Showing posts from November, 2018

A Talented Writer

What a lovely idea! Wearing the nyonya kebaya the way Adele Lim did, I could not help but admire her creativity. The nyonya kebaya is a traditional dress of Malacca's Baba and Nyonya, descendants of Chinese who came and intermarried the locals in Malaya a long time ago . Women normally fasten their kebayas with kerongsang  and wear them with sarongs but the ways Adele let hers hang freely like an outer coat over her modern dress  is giving a new twist to an old story. Adele Lim of course is creative. A scriptwriter by profession, the Malaysian writer based in Los Angeles recently rode high in the wave of success with the hit Hollywood movie, Crazy Rich Asians. She had been involved with TV shows too, in such hits like Xena: Warrior Princess and One Tree Hill. Her name had actually rang a bell for at 17, she had already written for the local  paper, The Star. Many talented Chinese always end up in other shores, I suppose...

Some Festive Food

What do you think of when you talk of festive food? I suppose it's not just about cakes. There seems to be cakes for different occasions - birthdays, mother days, weddings, anniversaries that it is easy to forget that there are other different types of food for festive occasions; that's for the Chinese at least. For South East Asian Chinese, there is always the yee sang to begin the new year with. The dish which Is a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor is peculiar especially to Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore since the practice of tossing the slices of raw fish which has been mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments before eating them is not seen in China or Hong Kong. While versions of the dish are said to be available in China, the present form popular among the Chinese here is said have its origin in Malaysia and Singapore. The dish reportedly had been refined from a Cantonese dish and sold during Chinese New Year since the 40s in Seremb…

During a Chinese Festival

For the past few days, it had been rather cold. It rained almost everyday, the whole day even and it was like a winter day overseas; in New Zealand, even Damascus, Syria; only that the temperature there had been lower but the sky was as dark and gloomy. As far as I remember, the rain came usually during the festival of the Nine Emperor's God in October but these days, the rain lasted longer than usual, like the weather had been meddled with. The Nine Emperor Gods Festival, a nine-day Taoist celebration began on the eve of the  9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar The Chinese in South East Asia - Myanmar, Malaysia and  Thailand especially, celebrate it with much zeal. There will be a carnival-like atmosphere; stalls selling praying paraphernalia and vegetarian dishes will be set up; there will be a fire walking ceremony, processions featuring devotees in trance performing ritualized mutilation on themselves which reminds of Hindus devotees carrying kavadis during Thaipusam; only…

A Chinese Song: 瀟灑走一回 Run Without Care

Just last Saturday, Sally Yeh 葉蒨文, the Taiwanese-Canadian Cantopop singer and actress who made her name in Hong Kong in the 80s, appeared in a local TV programme, Astro's Classic Golden Melody 2018. Her cover of Madonna's Material Girl was about the only Cantonese song that was featured in the Hollywood hit, Crazy Rich Asians.Sally grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. She returned to Taiwan in the 80s when Asians were not welcomed in the Canadian entertainment business and then moved to Hong Kong where she won the Best Original Song award at the 7th Hong Kong Film Awards for the Cantonese number, 黎明不要來Dawn Don't Come which is in the soundtrack of Tsui Hark's 1987 movie A Chinese Ghost Story. In the TV programme  on Saturday, Sally sang two songs, one was her Mandarin hit 瀟灑走一回Run Without Care, more of my favourites.
More Chinese Songs...

A Chinese Wedding Banquet

Sometimes, Ang Lee's 1993 romantic comedy came to mind when talking about wedding banquets. The Wedding Banquet, a movie about a gay man being pestered to get married by his tradition bound parents was such a delight to watch as with dishes served in a Chinese wedding. Of course, in the movie, you don't get to see them, the dishes, I mean; for there are just too many ; ten as in a Hong Kong or American Chinese wedding banquet but in Malaysia, maybe Singapore too; it is just an 8-course dinner. A typical 10-course HK banquet probably starts with a whole suckling pig, crab claw, a soup, abalone, fish and chicken, and ends with rice, noodles, dessert and petit fours. There are variations and adaptations depending on the place naturally; and in a recent wedding banquet I attended, the dinner started with  a cold platter and while there were fish, seafood, abalone; no pork was served as there were Muslim guests. That was even though they had their own table with their very own set …