March 26, 2015

Street operas

There were street opera shows at 3 venues in the past week - Sims Drive, Kim Keat and Toa Payoh. I went to all the 3 venues on different days.

The crowd was largest at Kim Keat and the smallest at Toa Payoh.

Kim Keat
The lead sheng and dan were 龍貫天, 陳嘉鳴.

Sims Drive

The sheng and dan were 黎耀威, 黃寶萱. 

Toa Payoh

There are actually 5 different temples in the temple building.

This was the sheng, 譚穎倫.

This was the dan, 唐婉瑩.

March 13, 2015

Tin Pei Ling

My MP, Tin Pei Ling, on a spring festival visit to my neighbourhood.

February 24, 2015

A Cantonese taboo

If you are Cantonese and your parents are superstitious, they might tell you not to buy shoes during the Chinese New Year period.

Shoe is 'hai' in Cantonese. Rough (not smooth) is also hai in Cantonese. So, do you want to have a rough life for the whole year? Furthermore, hai is also a sighing sound. For example, if you ask someone something and he sighed 'hai' before answering, it means something unfortunate or sad has happened.

On the other hand, you can buy a lot of trousers in the CNY period because trousers is 'fu' in Cantonese which also means wealth.

February 11, 2015


I like Chinese New Year and look forward to it. I love the CNY festive atmosphere, especially in Chinatown. It is very crowded in Chinatown. But crowds is part of the atmosphere. 

There is also a CNY festive fair in my neighbourhood.

Another reason is that I have excuses to buy things to eat and to replace old things with new ones.

This queue was for the Lim Chee Quan barbecue meat at Chinatown. It stretched to Lucky Chinatown. I guess there were about 100 people. People towards the end of the Q probably would spend a few hours queuing. I think it is a waste of time even if the meat is very good.

三陽開泰 ...


三陽, 依照字面來析,解釋為三個太陽比較直觀,既早陽、正陽、晚陽。朝陽啟明,其臺光熒;正陽中天,其臺宣朗;夕陽輝照,其臺騰射。均含勃勃生機之意。

三陽交泰 : 有好運即將降臨之意。常用以稱頌歲首或寓意吉祥,成為歲首人們用來互相祝福的吉利話。

January 29, 2015

Spring cleaning

In the 50s and 60s, a lot of Chinese families had many children even though some families were poor. Many of my neighbours had four or more children. If a family was too poor to raise the many children it might give away or sell one of them.

Nowadays people are much more well-off but they say they cannot afford to have more children. I think it is more a matter of choice rather than money.

In the old days the family picked a day or two to do spring cleaning for the Chinese New Year and every one, including the children, were assigned certain tasks. I remember I was given the job or cleaning the floors. There were no mops. I had to use a basin of water and a large cloth and knelt down to clean the floor.

Nowadays many families do their spring cleaning in parts or parcels. Maybe one day they clean the kitchen and another day, the bedrooms and so on. Or maybe one day they do sorting, tidying and discarding unwanted things, another day for cleaning and another one for decorations.

Every year I have a lot of unwanted things to throw away. I feel happy when I clear the cluster and the place becomes tidy. 

Have you started your spring cleaning?