Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wedding customs in Malaysia you must know

At this age, I received a lot of wedding invitations from friends. These invitations may contain lots and lots of jargons that I do not understand at first, but with a few Google searches they are demystified. Regardless of culture, getting invited as a guest is an honour, so I urge you to accept invitations whenever you can and make time to attend it. If you have indicated your interest to attend a wedding, stay away from not turning up without a good reason because doing so tantamount to dishonouring the effort taken to prepare the wedding.

Malaysia is a multiracial society, and weddings is a way to showcase the culture of the ethnic groups. The aim of a wedding is generally the same, that is to witness the union of a couple for their lifetime. Some simple ceremony can be shrouded in jargons. You may have encountered the terms in wedding invitations, so what do they mean?

Malay - Islam

Majlis Pertunangan
Majlis pertunangan translates to engagement party. The engagement party is typically held one to two years ahead of the actual wedding to announce a couple's intention of getting married. It's usually held in a house. The news of an engagement is kept private to close family and friends. The party also serves to allow relatives and friends of both sides to get to know each other. But, bear in mind that this is not an actual wedding. The engagement can be broken off. Breaking off an engagement is called putus tunang, and it's frowned upon.

Akad Nikah
The solemnization of the wedding where couple exchange their vows. Typicaly held in a mosque or in the bride's residence. A guardian of the bride (wali) must be present at the ceremony, at least.


Watch this video to see a typical example of akad nikah.

Bersanding/Hari Langsung
The bersanding ceremony is also termed "hari langsung" (day of completion of marriage). In the bersanding ceremony, the bride and groom are seated on a dias (pelamin) to receive their marriage blessings. Held at the bride's house.


Bersanding of Malay celebrity Irma Hasmie. cr: Fitrihadi

Walimatul Urus
Walimatul urus is the Malay equivalent of wedding banquet. Held after bersanding

Majlis Bertandang
It translates to "visitation ceremony". It's held at the groom's residence to welcome the bride. The other term for majlis bertandang is "majlis menyambut menantu" (ceremony for welcome of in-laws). Sometimes a second bersanding ceremony is held at majlis bertandang to allow guests absent in the first bersanding to give their blessings.

Western

**it's unlikely that you'll attend a purely Western wedding in Malaysia, but modern Chinese weddings bear much Western influence

Hen's night
A party held for the bride-to-be. Only women were invited. Typically involves bridesmaid, may also includes close friends of the bride-to-be.

Stag's night
Held for the groom to celebrate his "last night of freedom" or spending time with his friends (male & female) before he enters marriage.

Chinese

**these are actual traditions of the Chinese

Bridal shower
The bridal shower is borrowed from Western tradition. It's held on the eve of wedding for the bride-to-be. During the bridal shower, the bride-to-be is blessed with the combing ceremony. The bride-to-be's hair is combed four times, each combing signifies togetherness, harmony, numerous descendants and longevity.

Wedding games 闯姐妹关
Games are played on the day of the wedding. Games are set up by bridesmaid to be played by the groom and his party. The groom and his party must pass the games before he is allowed to take the bride as his wife. Wedding games stems from the tradition of the bride's siblings challenging the groom to test his willingness to marry his bride.


The groom briefing his SWAT agents for wedding games. This is Jovian Mandagie's wedding btw. cr: Beautifulnara.com

Tea ceremony
This is the most important part of Chinese wedding is the tea ceremony, conducted as a sign of respect for the elders. Relatives of the bride and groom will be invited to sit down to be served tea, after that children and unmarried siblings will be serving tea to the married couple.


Tea ceremony is held as a sign of respect. cr: Beautifulnara.com

Wedding Banquet 喜酒
The Chinese wedding banquet is held on the night of the wedding, after the ceremony is complete. It's typically held at a hotel.

For me, Indian weddings is uncommon. If you want them to be included here, do give me a brief via my email boonkheng89@live.com. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RED People's 红人 RED RED Year 红红年 showcase

I have known RED People as a teen idol group by Namewee 黄明志 since debut. An opportunity came to meet them in person so I drove to SS2 Mall in Petaling Jaya. It was two days before the event the members posted on Instagram about it lolz.

When I arrived I saw no sign of preparation so I thought to myself, did I come to the wrong place? If I did, then paiseh lor. I made my way to Hometown Coffee to take a break, and there I bumped into Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang.

When staff members came to set up the stage, I didn't think twice about buying their set of album, T-shirt and calendar because getting them signed is worth it!


RED People finally appeared on stage. Yay moment!

As part of the showcase/fan meet they played interactive games with fans. I entered the first game and got partnered with Charles Tee @ Dato Sai.



The first game was getting blindfolded and feeding the celebrity Mandarin oranges. At first I was reluctant to do the dirty job of feeding Dato Sai hahahaha! I should be fed instead.

Dato Sai assured me he is an easy guy to work with so I just did as instructed. When the time started I just opened the oranges like crazy! I didn't care about the mess I was about the create.

MC Crystal announced that I won the game! I went up stage to have an opportunity of interacting with my stars and never thought about winning. That was a big bonus because I came! Totally didn't regret playing the game.

My area was filled with orange juice after I finished



Big thanks to my partner Charles Tee who helped me won the game.


The privilege of the first winner was posing with all RED People on stage!

RED People had more games with fans and performances of tracks from their RED RED Year 红红年 album. And yeah, the video for the tracks has yet to be released on Youtube so we were among the first to heard of their title track "七洞强”.

The time has come for fan sign!! I got two of my posters (one bought, one won) signed by the members and of course, must take picture lah!


This is Charles Tee @ Dato Sai!


Hello Joyce Chu 四葉草 @thecloverjoys ! She's so beautiful and popular. She's the tallest member of the group standing at 168 cm
this is how tall A Pink's Son Na Eun/Oh Ha Young is


Hello Stella Chen stellavella, every guys' goddess :)

Yours truly has an attention for detail so I checked the number of signatures obtained. I realised two of the members weren't at the event!

I never thought I'd be so lucky that day but my fun didn't end there because the next day is my test drive with Jane Chuck.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Biorefresher: Jinnyboy meet & greet + Random road trip + RED People showcase



I've not been updating my blog with Biorefresher posts so long already! The header image above was lost in my Photobucket and only found recently in Facebook (Phew!)

During the last week of year 2014, I took a break from work although it was not official. I still go to campus but it was like a ghost town! So, I decided to go for some adventures. First up is

Jinnyboy and Reuben Kang's meet and greet





On 28th of December 2014, Youtuber Jinnyboy and Reuben Kang had a fan meet at myBurgerLab Sunway. Admission was free! Fans had a chance to talk to Jinnyboy, Reuben and Alan Lok and pose with them for photos.

I look forward to new videos from Jinnyboy! Keep up the good work dude.

My little expedition

University of Nottingham was like a ghost town at the end of the year. I was quite bored, so I decided to do some little exploration around town.



My university is served by B34 Jalan Broga that leads to Broga in Negeri Sembilan. Sometimes I go for lunch with coursemates in Broga and we never go beyond that. Since I had free time, I decided to go further down the road. After crossing the border, B34 changes to N34.

I stopped by Lenggeng to have my lunch. Driving further down N34, I reached Federal Route 1 at Mantin. Then, I took Kajang-Seremban Expressway to return to campus.

I have also explored the road to Bangi while on my way home.



I know of Ara Damansara from bloggers but didn't know where exactly it is. Turned out it's accessed from the road leading to Subang Airport. Heck, Damansara is an overused buzzword for development already.

RED People fan meet



Members of RED People had their showcase at SS2 Mall in Petaling Jaya to promote their upcoming Chinese New Year album. There, I met the social media manager of Zun Zen and my facebook friend, beatboxer Peter Ooi.

I played a game and viola, I won the game!!! So I had the privilege to pose with members of RED People on stage. Wooohooo!

Their new CNY track "七洞强" is out on Youtube now, so go and check it out!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My test drive of Ford Fiesta 1.0 L EcoBoost

I started my new year with a bang! On 4 January 2015, I became one of the lucky ones to test drive a Ford thanks to Jane "Chuckei" Lau and Nuffnang Malaysia. The test drive took place at Ford showroom at Section 51 of Petaling Jaya.



I actually brought my new A Pink Pink LUV album to see if I could play a CD in the car. As you'd expect with a car from Ford, it actually has a CD player.



This was the car I test drove, the Ford Fiesta 1.0 L with EcoBoost. It has an engine of 1000 cc. I thought, maybe I should not expect much from such a car. Turned out this wasn't the case.



My turn came. I hopped into the driver's seat; Jane on the front passenger seat & her blog manager on the back seat. After adjusting my seat, I was ready to go.

How to start the car? First step on the brake pedal, then press the power button.

The switch for signal light is on the left and wiper on the right. Guess how many times I accidently turned on the wiper when I meant to signal!!! LOLz.

I inserted my A Pink CD to play music. Sound quality was normal at best. If you're a car audio enthusiast, I believe you can mod it.

The Fiesta 1.0 L EcoBoost has 6 speed automatic gear. Below the D gear is an S gear. No one knew what S gear does - and that's the best part about the car. So I changed to S gear, this activates the Sports Mode and gave extra torque when accelerating. The S mode is going to shine when driving on interstate expressways at speeds over 100 km/h.

** the 6 speed gear translates into fuel savings if you frequently drive on expressways. Cars with lower number of gears consumes more fuel at faster speed due to higher engine rpm

It was a big eye opener indeed that a three cylinder 1.0 L engine is capable of delivering the performance on par with a 1.6 L engine. For this the Fiesta 1.0 L EcoBoost is called a compact sports car. It has the performance of a sports car in a compact form factor.



Thanks Jane for inviting me and the rest of her readers to this test drive. This is the second time I took part in Jane's event. The last time was at Lacoste, Bangsar Village 2.



Said hello to Janice Yeap!



I saw Daphne Charice Tan for the first time. Hello!

That was my experience, so you wanna know more about the Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost?



What are the features of Ford Fiesta 1.0L?

From the product page, The feature highlights are:
  • 1.0L GTDI, EcoBoost® 3-cylinder
  • Powershift® 6-speed Dual Clutch Automatic
  • Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)
  • 16” Alloy Wheels
  • Automatic Twin Chamber Halogen Reflector Headlamps with Home Safe Lighting
  • Power Adjustable Wing Mirror with Indicator and Puddle Lamp
  • MP3, CD InDash with 6 Speakers with Aux Port,Bluetooth® & Voice Command
  • Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) / Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • ABS with EBD
  • Passive Anti Theft System (PATS)
  • 7 Airbags
  • Day-Time Running Lights (DTRL)
  • Stylish All-Round Skirting

How much is the price of Ford Fiesta 1.0 L EcoBoost?

That will depend on your area in Malaysia. At the time of writing, the Fiesta 1.0 L EcoBoost sells at
  • Peninsular Malaysia: RM 96,551.65
  • Sabah & Sarawak: RM 101,737.00
  • Langkawi (duty free): RM 73,479.65
  • Labuan (duty free): RM 74,529.65

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How do you trigger a renaissance?

by Hafidz Baharom
The Malaysian Insider, Free Malaysia Today, Malay Mail Online

It is clearly numbing that we have certain parties thinking that getting 20,000 Malays at a singular event somehow will give birth to a renaissance period here in Malaysia. I will say this openly, that will not be a renaissance. It would just be a pathetic flash mob entitled "I talk, you all listen".

In the last week, the Malay Legislative Council or Majlis Perundangan Melayu (MPM) decided that there was a need to re-establish Malay dominance in the country through a renaissance.

Of course, they brought up the same old so-called threats — LGBTs, liberalism, secularism and the usual suspects — threatening the Malaysian way of life.

For those who may not know this, the MPM is made up of a huge list of Malay NGOs, including the Malay Chambers of Commerce (DPMM), my alma mater alumni organisation Alumni UiTM, Cuepacs, the Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA) and even the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association.

Though personally, it makes no sense how alumni associations involving schools, universities and even MRSMs could even think of backing this movement in the first place.

Firstly, for all the lawyers out there; if an organisation says they were appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office but have no letter nor official documentation to prove it, would that be a case of fraud or false representation?

And secondly, would all parties involved in the council that made that statement be liable for legal action under the Penal Code?

I ask this because honestly, if you think coming up with a statement claiming you have the Prime Minister’s backing to somehow be “ambassadors to a talk”, you should at least have the credentials before speaking.

Now then, how do you trigger a renaissance?

If we look at the European age of enlightenment, it had everything to do with the increase in curiosity in the facets of cultural, philosophical and scientific knowledge.

If we look at China, there was not exactly a renaissance, but a social experiment through the liberalising of their market and economy at certain stages.

If we look at America, it was the establishment of technological hubs by inventors daring to dream and chase innovation whilst combining forces with the financial technical know-how of venture capitalists. In other words, the innovative thinking of West America meets the conservative and acute financial acumen of their East Coast.

Please note that in all three cases, race and religion had nothing to do with it.

And also note, that in any of these cases, either with Galileo or Steve Jobs or even Deng Xiaoping, none of them called a press conference to announce they wanted a Renaissance.

I’m sure all of them had access to at least Gutenberg press to actually do what MPM did, but they did not do it.

A Renaissance is needed for the Malay community, but it will not be triggered or initiated through like minded conservative organisations that would rather use boogeymen tactics rather than a message to challenge everything.

Because that is exactly what a Renaissance was about; the challenging of established thought, the inspiration of innovative and technological leaps that was considered heretic to the old Vatican, and even the importing of knowledge from beyond borders to better everyone’s way of life.

And considering the timing of the MPM to coincide with the worst floods seen in Malaysia, it is obvious that everyone’s way of life is the least of their concerns.

A Malay renaissance would instead be consisting of a need to evaluate 40 years of stagnating income and failure to advance in both ownership of economic equity and increased involvement in entrepreneurship.

To do this, the Malay community would need access to knowledge beyond borders, which is readily available through the Internet in a nation with more than 50 per cent broadband penetration since the initiative during Tan Sri Rais Yatim’s tenure as Minister for Communication and Multimedia.

However, it was also MPM that had limited the Malay community from understanding this knowledge. Lest we forget, the MPM was one of the coalitions that thought teaching English in Science and Mathematics was a threat to our national language.

Thus, instead of allowing Malays the ability to access multiple research PDF files using Google to satiate their curiosities in anything related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, philosophy and even economics – those things you actually need to trigger a renaissance – these NGOs in the past had actually preferred to leave the Malay community deaf, dumb and mute in these fields.

Now, these same people are calling for a renaissance. This makes no sense.

If you honestly want to trigger a renaissance, you should start with allowing everyone an equal chance at education. You need to allow everyone a chance to not only access information, but also the ability to understand it by equipping them with the language skills.

You would also need to allow people to challenge everything in the norm, to create a new normal. You would need to have financial policies that would allow people to fail and get back up to try again in their ventures.

And for the Malays specifically, if you really want a renaissance period for yourselves, you need to speak up. You need to put a voice or an outlet to your thoughts and look at everything from a new angle.

You cannot look at a row of tom yam restaurants and think you should start the same thing. Instead, you should be thinking it is a perfect place for a pharmacy in case anyone gets indigestion or food poisoning.

You will not get these ideas listening to an old bunch of boogeyman tacticians calling 20,000 of you for a rally in March 2015. Instead, you will find it in cyberspace, at intellectual talks, venturing as far as China as our Prophet recommended, seeing the world and absorbing their knowledge like a sponge.

So please, be smart, be intellectually curious, find that center and that self-balance of yours to focus on what you want to challenge, and challenge it to your heart’s content.

That, will trigger a renaissance we all need.

Bioflashback: Being a Pink Panda


On a weekend in August 2014, I went to Pavilion KL for K-Festival. The fair showcased Korean food, traditional Korean medicine, Korean massage, Korean travel, so basically everything from Korea.

Later that evening there was a fan meet of MBLAQ.

There was a karaoke try out so I gave a shot. Out of all artists I chose A Pink. There was only NoNoNo available for singing. NoNoNo was the title track in "Secret Garden" released in year 2013 :)

As soon as the song started I sang until I finished the last syllable of the song.

Right after that the organizer asked me to stay! I knew it has to be an interview.

The interviewer said it was rare for them to stumble upon a non-Korean who can nail the song so well. So he asked me what was my secret.

I answered him that I frequently watch music shows like KBS Music Bank, MBC's Music Core & SBS Inkigayo on Youtube. So that was my answer!

If I had the chance to go back in time, I should have said I'm a big fan of #Apink & a Proud Panda. I'm proud of everything they do and will be a fan of them for life. Guess I was embarrassed to admit I'm a fan when I'm put on the spot, ha!

It has been a while since A Pink was in Malaysia. I should save up just in case they'll be here!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Melbourne Central signages

Melbourne Central coles krispy kreme borders

Don't you think they look like round biscuits? This was taken at the beginning of spring while I was in my second year of study at University of Melbourne.

You can see this by walking along the La Trobe Street side of Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. What I like about Melbourne is you can get temperature that are just nice outdoors! So make sure you don't miss this spot in your travels.

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