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Happy Chinese New Year

January 26, 2009 4 comments

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! This year would be my year, since I was born in the year of the cow ox, and 2009 is also the year of the ox.

According to astrology.com, oxen are supposed to have a pretty good year. How about you?

I haven’t been celebrating Chinese New Year for a couple of years ever since I came to Singapore (except that time I was in Indonesia while waiting to enter university, and the two years that I was in a relationship). That’s why to me Chinese New Year is mostly associated with the lack of cheap food in Singapore, since only restaurants and fast food outlets are open. Most food stalls in hawker centres and food courts are closed. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you will find one or two Malay or Indian food stalls open near you.

Are you aware that the Chinese has a set of beliefs that they observe during the new year? Wikipedia has a list of them.

Good luck

  • Opening windows and/or doors is considered to bring in the good luck of the new year.
  • Switching on the lights for the night is considered good luck to ‘scare away’ ghosts and spirits of misfortune that may compromise the luck and fortune of the new year.
  • Sweets are eaten to ensure the consumer a “sweet” year.
  • It is important to have the house completely clean from top to bottom before New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. (however, as explained below, cleaning the house after New Year’s Day is frowned upon)
  • Some believe that what happens on the first day of the new year reflects the rest of the year to come. Chinese people will often gamble at the beginning of the year, hoping to get luck and prosperity.
  • Wearing a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.
  • The night before the new year, bathe yourself in pomelo leaves and some say that you will be healthy for the rest of the new year.

Bad luck

  • Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck amongst some Chinese. The character for “shoe” (鞋) is a homophone for the character 諧/谐, which means “rough” in Cantonese; in Mandarin it is also a homophone for the character for “evil” (邪).
  • Getting a hair-cut in the first lunar month puts a curse on maternal uncles. Therefore, people get a hair-cut before the New Year’s Eve.
  • Washing your hair is also considered to be washing away one’s own luck (although modern hygienic concerns take precedence over this tradition)
  • Sweeping the floor is usually forbidden on the first day, as it will sweep away the good fortune and luck for the new year.
  • Saying words like “finished” and “gone” is inauspicious on the New Year, so sometimes people would avoid these words by saying “I have completed eating my meal” rather than say “I have finished my meal.”
  • Talking about death is inappropriate for the first few days of Chinese New Year, as it is considered inauspicious.
  • Buying books is bad luck because the character for “book” (書/书) is a homonym to the character for “lose” (輸/输).
  • Avoid clothes in black and white, as black is a symbol of bad luck, and white is a traditional Chinese funeral colour.
  • Foul language is inappropriate during the Chinese New Year.
  • Offering anything in fours, as the number four (四), pronounced sì, can sound like “death” (死) in Chinese. See tetraphobia.
  • Also you should never buy a clock for someone or for yourself because, a clock in Chinese tradition means your life is limited or “the end” which is also forbidden
  • Avoid medicine and medicine related activities (at least on the first day) as it will give a bad fortune on your health and lessen the luck you can obtain from New Years
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Karangan Terbaik UPSR 2007

January 17, 2009 17 comments

Got this off a note in Facebook. I thought it is quite funny. You need to know Malay though. 😛


Karangan Terbaik UPSR 2007
Karangan budak darjah 4

Pagi itu pagi minggu. Cuaca cukup sejuk sehingga mencapai takat suhu beku. Sebab itu saya tidak mandi pagi sebab air kolah jadi air batu dan air paip tidak mahu keluar sebab beku di dalam batang paip. Pagi itu saya bersarapan dengan keluarga di dalam unggun api kerana tidak tahan sejuk. Selepas itu emak saya mengajak saya menemaninya ke pasar. Tetapi saya tidak mahu.

Selepas emak menikam perut saya berkali-kali dengan garfu barulah saya bersetuju untuk mengikutnya. Kami berjalan sejauh 120 kilometer kerana pasar itu letaknya 128 kilometer dari rumah. Lagi 8 kilometer nak sampai pasar saya ternampak sebuah lori kontena meluru dengan laju dari arah belakang.

Dia melanggar emak saya. Emak saya tercampak ke dalam gaung. Dia menjerit “Adoi!”. Lepas itu emak saya naik semula dan mengejar lori tersebut. Saya pun turut berlari di belakang emak saya kerana takut emak saya melanggar lori itu pula. Pemandu lori itu nampak kami mengejarnya. Dia pun memecut lebih laju iaitu sama dengan kelajuan cahaya. Kami pula terpaksa mengejar dengan lebih laju iaitu sama dengan dua kali ganda kelajuan cahaya. Emak saya dapat menerajang tayar depan lori itu. Lori itu terbabas dan melanggar pembahagi jalan lalu bertembung dengan sebuah feri. Feri itu terbelah dua.

Penumpang feri itu yang seramai 100 orang semuanya mati. Pemandu feri itu sangat marah. Dia pun bertukar menjadi Ultraman dan memfire pemandu lori. Pemandu lori menekan butang khas di dalam lori dia..lori itu bertukar menjadi robot Transformer. Mereka bergaduh di udara. Emak saya tidak puas hati. Dia pun terus menyewa sebuah helikopter di Genting
Highlands dan terus ke tempat kemalangan. Dia melanggar pemandu feri yang telah bertukar menjadi Ultraman itu.

Pemandu feri itu terkejut dan terus bertukar menjadi pemandu feri semula lalu terhempas ke jalanraya. Pemandu feri itu pecah. Pemandu lori sangat takut melihat kejadian itu. Dia meminta maaf dari emak saya. Dia menghulurkan tangan ingin bersalam. Tetapi emak saya masih marah. Dia menyendengkan helikopternya dan mengerat tangan pemandu lori itu dengan kipas helikopter. Pemandu lori itu menjerit “Adoi..!” dan jatuh ke bumi. Emak say menghantar helikopter itu ke Genting Highlands. Bila dia balik ke tempat kejadian, dia terus memukul pemandu lori itu dengan beg tangannya sambil memarahi pemandu lori itu di dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Pemandu lori itu tidak dapat menjawab sebab emak saya cakap orang putih. Lalu pemandu lori itu mati. Tidak lama kemudian kereta polis pun sampai. Dia membuat lapuran ke ibu pejabatnya tentang kemalangan ngeri itu. Semua anggota polis di pejabat polis itu terperanjat lalu mati. Orang ramai mengerumuni tempat kejadian kerana ingin mengetahui apa yang telah terjadi. Polis yang bertugas cuba menyuraikan orang ramai lalu dia menjerit menggunakan pembesar suara. Orang ramai terperanjat dan semuanya mati.

Selepas itu emak saya mengajak saya ke pasar untuk mengelak lebih ramai lagi yang akan mati. Di pasar, emak saya menceritakan kejadian itu kepada penjual daging. Penjual daging dan peniaga-peniaga berhampiran yang mendengar cerita itu semuanya terkejut dan mati. Saya dan emak saya terus berlari balik ke rumah. Kerana terlalu penat sebaik saja sampai di rumah kami pun mati. Itulah kemalangan yang paling ngeri yang pernah saya lihat sebelum saya mati.

Categories: Random Tags:

Happy New Year 2009

January 1, 2009 2 comments

It’s the new year and I’m having a great time at home.

It’s just a one week holiday, but it’s very packed right to the brim with visits to grandma’s place, a volcanic crater, grandpa’s resting place, and cousin’s wedding. Add great home-cooked food. And not to forget the Flight Experience flight that I took just before I went home. Honestly, I don’t even know if I have the time to blog them out at all.

In any case, here’s wishing everyone in Singapore a very happy new year! May 2009 be a wonderful year for everyone.


Technically, it’s not new year yet at my place, since the time here is one hour earlier than Singapore. But heh, since my blog is set on Singapore time, I might as well send my new year greetings according to Singapore’s time zone.


And don’t forget, 2008 was one second longer due to the leap second. Did you send your wishes too early? 😉

Happy New Year
ABBA

No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue

It’s the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
So unlike yesterday
Now’s the time for us to say…

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I

Sometimes I see
How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives
In the ashes of our lives

Oh yes, man is a fool
And he thinks he’ll be okay
Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing he’s astray
Keeps on going anyway…

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we dont we might as well lay down and die
You and I

Seems to me now
That the dreams we had before
Are all dead, nothing more
Than confetti on the floor

It’s the end of a decade
In another ten year’s time
Who can say what we’ll find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine…

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I

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