Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Tamil schools not allowed to take holiday for Ponggal???

January 9th, 2013
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Another ridiculous move by the MOE if the news below is true. Previously, Tamil schools can take special holiday for Ponggal which falls in mid January.  And surely no one in the right mind will put a day before Thaipusam as replacement class! What in the world are these guys having for food? Is this only in Kedah or nationwide directive?

THE Indian community is unhappy over the Education Ministry’s decision not to allow Tamil schools to take a day off as a special holiday for the Ponggal festival which falls on Jan 14, reported Tamil Nesan.

It quoted Sungai Petani MIC division deputy chairman T.H. Subra as saying that education officers did not understand the significance of the festival.

He was also unhappy that Jan 26 had been marked as a school day to replace additional holidays given for the Chinese New Year celebration.

“This is unsuitable as most Hindu children will be busy preparing for Thaipusam, which falls on Jan 27,” he said, adding that until last year, Tamil schools were given the flexibility to take three days off a year for religious festivals.

He urged education officers to be fair to all communities.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/9/nation/12549401&sec=nation

Christmas Deco vs Deepavali Deco

December 14th, 2012
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 Its wonderful to see grand Christmas decorations at our various shopping malls. It attracts people from all walks of life to take photos and enjoy the decorations. What more with school holidays and year end sales to attract more crowd. One can easily spend a whole day in shopping malls without noticing the time flying.

Unfortunately, the same doesn’t happen during Deepavali. If the management of these malls have the similar thinking as for Christmas, then surely they can do similar wonders that attract crowds from various background. Usually, some measily “kolam” is done, and that’s about it. Come on, a very famous and important religious festival only represented by “kolam”?

Not forgetting, we also have plenty of tourists from India (about 700k in 2011), not including Indian diaspora countries. You can put some effort to attract them to your mall as well.

Yeah, these are business entities and they have their own business objectives, i.e. bottom lines to worry about.  But if there’s not Christmas deco, you think November/December sales will drop? No tourists will visit malls? So, what’s the logic for such elaborate decoration, and comparatively zilch for Deepavali?

Read the article below on Christmas decorations. Do you think only Christians appreciate them or that only Christians will shop during this time? No right?  Probably if you allocate about quarter of the budget from Christmas deco for Deepavali deco, can do quite a lot. You can even initiate collaboration with various IPTs for their students to help with decorations and displaying some creative stuff.

Or are you waiting for government to provide some incentives? Maybe there should some enforced ruling to ensure shopping malls also participate in nation building?

It all boils down to mentality. Yeah, you can say “its just some deco stuff, we have other more critical things to focus on la for the community”. Well, marginalisation starts in such small matters, is my opinion.

 

<b>Taking flight:</b> Santa’s sleigh is placed in front of Suria KLCC Lake Symphony fountain.

Taking flight: Santa’s sleigh is placed in front of Suria KLCC Lake Symphony fountain.

THE time of the year has arrived for shopping centres to go all out to usher Christmas and New Year.

Quick trips to the malls will surely get you get in the mood for Santa Claus, shiny baubles, reindeers and gifts.

Aside from giant Christmas trees decorated with colourful trinkets , most malls go the extra mile by creating eye-popping themed surroundings.

Step into “Santa’s North Park” at Berjaya Times Square where shoppers are greeted with large toy soldiers, which lined up the gantry to a 40ft Christmas tree.

The main tree is flanked by clusters of smaller trees decorated with ornaments, pine cones, berries and figs.

Shoppers can also explore the Lower Ground concourse area, done up to reflect Santa’s lush sanctuary and its magical creatures.

Meanwhile, shoppers can “watch” Santa and his elves at work in Suria KLCC.

Its decor shows Santa checking a long list of wishes with a help of a machine with exposed cogs and mechanical works.

<b>Super trumpeteers:</b> Large angels set to usher Christmas at Starhill Gallery.
Super trumpeteers: Large angels set to usher Christmas at Starhill Gallery.

There is also an impressive sleigh with reindeers in front of the KLCC Lake Symphony fountain while Frosty the Snowman stand guard at the Ampang Entrance and Rudolph the Reindeer is at the Park Entrance.

Mid Valley Megamall’s “All I Want for Christmas” theme saw its Centre Court transformed into a country-like atmosphere where a log cabin furnished with wreaths, a fire pit and surrounded by Christmas trees.

Patrons can also take pictures by a wooden barn complete with a watermill, hand-carved bird houses and a 40ft Christmas tree.

Over at Bangsar Village, shoppers have a glimpse into the past as mock Victorian shopfronts are constructed at the concourse area to commemorate Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday.

Meanwhile, Bangsar Village II has an unusual Christmas tree, which is made of a combination of life-sized Victorian streetlamps and 7,000 pieces of used newspaper rolled into cones to form five gigantic wreaths with giant baubles suspended from its roof.

<b>Sparkly:</b> The Gardens Mall puts up a white Christmas decoration with themed "Crystal Paradise".
Sparkly: The Gardens Mall puts up a white Christmas decoration with themed “Crystal Paradise”.

Inspired by medieval castles, Sungei Wang Plaza’s “The Big Band Christmas” is set to thrill shoppers with a castle where toy soldiers stand guard on balconies.

At the bottom of the stage is a fountain decorated with red poinsettia flowers while gold ribbons and Christmas trees embellished with ornaments and lights are also placed at the stage with a blizzard spray on each door to create a Christmas dream castle for shoppers.

At The Gardens Mall, shoppers can expect a white Christmas where trees made of glass are placed along the Ground Floor with sparkly chandeliers and ornaments hanging above them.

Lastly, angels take centrestage at Starhill Gallery where 29 three-metre tall angels are displayed inside the mall and at its entrance.

The decor is complemented by 1,000 decorative stars and 5,000 box fairy lights, which will be up until Jan 3, 2013.

It is indeed a season of love and joy as shoppers will find themselves immerse in the delightful mood of Christmas at the malls.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/12/14/central/12442227&sec=central

Nostalgia Klang

December 10th, 2012
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The video below were taken by a group of Taylor University students for their project.  I had assisted them in a way, providing some limited insight into Jalan Tengku Kelana (or Little India area). The video brought back memories and I can recall some of the people they had interviewed.

 

Ad screening at cinemas delays movie

December 10th, 2012
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 I’m sure regular moviegoers have faced this issue countless times. We are bombarded with various ads (either commercial, public service or government based) while waiting for movies to start. At times it can go own for about 10 – 15 minutes. So movie starts late and ends late. Similar with the writer’s experience below, I usually watch movies at GSC. Does TGV or other operators run many ads before screening?

 

Movies have always been my favourite pastime, be it on television or in theatres. The last two movies I watched were ‘The Expendables 2? and ‘Taken 2?. I caught Expendables 2 in Kota Kinabalu and Taken 2 in Mid Valley, both theatres operated by Golden Screen Cinemas.

While the watching the movie itself was fun, the part where they delayed the screening by 15 minutes is a no no for me! Both movies started the screening well beyond the stated time, as the were loads of advertisement going on.

Right from Samsung’s new projector phone to the small KFC chicks and our Colonel struggling to open the theatre door to let the chicks enter. It was further joined by housing developers advertisement.

Now, this is not a free screening theatre as all of cinema-oers are paying for it. I don’ mind if the advertisements run before the screening time but to continue playing it beyond the stated time, is a rip off!

Is there any regulation that addresses this problem or only this specific cinema operator is doing it? As far as I know, other cinema operators don’t behave like this. I hope someone can look into this.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/10/16/irked-by-ads-cutting-into-movie-time/

Community mapping project at Brickfields

October 18th, 2012
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 This is an interesting project by Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita and Kota Kita. I was surprised (or was I?) to read that “based on a survey they carried out among the participants, the majority had not entered places of worship other than their own”.  How true is this? I’ve been inside most places of worship except mosques. Had climbed the stairs inside the minaret of a mosque though…

I think there’s no genuine initiative to expose or teach about the various cultures to others. Mostly its one-sided only.

 

THE founders of Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita and volunteers took to the streets of Brickfields last weekend to carry out a community-mapping project to promote religious understanding between different faiths using the arts.

The project involved 17 volunteer-participants aged from 18 to 30 years old from different ethnicities and faiths. There were also four facilitators and two project coordinators project.

“For three months, from August to October, we explored the Brickfields community through a series of different workshops comprising research, photography and video. Through these workshops, we learned and discovered the many treasure troves and stories this small community has to offer,” co-founder and project manager Lew Pik-Svonn said.

They also produced educational materials such as Have a Holy-Day — a colourful booklet for self-guided walking tours to the places of worship in Brickfields.

Interesting sight: The participants stopping at a temple during the walking tour.
Interesting sight: The participants stopping at a temple during the walking tour.

“We felt it was important for people to know and understand different religions. Many cultures are also intertwined with religion. Misunderstandings happen when there is a shallow perception of other religions. We want to fill in this gap,” Lew said.

She said the community-mapping project in Brickfields was the first in a series of three. Their next destination is Tuaran in Sabah.

The organisers are from Kota Kita, non-profit arts collective with a mission to empower community members and enrich their relationship with the community. Their most notable project is Projek Chow Kit Kita, which was a similar community-mapping effort in Chow Kit.

The event also saw cultural performances from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association and a choir from the Tamil Methodist Church. Along the way, the participants had opportunities to sample food and observe photo and video exhibitions. In collaboration with Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita, Lew said they have also launched BrickfieldsEats (www.BrickfieldsEats.wordpress.com) which is a project to map the food found in Brickfields and their stories.

Welcome: Performers from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association.Welcome: Performers from the Malaysian Indian Arts and Culture Association.

Fahmi Reza, who is the co-founder and project designer of Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita, said based on a survey they carried out among the participants, the majority had not entered places of worship other than their own.

“What is worse is that they do not even ask questions. We wanted to approach this serious subject on a lighter note where they can ask questions and learn from community members. If you observe the situation in our schools nowadays, there is so much segregation. How does one know the other person’s culture and faith without communication? ” he asked.

Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita consists of 24 people from different ethnicities and faiths who want to promote their belief in a society that embraces diversity.

The community-mapping tour started outside YMCA along Jalan Tun Sambathan 4 with more than 100 people attended the three-hour walking tour which covered visits to places of worship that included the Orthodox Syrian Church, Church of Our Lady Fatima, Madrasathul Gouthiyyah Surau, Tamil Methodist Church, Seng Hong Temple, Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple, Buddhist Maha Vihara, Sri Krishna Temple, Sri Maha Muneswarar Temple, Sri Kandaswamy Kovil and Sree Veera Hanuman Temple.

 

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/10/17/central/12172660&sec=central