Hungry Ghosts, Spirits And Chinese Time


Hungry ghost masksTiong Ah Leng, a trader on the street in front of my block of apartments had a bundle of joss sticks clasped tightly in his hands. His eyes closed, he bowed in staccato motions facing the full moon, while cars whizzed up and down the major highway. An incongruous sight even in Kuala Lumpur, where sights and sounds never fail to amaze me daily. I have been living here for over a month and each day, I sense that I am re-entering my childhood of a Malaysia forty years ago. Some things never change. One of these is the full moon in August.  The other is the festival of hungry ghosts. During this lunar year, the two almost coincided. Continue reading “Hungry Ghosts, Spirits And Chinese Time”

How can Chinese Culture survive in Australia?

Chinese FoodFor centuries Chinese have roamed the face of the earth and wherever they have gone, they have taken their culture with them.  They have kept their culture and tried to transmit it to their children.  In fact, the question uppermost in the minds of every generation of Chinese parents could well be: how can our culture survive in a society which is predominantly Australian? Will our children born in Australia keep their Chinese heritage and at the same time be Australians? Continue reading “How can Chinese Culture survive in Australia?”

Do Chinese Kiss?


Chinese couple kissingWhen I was a little girl, my mother would take us to the afternoon matinee in cinemas in Malaya (before it became Malaysia) in the early 50’s. In these movies, for the first time I saw people kissing each other…. but I never saw my parents show any physical attention to each other, let alone kiss! As I grew older I often wonder whether or not Chinese kiss each other like the movies stars. Continue reading “Do Chinese Kiss?”