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Culture

Speed dial, the old way

Do you remember the time before mobile phones? We had home and office phones, which from my earliest recollection was a rotary dial before the push button dial came along and even then we thought ‘Wow! That’s revolutionary.’However, what was more ‘Wow’ was that I could remember up to a hundred plus random 6 digit telephone numbers of family and friends. The contact list resided in our brain, and just like speed dial I could call up any of the phone number within seconds. How amazing is that!Since I bought my first mobile phone in 1998, my brain seems...
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Culture

Green, green grass of home

I was born and raised in the riverine town of Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan) in Perak. There were several jetties where boats that ferried goods and people from the riverine villages would dock. Traffic on the waters was especially busy during the fruiting seasons, and the jetty nearest to town and the market would be a hive of activities. Boats, either motorised or rowed in, would jostle and scrape against each other in their haste to get their goods on land and onto waiting carts or lorries, which would already be waiting before dawn.  Rolling waves splashed and...
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Culture

A kebaya should celebrates a woman’s curves

It was a soft pink top with lace scalloped edges and embroidered white flowers, which I would pair with a gold-maroon batik sarong skirt. It was my favourite kebaya and it fitted me like a glove! Of course, that was nearly 40 years ago, before I had children and was blessed with the kind of hourglass figure that were the envy of women at the time. If you ask me, a kebaya should be form fitting and celebrates a woman’s curves, not hide them. What made that kebaya all the more special to me was that the sarong was a gift from a friend who...
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This Chinese girl loved her gulai and masak merah

I’m a lucky mom in that my children generally enjoy my cooking. Their favourite is the nasi lemak that I would whip up on special occasions, including Chinese New Year, usually on the second day. I don’t cook it often because it’s a lot of work, everything has to be made from scratch using fresh ingredients and I always insist on using traditional methods over modern appliances. The chilli paste for the sambal petai, for example, must be pounded using a pestle and mortar for the best texture and flavours. The rice needs to have enough santan that’s squeezed...
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