Saturday, February 13, 2010
"HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR & HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY ! GONG XI FA CAI and may the days ahead fill with abundance of JOY, GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD WEALTH"
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
First, we’re not talking about The Lost Symbols here OK ?!
Since, it’s nearing the Chinese New Year festival, there are many feature articles in the newspaper about Chinese New Year. Some talk about the luck for the 12 animal zodiac signs ( which I don’t normally read much! ),some talk about the dos t and don’ts during the CNY periods. I am more attracted to articles about the origins of certain CNY related items or things we usually relate to CNY.
I came across this article in today’s The Star newspaper (9/2/2010) and I would like to share with you all (for those who’re not familiar with Chinese New Year celebrated by Chinese all around the world) on some of the symbolic items relating to CNY.
According to the info found in Wikipedia (read more about it here), Lion Dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers don on a lion’s costume and perform a dance mimicking the movement of a lion. Basically, lion dance is performed to ward off evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. These days, lion dances are also performed during opening or launching ceremonies and special functions.
I so happen have some photos of lion dances which I had taken last year in the company I worked for. Every year, my company will have outsiders coming to our office to perform lion dance. This is in hope of bringing better luck and fortune to the business.
Does real life lion likes to eat mandarin oranges ? Well, this one just wants to be fed.
This lion is helping me to complete my report. Deadline is close and I can use some helping
hands paws !
It’s obvious I have more than 1 deadline, so I need another lion to come help me with my work
This is definitely a cursed for those married adults, hehe! Ang pow-giving is a customary practise during CNY, where red packets or envelopes with money inside are given out by married individuals to those who are not married, especially the children. This is where most of your hard-earned money will disappear within seconds, sob! sob!
Giving ang pow is a symbol of goodwill to bless the children with health and good fortune with their studies or jobs. The ang pow colour is usually red, which means good luck and prosperity. The rule of the game is nobody cares whether your Boss gives you bonus or not, you just need to give out ang pows to those who are not married and younger than you are. This ang pow-giving thingy is definitely more fun when you’re the kid or someone who’s still qualified to receive ang pow.
Mandarin oranges are known as “kam” in Cantonese which means gold and it signifies wealth and good fortune to come. I remember when I was still a kid, my parents used to buy mandarin oranges which come in wooden crates. Those oranges are from Teo Chew province in China. They are smaller in size but can last longer before turning into rotten fruit. For its durability, Teo Chew mandarin oranges are usually served as offerings to the Gods during prayers. These days, Yung Chun province’s mandarin oranges are more in demand as the fruits from this province is sweeter and bigger in size. They make better gifts to friends and relatives.
GOD OF PROSPERITY
Ask any Chinese and they will tell you from head to tail about prosperity. Chances is that most will mention about God of Prosperity. CNY has to do with everything auspicious and the God of Prosperity is certainly the Star during CNY. Every household with make offerings in the form of mandarin oranges, sweet foodstuff and pray that the “God of Prosperity” visit his/her home.
This is what I look forward to every year. Yee Sang ! This is a multi-coloured raw fish salad. It’s basically made up of raddish and raw fish slices, mixed with gravy of plum sauce, grounded peanut and sesame. Yee Sang is tossed with friends and family members, and the higher one tosses, the better it is as it signifies greater fortunes. Fish, or yu, stands for abundance or excess and surplus of luck and wealth throughout the year. Too bad I don’t have photo of yee sang now. Maybe I will try to snap a photo of this dish this weekend.
This Sunday will be the 1st day of Chinese New Year. It’s also co-inciding with Valentine’s Day. CNY is celebrated over 15 days period by Chinese. It’s the biggest celebration amongst all Chinese festivals.
Wishing everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year :
XIN NIAN KUAI LE ! HAPPY NEW YEAR !!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
As I was driving around town this morning, I saw this Chinese man driving this car. It was without a hood. Don’t even ask me to name the car as I’m not much of a car person.
The funny thing that tickle my thoughts is that this man drove this car around town on a busy traffic day ( it’s getting close to Chinese New Year) and every road is jammed to the max ! To add salt to the wound, the weather out there is about 33-34 Celcius !! Can you imagine how hot is it and this Uncle is driving a hoodless car ?
When the car stopped at the traffic light ( it’s this time I took my digital camera out from my bag and quickly snap this photo before the light turns green ), I saw this Uncle picking up some dust/debris from his car and threw it out ! Haha!
I truly don’t think this car is meant for Malaysian road or anywhere near the Equator where the sun shines 365 days a year, brightly !
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I went to Section 14's Digital Mall 2 Sundays ago to look for a new laptop or netbook to replace my Lenovo latop which I have sold off. It's really a spoil for choice place if you ask me when you're in a computer/gadget mall. Everything is there for you to choose for. From laptop, PDAs, handphones, softwares and the list goes on and on and on.
However, my mind has been set on a few brands to make things easier. I have shortlisted my preferred brands to HP, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Lenovo. I was there quite early. Was already a the Digital Mall at around 10.30 in the morning while most of the computer shops/stalls are barely opened. While moving my way up to the topmost floor on the escalator, I was even stopped by the guard as the company that occupies the floor only open for business at 11.00am.
After snooping around, I was attracted to a HP netbook. The model of the netbook is HP Mini 311-1002TU. It runs on Intel Atom processor N270 1.6GHz ( standard chipset for Netbook ). What makes it stands out to me is that it comes with 2GB DDR3 RAM & 250GB HDD. It also comes with a NVidia Ion graphic card. It has 11.4 inches screen. To me, the specs is good enough for my daily needs. I don't play much computer games except Civilization IV and Fifa. Those games are usually played on my desktop. I intend to get a laptop/netbook mainly for meetings and when I'm travelling on business purpose. Else, there's no need for the extra machine.
My new baby - Mini 311
Eagle eye view
This baby is really light weight. it's only about 1.4kg with the battery and without battery, it's about 900gm. The rest of the standard accessories are all there-3 USB ports, SD card reader, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I find a very good review on CNET after I purchased this model. Keeping my fingers crossed that I made the right choice. So far, so good. Oh yah, it's preinstalled with Windows 7 Starter.
Another thing which swayed my decision to buy this Netbook is also that it comes with an external DVD writer. It's HP's own DVD writer. As one of my desktop PC's DVD writer is kinda faulty, this USB powered DVD writer also can be plugged into my desktop machine.
The portable DVD writer that comes with the Netbook
As a couple of days ago, I was having a lunch meeting with my wonderful GM, I brought along my HP Mini to perform some numbers crunching using MS Excel. I realised that it was really a power saving machine. The HP Mini was running on MS Excel with around 4-5 files opened and after 4 hours, I still have about 20% battery life. The 11 inches screen does not really put a strain on my eyes. I am fine working on it compared to my previous 14 inches laptop. Furthermore, the shop which I bought this machine threw in additional freebies for me : spillproof cover for the keypad, a headphone, a LCD screen cleaner, a cooling pad, a mouse and a Netbook bag. So, all in all, I think I had quite a good deal.
I would really recommend this machine for casual users who would not want to lug a laptop all around town for average use. I am thinking of bringing this machine with me the next time I am going to have drink at Starbucks.