What do you think of these characters representing the year?
I’ve just read that in China, the character 微 (pronounced: wēi) has been chosen by some media in China as the character of the year 2012. This character means small, micro and insignificant.
In China, the equivalent of Twitter is called 微博（micro-blogging; pronounced ‘wēibó’), which is powerful in breaking firewalls and has allowed the voice of the general public in China to be heard. A few Chinese idioms also carry this character. It may refer to people feeling ‘insignificant’ and powerless. It also refers to the selflessness of many ‘tiny’ people of China with their spirit of sacrifice.
In essence, 微 (pronounced: wēi) represents each tiny particle in the Chinese society and the voices of the people.
Image from sina news: Tiny, small, insignificant, negligible
I came across this huge poster at Jurong Point shopping mall in Singapore last month.
I felt so sorry for this gorgeous little girl, whose image was used to promote wild honey by Yummi House.
“My dad busy with his job and often stays up late. But still he is constitutionally stay energetic and healthy”.
“My lovely mom provide us the healthier food daily and our family enjoy the meal happily.”
I feel so sorry for this girl. Continue reading
Columbarium: a respectful resting place
When I wrote Visiting a Columbarium in Singapore last week, I looked the word ‘columbarium’ up in a dictionary. This word escaped me. English is not my first language, and I presumed native English speakers would have mastered this word that I didn’t.
My assumption was wrong.
When I got back to England, a few English friends told me the word ‘columbarium’ baffled them.
It prompted me to write a follow-up post on my visit to Choa Chu Kang columbarium in Singapore. Continue reading
Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban
You can’t get a more urban country than Singapore.
I was in Singapore the past few weeks. I liked looking out of the windows from the 5th floor for secrets. Beautifully aligned flats nestle comfortably. I saw an old Chinese man in a white vest picking his nose. A tiny Indonesian maid opposite took out heavy laundry on the bamboo poles at 7.30am. I saw people brushing teeth in their kitchen. Continue reading
Today my eldest brother took mum and I to a columbarium in Choa Chu Kang in Singapore. It’s one of three government managed columbaria in Singapore. In Singapore, you don’t get many things for free, but a standard niche is free of charge for each claimed grave that is exhumed.
We paid respect to my paternal grandmother, my brother who died in infancy and a great uncle today. Their graves were exhumed a few years ago from Upper Ajunid road, due to government’s development plan. Continue reading
Visiting my elderly parents in Singapore from England, I sense my 80 year-old mum’s distinctive taste, sealed in her belongings.
Chinese tin drinking cups
1) I drink from an English floral fine china mug. My mum drinks from a Chinese tin cup, which also comes with a lid. Why? I asked. “You won’t understand. These tin cups are excellent. They won’t break. And, it’s important to separate old people’s cups from young people’s.”
Real calendar — you tear off a page each day
While in Singapore, I received an abrupt email from my husband. One of our chickens was DEAD.
“Got some bad news I’m afraid. A chicken has died. I’ll give more details if you want.”
HOW? Killed by a fox? Died of the heatwave? WHY? We only lost one chicken late last year. WHICH chicken — the black one called Fireball or the ginger one called Talon?
You see, our chickens have names. Ben gave them names. Because the chickens have got names, they’ll never become Sweet and Sour chicken, Kung Po chicken, BBQ chicken or Sunday roast chicken on our table.
The dead chicken was the Black one, Fireball. While I was urgently pressing for more details, Hugh revealed more: “our neighbour’s dog got into our garden and grabbed her. No injuries – the dog was just playing – but I think the shock killed her.” Hugh added our neighbour was very sorry and will pay for a new chicken. Continue reading
We had satay outdoor at a unique Satay market off The Old Market in the business district of Singapore.
The Old Market is affectionately called Lau Pa Sat by the local Chinese. Lao means old, Pa Sat means Pasar, a Malay word for market. Lau Pa Sat’s proper name is Telok Ayer Market.
Eating Satay in Singapore Old Market
When did you last go back to your hometown? How much has it changed?
As a 6 year old, back in 1939, my mum was leaving China with her mother from the south of China, a poor area in the Fujian province. The little girl was tagging along with her mum to a tropical new world in South East Asia.
Sail Away -- image stamped by my friend, Shileyao
My mum couldn’t remember if she ever said goodbye to her dad. When she turned around for the last time, however, she waved goodbye to her younger brother and her older brother. Her younger brother was standing behind the door, in tears, looking pitiful.
That was the last time mum ever saw her little brother, who died a few years after that.
Mum never saw her father again. Continue reading