You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2007.

Recently, life has been so busy for Chandra and I. Zooming all over Malaysia and Singapore, distributing cards for our daughter’s marriage in September.

Mums exchanging ceremonial rites

As we were distributing the wedding cards, it suddenly occurs to us, people are getting more advance and modern.

Older relatives seemed to think delivering cards by coming in person is a norm. They enjoyed our visits, had time to catch up. Enquiries of other siblings seemed warm and sincere, which makes us very pleased. The old ways of “stay for lunch or dinner” still exist with them. Our very old aunt who is over 80, immediately goes to the kitchen to hook something light for us even though we said we have already had our food.

But not the ones in their 30’s. Most felt that sending a card through email, a snail mail or a phone call is acceptable. These are the ones that makes our day long.

It is definitely a long day traveling in overnight buses, not sleeping well, no proper bath and not drinking enough water. Me… I am so particular about drinking water but for trips, I couldn’t drink more because of the funny stops the buses made. The pit stops they made, is not desirable for the bums and also our taste buds.

So customs and traditions is very much alive as the excited aunts and uncles keep asking what are their roles in the wedding, what must they do and all. Seems interesting to me to hear the 30’s not wanting cards hand delivered but happy to be told what is expected of them.

So my conclusions for handling wedding cards is still very traditional. Do it and your results will be : 80% attendance from those you delivered the cards by hand and 60% for those you delivered through others means.

Engagement Card of Uva and Jivan

Beside that we just went through the engagement ceremony in our home recently. Read how Indian engagement prior to marriage is performed in Malaysia. The roles the bride and groom and parents played in this ceremony is fun.

Though I must say this, our kids would not go through this traditional ceremony had it not been the parents advising them how important it is. They would opt for a honeymoon in Paris, which they still do, anyway.

But being good kids, it is gratifying to know they are respectful and filial towards us “old foggies”

Blessing from Grandma Kamachi

If you respect customs and tradition and not sure how to go about it for Indian Wedding performed by our Southern Indian Malaysian standard, keep coming back to my blogs or site.

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Most divers knows and consider Sipadan to be the top dive site in the world. Ning is no stranger to diving in the best areas. Her love for diving and underwater photography amidst crystal clear blue water is indeed breathtakingly!

Sipadan Exotic creature

This mushroom shaped island is a perfect habitat for over 3000 species of fishes.

Sipadan sea life

Beautiful hard and soft coral thrive abundantly, almost untouched by the spoils of civilization. This is the perfect feeding ground for reef fishes of various shapes, sizes, breeds and color. Read more of Sipadan sea life here.

Sipadan worms and fishes


In fact, turtles are common sight here,
as they rest and feed in peace within the ledges of the Drop-Off.


Well, the fifth month of the Chinese Lunar calendar has arrived and gone but my thoughts on the changs I had remained deep in my heart.ingredient for making Penang bak chang

Had a few varieties of changs like Bak Chang (Meat Chang), Khee Chang(Made from Alkaline water or kang sui). Then we have the K

Kiam Sui Tee Chang (Sweet and Salty).

wrapping bak chang

The Cave of Darkness, called Gua Kelam in Bahasa Malaysia lies at the foothills of Perlis in a town called Kaki Bukit. Read more from here.

 

Cave of Darkness

 

When you visit this tranquil yet intriguing place, be sure to wear proper shoes. Ladies are reminded that high heels is a no no. You won’t want to be stuck by your heels and create more adventures, but it would be a nice story to share though!

 

 

Some green lovers like me just simply enjoy the peace, lush and serenity. This is my Garden of Eden, my paradise.

 

But for some enthusiastic climbers, they have establish some climbing routes so you can see over 30 bolted routes in 6 climbing locations.

 

Gua Kelam

 

The walk through the cave is accompanied by the sound of flowing water, smell of bat guano and the impressive sights of stalactites, stalagmites, rim stone pools and other limestone formations.

 

Indeed Perlis have many lovely interesting places to visit. I will share more as time permits. Do share your thoughts on this if you have been to Gua Kelam.


Last week, having come back from Taiping, we took our friend Faith to Kuala Muda, Kedah where the whispering fish auction was held.

Every day for a numbers of years now, the fisherman in Kuala Muda has their seafood auction off in a very different manner. Yea..very different, as the auctioneer whispers with the wholesaler, fish monger or restaurant owners.

The so called auctioneer, a few of them actually dresses up like pirates, with mask and hand gloves whispering silently and hands pointing to the higgest bidder. Bang and down the sea product of Sungai Kuala Muda goes to the highest bidder.

Read more of them from here.

With the preparation for the upcoming BIG Event in Malaysia, to celebrate our Independence Day, one cannot forget our forefathers, the Chinese Coolies.

Nothing to be a shame of really. And if you really learn your family Chinese ancestry and their humble beginning, you will find out that you either belong to the Hai San or Ghee Hin secret society.

The end of Qing Dynasty, the start of Taiping Rebellion and Opium War triggered the real rush of Chinese immigration by the mid 18th century. And the real big rush came in the 19th century lured by the lucrative tin mining concessions granted by the Malays rulers. This time around, the big in flux of Chinese coolies were from Guangdong and Fujian. And the Chinese coolies were running away from China due to the fighting of the Opium War in 1840. The western power used advanced warships and artillery to force open China’s doors.

In 1853, my great great great grand father Kee Lai Huat at 19, together with his younger brother who was much younger travelled in a tongkang over to Malaya and worked as coolies in a sugar plantation.

Recently my aunt told me stories of Chor Chor Kee Lai Huat. It was amusing yet sad. When he first arrived here, and with no one to care for them, they were very sickly and weak. Chor Chor Kee Lai Huat’s brother didn’t survived the hard living and died at the age of 19, a year after he arrived in Bukit Tambun.

But Chor Chor as you know, was damn hardworking and frugal. He worked hard until he gained the trust of the Bukit Tambun sugar tycoon and even married his only daughter Khaw Bee Gek.

One particular story, aunt told me was that one day when Chor Chor was resting by the riverside, some coolies called out that the Towkay was on the way to the river.

Chor Chor felt he was caught sleeping and was going to be scolded for sleeping on his job. In his fright, he stepped over and ran across the rivers full of crocodiles. Such was his fright for the towkay. He forgot about the crocodiles in the river.

The other times was when he was sermon by the towkay (boss). He did not know why he was sermoned and was so scared that he ran away to Parit Buntar and hid himself. The people had a hard time finding him and got him back to the boss. The reason for finding him was to ask him to marry the tycoon’s daughter.

Such was the respect they have for their bosses. It amazed me how we have changed.

Khaw Bee Gek was another story to tell. It seemed the she was engaged to her first suitor who died before they could get married. So it was believed that she was (the Chinese would say), “Tua Sieow” (a person with great potentials). And she would need a match or else suitor after suitor would have bad things happening to them.

And after their marriage, the sugar tycoon gave them a gift, that is a zinc house in Sungai Bakap. It was said that every month, the sugar tycoon would send a tin of spanish coins for the daughter to use. (If you can remember the cream crackers square tins). The sugar tycoon Khaw lau Hup of Batu Kawan, was none other then the father of Ghee Hin Leader Khaw Boo Aun.

Read about the Malaysian Chinese coolies humble beginning here.

Malaysian Chinese Coolies
Our Chinese Forefathers

Read more about the roles played by the Taochiews in the 14 years Larut Wars and how actually Khaw Boo Aun was involved in blocking water to Penang resulting in the third Larut War.

The Human Horse

Most Chinese of Malaysia comes from China. The migration of Chinese from China begins during the mid 1800’s when doors were open for Chinese coolies coming over here to work in the tin mines and sugar plantation. My ancestors were no different. Read about them and see how far we have come since the day of our ancestors and how proud I am to be born a Malaysian Chinese.

Kee Lai Huat & 6 sons

Hello all!

This is the first post for MyPenang blog. Let’s start with looking at what I will offer you in the coming up period! More info, stories and fun about Penang and surrounding areas. And for starters, read some about Penang here!

Pearl

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