This May!

This May!

It is just staggering to realise that it’s only a few weeks ’til the concert. Plus, it’s mothers’ month. My siblings’ birthday month. Also, my assessment month. I can’t even begin to describe how packed it’s going to be. But … Continue reading

Two months away!

Two months away!

The Carol Banawa show is about two months away! Time is flying like a scorching arrow. And the concert team has started to gear up for the performances and the staging stuff as rehearsals will be starting in a few … Continue reading

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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Kung Hei Fat Choy to all our Chinese friends! According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the year of the Wooden Horse.

I grew up believing that I do have some Chinese ancestry particularly on my mother’s father’s side. That is why my middle name (my mum’s maiden name) sounds partly Chinese i.e., perhaps a product of language evolution and the mishmash of cultures.

Oh well, it’s that festive time of the year again in the Chinese community. And for me, that only means one thing–it’s the season for Tikoy!

Tikoy (or Niangao in Chinese) is a popular delicacy in the Chinese-Filipino cuisine. It is a sweet and sticky cake made from glutinous rice that’s best served when dipped in beaten eggs and then fried (Here’s a really cool, newsy article about Tikoy). Unfortunately, you can hardly find such here in Australia. Ah, what a sad life.

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The Filipino style of cooking Tikoy is simply the best however fatty and greasy

Anyway, in celebration of the Chinese New Year, here are some fast facts about the most important and high-spirited festival in the Chinese calendar that I got from CNN. They’re pretty educational (Click here for the complete CNN Library article).

 

FAST FACTS:

January 31, 2014 – The Chinese year 4712 is scheduled to begin. It marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar

2014 is the year of the Wooden Horse.

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I never understood, though, why zodiac animals would be named with a material (e.g., gold, wood, metal, water, etc) as if they’re made from such objects. (?)

The Chinese New Year is celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice, usually between January 21 and February 20 on the Gregorian calendar.

Chinese New Year festivities begin on the first day of the first lunar month on the Chinese calendar and continue until the 15th of the lunar month, when the moon is full.

Chinese legend holds that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came.

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The last time I check I was born in the year of the Monkey. (Although I’m not really aware of the material it’s made of. Maybe fire? gold? forest? zoo? LOL, Kidding.)

The animals in the Chinese calendar are the dog, pig/boar, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, and rooster.

Also, according to legend, people born in each animal’s year have some of that animal’s personality traits.

 

TRADITIONS:

In China, the public holiday lasts three days, but celebrations take place over the entire 15 day period.

Families gather together for meals, especially for a feast on New Year’s Eve.

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I would so barge in if the banquet is this full!

Each day of the fifteen-day celebration has its own traditions, such as visiting in-laws or staying home to welcome good fortune.

Fireworks displays during Chinese New Year stem from a custom of lighting bamboo stalks on fire to ward off evil spirits.

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Reminds me of our very own yearly fireworks display here in Syd that’s just consistently spectacular.

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival, celebrated at night with displays and parades of painted lanterns.

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This is something I’d really wanna experience. Whoever thought of doing this is just plain genius.

The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the Dragon Dance. Beautiful dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo are held overhead, and appear to dance as they make their way along the parade routes.

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Apparently, this is the highlight of the event. I remember growing up scared of the fancy looking dragon with a terrifying face. But oh, how splendid!

Seeing Australia Day in a Different Light

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Land of the Favoured and Free

Happy Australia Day! Today we celebrate our greatness and recognise our common bond and unique diversity down under.

I feel so privileged and blessed to be living in this country, the land of the favoured and free. I am thankful to be living in a country where I can freely express myself, speak out my faith and beliefs.

For the past how many years, Straya has been truly home. It has given me so many opportunities in so many aspects of life. I can’t imagine what I could’ve become if I wasn’t brought here in this land. And it just gratifies me every time I look back and see how far I have come along, how much I have learned, and how fortunate I have really been.

It’s that time of the year when we get to pause for a moment and just reflect on what it means to be living in a land truly abounding in nature’s gifts and beauty rich and rare.

However, today isn’t only about celebrating everything that’s great in Australia and being thankful for the new lease on life. I really believe that it is also the time to emphasise the need for a strong and consistent intercession for Australia and its people for the good of the entire country. We must continue to pray for our government, the Prime Minister, the country’s leaders, lawmakers, peacemakers and all the individuals that run the nation. Let us all pray for wisdom and discernment, for good will, peace, unity and direction amongst all the people in authority.

Let us pray that this country continues to seek God and His will, to love and to serve Him, and to be heading always towards the right direction where He can be found and where His name is glorified.

Let us not stop praying for the military, for the soldiers, the people who guard our borders. Let’s pray for safety and protection in fervent hope that there will no longer be fighting and warfare.

In a place of thankfulness, let us continue to pray for the people, that we will all just live in peace and learn how to love one another and embrace our diversity. May we get to know ourselves more by knowing and focusing on God and His love and always putting Him first in everything.

And for the things that are beyond our control, let us always remember to cast our troubles on God’s shoulders and give Him our earnest faith and trust because He holds everything in His hands and has a plan for everybody. His will and His goodness shall always prevail.

Above all, I wish everyone a God-infused year and a peaceful and prosperous life this 2014! Happy Australia Day, my mates!

 

 

R.

EARLY PLUG: CAROL BANAWA’S SHOW IN SYDNEY THIS 2014!

EARLY PLUG: CAROL BANAWA’S SHOW IN SYDNEY THIS 2014!

Can I just say that 2014 is definitely my year? After the success of the charity project that took place only yesterday, and a play in-the-making that’s due later this year; not to mention it’s also my Master’s year in uni, … Continue reading

Typhoon Haiyan Appeal Official Website

United.2.jpg.opt824x796o0,0s824x796Typhoon Haiyan Appeal Official Website

Check out the official website of the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. Get to know the people behind the cause by navigating to the “Our Team and Partners” page.

The concert is on Sunday, the 12th of January. For more information, check out the poster on the website or send me a private message. Thanks!

TYPHOON HAIYAN FUNDRAISING CONCERT

TYPHOON HAIYAN FUNDRAISING CONCERT

Love doing charity and participating in projects created for a good cause. By good fortune, I have been privileged to be taking part in yet another charity event, a post NY fundraising concert for the typhoon Haiyan survivors. The ONE … Continue reading