Monthly Archives: February 2008

Light and shadow-Thean Hou temple by day

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The big bright red lanterns displayed at Thean Hou temple were so colourful. Many visitors were attracted to come to take photos during the day and even in the night.. Many Chinese worshippers were also there praying to the Goddess Thin Hou to bless them with good health, prosperity and good luck.

The blazing afternoon sun was directly on my head as I was going up to take some photos of the colourful lanterns and people offering their players in the temple. ’It was then I realized that it was much more than just the beauty of the lanterns itself that was drawing my eye. It was the interplay of light and shadow, creating a pattern of a series of black circle of the lanterns on the floor in front of the temple.

I am not the type of serious photographers specialized in light and shadow photography, who work with light to define the subject, and seek shadow to conceal it. They take maximum advantage of the “golden hours” at dawn and dusk to bathe their images in the beauty of rich, warm colour.

I took these photos and I hope you all like it. I would like to come back here to continue shooting the thean Hou temple with red lanterns display at night

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World Press Photo of the Year 2007

Many of you will have seen the World Press Photo of the Year 2007 by
now.

The international jury of the 51st annual World Press Photo Contest
selected a color image of the UK photographer Tim Hetherington as
World Press Photo of the Year 2007.

The picture was taken 16 September 2007 and shows a US soldier resting at “Restrepo” bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents. The 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US infantry is undergoing a deployment in the Korengal Valley in the Eastern province of Afghanistan. The valley is infamous as the site of
downing of a US helicopter and has seen some of the most intense
fighting in the country.

Hetherington’s photograph is part of a picture story that was also
awarded 2nd Prize in General News Stories. He had traveled to
Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair.

“This image shows the exhaustion of a man – and the exhaustion of a
nation,” says jury chairman Gary Knight, and adds “We’re all
connected to this. It’s a picture of a man at the end of a line.”

Fellow juror MaryAnne Golon commented: “I use all my energy to have
people notice bad things. There’s a human quality to this picture. It
says that conflict is the basis of this man’s life.”

Click here and enjoy the award winning photos.

New Year Greeting from Thean Hou Temple

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My nephews and nieces visited me on the seventh day of the lunar new year and they invited me to visit the Thean How temple. I felt a bit tired as we had just come back from Ipoh but my wife showed interest as she has not been to the temple .

The picturesque Buddhist Thean Hou Temple was built in 1987 and has become a pilgrimage site of sorts for Taoists during Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival and on wedding days.

The Thean Hou Temple situated in the Robson Heights along Lorong Bellamy, overlooking Jalan Syed Putra (Federal Highway). It is dedicated to the patron Goddess Thean Hou of the Hainanese community.

We reached there at almost afternoon and the weather was hot. I can see a number of tour buses and some visitors mostly chinese were taking photos of the twelve animals of Chinese astrology at the temple. There are couples come there to register for the marriage

The landscape of lantern displayed were colorful and attracted many visitors to take photos for remembrance. Many chinese were seen there for prayer hoping the Goddess Thin Hou will bless them good health, prosperity and good luck in return.

It is more than a place of worship and has grown into a popular tourist destination. There are always activities such as the grand birthday celebrations for Goddess Thin Hou, Goddess Kuan Yin and the Goddess of the Waterfront are conducted at Thean Hou temple.

Buddhist activities include Dharma Prayers and Wesak Day celebrations. Cultural activities include the annual Moon cake Festival during the eighth lunar month and the Chinese New Year celebration.

The Thean Hou temple also offers fortune telling and marriage registration services. Traditional Chinese exercise and martial arts activities such as Qigong, tai-chi and wushu classes are also conducted there.

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Welcome the Year of the Rat

Do you know the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese all celebrate their New Year on the same date, February 7,2008.

Though their Lunar New Year celebrations may not be totally the same, they also prepare and decorate their homes. They also gather together for a family reunion dinner on the eve of the New Year. The older family members will also give ang pow to their children on the first day of New Year. Lion dance troupe is invited to perform by many Chinese in the villages and towns with the hope that the lions would bring all of them some luck and prosperity.

The Chinese love the red colour as it signifies life, dynamism and prosperity and many towns in Malaysia dressed with red lanterns of all sizes and designs at strategic areas in conjunction with the Lunar New Year

This is something we do every year as part of our gesture to usher the Chinese New Year. Chinese are “ balik Kampong” to return village or home town to celebrate their New Year with their parents. The younger children will pay their respects to their parents and elders and usher spring wishes Gong Xi Fa Cai on the Lunar New Year.

Friends will send each other greeting cards and best wishes through electronic mails and SMS.

These are some photos of lion dance which was invited to perform in my sister’s house and ang pow were given each of the lion dance troupe members.

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The history—Lion Dance.

The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’in and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.)

The lions express joy and happiness. From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China. This traditional culture is practised in so many countries as far as America, England, Brazil,and Mexico by migrant Chinese.

The performing group is usually made through the Choy Cheng, or “Eating of the Green (Vegetable).” In this country, it has come to symbolize money, the color of dollar bills. Usually. the lay see (li shir) is in the form of a hung bao (lucky red envelope with the payment enclosed) which is tied to some vegetable matter such as loose leaf lettuce. Since the lay see is attached to some vegetable, it’s called “choy cheng,” with choy literally meaning vegetable. The greens are placed in an area for the lion to “eat.” The lion will carefully approach the “green” and even test it to make sure that it is safe and not a firecracker or other dangerous item.

The music played by a minimum of three pieces: drum, gong and cymbal. Variations to the basic beats help keep the music lively. The loud music, along with the firecrackers and lion movements, are used to scare away “evil spirits” so that good luck will follow. Lion dances are performed to bring luck and to ward off evil spirits, as with the beginning of the Lunar New Year and grand opening of businesses, and now – minus the firecrackers

Here I would like to wish all my friends who are celebrating the Chinese New Year: Gong Xi Fa Cai ( Kong Hee Fatt Choy) May this year of the Golden Rat bring you all wealth, prosperity & good health.

新年快乐! 万事如意! 年年有余! 心想事成! 步步高升! 鼠钱鼠到‘笑’

Also a word of thank you to all my non chinese friends who send me the New Year greetings.

Bangkok Tour Archived

2007/12/12 Bangkok’s Chinatown

2007/12/17 Bangkok Tour

2007/12/23 The Floating Market- Damnoen Saduak

2008/01/05 Bangkok Tour–Kanchanaburi

2008/01/12 Kanchanaburi – Bridge on the River Kwai

2008/01/19 Kanchanaburi – The War Museum

2008/01/26 Kanchanaburi – War Cemeteries

2008/02/02 Kanchanaburi – Waterfalls and Elephants Ride

Kanchanaburi – Waterfalls and Elephants Ride

Finally we come to an end of our kanchanaburi trip. The five days holiday trip in Bangkok Thailand has given me food for thought about their tourism and no wonder it is called a paradise for holiday makers. Perhaps I have to come again next time as there were so many beautiful spots that I haven’t explored in this trip.

Don’t forget to visit Kanchanaburi as it offers stunning natural beauty like caves, spectacular waterfalls and parks as well as adventure tours including its famous elephant treks through the famous River Kwai.

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My wife and son went on an elephant ride. They were sitting on an elephant. The weather was hot and sweaty. At first they didn’t really like it (scared) but later on they felt comfortably safe and enjoyed the bumpy but adventourous ride. We also went for an elephant show where two tribes riding on elephants fought each other in the ‘battle ground’.

Later the van driver took us to a waterfall nearby. Kanchanaburi Province has seven major waterfalls. We had almost one hour to spend at the Erawan waterfall while waiting for another van to take us for lunch. The waterfall landscape is among one of the most beautiful places in the province and in the shade of the trees, temperatures are comfortable!

We found a place to sit down in the surrounding of the waterfall and enjoyed the natural beauty whilst listening to the water falling and watching tourists take a quick cooling dip in the water. It’s a thrilling sensation to be walking all over this lovely waterfall. Many tourists were taking photos here.

These are some photos I took at the waterfall.

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