Showing posts from February, 2012

A Tale of Two Stars

Stars, I suppose make news till their very last breath. Just last week, the world was shocked by the death of Whitney Houston who starred with Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. The Chinese world, probably was rocked by the death of Taiwan's singing legend, Fong Fei Fei (inset). In Houston where Whitney's funeral was held, there were tales of faith, courage and love of the star who was said to have been a child of  God with a voice of an angel and who at 48, was found dead, slumped in a bathtub of a hotel suite, the cause of which was unknown. Between 2001 and 2005, Whitney had at one time been very thin and stressed and there were rumours of her taking drugs. A close family friend had said that she had not been involved in hard drugs for several years now. Fong Fei Fei passed away at 60 after a battle with cancer. Her death had been weeks earlier but at her request, had been kept secret until after the recent Chinese New Year celebration. There was a rumour that she had died alo…

White gold

One of the joys of Chinese New Year, especially for children is probably receiving red packets. Red packets in Cantonese is lai sze or lai see (利是, 利市 or 利事) while in Mandarin, is hóngbāo (红包). The Hokkiens call them ang pow ( âng-pau) while the Hakkas call them fung bao. The red packets contains money and are normally given to children and unmarried men and women, too by married couples and the elderly. In Malaysia, red packets are sometimes distributed to the poor and elderly by ministers during the festive season. The red packets, of course, as their names imply, are always red in colour. I remember those days when as a kid, I would receive money wrapped in red papers. Nowadays, the red packets have evolved into beautifully printed envelopes. You'd find beautiful  and auspicious designs on them like plum flowers, Chinese dragons and even your favourite cartoon characters like Doraeman, which the Chinese call Xiao Ding Dang (inset). While the traditional red packets are always b…