Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Major changes


So I planned for a trip down memory lane. It was totally unlike what I had in mind. There were so many changes to the place where I used to live.

One of the most major change I noticed was the diet. This is what the local high street fare is now. No more the local chippie (fish and chips) let alone the Chinese take-away (although I am told that the Chinese fare shop is still around albeit the other end of the road!)  thumb_IMG_7286_1024

It’s kebab, naan, samosa, and the like. There was only one butcher selling pork in the local market and the clothing stores contained an amazing array of beautiful sarees, punjabi outfits and similar cloth which could be sewn up into colourful displays of the culture now more prominent. It’s enlightening. It’s more affluent. It’s a new east end of London.

Back at our friends’ home, it’s the usual English fare – bangers and not mash, but a typical Yorkshire pudding. The vegetables are boiled and they hold their natural taste without the added rich spices that one would find the neighbours using.

thumb_IMG_7305_1024I thought I would be re-visiting the place I called home for more than a decade. Instead I found myself in a totally different world and life despite the familiar road names. This is turning out to be a real holiday – a home away from home!





Went for dinner and in the midst of a spoonful heading to my mouth, I caught a whiff of it. The unmistakable smell of…. cigar smoke! The aroma is so very unique. Surprisingly for a non-smoker, I find this is one smoking habit which is pleasant for the bystander.

Having said that, there is much I don’t know about. For instance, the varieties. I never knew that there were so many varieties, such as the mild and black type!

Hubby was given a Cuban cigar on the occasion of the birth of his Boss’ first child. Being a non smoker as well he didn’t know what to do with it. So he left it lying on my office desk, (mine, because I suppose he knew I didn’t mind the smell) Alas, he didn’t know that it cost a fair bit and it was …. just left there…..



I live in a multiracial country. Here, we have a lot more holidays than most other places because there are special holidays for the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and the indigenous folk. This variety of holidays translates into lots of time to visit one another and to see the sights.

It also means that intermingling of culture takes place. For instance, the giving of ang-pows used to be only done by the Chinese. Over the years, the Malays do it, but their packets are coloured green. Recently the bank gave me some ang-pows to give away – for Deepavali. These were in purple!

Now, this fusion has evolved even to the interpretation of symbols. Take this mall decoration for instance. It’s the year of the Rabbit I am told. But the main features are butterflies. Beautiful colourful and lovely butterflies.

They settle on lilies, and the rabbits are pale in comparison.

I like the butterflies actually. It really does add to the variety!

Senses Stimulated


I was supposed to collect some documents.

Before I reached the entrance, I was already impressed by what I saw. Clean, crisp exterior. The glass facade was unstained and obviously of good quality.

I opened the door and immediately two things happened – I heard one of my favorite Christmas carols playing and I detected a lovely fragrance in the air. Lemon grass, I believe it was. This delightful scent wafted around my head, playing hide and seek, one moment there and disappearing at the next. What a lovely greeting.

An interesting display caught my eye as I walked towards the desk to ask for the documents. So this was the source of the aroma!

I made my request and the lady at the desk replied – with crystal like clarity Queen’s English. What joy! She not only spoke good English, she understood and preempted my errand, handing me the documents even before I finished my sentence.

As I took the package, signed for it, it dawned on me that in one short visit, all my five sense had been stimulated! Cleverly done to create the desired atmosphere. An interesting experience and observation worthwhile sharing as I walked the six steps or so back towards the door to leave, pausing only to snap that picture above…..

For the Occasion


Arrow Number 2 is due home soon. While he is back, I have decided that he needs to do what Arrow Number 1 did – get a jacket.

Or, better still, get a tux.

Just the word – tuxedos. It rolls off the tongue so nicely, conjuring up the suave, sharp look a man must have for a black tie occasion, or a formal dinner function or a wedding reception. To me, it is never out of date, always in fashion and a safe bet. When you need something to blend in with the uppity crowd, tuxedos is the way to go.

You can have one tailor made or you can rent it. Rental gives you choices of different cuts for different occasion. But it will never feel as comfortable as to have one fitted. Your money, your choice.

So when Arrow Number 2 gets back, I plan to take him shopping. He won’t enjoy it of course, being the typical, going-to-leave-the-teenage-years chap that he is. But Momma will have her way…..!

The Lure of the Winter Sonata


During our trip to Korea, we went to the island where the soap opera Winter Sonata was filmed. There, the theme of love lured so many people, many of them young ones in love.

So much in love were they in fact, even the toilet walls were not spared. Graffiti declaring their love for another in many languages in varied styles adorned the walls. They made interesting fodder while at business.

Interesting too, was that the oldest date was October 2009. The walls looked new.

I wonder how often the toilet walls are changed….

So much for everlasting love. Even your declarations are regularly removed!

Drawing on the Walls Permitted


No kidding.

You walk into this place

Korea03And this is what greets you

Korea02Wallpapers full of words on the top parts of walls. Hand written colourful scribbles on the lower parts.

Korea01It’s a Korean Restaurant by the way. And one that served yummy food too!

I wonder if this is unknown and obscure Korean culture… hmmm

Night Out


Hubby was given two tickets to go out for a special dinner. It was a dinner about Korea’s Saranghaeyo Festival.

What a cultural delight it was! These dancing ladies were a visual feast.

Korea01But they were usurped by the men who followed after – I have never seen men who dance head-banging style and swing a long ribbon in the process. Who said men couldn’t multitask like women! Alas, I couldnt take good shots of them – they moved too fast for the camera of my mobile phone and I forgot to charge the battery of my camera!



Almost everyone I know is into blogging

and then I came across this interesting article…..

It was inevitable: Bloggers who previously wrote endlessly about everything from politics to tech tips to how to fry an egg on a hot sidewalk can now take their commentary, advice and random experiments to the next level by filming and broadcasting their work, thanks to the latest web trend — video blogging.

Video blogs — also known by their shorter, clunkier name, vlogs — are blogs that primarily feature video shorts instead of text.

“We’re going from being media consumers to media makers. We’re learning how to do that,” said Chuck Olsen, a documentary filmmaker and video blogger in Minnesota. “There’s sort of a whole continuum between (videotaping) grandpa’s birthday and filmmaking.”

Anyone can “create media and have a distribution outlet for it that bypasses television and mainstream media,” Olsen said. “It’s like slightly curated cable-access.”

For more info on this, visit this site

A comment was made that we need to keep up with the progress of techology (otherwise we would be left too far behind). Do we?

Another observation was made that in a short while, even primary 1 children would need handphones! Would they?
Employers are issuing 3G phones to their staff. In so doing, they can ring and check up where their staff are! Should they?

However we view these, one thing is for sure – this technology and its uses is going to be here to stay. If advances in the past have seemed to be big steps in transforming society, (automobile, radio, television, etc) I believe this era is going to see even greater strides. Being ostriches would not be the right reaction or response. Rather, we should seek to understand to the measure we can. We need to read widely in order to be able to communicate with all ages. Learning doesnt stop because formal education has. Learning is a lifelong process.

So, what about vlogging………….?

Learning to Lie


I was taken to a place where they had karaoke.
They served drinks of many kinds, and lovely fruit.
There I was taught to lie. Using two sets of what you see below. (Does anyone know this game?)
I do not lie. It’s the truth.

I learned to lie so well that I won many times.

It helped that my opponent, who was also my teacher, had to drink lots of alcohol each time he lost. His judgment became increasingly impaired.

I, on the other hand, drank water when I lost. I discovered that the toilets in this place is nicer than a 5-star hotel. I wonder if it is because the patrons spend a lot of time there.

But would they notice if they did?