Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Whole Month Of Celebration

December has been a month of partying and feasting.As I recollected this morning, I already attended 11 parties and dinner or lunch so far with at least one more to go before 2008 comes to an end.
Yesterday morning at the invitation of the second term kanowit MP, YB Aaron Dagang (above), myself and 3 other friends drove to YB Aaron's house at Kanowit to celebrate his Christmas open house party. We had traditional Iban food such as pork and fish in bamboo,young sago stem in soup, fried tapioca leaves and of course we were served Tuak, the traditional rice wine.

This month is also the 80th birthday of my father-in-law and his golden jubilee wedding anniversary.A big party was thrown for several hundred relatives and friends. In Foochow tradition, this special occassion started off with the preparation and eating of the long life noodle and boiled eggs for all close relatives.

An auntie (in red shirt ) has to be temporarily employed to assist in the preparation of the long life noodle for some 50 people.

The golden jubilee anniversary lunch was held at a local restaurant. After all the guests had arrived, the children and grand children sang the happy birthday song which was followed by the cutting of the 8-storey birthday cake.

I attended 3 birthday parties organized by Ms Mary of Mc Events ( above right). It has been an eventful and successful year for Mary whose company is very active in event management in the town.

Mc Events normally has a different theme for each party it organized. Every one, including the young children is being taken care of with good food and interesting games.

Ming Gion, a professional radio DJ (above with mic) has not been one of our regular guests. With her around in any event you certainly won't feel bored. She prefers more talking than drinking because she is allergic to anything alcohol. Her sweet but persuasive voice always controls and commands the crowd to sway and dance to her whims and fancies

Party time for the sisters and cousins. Fanny (6th from right) just returned home for holiday from Melbourne. Her sister Jennifer will join her after Chinese new year while Vivian will leave for Taiwan later.

Our buddy Ah Chang celebrated his birthday on December 26. This year he booked an entire pub for 4 hours to celebrate both his birthday and Christmas with close friends. Mrs Ah Chang and their pair of lovely children presented him a birthday cake.

Tallison gave Ah Chang 3 thumbs up (above) for presenting the guests a wonderful mandarin song and in return Ah Chang gave him a big kiss (below).Tallison's facial expression was obvious that the kiss was very difficult to swallow!

Many guests expressed their well wishes to Ah Chang by singing their favourite songs.Never know Mrs Simon Yii (above) is such a talented singer.

Mike and Laura...first time seeing them singing together.
From left: Mike,Johnny,Ronny,Ah Kong and Chia Wu . There was free flow of beer and wine.

Tallison and the gang

Ronny and his lovely wife, Wendy. Ronny commented that I am the paparazzi. I hope more people will read my blog with inclusion of pictures of the rich and famous people like him.

Da Zie (big sister) and Chia Wu (brother in-law), still maintains a very close and intimate relationships after more than 20 years of marriage. They are our role model and every one of us affectionately call them big sister and brother in-law.

The lovely angels from Sentiasa Travel Services. Hope at the up coming new year eve count down party their boss Ah Teck (below with glasses) will sponsor some air tickets as lucky draw!

Aaron (below, ) is the big kid among all the children. Every one will miss him when he goes back to study in KL early next month.

5 other parties I attended this month include 3 private parties held by friends at home and in private clubs. Christmas eve alone I went to 2 private parties, one of which was at the Rajang Boat Club where only 10 of us emptied 3 boxes of beer and 6 bottles of wine. Now I look forward to the new year eve count down party at RH hotel and another one on January 3 next year at an Iban friend's house.Oh, almost forget to mention that last night I attended a mini bloggers' gathering at Bamboo House,Premier Hotel,to welcome James Wong and his wife from Miri. Also presented were Yan
Victor and Steve Nice meeting you James and thanks to Yan and Borneo Post for treating us to the good food and drinks at Bamboo House.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Magical Legs

The game of Sepak Takraw really never fascinates me until I came across an excited crowd cheering their favourite players in a rural Sarawakian town. I was being instantly drawn into the crowd and despite the scorching mid day sun, I remained there shooting the players in action game after game. The skills of one particular player (in white) were particularly admirable.Most of his kicks were deadly powerful and accurate.
This traditional game was created by the royal family of Malaysia some 500 years ago. The name itself came from two languages, Sepak is "kick" in Malay and Takraw is "Ball" in Thai.The game looks similiar to that of volleyball which is played in a court and a net divides the 3 players from each team.The players can only use their legs, heads and back in the game.Touching of the ball by hands is only permitted during serving before the ball is being kicked over the net.
Sepak Takraw is a popular game among ASEAN nations. Both the Asian Sepak Takraw League and International Sepak Takraw League which have 18 member nations, are headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.

Blow All You Can

Blow with all your might...the big mouthful of air can send the dart to accurately hit a target 100 feet away.

Competitors must be very concentrated and hold the blowpipes very firmly.In this competition, the distance is 70 feet.

The dart board is placed at eye level. Each participant is allowed to shoot 10 darts in a round and hitting the black spot in the centre scores the highest point.

The dart container is usually beautifully decorated with the traditional ethnic designs and brass or copper ornaments. The above white container is made of a plastic pipe while the container in the picture below is made from bamboo.

In the olden days the indigenous peoples of Borneo used blowpipes in tribal warfare and also in hunting animals for food.Enemies and animals were killed by poisioned darts which could travel straight for more than 40 meters at a speed of 180km/h. Blowpipe dart is very light and as it travels at high velocity, hitting a target is almost certainly assured. Hunting with blowpipe has another advantage of the nearly soundless shooting. The blowpipe is usually made of hardwood, especially from the wood of Belian tree which is also called Borneo Ironwood. A 2-meter long blowpipe could take up to more than a month to construct. At the present days blowpipes are collectors' item and occassionally also used in blowpipe shooting competition as the pictures above explain.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Plucking feathers for a living

Many years ago I had a group of Japanese guests visiting Sibu. Several of them were university students. One day I brought them to jungle trekking near Kanowit. On the way one of the young ladies was so excited that she shouted "chicken,chicken", pointing her finger towards the sky.I was so shocked to see an university student could not differentiate an eagle from a chicken.Later I found out from the group that many of them had never seen a live chicken in their life. All they saw and ate were chicken parts and most of them were from the cold storage. OMG, but life in the big cities with millions of population is such pitiful. I think all of us all over Malaysia do know how a chicken looks like.However I am sure many of our youngsters do not know how the nice looking chicken in the supermarkets and markets are killed and cleaned of their feathers before putting out there for sale. I had a chance recently to photograph the process of killing and plucking the feathers of chicken at the Neylong Hawker Centre in Sarikei.I was on the first floor of the building observing and shooting the hawkers doing their jobs and strangely enough during my 15 minutes above them, none of the hawkers noticed me.It only proved one thing, they were really committed and engrossed in their work.Business is good in the morning . Some customers, after selecting the chicken and paying for it, will just wait nearby for ten minutes to take home the chicken which is ready for the cooking pot.This service charge is RM1.50-2 depending on the size of the chicken. For the duck, it is usually RM1 more expensive as they have more feathers.