Saturday, 31 January 2009

SHADOW SHOT SUNDAY

It was a dilemma for this blogger. How to complete the Chinese New Year postings and avoid so much of red? Not possible at all, so here goes.



The first lion came, with some oranges. At malls, they give out to children and adults. At offices they rolled the oranges into the office, signifying 'rolling in gold'.


Always a pair, they jumped around playing with each other. Allowing anyone to touch them for good luck, encouraging the children to go up to the stage to dance with them.


Yes, still very much of Chinese New Year pictures and the colour red. I couldn't complain as the lion posed for me :P



It costs a lot of money to have the lions to go to your house or office, but still..many do it. Why not, some happy noises and change of energy is always good.


Then, there's some shadows from the previous post/mall. Some large 'paper cutting' giving an interesting shadows on the background.



The best shadows were found on the floor.


I know, it's not only an overdose of colour but lanterns too!


With the sunlight shining from the roof, even acrobats from China joined in for the SSS.


Please go to Hey Harriet to see the other wonderful shooters and the best collages.

A big thank you to Elisa Day from Sweden for this award.


Also thanks to Richie of Richies Inspirational Designs for this sweet award, from Sweden too.

I would like to pass both awards on to all shadow shooters.

Happy weekend everyone :D

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

CHINESE NEW YEAR

On the first day of Chinese New Year, the day begun with our tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is an all important tradition among Chinese, from weddings, birthdays and New Year, it is adopted by most people. In our house, we used my mom's very old tea set, nothing fancy but something she treasured most.


Hong Paos or red packets are given to younger and unmarried people regardless of their age. Here is my son serving tea to his popo (grandmother) on his knees. He was a bit confused at first as to who should drink it. It's the same for all and even my husband and I do the same for my mother. A sign of respect and love to an elder when we ask for good blessings for the New Year.


It was a happy day and there were lots of visiting of relatives nearby and far. Eating from morning till night, giving out hong paos from me and the children happily receiving theirs. The rule is simple, if you are married - you give red packets, unmarried - you receive. If you have children, they receive and if you have non, you still give.


I was really keen to go to MidValley to see their decorations and as usual, it did not dissapoint and had one of the best all time decor.


It was red (what else) and I love their theme, paper cuttings all over the mall!



A close up of the decor, it was from felt material made to look like paper cutting from far.



Even Calvin Klein's shop at The Garden had this huge word 'niu' meaning Ox, signifying the ruling animal of this lunar New Year.


Meanwhile, Sunway had a different theme, also lots of red lanterns but I am glad to see something blue for a change. A huge lime tree seen here, lime trees are always bought during this time and many placed a pair flanking their main doors. Limes and oranges are important to most as it signifying gold for the home.



























Ah..the cherry blossom or sakura tree, imported all the way from somewhere in China. While everyone is celebrating 'spring' here, I often wondered when did it snowed. No, it will never snow over here but everyone follows the lunar calendar and it's spring in China and that's why 'spring' is celebrated worldwide by the Chinese. I guess it doesn't matter if we had 38 celcius all year long :D






















Loved the 9 fishes in this pond. The ruling number is 9 in feng shui context for year 2009, thus keeping the center of your house open with lots of lightings and plants is encouraged. Next to number 8, number 9 is also a much favoured number as anything multiplied with 9 and added back to a single number, it is always 9 - the infinity number.



Of course, everyone hops on the 'properity' bandwagon, here's the McDonald's Prosperity burger which is only sold during Chinese New Year. Yes, Sharon..we are trying hard to stay away from this :D




..and with the slowdown of economy worldwide, I wonder if I will gain any wealth if I drink this tea haha..


The official public holidays are over here but most are still not working until next week. For me, this is just the beginning, there's a Chinese New Year party at my home this weekend I would invite all if you could just pop over as if we are neighbours. Next Monday is the 8th day of Chinese New Year and the Hokkiens will have a big celebration, so meaning there will not be any sleep from 1200 am till 3.00am when the firecrackers blast away. Then, there's the 15th day for Chap Goh Meh and another celebration on it's own. You see, over here, it does last for 2 weeks. Meanwhile, my eldest, Emi completes her first cycle of Lunar animal sign, she was born in the year of the Ox and she's 12 this year. There will be a huge dinner party as another aunt completes her 5th cycle of Ox years as she's 60.


See you during the shadow shots and have a good week ahead.

Gung Hey Fatt Choy to all again.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Some shadows found at the mall recently. Art in Gold was the theme and these were very expensive items on display, with a nervous sales person hovering over me when I took pictures. Join us for shadow shots with Hey Harriet and hop over to see those amazing collages.

Galloping horses and eagles are always a favourite in Chinese art, both signifying success.



So hard to avoid the colour red anywhere but I do love this Chinese lantern shadow.




The Chinese often like the pineapple shape and hangs pineapple cuttings or lanterns at their home. Here seen a bamboo plant shaped into a pineapple.


A pineapple flower/plant. This is not a fruit to be eaten but a popular plant for this season.



Interesting decor for the home, a string of 12 zodiac animals of the Chinese lunar calendar, and butterflies.

























Chinese paintings and knots for hanging everywhere.
























Ah..mochi..made from glutinous rice and peanuts, yummy :D


This funny looking pyramid shape thing are Chinese tea leaves, never seen them like this before.


So red and bright everywhere!




While visiting friends and families, we will bring oranges for the host. However, I find for this year, many shops are very creative in their packaging as below collage.


I couldn't resist buying a few of these boxes. The packaging was so beautiful...




Here's a peek into what's inside the box. Some biscuits and...


...this Nian Guo, a must in every household for this festival. It's sweet and made of brown sugar. I am not sure if this taste good but it sure looks pretty.


They said that when a lotus blooms at home, it brings good luck and happiness. The good luck part, I hope to have plenty but happiness is here for sure :D


Finally, I have been shooting shadows since day one of Tracy's SSS, and this is one of the most interesting shadow I found. Can you guess?


It's the shadow of a paper cutting from a Chinese New Year greeting card. It has the word 'fook' in Chinese which means prosperity and you'll find this word in every home, shops and mall, from China to Timbuktu..if there's a Chinese there haha!!


I know a few bloggers participating in the ONE WORLD ONE HEART giveaway and if you don't know it already, check out out this One World-One Heart link. The list of giveaways is amazingly long!


My Chinese New Year posts are far from over, there are still so many events happening this weekend until the next two weeks everywhere, and I do hope to catch some of the interesting ones so I can share with all. This will be a busy weekend and we have 2 public holidays for the actual Chinese New Year festivals, on 26th and 27th January and it's a great time to roam around Kuala Lumpur when a huge number of people going back to their respective hometown. I will be busy..well, being busy..visiting, eating, shopping, travelling etc.


So here I wish those who celebrate this festival, a Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai and Gong Hei Fatt Choy etc. May we all have prosperity and good health always :D

Monday, 19 January 2009

CANTONESE OPERA

UPDATE: Here is the video.
video

While shopping at a local mall, I met someone at the restroom. She was in full make up and I requested for a photo. She smiled and said, "come and see me on the stage in my full headgear and costume". She was a singer in the Cantonese Opera, performing in one of the local mall in conjuction with Chinese New Year. The last time I saw one was near my home and they spoke/sang in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect I don't understand and had no idea what the show was about. My mom is Cantonese and we spoke the dialect from birth, so this will be easy and also a first for me to see a Cantonese Opera. Chinese Opera is a dying tradition here and it's not everyday that one gets to see it. Meeting the lead singer in the restroom, strong and bold colours are the norm for opera performers.


Here she is the lead singer in full gear.


In the show seen celebrating New Year with the grandfather.


Obviously the wealthy lady is accompanied by her servant.


The grandfather discussing the possibilities of meeting his good friend, the Ox King..



Well, the Ox King was very impressed with the pretty lady and asked for her hand..

The Ox King said that he is not good looking but he is kind hearted and went all out to woo her. The grandfather tried to persuade her saying that the marriage will be successful as this year is the year of the Ox and the Ox King will bestow lots of love and riches to her.



















Finally, she agreed and the marriage is set, happy ending :D


I found their orchestra really interesting. No fancy equipment, everything was simple, authentic and typical classical Chinese instruments.


A close up of one the instrument, carved in dragon figure.


The stage.


Chinese lanterns hung everywhere.


I wonder if anyone is interested to see and hear this live opera...I'll upload it the next time. The entire mall was well, very red and festive. In fact, everywhere is red, from the malls to the nearby sundry shop, you can't escape this 'yang' and happy colour this time of the year. There were many other pictures, but I thought I'll spare everyone from an overdose of redness.