“Sports is the ultimate test of human endurance, power, speed, accuracy and agility. Whereas most games rely on your skill, chances too play a part and so is your built. Today, four other factors besides these has become just as important. A good coach, your psychological strength, the prize money and crowd support. They motivate you to win. Games like archery is all about skill. Others like badminton rely on a combination of two or more factors and the more factors a game depends on, the more exciting and fun it is to watch because the more uncertain is the final outcome. Sports is good for health and many sportsmen live long lives but many a keen spectator die an early death out of over excitement. Especially when bets are placed.”
“Most Peranakans are Straits Chinese but not all Straits Chinese are Peranakans.
For one to be a Chinese Peranakan (also known as Baba Nyonya), one needs to be born of Chinese/Malay parentage as a result of intermarriages between Chinese towkays of that era with local ladies without so much of religious restrictions and as a result, these local ladies adapted themselves to the Chinese way of living learning the husbands customary culture from the matriarch (her mom or grandmom in law) whilst raising her own family thus cross pollinating her own cultures in whenever the need suits them whilst her husband works or took care of matters outside the home. As a result, a new lifestyle bloom alongside a strangely mixed lingo of Hokkien and Malay (Hokkien was a widely accepted dialect amongst the Chinese then)- a culture identified with its unique food recipes, and a preference for ostentatious taste in fashion and lifestyle; most certainly an adaptation borrowed from friends and neighbors of different cultures also rooted in the Straits (Burmese, Thai, Laotian, Indian, Ceylonese whatever) which found acceptability with these Straits Chinese and thus became fashionable. The Straits Settlements is a British colony comprising mainly of Penang, Malacca and Singapore and to a lesser extent the Cocos Keeling islands, Christmas Island, Dindings, Pulau Pangkor and some smaller islands in Perak and that of Labuan. That is the entire British trading influence and how the Chinese within the S.S frequently addressed themselves as. The Straits Chinese community. To be a true blue Straits Chinese, one needs to be a local Chinese born during the British administration of the Straits Settlements from 1826-1946.
This explains why some Chinese families who claims to be Straits Chinese often wonder why they do not have Malay dna in their ancestry lineage. And of how everyday recipes very commonly found in the Straits Chinese household have Malay sounding names especially the ones imbued with local spices though some of these recipes are in today’s context non halal.
One can identify a Chinese Peranakan with their spoken patois very unlike the Hokkien or Malay as how it is spoken today. And generally these Chinese Peranakans are darker skinned and possesses sharper features. I had the opportunity to interact and acquaint myself with genuine Peranakan friends whose ascendants were distinguished personalities from the government fraternity living in then Emerald Hill. They are Western educated which explains how many of them after years abroad have adopted the Western religion unlike the many local Straits Born Chinese whom were and still is mostly Buddhist or Taoist.
I remembered those days as a lad we were taught to address Chinese damsels and lads in strict colloquial standards. We call them ‘Ah Nya’ and ‘Ah Bah’. Though I do not have Malay lineage, I often wonder why my grandparents and great grandparents were all heavily bedecked in straits jewelry from kerongsangs to silver belts down to the kebayas, baju panjangs and those heavily embroidered slippers. But I understand them now. They were fashionable in those days.
Btw that’s how antique I myself is. And no, I’m no Baba even though that was the form of address given not only to me but to other lads as well.”
“If the food doesn’t taste good, blame the chef. Not the vegetables nor the condiments. Either he doesn’t know how to select the freshest of ingredients or he simply can’t cook.”
“I have long suspected that the elixir of longevity weren’t made of plants or herbs nor was it the time devoted to consistent exercising. It’s the prolonged inhaling of a substance long used by artists, a liquid known as ‘turpentine ‘. His fumes lurks the entire studio with a scent that tingles our skin and chokes our grey matter which in turn seeps into every nook and oracle cells of ours leaving us with a toxic sting much like the entrapped iglooic warmth of ammonia which disrupts our algorithm thus delaying our metabolism destined for humanoid decay and subsequent perish. If not then it’s the kinetic heat generated from the sloshing contact of mammalian whiskers on raw canvasses.”
“When the rain of love comes pouring down even as you swish hurriedly away, the cuff of your pants would still be wet. Stained by the damp below the umbrella.”
“One can dream about the grandest of schemes. But, without money, one can’t realize anything. Nevertheless it is one’s Liberty to keep on dreaming.”
“Picasso is the happiest painter on earth. And rightfully so. He draws directly onto the canvas so most of the time he forgets to leave enough room for legs hence shorter legs, restricted by canvas space, being compensated with large pulverized feet. His lines are thick and strong but seldom is it of controlled width. His figures are heavily contorted, almost yogic but many a time augmented, sometimes regimented. He paints haphazardly so he could finish quick and as a result, his facial features are never symmetrical, sometimes plastered together and some poor heads can appear merged like conjoined twins. He prefers to paint over what he doesn’t want, another design, another new coat of paint, then whatever, and another, and another till he is contented. So at certain times, noses does end up looking like phalluses. And everytime you see a shadow lurking at a corner or a man appearing on his canvas, almost always it is he haunting himself. Amazing this man is. Ironically he always gets it right. That’s why he said “Learn the riles like a pro, so you can break then like an artist”.