I’m sure many of you “eligible” individuals received a lot of Ang Pau / Hongbao for the New Year. 🙂
It is said that: “The amount of money contained in the envelope usually ends with an even digit, in accordance with Chinese beliefs; odd-numbered money gifts are traditionally associated with funerals. The exception being the number 9 as the pronunciation of nine is homophonous to the word long and is the largest digit. Still in some regions of China and in its diaspora community, odd numbers are favored for weddings because they are difficult to divide. There is also a widespread tradition that money should not be given in fours, or the number four should not appear in the amount, such as in 40, 400 and 444, as the pronunciation of the word four is homophonous to the word death.” [source – Wikipedia]
What about the story / legend behind the giving of these red envelopes?
Some say that this tradition dates back to the Song Dynasty in China. There was once an evil demon terrorising a village. After several unsuccessful attempts to defeat it, a young orphan came forward. Armed with a magical sword, he killed this demon – thus restoring peace to the village. The people were so grateful to the boy, that they presented him with a red envelope filled with money to repay him for his courage in defeating the demon.
There is also a story about a little demon called ‘Sui‘. It is said that on New Year’s Eve, ‘Sui‘ would appear quietly and touch the heads of sleeping children. These little ones who’ve been touched end up crying in fright, while suffering a headache. One folk tale, about ‘Sui‘, mentions an elderly couple who placed a red paper bag containing copper coins under their child’s pillow. When ‘Sui‘ was about to reach out to touch the child’s forehead, the pillow suddenly brightened with golden light. And so, ‘Sui‘ was scared away; hence this ‘exorcism’ effect (of copper money wrapped in red paper) spread throughout China.
Zunar’s session in January was just as exhilarating and we have a full crowd to start the new year.Taking about star power ! Not to be outdone, our theme for February will be equally exciting i.e. Local Animation.Sharpened Word is proud to bring in the creator and director of the multi-award winning short animation movie BATIK GIRL , Irwan Junaidy, to Ipoh to share his experience and journey with us. The 9 minute animation has certainly created a lot of publicity since launch last year and received rave reviews, not to mention that the animation has been shortlisted in multi film festivals across the globe.And to add icing on the cake, Hassan Muthalib, Malaysia’s Father of Animation, will join us as the other panelist and both of them will go the whole nine yards and give us an overall view of the local animation industry.It will be interesting to hear their respective takes on the evolution and development of the local animation industry as both of them come from a different era of visual story creation, with the more senior Pak Hassan now establishing himself as an renowned movie historian and reviewer.This is a session especially suited for those who are keen to get involved in the industry and those who want to know more about animation. Again,the topic will be centered on storytelling and creativity, or perhaps creative storytelling?
On the second Saturday of January the SW team is proud to bring Zilkif;ee SM Anwar Ujhaque to Ipoh.If you are nor sure who is he, His ardent fans simply call him ZUNAR. By this, we don’t need to give a bigintroduction to our guest. His works are well loved by the raykat they revealed exactly what readers felt,albeit cheeky!Well, the storm has passed, but will Zunar stop ? Let’s come to 22 Hale Street and find out. There will be a booksales by MPH Bookstore and an autograph opportunity at the end of the mind-boggling session.Hope to see you there !Salaam Pak Peter, “Art for Art’s sake”
I know….we’ve just come back from a long holiday 😉 But some of you out there have been saving your annual leave for Chinese New Year, right? Have you packed yet? (Or, perhaps you’re one of those last minute packers…like me)
Pictured above are two original Chinese trunks, measuring 66cm×45cm×37cm. Made from wood they were covered in pigskin and would have been used by well-off immigrants.
The photo is from the Sun article about the newly designated Sun Yat Sen historical trail in Ipoh. You may read about it at:\https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2020/01/02/on-the-trail-of-sun-yat-sen-and-comrades
I could not let this day go by without remembering that on 2 January 1942, the British Battalion, formed in Ipoh from the survivors of the Commonwealth forces, The Gurkhas, The British Indian Army and the British Army, were defeated by the Japanese, who then went on to capture Singapore.
The battle lasted four long days and nights, but the defenders when beaten the Japanese attacked them from the rear,, having travelled South by boat. It was a bitter blow to General Percival and signalled the eventual defeat of the British in Singapore.