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Cave with a view June 19, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Craft, Culture, Malaysia, Nature, Places.
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There are more caves in the Kinta Valley of Perak that I care to remember. I have been to a few. Some are slightly scary because they seem to have a forboding ambience. Others are serene and exude an air of spirituality that only the discerning can detect.

I love caves. I really don’t the reason why. Perhaps it’s because when I was a toddler, I liked hiding in boxes. That could be one reason. Anyway, the pictures above were taken at Kek Look Tong, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Ampang in Ipoh. Yes, Ipoh too has a place called Ampang.

It is a relatively new cave. Cave lovers would like this one. It is not ostentatious. Part of it is man made, not the whole mountain, of course. Enjoy the breeze when you are there.

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Symbol of mercy and compassion June 17, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Culture, Malaysia, Places.
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Kuanyin is th embodiment of mercy and compassion. The origins of this goddess who is very much part of Buddhism and Chinese Taoism goes back at least a thousand years.

  In Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, where there are Chinese temples, the statue of Kuanyin or Guanyin is almost quintessential. Hence, it is imperative in Chinese culture that even in the midst of the ferocious race to pursue material well being, there is the ever prevalent sense that compassion and mercy do play a major part in the Chinese community.

For it is the stuff that mothers teach their children. And this quality of mercy, as proclaimed by the Bard to be as gentle as the rain, should be passed on from family to family and generation to generation.

Ancestors and a lingering legacy June 15, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Culture, Malaysia, People, Places.
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Sprinkled all over Peninsular Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak are pockets of Chinese living in towns, villages and in remote conclaves. Through the centuries, countless had journeyed their way from China to this part of the world.

Many had planted their roots here and never went home. While others have arrived in tattered clothes and died in poverty, there were a sizeable number who came under adverse conditions and made good.

Those pioneers who had finally built a sound financial foundation for their descendants sometimes constructed what hokkiens called “kong Chu” or ancestral mansions or homes.

Within the walls of such buildings are paintings or pictures of the ancient ones who had struggled, slogged and eventually died very wealthy men and women. The above picture is from one of these ancestral homes.

  The pictures depict the forbears who blazed a trail that paved the way for their 20th and 21st century descendants to live in comfort, have nice homes and sound education for their children and grandchildren.

 Thus, it is the tradition of overseas Chinese to remind their families and those yet to be born that they should not forget the sacrifices made by their great great grandfathers and great great grandmothers for their sakes.

  We of the modern generation occasionally make our way back to these ancestral homes to remind ourselves that we are blessed today because our forefathers had got down on their hands and knees to carve out a living and a comfortable life for the rest who followed.

Enter the world of circuit boards, bytes and thumb drives June 14, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, Places.
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There are a number of places in Klang Valley where computer parts and its peripherals can be sourced. Among these places are Low Yat Plaza near Sunga Wang Plaza, Digital Mall in Section 14, Mid Valley, Subang Parade in Subang Jaya and Computer War in SS2 in PJ.

The prices of a lot of computer items are plunging much to the delight of college students and home users in general. At Low Yat Plaza, there’s a “war” going on as far as prices are concerned.

 So if you want to secure the lowest price for any product, you will have to do a bit of walking. Look around, peer at the price tags carefully and scan all items religiously. Chances are you will be rewarded with the “bargain-of-the-day”.

  Nowadays, almost anything connected to a personal computer, whether it be a Notebook or desktop, can be purchased at a fraction of its original cost. Be wise with your money and you will be richly rewarded.

There’s no smoke without a hookah! June 13, 2007

Posted by asianpixmen in Activities, Malaysia, Miscellaneous, People, Places.
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I heard some talk not that long ago that some residents in our great capital city of Kuala Lumpur have taken a liking to smoking the hookah.

Before you jump up and ask “what is that?”, permit me to enlighten you with my limited knowledge of that implement. A hookah has its origins in India. However, its popularity only spread during the time when the Ottoman Turks ruled parts of the world over on our side.

  The hookah has other names, and they are sheesha, nargeela, ghalyan and okke. It works by indirect heat and through water filtration. The ones I saw were placed strategically at a stall in a restaurant opposite the Sunway College back entrance.

   Business must be good, otherwise the stall wouldn’t have kickstarted its business in that place. I can almost visualise some exam-tired students heading towards this hookah stall for a quick smoke. The ingredients include tobacco and some fruit extracts of your choice.

  In countries like Armenia, Syria, Iran, Greece, Jordan, Albania and Bulgaria, the hookah is rather common.  In Malaysia, it is still a fairly new thing but it’s catching on.