Friday, February 22, 2008

The Last Day of the Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is celebrated for fifteen days. This year, the fifteenth day coincided with Valentine's Day. Known as Chap Goh Mei , literally translated as the fifteenth night, it is a significant event as important as the first day, although celebrated differently. Whereas one wears new clothes and receives red packets on the first day of the Chinese New Year, the fifteenth night of the new lunar year is marked by offerings of thanksgiving accompanied by deafening sounds of fire crackers almost through the early hours of the night.

This year, however, it was pretty quiet -which makes one suspect that recession is really setting in despite all the denials in the mass media. For the sake of all business people, let's hope it won't last too long.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


There’s a new website called rssHugger. It is operated by a student whose aim is to help bloggers gain higher visibility and to help viewers find the kind of blogs that interest them. In other words, the website aims to bring blogger and reader together.

There are two main options to register at the site: pay a fee or get the rss feed for free by reviewing the site. I'm opting for the latter. You should give it a shot if you need traffic to your blog. I can't say for sure it if can live up to its claims but any attempt that doesn’t hurt my pocket in order for my blog to gain more publicity will be much appreciated.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Reunion Dinner on February 6

In two evenings time, most Chinese will be gathered for the annual reunion dinner. The meal is more than a sentimental gesture. Its symbolism and significance can never be underscored. Parents, as hosts, beam upon the success of their children and bask in the sound and laughter of the grandchildren.

Like all parents, they wish their children to prosper. Therefore, every dish on the table reflects the idea of a smooth and successful new year.

You need to understand the use of homonyms to appreciate the dishes on the table.
The pineapple is a must because the Cantonese word for it sounds like "wong lai" which means luck is on the way. Oyster is another compulsory ingredient. Oyster is hosi in Cantonese which means a good thing.

Prawns sounds like the sound of laughter : si si ha ha whilst the nian gao or sweet cake sounds like a better year. The fact that the shape is round gives the idea of unity, that it is sweet implies the new year would be without sorrow and that it is sticky implies unity.

Chinese New Year Exodus

Malaysians have started gearing up for the Rat Year. Banks, post offices, shopping malls were jam packed with people doing last minute transactions and shopping. Roads leading to main shopping malls such as the Curve and Mid Valley were crawling bumper to bumper for long stretches.

The exodus home too has begun. Already more than forty accidents have been reported, with motor cyclists heading the list. Hopefully, the plan to allocate time slots for different flows of traffic will help ease congestion.

Watch out for snatch thieves whose modus operandi is to prey on loners. A man was robbed at knife point at the wet market whilst a lady was forced to hand over her withdrawal to thieves. In both cases, the robbers worked in pairs. Heard this while waiting to pay my bills at the post office.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Of men and dogs!

I'm just thinking of what Martha Stewart says. Her dogs won't talk to her if she doesn't give them each a beef steak. I think of Nicole who eats what I eat -par-boiled rice.

Then my mind switches to the poor people in Haiti who eat mud cakes or those poor victims who lost their kidneys to unscrupulous people.

It really is a hard world out there. And some animals are better off than humans!