Many moons ago, we woke up to clear skies and the sound of birds chirping. Nowadays we wake up to hazy skies and the birds no longer chirp. Too busy shading their nostrils with their wings I guess.
When we were younger, we used to gaze at the clouds and imagine the objects that could be made out from its formation. We used to ogle at the moon too. To watch the rabbit etched on it’s surface.Those were fascinating times indeed.
On the first day of Chinese New Year as Confucianist practice dictates, the entire household of an extended family would tidy themselves up, all nicely coiffured before presenting themselves to the head of the household, (generally the matriarch) to receive special blessings and ang pows (red colored packets containing money symbolizing good luck, prosperity, great health and joy). As receiving ang pows is hierarchical, so it is with the givers, each taking turns distributing whilst juniors kow tow and wish ‘Keong Hee Huat Chye’ as a mark of respect to the givers. In our family we went a step further by serving tea to the elders. It is also customary that once a child got married, they are obligated to give ang pows to their parents. The unmarried are exempted from ang pow giving because to the Chinese, they are still rated a child. Thus, any family members can receive ang pows for as long as they remained single. In our Hokkien tradition, only the womenfolk gives away ang pows. Reason is that the menfolk are supposedly the breadwinners of the family whilst the womenfolk are in charge of household affairs.
This is my extended family.
1st pic- my grandma Gek Kee, receiving blessings from my great grandma, matriarch Saw Kit, at Boon Siew Mansion. Generally as a senior in the family herself, my grandma is no longer entitled to ang pows but I guess that also depends on the generosity of individuals and the wealth of each family.. Matriarch Saw Kit’s life sized bronze statue still graces the Home of the Infirmary, Penang.
2nd pic- Aunt Guat Eng, Aunt Gim Ean (deceased), Aunt Guat Hong, Aunt Loh Ean, Uncle Kah Poh (deceased), unidentified Aunt and my mom (deceased). Aunt Guat Hong and 2nd Tniau Seng Leong kow towed.
3rd pic- Tiny tots group pic with matriarch. Kah Heng (deceased), Kah Bee, and Kah Kheng (deceased).
An extended family has added advantages except for privacy and at least three generations of one household lives and stays together. That was the in -thing of that period for well to do family’s with big houses.
Images copyrighted. Circa 50s.
If size is the yardstick used to gauge the prices of artworks, then I guess I’m worth no different than the other 1.76m tall baboon of similar weight standing next to me. That also means that everything else I am capable of to outwit that baboon is redundant. And that includes even when I am more handsome or intelligent. Does that answer your question?
“We must all learn to lift the veil of colors and belief from our eyes so as to see beauty in diversity which engulfs us and places us into this big blue marble that won’t come again, if we fail to cherish it.
We must look at talent and sincerity, not beauty plastered on people’s faces or that which covers or adorn their body.
We need to restore sanity and sanctity by behaving nice and harmless towards everyone, and heighten our sensibility towards nature and its aroma, its sights and sounds and wonders, and be willing to accept part ownership to this globe which belongs first to they who comes before us.
With these things we do, we would hover up the ladder of Utopianism and strut forward towards achieving the idea of self governance without the interference of trying greedy governments. And stop stereotyping people according to caste, beliefs, race, states or even continents.
God gave every creature in this world he create differently sized brains and to us humans, he endows us with the biggest.
But that is for us to develop perfection, not competition and to develop charity, not scarcity so that triumph would eventually be ours so we could conquer the entire universe and witness it’s magical frontier. Ignore those who does nothing but plant seeds of public disobedience and deception.
Accomplishment is learning and knowing when to stop drifting. Sow seeds of goodness to others, preaching love , acceptance and forgiveness instead of harping on faults and learn how to laugh. Look at the brighter, lighter side of life instead of brooding over your lacks. Stop airing your minuscule grouses which may affect other people’s lives. Learn how to laugh at yourself.
Share your wealth. Help the underprivileged, the oppressed, the weak and the sick. And know that everyone has exclusive rights to their own belief, rights to live, rights to choose, and rights to speak, to create and think. For as long as they did not harm, hurt, disrupt, destroy or kill others and the planet we all lived in. Stand up and speak out against unruly lawmakers and bad laws. Silence only breeds them.
When all these are observed, then can we truly be on the road towards one nationhood under the big umbrella we call sky.”
– Kris Lee 2019.
“A woman’s mind is as murky as the muddy river because they simply cannot declassify. But the beauty of possessing a holistic mind is that they can lump actions with dire consequences which made them the far safer sex. Anyhow, it twitches me to know how yoga could possibly help women untwine unless they are prepared to lose their identity and become man instead. Speaking with a coarser voice, growing beards under their chin, eating fajitas wearing a hot sweaty singlet.”
“A man cannot give up his gallantry in exchange for truce with his partner of the opposite sex. Even though a woman may feel safer and secure with a compliant man she can dominate, her esteem for him will wean off eventually , once she notices her all familiar ‘ knight in shining armor ‘ losing grip over his own identity of being a man. The symptom begins with her telling others that she is the one who wears pants in her family.? Well well…
I am not saying men must deny the rightful privileges accorded to the female specie. I am not telling you to treat her badly. All I am saying is that if you have reasons to believe that your partner erred, be firm and stand solid on your ground when you spell it out to her. Let her see the knight within you ooze out from the cavalry in which she secretly craves. But never, never ever appease her unsettledness with apologies just because you longed for a moment of peace. These are the things most men habitually does that you shouldn’t do. The female specie is lousy at reasoning and logic. They fail to understand the dynamics of how she could be the root cause of his wussy behavior. Deep down, woman indeed craves for a hero who could sweep her off her feet, one which she was totally smittened with a long time ago. It is in-built within their system. It is something most women are unaware of and is affirmed in every Disney cartoon movie. A woman wants and craves for a knight in shining armor. Not a minion hiding under her pinion .
Thus, to the man, behave like how a rightful man behaves and if possible, behave like a gentleman.”
The secret of success is not in keeping opportunities to yourself but in giving opportunities to others. The goodness echoing behind you is more valuable than the praises others sing in front of you. Always stay humble.
“ Perhaps mankind did abandon everything modern man discovers, built or invented- the so called lost civilizations and went back to the caves, happily feeding on roots and nuts, swinging all day long on the trees, no longer bother to even groom themselves. That explains all the mysterious objects found inside these remnants that till today baffles mankind.”
Some people forgo righteousness, moral decency and good values, preferring to side richest, caste, seniority and companionship, for as long as they benefit. Some people tries to stay relevant by using others as their trampoline. Some people create hypes to cut losses. Some people have an uncanny inkling to always side the wrong people.
A change of government is good. But a change of mindset is even better. Otherwise, democracy could only mean a change of clothes.”