Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation
Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

February 2024

January 2024

November 2023

September 2023

August 2023

June 2023

Daulat Tuanku!

By |2023-06-02T15:11:19+08:00June 4th, 2023|Categories: festivals/celebrations, greetings|

In conjunction with the birthday of His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

Daulat Tuanku!

May 2023

Chingay Procession

By |2023-05-26T15:37:50+08:00May 26th, 2023|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories|

The activity appears to be centred around the England Dobi Shop where the procession may well have stopped to give a demonstration, and there are large numbers of spectators in attendance. Numerous vehicles in the street are probably being delayed by the festivities and have formed a traffic jam.


I wonder which part of town this was….

April 2023

February 2023

January 2023

December 2022

November 2022

October 2022

…no easy feat…

By |2022-10-21T16:08:09+08:00October 21st, 2022|Categories: childhood, Events, festivals/celebrations, Ipoh Town, Memories, tourism|

No, this isn’t part of a circus troupe. Neither is this a Chinese New Year celebration (yes, I know some of you spotted the ‘lion’ in the background).

This is actually part of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival parade. We thank our donor – Ann Kesselring Hamon – for sharing this with us.

Here’s another picture from that parade.

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

May 2022

March 2022

January 2022

November 2021

October 2021

June 2021

May 2021

March 2021

Celebrating Women!

By |2021-03-08T15:55:10+08:00March 8th, 2021|Categories: festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, Memories, Sports|

Today being International Women’s Day, we’d like to extend our wishes to all the amazing women – both in and around Ipoh, as well as the rest of the planet. Our featured post today is about women in sports:


Here is S P Seenivasagam, presenting trophies to Yeow Phaik Poh and Doreen Seow. This photo was taken around 1964. (picture courtesy of Angie Yeow, Ipoh)



Pearly Tan (right) and M. Thinaah (photo courtesy of Star Online). These ladies won the Swiss Open title yesterday. 

February 2021

December 2020

November 2020

September 2020

May 2020

Celebrating Hari Raya in Papan

By |2020-05-21T10:27:23+08:00May 22nd, 2020|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

Taken in Papan in the grounds of the Raja Bilah complex outside the Rumah Besar (also known as a Rumah Godang), this photograph shows Raja Yaacob in ceremonial Malay dress with several other Malay men seated or standing around a table. There is a label on the table in Jawi that we believe translates into Hari Raya 1333, which would date the photograph as either 1912 or 1913 in the Gregorian calendar.

How are YOU planning to celebrate Hari Raya this year?

February 2020

Happy Thaipusam

By |2020-02-07T11:09:41+08:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: festivals/celebrations, greetings, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage, tourism|

The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the Tamil month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

We at IpohWorld would like to wish everyone a Happy Thaipusam 🙂

We thank Keith Nelson for the above photographs.

January 2020

October 2019

Popular Snack

By |2019-10-24T10:33:28+08:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food, Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: |

Murukku is a savoury, crunchy snack originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in southern India, and Sri Lanka. The name derives from the Tamil word for “twisted”. Murukku is typically made from rice and urad dal flour. The flours are mixed with water, salt, chilli powder, asafoetida and either sesame seeds or cumin seeds. The mix is kneaded into a dough, which is shaped into spiral or coil shapes either by hand or extruded using a mould. The spirals are then deep fried in vegetable oil.

The above information was taken from Wikipedia. Yes, with Deepavali around the corner many of us will be looking forward to savouring this ever popular snack.

In case you’re wondering what the murukku mould looks like, here are two pictures:

September 2019

Daulat Tuanku

By |2019-09-06T12:31:39+08:00September 8th, 2019|Categories: festivals/celebrations|

In conjunction with the birthday of His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin
Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al Musta’in Billah Shah.

Daulat Tuanku!

August 2019

June 2019

April 2019

Ipoh Food Festival

By |2019-04-25T15:45:57+08:00April 25th, 2019|Categories: Events, festivals/celebrations, food, Ipoh Town, tourism|

Heard about the Ipoh Food Festival? Check out the posters below:

Here’s a message from the organisers:

We have many exciting workshops and experience for tourist to sign up. Some are also free.

1) Dine in the Dark (rm15 per pax)
Register via WhatsApp name > 012-4128038

Rattan Basket Weaving Workshop [1 seat left]
27 Apr | 4:30pm (2 hours)

Fruit and Vegetables Bouquet Workshop [8 seat left]
27 Apr | 7pm (2 hours)

Cultural Dining Experience – Malay | Chinese | Indian [28 seat left]
28 Apr | 6pm (1.5 hours)

Ipoh Echo Food & Heritage Trial with Vivien Lian (Halal and Non Halal) [13 seat left]
28 Apr | 7:30am (5 hours)

Liberica White Coffee Roasting Workshop [8 seat left]
4 May | 4:30pm or 8:30pm (1 hour)

Malaysia Local Coffee Roasting Workshop [9 seat left]
4 May | 4:30pm or 8:30pm (1 hour)

Bees Wax Wrap Workshop by A Bit Less Bulk Store [7 seat left]
4 May | 4:30pm (2 hours)

Coffee Scrub Workshop [10 seat left]
4 May | 7pm (2 hours)

Ipoh White Coffee Story & Heritage Tour [57 seat left]
4 May | 8am or 4pm (2 hours) | English & Chinese session

More info is at Ipoh Food Fest Facebook page


Well, what are you waiting for? Come join in the fun 🙂

February 2019

January 2019

October 2018

August 2018

April 2018

February 2018

…you know what this is?

By |2018-02-08T10:45:09+08:00February 8th, 2018|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food, Identify Photographs|

I’m sure many of you can guess what this is 🙂


Yes, these are cake pans used to make the famous Nian Gao – which is made from glutinous rice. While it can be eaten all year round, traditionally it is most popular during Chinese New Year. It is considered good luck to eat nian gao during this time, because nian gao is a homonym for “higher year.” This sticky sweet snack was believed to be an offering to the Kitchen God, with the aim that his mouth will be stuck with the sticky cake, so that he can’t badmouth the human family in front of the Jade Emperor.

Legends and myths aside, how do YOU enjoy Nian Gao? I like it sandwiched between two slices of yam, which is then dipped in batter and deep fried 😉 (all this talk of food is making me hungry now)

January 2018

October 2017

August 2017

June 2017

January 2017


By |2017-01-30T20:51:05+08:00January 30th, 2017|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food, history, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: |


“Commonly made of bamboo, plastic, wood or stainless steel, Chopsticks were first used by the Chinese. This later spread to various parts of the world through cultural influence or through Chinese immigrant communities. How does one use chopsticks? Well, the lower chopstick is stationary, and rests at the base of the thumb, and between the ring finger and middle finger. The second chopstick is held like a pencil, using the tips of the thumb, index finger, and middle finger, and it is moved while eating, to pull food into the grasp of the chopsticks….” (Wikipedia)

Some of you may have seen this video, but since we’re still in the CNY mood…I thought I’d share it again with you!



Birthday Party at Kam Loong

By |2017-01-25T17:14:00+08:00January 25th, 2017|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food, ipoh, Memories, People|


This photograph – from Sybil de ROQUIGNY-IRAGNE – was taken at Kam Loong Restaurant, back in the 1960s. They were celebrating a relative’s 60th birthday!

Yes, the Year of the Rooster is upon us…and some of us are already in a party-mood 🙂

Does anyone have a funny story to share…about something that happened during a party?

December 2016

November 2016

The ‘Other Festival’ is back!

By |2016-11-10T10:44:33+08:00November 10th, 2016|Categories: Events, festivals/celebrations, Ipoh Town, tourism|Tags: , , , |


Of late, Ipoh old town has been getting increasingly popular — it’s great, but everyone also goes to the same spaces for the same experiences.
We know there is plenty to learn of Ipoh old town, many more places and stories to explore and uncover. So we’ll be working with Doodle Malaysia to draw out a map — let’s bongkarkan all the secrets the place may hold. 

Read more here.

 So, mark your calendars, folks….this 13th – 20th November 2016 is going to be exciting!

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

Still In The Raya Mood…

By |2016-07-11T11:21:14+08:00July 8th, 2016|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food, Natural Heritage, tourism|

p2_mprk_dz_0807_p2_dz_1picture courtesy of: Star Online

Lemang Kelamai is said to have originated from Pagar Ruyung, Indonesia.  What gives it this lovely shade of brown? Gula Melaka, of course! The other extra ingredient is kerisik (toasted coconut).

This variant of Lemang is also quite popular in the villages of Gopeng. Have you tried this variant before? If you have, do tell us about it. I’m more familiar with the usual type of Lemang. I usually enjoy Lemang with some rendang and a little peanut sauce. How do YOU like your Lemang?

June 2016

April 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

Attention all ACS Alumni!

By |2015-06-04T22:35:36+08:00June 4th, 2015|Categories: concerts, Events, festivals/celebrations, Memories|Tags: |

ACS1click to enlarge


The above is a programme (sent via email) from LeanMS. As you can see, the ACS Alumni have many events scheduled for the next few months. Lean also told us:

“In order not to in any way affect attendance at the Festival of Performing Arts, we have decided to reschedule the Musical Concert to 5th August 2016 (next year).”

So, mark you calendars, folks! Here’s a chance to catch up with all your former school mates (and teachers too!).



May 2015

March 2015

The Nazareth Kindergarten, 1970

By |2015-03-02T15:13:20+08:00March 2nd, 2015|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, games, People|

CCparty2Farewell Party for Fr Ciatti, April 1970 (click to enlarge)

CCparty1Christmas Party, Nazareth Kindergarten. Catholic Centre, Ipoh. 10th November 1970 (click to enlarge)


These photographs were taken from Michael Ho’s collection. It wasn’t that long ago, so I’m sure some of you might remember this kindergarten.

Today, this building is still standing….but it’s no longer the Catholic Centre; it’s now a thrift store, where most items are sold for RM 2.

February 2015

“Enter the…Lion!”

By |2015-02-23T16:47:10+08:00February 23rd, 2015|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations|Tags: |


Keith Nelson sent us these a couple of years ago. We thought we’d share them with you, since we’re still in the season of Chinese New Year. We’d love to hear your memories about the ever famous Lion Dance; it would be a bonus if we heard from someone who was part of the dance troupe too!

A Chinese New Year must-have….

By |2015-02-17T16:58:01+08:00February 20th, 2015|Categories: festivals/celebrations, food|


For those of you who don’t know what’s on the plate, it is none other than the famed Chinese New Year dish Yee Sang – a Teochew style raw fish salad. It consists of strips of raw fish and shredded vegetables, tossed together with a variety of sauces and condiments. This dish is also known as the ‘Prosperity Toss’ (Lo Hei) and considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.

The one our office had (picture above) featured salmon; I do wonder….what fish was in the original dish back then?

Also…is there a specific assortment of vegetables used, or can we prepare this dish with any combination?


January 2015

Happy Ponggal!

By |2015-01-15T16:49:35+08:00January 15th, 2015|Categories: festivals/celebrations, greetings, Ipoh Town, tourism|

All kinds of everything: Shoppers buying items for the Ponggal fest at  Jalan Lahat.

‘As Indians prepare for Ponggal, which falls today, earthen pots were snapped up at Little India in Jalan Lahat recently.’

Shoppers had the choice to either buy the plain pots or those with colourful designs.

Besides the pots, other essential items for the harvest festival that shoppers bought were sugarcane, milk, brown sugar, firewood, cashew nuts, raisins and Indian traditional sweets.

Wooden spatulas to cook the sweet rice were also in demand.

Ponggal, which is celebrated over three days, is a harvest festival marked by Indians all over the world.

The festival is to mark the auspicious month of Thai in the Tamil calendar.

It is held to mark the harvest of crops and also as a special thanksgiving to God, the sun, the earth and the cow that produces milk.

More can be found here.

December 2014

Presents, presents and MORE PRESENTS!

By |2015-02-23T11:18:22+08:00December 26th, 2014|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, history, People|Tags: , |

1963 1998

Just in case you didn’t know, today is Boxing Day – nothing to do with the actual sport, but rather it’s the day where gifts are exchanged and opened. In some countries, today is an official holiday too! The picture above, from Ruth Iversen Rollitt, was not taken on 26th December…but I think fits well with the idea of giving and receiving presents. Ruth tells us:

These pictures are from Christmas 1963 when Father Christmas visited the children at St Andrew’s Presbyterian church in Ipoh. Vivi Iversen (Per’s wife) and son are getting a gift from Santa….I am standing with little Donald in the middle, my mother is on the extreme left.

October 2014

August 2014

Birthday Present from F&N?

By |2014-08-20T17:20:31+08:00August 20th, 2014|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, games, Memories|

B's birthday 66

Ruth Iversen Rollitt (our donor) tells us that there was a time when F&N supplied swings and slides for birthday parties! I didn’t know this, did YOU? Did F&N bring such joy to your birthday parties? We’d like to know your favourite F&N memory 😉

If Ruth is reading this, do tell us more about this story.

July 2014

May 2014

ACS Alumni Dinner 2014

By |2014-05-20T23:20:44+08:00May 20th, 2014|Categories: celebrities, festivals/celebrations, Memories|Tags: |

Poster - Celebrating umpteen years of life & friendship together 2014

It’s Party time again! ~ Come & CELEBRATE! our fun & wonderful years of Life & Friendship Together! – *Saturday, August 2nd, 2014* *@ Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites, Ipoh.*

This year will see the debut of our Alma Mater’s magnificient Bagpipers & Wushu Drummers!  Get ready to be tickled and entertained by the professional emcee, comedian & stand up comic ~ Mr. Stephen Fernando!

Hurry, book your seats now! for an evening of fun, cheer & reminiscence. For booking & inquiries, pls call | Ms. Lim 05 241 2523 or 05 253 2882 | Mr. Looi Teik Aun 012 515 1116 | Mr. Lau Wun Chew 017 882 0608 | Mr. Hum Kee Kuang 012 336 0770 | Collection : 47-A, Jalan Tokong, 31650 Ipoh.

A New Attraction – Old House Museum, Taiping

By |2014-05-10T09:06:29+08:00May 10th, 2014|Categories: festivals/celebrations, history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, nature|Tags: |

Old House

Situated at 2A Market Square, Taiping, this is the project of Tan Kok Siew (Kapitan Antiques) who has leased this old house and filled two floors with antiques and collectables from days gone by.

Entrance is RM5.00. The museum is opem every day from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.

Apart from the items on display, the house itself is a treasure. Built in 1880 by Lim Ji You it was one of the earliest 3-storey homes in Taiping, if not the very first.

If you are withing striking distance, do go along and while you are there you might find a long forgotten memory in the antique shop just along the street.

April 2014

Did you see the Merdeka Float Parade?

By |2014-04-09T15:57:22+08:00April 9th, 2014|Categories: Events, festivals/celebrations, history, Ipoh Town, Memories, tourism|Tags: , , |


From the pictures, we think that this float was one of the many at a Merdeka Parade back in 1967. Does anyone remember this parade? If you do, where was it held – at the Stadium, or along the main streets of the town?

Also notice the old Malay used in the description and the labels on the float.

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

September 2013

The Chinese Opera

By |2013-09-23T22:13:31+08:00September 23rd, 2013|Categories: festivals/celebrations, ipoh|Tags: , |


We’ve heard about and have even watched many famous operas. To some fans, it doesn’t matter what if said operas were not in English!

Today, we’d like to know if any of you remember the Chinese Operas. From what we know, they began in Ipoh when Yau Tet Shin built the New Town Complex in 1907.

Those who watched them (and probably took part in them too?), we’d like to hear from you 🙂

Remember that time when…

By |2013-09-16T08:42:38+08:00September 16th, 2013|Categories: childhood, Events, festivals/celebrations, greetings, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: |

St Bernadette’s Convent (in Batu Gajah) had a charity event for the victims of the Turkish earthquake? Here’s a photograph to jog your memory (see below)


We were told that this replica of the Malaysian flag was made entirely of JELLY! Can anyone tell us more about this event? Do you recognise the official cutting the jelly?


Happy Malaysia Day, Dear Readers! 🙂

March 2013

Earth-Hour Ideas!

By |2013-03-15T16:00:06+08:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: festivals/celebrations, nature, tourism|Tags: , , , |

EH@ECPoster Sm

Want to do something different this year for Earth Hour? How about joining this fund-raising event?  (click poster above to enlarge)

Part of the proceeds of the ticket sales will be donated to the WWF-Malaysia. Your generous contribution will also pay for 40 underprivileged children from various charitable organisations – who will be able to participate in 6 “adrenaline-pumping zip line rides”.

For more information, do call Nomad Adventure  at 03-79585152 or email them event@nomadadventure.com

Ipoh’s First Waiters’ Race

By |2013-03-09T11:37:28+08:00March 9th, 2013|Categories: festivals/celebrations, ipoh, Ipoh Town, People, tourism|Tags: , , , , |

ScreenHunter_09 Mar. 08 22.35


Despite Ipoh’s long romance with all things food-related and the abundance of hotels, restaurants and clubs in town, Ipoh has never before taken part in the international tradition of the waiters’ race. On the 25th of May 2013, that is about to change.

Organised jointly by the Ipoh City Council (MBI), Perak Tourism Association (PTA), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Perak Chapter, and the International Waiters’ Race Agency, Ipoh will be hosting its first International Waiters’ Race in D.R. Seenivasagam Park.

The Waiters’ Race (www.waitersrace.com) is a tradition originating in France, created to exhibit the skills of the famous French garcons by challenging them to race a street course while balancing a tray of beverages on the palm of one hand.

The earliest photographs of a Waiters’ Race were taken in the London Race of 1901, but the French roots of the race are over a century old.

Today, Waiters’ Races are held all over the world, including several held in Malaysia in the past. This is, however, the first time one will be held in Perak.

Demonstrations of ice-carving, flower-arranging, food-carving and a barista competition in coffee decoration will be held, along with a mini-treasure hunt, children’s race, parade of Perak school bands, and cheerleader demonstration for younger participants.

Over one hundred waiters and waitresses from Perak’s favourite eateries will be running the 1 ½ kilometer course through the park in three different races.

Visiting participants will be included from Ipoh’s sister city in Japan, Fukuoka, and Ipoh’s “friendship cities” Medan, Pusan, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

Each runner will attempt to gain the fastest time while balancing their tray on one hand, without spilling any items. Running alone is worthless; winners have to arrive with a full tray or close to it.

The first race will be a Full Service Waiters’ Race where competitors run in traditional waiters’ attire over a challenging course including the steps leading to the bridge and a turn through the Japanese Garden.

The Quick Service Waiters’ Race will include hotel students as well as professionals and allow running shoes. Both races are open to men and women, prizes to be given separately to the best gentleman and best lady.

The third race will be an Amateurs’ mixed relay with teams comprising two men and two women each, dress code open to any attire.

Organizers hope to make this an annual event, celebrating Ipoh’s waiters, waitresses and culinary heritage for locals and tourists alike.

ScreenHunter_10 Mar. 08 22.36

December 2012

November 2012

A Special Event in KL

By |2012-11-24T09:07:12+08:00November 24th, 2012|Categories: concerts, festivals/celebrations, history|Tags: , , , |

A (Medieval) Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

 International choir CANTUS MUSICUS and Jusz Kidz Children’s Choir will present an Advent service of THE FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS & CAROLS in the sanctuary of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kuala Lumpur on 9 December 2012 (Sunday), at 6.00pm.

This is a traditional Christian choral festival in which Christmas carols and songs from around the world would be sung in their original languages, interspersed with readings by diplomats and leading members of KL’s international community.  This is also the 10th year that the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been sung by CANTUS MUSICUS in St. Andrew’s.

In celebration of this milestone, some of the carols that will be sung this year will be medieval in character to reflect the humble origins of the choir when it first started as a small group, singing medieval music and madrigals.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be served after the service, using recipes from the medieval age, made by various choir members.

Cantus Musicus is an international choir based in KL founded in 2003. The original members of the choir were drawn from an experimental choir formed to complement the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and known unofficially as the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Chorale. Unfortunately, the choir project was subsequently abandoned. buts the project choir’s rehearsal conductor, took the best of the singers, 17 in all, and formed Cantus Musicus. Within 2 days, the choir gave its first public concert, and the rest is history.


I hope you would be able to attend this unique carol service in which all the singers would be dressed in European medieval costumes. If you are unable to attend, I would appreciate it if you could please inform your friends about the service and forward the poster and write-up to them. Thank you.

The choir would be accompanied by Lisa Ho on the pipe organ and piano, Lionel Morbelli on the violin, and Christoph Zilian on the oboe.

October 2012

“It’s My Birthday!”

By |2012-10-31T11:50:08+08:00October 31st, 2012|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, greetings, Memories|

The girl in the picture seems overjoyed as she poses with her birthday cake and presents. Notice the presents on the table: biscuits, prunes and a mock iron.

I vaguely recall posing for similar pictures during my early birthdays. I didn’t receive biscuits….instead I had dolls, a large LEGO set (which I still have and treasure dearly!) and story books.

What were YOUR birthday presents like? These days, many kids would rather have an Ipod instead of a good book…..

We thank Sybil for sharing this picture with us 🙂

Episode 4: The 12 Grandchildren of Chong Soon Fan – by IpohBornKid

By |2012-10-04T15:01:48+08:00October 4th, 2012|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, history, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

Here’s the 4th installment in IpohBornKid’s series. The picture (circa 1958) shows a little boy in brand new clothes – specially worn for Chinese New Year. In the background is the Man Hua Primary School.

Episode 4 -The 12 Grand Children of Chong Soon Fan

Celebrating Chinese New Year & the Ang Pow trail  By IpohBornKid 

This article describes the memoirs of the first 12 Grand Children of Chong Soon Fan where most of them had lived together and grew up together. The events mainly took place in the bungalow, the house of Chong Soon Fan in Menglembu, opposite the Man Wah Primary School in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Not long after the 1963, the elder Grand Children of Chong Soon Fan began to study in tertiary institutions. All the 12 grandchildren have either studied abroad or are now residing abroad.

Chinese New Year (CNY) was an important event in the family. From the children’s point view, it was a time to get something new and cash from the ang pows. In those days, the family did not spend too much money on new clothes or shoes and that only occurred during Chinese New Year.

During the eve of CNY, the family gathered together to have a reunion meal. Married daughters usually brought their husbands and children back to Menglembu, the headquarters of the Family of Chong Soon Fan. The cousins living in Menglembu, would anxiously wait to see their cousins from interstate. After the family meal, done in 3 batches of 12 were taken, the grandchildren would play with each other and renewing their relationship with each other. The night also led to the praying to the heavenly god (Tian Gong) around midnight, led by the matriarch of the family.

On the first day of CNY (Lin Chor Yat), it was a tradition to remain at home and not visit relatives. The visiting of relatives or the beginning of the ang pow trail started on Day 2 of the CNY. Hence on Day 1 morning, all grandchildren would line up and greet the Patriarch “Kung Hee Fatt Choy” and in return, each grandchildren was given an ang pow. In the 1950s, each ang pow contained a crisp new one dollar note. The sons and daughters of Chong Soon Fan got more than this and it was never revealed to the children who got what. It was not polite to ask.

Later in the morning, the Lion Dance troupes would arrive. They came to take the “green”, (a green “sang chow”) with the ang pow tied together. The Lion would first come into the house and bow to the God that was in the dining room and then back tracked to the front door. Firecrackers (big ones) were lit and this time, the Lion would take the green which was hung under the porch. The grandchildren will then wait for the next Lion Dance troupe to come.

On the second day of the CNY, the whole entourage of grandchildren in 2-3 packed cars did the customary route to get rich from their relatives. Most of the visits were to the sons and daughters of Foo Choon Yit, ie. the Matriarch’s siblings. Great Grand Mother (Mrs Foo Choon Yit) was first on the list (including 6th & 7th Grand Uncles) in Greentown, followed by 1st Grand Uncle (Foo) in Belfield Street, 2nd Grand Aunty(Lim) in Greentown, 3rd Grand Aunty (Khoo) Greentown, 3nd Grand Uncle (Foo) in Gopeng Road and 5th Grand Uncle (Foo) in Jalan Pasir Puteh.

In some years, the grandchildren also visited Grand Uncle Foo Yet Kai, a cousin of the Matriarch. At these visits, the grandchildren were well dressed and put on a good behaviour to show the relatives that they have manners. After saying the magic words, the ang pows flowed in and went straight into the pockets. A smile emanated from ear to ear. After all, the grandchildren appreciated cash and it was the only time of the year where you can get cash without doing any work. Cash was not the only things that the kids got from their relatives but food and soft drinks (F&N stuff) went into their hollow legs. Third Grand Aunty was best known for her “western” baked cakes.

Prior to New Year, the whole family were involved in making crispy wafers which wrapped like a fan (keuy ban cake – in Hokkien). Firstly, the cars were removed from the garage, a piece of metal roof was place on the concrete floor and hot charcoal was laid on the metal. A metal grill was put on top of the charcoal to allow the frying pan to rest above the burning charcoal. The pan was a special design frying contraption made up of 2 metal piece joined together like a set of pliers. Each had a 6 inch diameter round pan with etched patterns and was joined to a metal handle about 2 feet long. The two pieces were joined together next to the rounded pan which could be opened and closed by pulling the handles apart or together respectively.

After initial heating of the pan, it was opened and a scoop of flour mixture was placed on the pan. The pan was then closed by putting the 2 handles together and the excess flour mixture (with fresh coconut milk) ran back to the mixture container. The flour mixture was cooked in less than one minute with the frying pan turned once over. The pan was then withdrawn from the charcoal fire, opened and the cooked flat rounded cake (soft and ‘malleable when hot) was placed on a flat surface where someone would then wrapped it into a fan shape by folding it twice. If you were not careful, you could burn your figures. The cake hardens when cooled and it was tasty (coconut flavour) and crispy.

As an aside about working for money, one of the senior grandchildren told me that he was earning good cash buying wholesale cigarettes and selling it to the Uncles and Aunties who smoked (profit -$1 per cartoon of cigarette – 10 packs). He also said that as a courier in the number rackets (before they became legitimate), one can get 10% commission for every dollar gambled.

Gambling was “verboten” (forbidden) for the grandchildren but this ban was lifted during the 14 days of the Chinese New Year. Everyone in the family played the cards (except the Patriarch) and two games were usually the favourite, the 3 cards or 21 points. Winners were happy but losers were miserable, but that’s life. Some of them were careful gamblers and set a budget for losing no more than $5.00 for the gambling season.

Aside from gambling, the male grandchildren were allowed to drink some brandy. In the early 1960s, one young and foolish teenage grandson challenged his uncle (a regular drinker) to a duel on the brandy. He was knocked out after consuming half a bottle of brandy and he was out for the rest of the day. He was so sick that day that he vowed never to get drunk ever again.

Some of the traditional New Year rules about ang pow were followed. Only children and unmarried adults get it from their seniors whilst married people got to pay to all their nieces and nephew and unmarried junior siblings., There were also auspicious rules about the sum of money, in the ang pows, and preferably with similar double digit, ie. 2x20c, $1.10, $2, $8 or $10. The gross intake per grandchild averaged $20 (big money!). What was left in the pockets after Chinese New Year went straight into the children’s bank account and most of them had an account with Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in Belfield Street, Ipoh. You were not allowed to have those dollars burning a hole in your pocket.

The children of relatives also came to pay respects to the Patriarch and they also received ang pows. The other popular pastime was lighting fire crackers. Cheap ones were little firecrackers and sparklers but the big ones were expensive. They were all made in China even till today.

April 2012

Two Memorable Reunions

By |2012-04-16T14:22:27+08:00April 16th, 2012|Categories: festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , |

These pictures were sent to us by Lam Lai Meng, an Alumni of MGS.

This first picture needs no explanation.

The second picture was taken at the Regal Lodge, Ipoh. This large group met on 16th of February 2010, during the Chinese New Year period.

Lam had this to say about this picture:

“CNY 2010 photo – no. 4 and 5 are husband and wife teachers Mr and Mrs Ho Ho Chuen.  Mr Teh Chin Seong is no 6 and his wife is no. 7.  This could possibly be one of the last photos of Mr Teh before he passed away a few months after Feb 2010.”

Are you somewhere in any/both of these pictures? Do point yourself out….and DO tell us about this reunion!

March 2012

The Much Awaited Reunion!

By |2012-03-29T15:27:13+08:00March 16th, 2012|Categories: festivals/celebrations, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , , , , , |

During the past weeks we’ve had hints about an up-coming reunion for the ACS and MGS Alumni. Here’s the official advertisement.

As stated in the poster, this event is scheduled for the 4th of August 2012 at the Grand Valley Ballroom, Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites. The party, themed “Friends Forever”, kicks off at 6pm. Spread the word, folks 😉

For reservations and more info, do contact: Ms Lim (05-2532882); Mr Chow (012-5283212); Ms Yau (012-5125693); Ms Doreen (019-5103270).

For Those Who Were Curious…

By |2012-03-06T16:36:46+08:00March 6th, 2012|Categories: festivals/celebrations, history, People|

Sometime ago, we featured a Unique Wedding photograph on our blog. Well, IpohBornKid has sent us a copy of the certificate from that wedding (see picture below).

IpohBornKid was also kind enough to give us rough translation too:

The long awaited sequel to the Wedding Photo is here.
In this marriage certain, the following translation is available.

R1 Mr Pun Su of Qing Yuan, Guangshou Province
R2 Aged 31 and date of birth details
R3 Miss Chong Ming Yet, Dapo, Guangzhou Province
R4 Aged 24 and date of birth details
R6 Organised by Mr Yang and Mr Qiu (pinyin)
R7 Date of Marriage ROC 32nd Year May 30th
R9 (top) Place of Marriage Zhong Hua Cinema (Menglembu)(pinyin)

L1 ROC 32nd Year May30
L2 Host of Marriage Mr Chong Soon Fan (father of the bride)
Mr Pun Choy (brother of the bridegroom)
L4 Witnesses
L5 Marriage Couple signatures

The answer name of the marriage couple, date of marriage and place of marriage were recorded.

We thank IpohBornKid 🙂

February 2012

Back in the 1980s…..

By |2012-02-29T13:42:45+08:00February 29th, 2012|Categories: festivals/celebrations, history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, People|

…..folks in Ipoh witnessed the 9-Goddess Celebrations. The procession passed through one of Ipoh’s busiest roads, back in 1982/83.

As you can see in this picture, they are passing by the Perak Chinese Foundry Association (building on the left). Anyone have any idea about the other building in the background – the one under construction?

Here’s another picture of the procession.

In this picture you can see the crowd standing at the sidewalk. And for those of you who (still) don’t recognise this street – check out the building on the left: yes, it is none other than the Times of Malaya building!

We’d like to thank Shuen Huey Foo (of Ipoh) for these pictures 🙂

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