Monday, 30 June 2008

GAWAI DAYAK - SARAWAK

GAWAI (ritual or festival) DAYAK (collective name of native races, Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyan, Kelabit etc) is celebrated on the 1st of June every year. It's the mark of the end of a harvest season. It's both a religious and social occasion, where everyone visit their friends and relatives on this day. To the Dayaks, it's a recognition of the Dayak race and their source of national pride. A symbol of their unity, hope and aspiration. This marks a thanksgiving day for a good harvest and time to plan for the next season.

I love their colourful costume and dances. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do:

An Iban warrior dance. Ibans are the most numerous of Sarawak's ethnic groups, forming 30% of the state's population, sometimes named as "Sea Dayaks" because of their skills with boats.
Photos courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB)

I like this headgear!

Pretty Iban girl.

An Orang Ulu's 'ngajat' or warrior dance. Orang Ulu literally means "upriver people". They are probably Borneo's most artistic people.
Picture courtesy of Sarawak’s rich culture


Pictures courtesy of Rich colours of Sarawak.
An Orang Ulu dance.

An Iban dance performed on stage.


The following sets of photos are courtesy of Stgreenfrog Photostream, used with owner's permission. Owner said that beside the open house where everyone visit their friends and relatives, street parade is one of the main occasion and highlight of Gawai Dayak. Go to his link to see the full set of pictures.

A Kenyah male warrior dancing (left) and Ibans (right) in full gear.
















Kenyah ladies.

A Bidayuh warrior and a Ngajat dancer.



















If you are wondering why many are dressed as warriors, well, it was the land of the headhunters..a long time ago. Headhunting practise was brought to an end after the arrival of the white Rajahs in 1839. Up till today, Borneo still sounds mystical and promises exotic adventures. Sarawak is still covered with thick, dense jungle and natives are still living here as centuries ago. I certainly find it mysterious, it's part of Malaysia and yet, I don't know much about it's multi-ethnic natives, multi-diversity and culture. Do click on all the links to learn more.

Happy week to all and till we blog again :D

M

Saturday, 28 June 2008

SHADOW SHOT SUNDAY

Saturday. A trip to KLCC Plenary Hall to see this live performance:


Lumiere..the candelabra in a scene from Beauty and the Beast, for SSS.


SSS with Hey Harriet.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I don't go to Kuala Lumpur for months and suddenly I find myself going there every week. Last Saturday morning was for a meeting in one of the hotel in KL with someone from India. Business meeting, blah blah..boring.. and after 30 minutes, we shook hands and said goodbye. Then this guest took out something from his bag. A gift! I felt bad for not paying attention, felt guilty for even yawning..and even worst, no gift from me! In Asian culture, that's not very cool, but I think he'll live. When he opened the gift, we spent the next two hours talking about this!



This was no normal pen or keychain from India. It was a miniature replica of a place I want to, no, have to visit. Can you recognise this?


It is the TAJ MAHAL in Agra, India. Regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world.
Pictures courtesy from Taj Mahal - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Built by the Mughals, the Muslims rulers of India completely in white marble.


Built by Emperor Shah Jahan (died in 1666) for his beloved wife and Queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
Pictures courtesy of Taj Mahal - Emperor Shah Jahan - Great Buildings Online





















It serves as a mausoleum for both the Emperor Shah Jahan, Queen Mumtaz Mahal and his other wives. It took 20 years to complete and more than 20,000 workers, completed in 1648.
Picture courtesy of The Taj Mahal, India



With a height of 30m, it incorporates Islamic, Persian, Hindu and earlier Mughal architecture.
Picture courtesy of Taj Mahal Gallery - Exclusive - Tomb - Art Work - Inside - Black


I think no matter how many different pictures I see, they all look equally beautiful.
Suddenly, a trip to New Delhi sounds quite exciting. Do click at all the links for more information.

Cheers and have a wonderful weeekend ;D

Monday, 23 June 2008

There are many hotels here, from back packer to the 6th star, Pangkor Laut @ Pangkor Island where Joan Collins and Pavarotti stayed, or the Four Seasons in Langkawi. However, for visitors who would like to have a taste of local life, specifically a typical Malay chalet in wood, then Bon Ton Resort will be the perfect resort. Pictures are all courtesy of : Bon Ton Resort and Restaurant, Langkawi.


The SILKROOM suite and it's verandah. Typical kampong/village Malay houses with the mosquito nettings, long windows and mengkuang (a tough local leaf) weaving on the wall and roof (see bathroom).



The YELLOW ORCHID suite and it's outdoor tub. Bathing under the sun and coconut trees sure is fun :) That ladder serves as a towel holder, you don't need to climb in :D



The CAHAYA chalet/suite with plenty of coconut trees surounding. Would be nice to have a drink outside (minus the laptop of course) and I love that bathroom.




..and read about Sharon Leece's book on China Style at China Style Queen. Here's a peek into the featured houses in China (pictures are all courtesy of China Style Queen).
I love the lattice work and typical Chinese furniture.


My favourite! Retro Chinese style of the CHINA CLUB in Hong Kong which opened in the 1990s.


I would like to apologise for a few of my wonderful blog-friends for not doing the tags in the past, I have missed too many...sorry :P I am doing a tag from Flower as I think it's a duplication of a previous one.

What were you doing ten years ago?
Extremely busy in our then chaotic home, my eldest daughter Emilea turned 1, and the second, Elissa was born.

Five thing on your to-do list:
1. Go to Kuala Lumpur - again, for another meeting.
2. Go to my daughter's school to collect their report card :(
3. Buy flowers for the garden.
4. Plan for dinner with customers this week.
5. Try to read those never ending business emails.

Five Snacks you enjoy:
1. Fruits
2. Chocolate
3. Kit Kats
4. Nyonya kuehs/cakes
5. All sort of nuts

Things you'd do if you were a millionaire:
1. Travel round the world (who wouldn't?)
2. Sponsor some children for as long as I can afford in Cambodia.
3. Charities to homes in Malaysia.
4. Contribute to the Cancer research society.
5. Share..

Places I've Lived:
Only Malaysia.

Go to Margaret's blog at The Earthly Paradise to see her trip to COLOMBIA :)


Cheers and have a wonderful week ahead :D

Thursday, 19 June 2008

KELABIT PEOPLE - ETHNIC SARAWAKIANS

I am currently researching on Kuching - Sarawak (East Malaysia), for my upcoming trip next month. The South China seas separate both West (where I am) and East Malaysia and the only way to go there is to fly. Though I have lived in Malaysia all my life, I have never been there nor know much about East Malaysia. There are 28 different ethnic groups in Sarawak alone, one of the richest rainforest in the world, the largest flower in the world - Rafflesia etc., famous for it's long houses, and used to be land of the headhunters. For more infor, go here to see my previous posts. I am so happy I found this blog Kucing Berjanggut which blogs about everything Sarawak. I am happier that the owner allow me to re-post some of the photos of ethnic Sarawakians. These are pictures of people of the ethnic group, the KELABIT people. I just love people's pictures, there's something about the face that says it all. Just like you, I am seeing the pictures of the Kelabit people for the first time!































Now that I have a fair idea of how the Kelabit people look like, I'll have to go find the other 27 ethnic groups :D

Love these sets of photos titled Retro Sarawak from one of Kucing Berjanggut post.




How lucky I am. A wonderful package arrived from my wonderful friend, Charmaine of High Desert Diva. When I opened it, the lavender handkerchief smells just divine, a nice Pomegranate & Honey soap and a very cool vintage soap box. Never seen such a beautiful and vintage soap box in my life, BTW, ours are mainly plastic here, so you can imagine how fantastic it is to receive this. My name was written beautifully by the very creative and talented Charmaine. Here's a peek into what came in :D


We are playing Shadow Shots Sunday or SSS with Hey Harriet again. I know it's not Sunday yet, but I'll have to post early as weekends are kinda busy cleaning rabbit poops. Here's Eli doing her Virabhadrasana or The Warrior pose in yoga.


I want to thank Lynn from theVintageNest for allowing me to re-post her picture here for the SSS. This picture was taken by Lynn during her flight to Midwest, USA and was her picture for the Skywatch Friday. Thanks a million Lynn, now this is an AWESOME shadow shot!!!


Took these pictures of lotuses when I was in Bangkok earlier this year. I am still waiting for mine to bloom :)



Have a fantastic and wonderful weekend :D

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

CHINESE PAPER CUTS or JIAN ZHI

Chinese paper cutting was introduced since the invention of peper by Cai Lun in the Eastern Han Dynasty - 6th Century. We find them plenty here especially during Chinese New Year, mostly in black and red, sometimes in many colours. Below are my favourite cuttings, courtesy from Chinese Paper Cutting.


Flowers and goldfishes. Fishes are always auspicious symbols for the chinese signifying abundance of everything.


A pair of lions or sometimes they are called 'Fu Dogs' and you see them in most entrance into Chinese restaurant, shops etc., acting as guardian.


A Chinese girl with traditional costume.


The Su Zhou garden.


The Chinese character 'FOOK' meaning wealth seen in almost every Chinese home during Chinese New year.


This my favourite, the Chinese character 'HEI' in Cantonese, meaning double happiness. Used widely in celebrations, especially for weddings.


Year 2008 - the year of the Rat in Chinese calendar.


I took this picture from one of our shopping mall in February during our Chinese New Year celebration. I have 2 nice paper cuttings but can't post them as they are on the way to someone somewhere, so can't spoil the fun ;D


Rewinding back to February 2008 this year, Rat sure is popular this year during Chinese New Year. I bought these from Ikea, 'Rat' shopping bags, a candle with the 'double happiness' word and our Rat napkin holders. You'll figure out now that Chinese have a strong liking for everything red during festivals, even the entire Ikea was in red then!


See you all during Shadow Shot Sunday :D