Monday, August 31, 2009
When a Chinese father gives a name to his son or daughter, he will think of its meaning. For girls the popular names start with Hui (smart or intelligent), Mei (beautiful), Li (beautiful), Yan (beautiful), Xiao (small) and Ming (clever). Each is followed by Zhu (pearl), Li (beautiful) and Rong (face) Hence names such as Hui Li (intelligent and beautiful, Mei Li (beautiful), Yan Zhu (beautiful pearl), Ming Li (clever and beautiful) and Xiao Hui (small but clever) will be given to girls when they are born.
As for boys, the popular names will start with Jiang (strong), Cong (clever), Kai (victorious), Guo (country), Zhi (ambition) and Zhong (loyal). Each is usually followed by Ming (person), Fu (happiness), Xiang (auspicious), and Jian (healthy). Consequently, the newborn males will be given names such as Jiang Fu (Strong and Enjoying happiness), Cong Ming (clever person), Kai Xiang (victorious and auspicious), Guo Jian (the country's healthy person) and Zhong Ming (Loyal subject of a country).
Hence you see, there is a certain meaning attachment to each Chinese name.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The Chinese have practised ancestral worship since ancient time. It is a way of showing respect to their late parents or grandparents.
Food offered for praying include rice, vegetables, meat and tea and sometimes wine. If the Chinese are Buddhists they can prepare vegetarian food for this purpose.
Tomorrow will be the 43th anniversary of my father's death and my family and I will do ancestral worship then.
It is a good practice because we are trained to think of the good deed our forefathers have done for us. In olden
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Acupuncture did wonders to my finger and now I could flex a little bit. According to her, it would take quite some time for the finger to be normal again because the tendon was swollen too. I expect to be undergoing acupuncture treatment the next time I set foot at her clinic again.
Friday, August 28, 2009
My trigger finger improved a little as the swollen finger had shrunk to some degrees and I could flex my forefinger a little. I still need to go for physiotherapy sessions. I really hope to get over all these and I can use my forefinger again.
The disability to use one finger has caused so much trouble to me. I now really admire those without hands and yet can manage to go about doing things. Hence we should thank God for endowing us with perfect limbs to be part of us.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
As it is too painful to write with my right hand with the above condition, I resorted to using my left hand when I wrote on the white board during lessons this evening. I marvelled at my own ability to write with my left hand. Though I had difficulty in forming words, I managed to write what I wanted and needed for explanation and extra exercises on the board.
From this experience, I find that being ambidextrous is an advantage. If I am able to write with both hands, I can accomplish what I did this evening easily.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
These are the examples to the statement I have made above.
1 Housewives like to buy things such as brushes, brooms, knives, forks and spoons at the shop because these are sold at reasonable prices.
[In this sentence, the examples are given in bold prints.]
2 We do not like apples because they are acidic. [Apples are used to refer to things in general.]
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
To make this clear to readers, let us look at the following sentences.
1 A lot of people were there to watch the magic show performed by a medicine seller.
[In this sentence, 'a lot of' is followed by people which is countable. Hence a plural verb, were (a verb-to-be to be exact)is used.]
2 A lot of rubbish was strewn all over the place.
[Here, 'a lot of' takes an uncountable noun and as a result, a singular verb 'was' is used.]
Monday, August 24, 2009
The first one is:
Please be inform that our new mobile phone number is 017-xxxxxxx.
In this sentence, 'inform' should be 'informed' (past participle)
The second notice reads:
Changing of operating hours
effectively from July 2009
Mon & Wed - 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Tue & Thur - 11.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
'Changing of operating hours' should have been 'Change in treatment hours' to be correct.
As for effectively from July 2009, it should be reworded as 'With effect from July 2009'.
So much for today's boob watch.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Some sample websites in the list are:
I dare not even venture to visit the above after getting this information from one fellow blogger.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
To earn a living is ‘t’an jiak’ (earn to eat) in the lingua of the Hokkien. Again food is involved.
To work for others for pay is ‘jiak t’au lor’ to the Hokkien. Here again “jiak” (eat) is linked to ‘t’au lor’ (job)
When you ask the Hokkien, “Lu aei seng lee jou liau ang chuai?” (How is your business?), the businessman will reply “t’an jiak, t’an jiak, kneah.” (Just enough for eating (food) only). See, eating or food is again associated with business.
The saying ‘jiak ka lau, oh ka lau’ which literally means ‘eat until old, learn until old’ (life-long learning) is what the Hokkiens used to say when old people are still willing to learn new things. The word ‘jiak’ or ‘eat’ is mentioned.
So much for ‘jiak’ and the Hokkien.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Yesterday was the first day of Zhong Yuan Jie or Month of the Hungry Ghosts. In
It is believed that hungry ghosts are let loose during this month to roam places. Hence, offering of food by the Chinese when praying to the ghosts will be held in sheds specially erected for this purpose. In individual houses, offering of food to the ghosts is done on the first, fifteenth and thirtieth of the month
During this month, children are advised not to go out at night for fear of being accosted by ghosts.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I have been using salt water whenever I have sore-throat and it works most of the time. Sometimes the sore gets more serious first and it goes off the next day even though I gargle again because I know it is going to work.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The following sentences using both words as examples will make this clear:
a) Terdapat beberapa sebab pergaduhan ini berlaku. [There are several reasons for the quarrel.)
b) Lina tidak pergi ke sekolah kerana demam. [ Lina did not go to school because she was down with fever.]
We use 'cuma' in spoken Malay but 'hanya' in written one. Look at the following sentences:
a) "Saya cuma ada seringgit," kata Ali kepada saya.["I have one ringgit only," said Ali to me.
b) Hanya mereka yang menang akan diberi hadiah. [Only those who win will be given prizes.]
Another pair in this group is 'kalau' and 'jika'. The former is used in spoken Malay while the latter in written one. The sentences below show the proper usage.
a) "Kalau saya ada wang yang banyak, saya akan membeli kereta mewah," kata Ahmad kepada Muthu. [If I have a lot of money, I will buy a luxurious car," said Ahmad to Muthu.
b) Jika kemarau ini berlarutan, catuan air terpaksa dikenakan oleh kerajaan. [If this drought continues, water rationing will be imposed by the Government.]
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For this operation, I had to stay in hospital for 13 days and the nurse came to wash my wounds daily. Through my observation, I found that most nurses were very dedicated and did a good job. Not once did I hear any nurse raise her voice when addressing any patient.
Monday, August 17, 2009
As long as the person who has made some mistakes in his job admits that he has made them in a certain matter and strives to rectify them, his boss should excuse him and not reprimand him as if he had done something so serious that he had to be dealt with severely. Of course, a person should not be making mistakes repeatedly, or else he can be termed as a inefficient worker.
Sometimes, fearing mistakes tend to make one make the mistake one is afraid of committing. I still remembered how I was scared of knocking into a tree when I was learning how to cycle that I really crashed into one.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
To the Chinese, black is considered unlucky. If a crow were to perch on one's roof, it is considered a bad omen because death is imminent or something unlucky is going to befall the household.
The Chinese also wear black clothing during mourning period to express sadness or grief experienced over the demise of a loved one.
To the Chinese, wearing black clothing is discouraged too if it is not for mourning purposes. It is believed that ghosts and spirits like to get attached to the black attire of the person and go home with him or her. How frightening it will be if this happens. Do you dare to wear black dress after reading this post?
Hokkien people term weddings and birtdays as 'pek su' or 'white matters' and 'things to do with death or funeral' as 'or su' or 'black matters'. Hence the colour black carries negative meaning and relates to unlucky things in general.
In English, a person who brings disgrace to his family is called 'the black sheep of his family.' If one has violated so many rules of a society or financial institution, the person's name will be blacklisted which means he will not be allowed to rejoin the society or borrow from a bank and so on because he is bad.
To put words on a piece of paper is to write it down in black and white because the ink is usually black and the paper white.
So much for rattling on the colour 'black'.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Actually, there is a difference between their meanings. The verb 'menyewa' means 'to rent from' while 'menyewakan' carries the meaning of 'to rent (a house) to'. Look at the following sentences to see how how they are in sentences.
a) Saya menyewa sebuah rumah semasa bekerja di negeri Pahang.
[I rented a house when I was working in the state of Pahang.]
b) Saya menyewakan rumah saya kepada pelajar-pelajar itu.
[I rented my house to the students.]
Friday, August 14, 2009
Let us look at how to use it as a noun. You can construct a sentence such as the following:
I gave a present to John on his birthday. [present here means gift]
As an adjective, you can use 'present' after verbs-to-be or in front of a noun. The two sentences below show how the word is used as an adjective.
a) Joshua was not present yesterday because he was down with fever. [present here means be in a certain place such as a school]
b) Mr Smith is the present Chairman of the committee. [present here means current or existing]
You can use 'present' as a verb as follows:
I am here to present a prize to the best student of the school. [present here means give away]
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Does it occur to you how you manage to wake up in time for work or going to school every day? You may answer, “The alarm clock wakes me up.”
Have you realized that before the alarm clock rings you are already awake just before the clock rings. Actually the clock in your body does the work of waking you up.
If you habitually wake up at six, you will automatically get up at the above time without fail. This biological clock of ours is really marvellous.
I have done an experiment to set my biological clock by will. I just told myself that I had to wake up at five when I am normally awake at six. Yet I did wake up at five on the day I willed it.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I usually ask my students to remember the last letter in 'kita', that is 'a' as 'all'. Hence they should know that 'kita' means 'all of us', including the person who listen to us. For example, the sentence 'Kita berada di dalam bilik ini." means 'We (=All of us) are in this room."
As for 'kami', I encourage my students to link it to 'The King and I' with the letters 'k', 'a' and 'i' representing 'king', 'and' and 'I' respectively. 'Kami' means 'My friend (The King) and I', not including the listener. A sentence to illustrate this word is as follows:
"Kami berkelah di Pantai Merdeka kelmarin." [We (My friend and I) had a picnic at Merdeka Beach yesterday."
I hope you can now tell the two words apart after reading the above explanation.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Mr Zulkifli, the driver of the buggy took us around the orchard with his electric jeep. When we set foot on the demo site, Mr Saravanan took over the duty of showing us how rubber was tapped. According to him, a tree can be tapped for 25 years. A rubber tapper will tap the left side of the stem for five years, then he will do the tapping on the right side. For the next five years the front side will be tapped, then he will do the tapping on the reverse side. Finally, the last five years will be spent tapping the top part of the stem.
When the tapping knife cut into the bark in a slanting position, latex will flow down into a cup. After two hours, the latex will be collected. Then it will be mixed with water and a few drops of formic acid will be added to make it coagulate. The coagulated slab of rubber will be pressed by hand until it becomes a thin sheet. Then this sheet of rubber will be pressed using two types of rollers. After that, the rubber sheet will be smoked for 20 hours in the smoke-house.
After smoking, the rubber sheet will turn brown. This sheet of rubber will be sold for RM6 per kilogram at the current price. According to Mr Saravaran, it used to fetch a price of RM12 per kilogram.
Although I have been to a rubber estate, this was the first time I had a chance to see all the processes done at one shot at the demo centre at the park.
See how the latex flow into a cup
The coagulated rubber sheet will go through this roller first
Then it will be pressed using this roller
Monday, August 10, 2009
How do you feel when you have the chance to meet your old buddy after a lapse of so many years.?
Well, I had a chance to meet my buddy when I was in
I felt elated when I visited Yong Cheng Suan, my buddy in the house he bought for the use of his children two of whom are still studying in Universiti Tenaga. I was able to meet all his offspring who share the same house in Sri Kembangan. Coincidentally, my whole family was with me too. It was really a rare chance for us to meet with all our family members present.
We talked of old times for a while and Yong brought us to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. The exchange of news resumed at the lunch table. Our children also got acquainted to one another while partaking of sumptuous food at the eatery.
I really admire Yong who grows his own vegetables on the land beside his house in Raub, Pahang. On the day I was at his Sri Kembangan house, he let us taste the ‘dragon fruit’ and papayas that he harvested from his own farm. They were very delicious and pesticide-free.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
My eldest son drove me, my wife and my son there. As we had no idea how to get to the place, my son bought a GPS device, the Garmin nagivator to help him reach all the destinations we intended to reach. It was the first time he used it and yet it proved very useful as it guided us to get to where we wanted to go without fail. I really marvelled at the accuracy of the tracking system.
You just need to key in the name of the road or the name of the hotel or landmark and the device will search for it to see whether it is in the map. If so, we just have to click it and the satellite-based tracking device will start to give instruction such as 'Drive 250 metres and exit left. Turn left. Take the first turning of the roundabout, etc."
Thanks to the GPS we have acquired we accompolished what we set out to do satisfactorily.
It is a case of 'Have GPS will travel'
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Here is a way to get rid of the resin.
Put a few drops of cooking oil on a piece of cloth. Then gently rub the oil stained cloth over the resin. Soon you will be able to get rid of all the resin on your skin.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
You can practise silent chanting without anybody knowing it. There are many occasions when you can practise Buddhism this way. For example, while waiting for the bus, you can do it. You can also chant the name of Amitabha Buddha quietly while doing your work when you need not interact with other people. I am sure you can think of other occasions when you can practise Buddhism without the knowledge of other people.
Happy silent chanting.
Monday, August 3, 2009
If we take more than our share, we owe something to the person who gives it to us. We are going to pay back many times in future or in our next lives. So is the working of karma.
If we take the government's property such as paper for our own use, we are owing to the people of the country who pay taxes so that such property can be acquired by the government.
See what I mean. Never take what does not belong to you or karma will run after you and you will have to pay back many times the amount owed.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
We did not play this game on normal school days. Usually we did it after the students had taken their PMR exam and we had more time to ourselves because they were grouped into a few classes and teachers took turns to guard over them. They would be then be playing chess of reading in the classes too.
I like playing scrabble because I will learn new words through the words formed by my colleagues. As I told readers in one of the posts, I would not like a new word escape my attention. If a dictionary is near me, I will look it up straight away. Otherwise, I will look for its meaning when I reach home. I have quite a number of English dictionaries and surely I can find it in one of them.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Later on a nurse came to tell me that the doctor wanted to talk to me. When I went to the doctor's table, he was the student who talked to me just now. He is now the medical officer of the hospital. Dr Ganesh then enlightened me that I taught him Malay when he was in Form Three. After completing his Sixth Form education in Methodist Boys' School, he furthered his studies in medicine at Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has been a doctor for thirteen years.
Through my student's help in arrangement for things to be done, things got expedited and I was relieved of my pain faster than should be. Through this blog, I would like to thank Dr Ganesh for his help when I was in predicament (Read yesterday's blog for details).