and most probably radiation billowing into the sky. While the chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said the reactor was probably undamaged and there was a low possibility of a major radiation leak, the question now is - for how long?

Seducing Teresa

When a 48-year-old man in Johor Baru, Malaysia, started attacking women wearing short pants, I couldn't help but be reminded of the late Taiwanese songbird, Teresa Teng Li-Chun ( ) (inset). The singer who sang in Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian was immensely popular and influential that it was said: Wherever there are Chinese people, the songs of Teresa Teng can be heard. Teresa Teng, I heard, had beautiful legs and even had her legs insured. The man in Johor Baru probably would think that Teresa was out to seduce men and most probably he would spit at her like he did to women and even children with short pants. That probably would make you wonder what actually goes on in the minds of men when they see legs but what the heck - the sweetness of Teresa's voice which songwriter Tsuo Hung-yun described as seven parts sweetness, three parts tears would probably seduce you as well. Just listen!

Teresa singing in Japanese...

Singapore's Stable of Stars

Just the other day, my sister-in-law told me that the star of The Little Nyonya was in town, shooting a drama in the Pokok Assam morning market. That probably must be Jeanette Au Ou Xuan. Afterall, she is presently shooting Destiny in her hands in Malaysia. The Little Nyonya (Chinese: 小娘惹), by the way is a 34-episode Chinese drama from Singapore. Singapore's Chinese dramas have come a long way since the days of Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC; Chinese: 新加坡广播局). The mass market media conglomeration which once dominated the entire television and most of the radio broadcasting industry in Singapore has since become MediaCorp Singapore or Media Corporation of Singapore. Stars have been churned out throughout the years and chief among them of course, were Li Nan Xing and Zoe Tay, who have been dubbed the king and queen of Caldecott Hill, Christopher Lee - not the British's Christopher Lee of Dracula's and Lord of the Rings's fame of course but the husband of Fann Wo…