Hari Raya Open House
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language describes an open house as "a social event in which hospitality is extended to all." This could be taken to mean that the diplomacy of inviting one and all to your house to celebrate an event is not an unfamiliar practice. But one could conjecture that no where else in the world would you find an open house event as big and as merry as the ones held in Malaysia.
Ramadhan – a time for reflection
Once again, Ramadhan, the holiest of months for Muslims, is almost upon us. The ninth month of the Muslim year is strictly observed by all Muslims as a month of fasting (and abstinence) during which they would abstain from the pleasures of eating, drinking and carnal desires and actions from sunrise to sunset. Ramadhan usually lasts from 29 to 30 days, after which Muslims celebrate Id-al-Fitr (Hari Raya Puasa in local language). Fasting is one of the five basic duties of Islam.
Penang Dragon Boat Festival – race of the ancients
About 100 years ago, large clans of sea-faring migrants from China settled along the foreshores of Penang island, building pier houses on the fringes of George Town.
Many of these humble coastal plank settlements, like the old Bang Liaw jetty in Weld Quay, still exist till today, housing scores of fisher-folk families just as they did many decades before.
During the early period, every year on the fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar, the settlers would push out to sea lengthy specially built boats for a passionate day of racing. It was one of the great traditions they had proudly brought along from China.
Pausing for Reflection on Holy Vesak Day
As 21st century Malaysia hurtles deeper into the recesses of globalisation, an urban rat-race and the 'kiasu' syndrome, does Buddhist culture still bear relevance in preserving traditional values?
The beggar readily sees a bare floor as place for a good sleep. The rich man, on the other hand, will have nothing else but the softest bed in a 5-star hotel.
Both men, poor and rich, have one similar need - to sleep. But they have completely different levels of craving, different heights of desire.
Celebrating Vesak (or Wesak) Day in Penang
"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." – Buddha.
Vesak day falls on full moon in May. Also known as Buddha Purnima, it is considered as a holy celebration for the Buddhists as the day commemorates with Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna).
Cheng Beng - the Festival of the Tombs
The history and practice of Chinese religious and cultural festivals go back a long way, some even beyond the span of written history.
Over the years, the traditions associated with these festivals are handed down from generation to generation within communities, with very little changes introduced. The only difference found in a festival celebrated in two different countries would be cultural ones.
Madam Hong and Cheng Beng Festival
There are some who believe that traditionally, the task of performing Cheng Beng rituals fall on the family of the eldest son, followed by the next in seniority and so on. The eldest son is thus entirely responsible in ensuring that the rituals of ancestral offerings are carried out properly.
Madam Hong's mother passed away recently after a long illness. Being a new convert to the Roman Catholic faith, Hong was understandably hesitant initially to perform Cheng Beng rites for her mother. She was torn between filial piety and being a good Christian. After some soul searching, she realised that the rituals of Cheng Beng could be carried out in such a way as not to transgress on her Christian values. She promptly went ahead and performed the necessary rituals.
Bak Chang Festival in Penang
Bak Chang is steamed pulut (glutinous rice) seasoned with dark soya sauce wrapped in bamboo leaves and stuffed with pork belly, shiitake mushroom, dried prawns, salted egg yolk and chestnuts or just white beans. This rich and high cholesterol delight which is a specialty during the Bak Chang Festival is available all year round in Penang.
St. Patrick’s Ball 2017 through the lens of a Nikon D750
Yes, I am a Nikon D750 and would like to invite you to stop, pause and discover wonderful things I see through my lens. I am a brilliant engineering wonder that has evolved through the passage of photography. Having said that, the man who decides how much light goes through me, how fast the shutter speed is and when to capture that magical moment makes all the difference in the outcome of a photograph.
Fate of Little Penang Street Market uncertain after tomorrow
The Star, Saturday, 29 July 2017
BY AFTER 11 LONG YEARS BEING A VIBRANT, INTERESTING BAZAAR, AND THE FINAL CURTAIN WILL FALL ON THE LITTLE PENANG STREET MARKET (LPSM).
(From right) LPSM committee members Khoo, Cheah, Ong and MBPP assistant administrative officer Amir Ali showing the press release on the last Little Penang Street Market and its 11th anniversary celebration.
For all the stakeholders, tomorrow will surely be a special occasion as the LPSM will also be celebrating its 11th anniversary.
“This will be the last Little Penang Street Market for us. We do not know what will happen next.