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November 22, 2006

There's Something About M'sia Traditional Games

"Imagine yourself in a tropical country some 10,000 miles away... imagine you are surrounded by lush greenery and wrapped around the arms of mother nature.. imagine you don't have to travel far from a city to witness all these.. welcome to Malaysia."


Donned in beige baju melayu and hand-woven songket cloth around his mid waist, Jab began our presentation with a sensational/suspenseful/awe-inspiring opening. Before him sat our hyperactive audiences who stopped chattering and focused their inquisitive eyes on the screen projecting the map of Malaysia. A keyboard sat next to the screen with recital books strewn all over the floor. A big drum the size of a coffee table sat quietly nearby, isolated from its smaller siblings. The music room in Burnett Creek Elementary School immediately transformed into an ethnical tribal council, led by 3 emerging tribe elders. The tribe people (some really wore Red Indian costumes) listened intently to what wise words the elders were about to deliver.


Upon looking at this picture, the 'tribe people', mainly 4th-6th graders, hollered and became an excited bunch. They seemed to identify their favourite pastime activities. Elder Jab calmed them down and showed them the magical rattan ball spitted from Mother Nature's stomach and what Malaysians did with it.


The audiences cheered when Elder Jab decided to show his talent in keeping the ball airborne with his agile body. He kicked, he headed, he shouldered, he knee-ed, and the ball kept bouncing for more than 12 times. As Jab gave a full bow and ended his presentation, the kids were wild with cheers and smiles.


Next, Elder Peter, the true Sarawakian who lived among the natives and learned their ingenuous hunting techniques, decided to let our audiences into his little secret skills.


"Come on everyone, repeat after me: SUM-PIT!"

After a little explanation of how it works, Elder Peter decided to show his skills. He inserted a wooden pin into the hollow body of sumpit, he aimed, he puffed! Wooosh! The pin hit the makeshift target board Jab made using polystyrene with sudden force. Such a lethal weapon made Elder Peter think twice about fulfilling his tribe people's request to try it out. However, Elder Peter's skills wowed them good.


Then, as if saving the best for the last, came Elder Pei Xin with his extraordinary-looking, intellectually-challenging, mind-boggling, brain-twisting congkak set! (a tad exaggeration haha) After a brief description, he chose an apprentice to pass down all his knowledge about congkak while the rest pooled around to nip bits of the knowledge from the Chosen One.


The cycle was completed, and the moon was in the right position to bid farewell. We quickly ushered the audience away as we prepared for the next wave of those cute kids, and the next.

Three times we presented the traditional games of Malaysia, in an effort of promoting international awareness, diversity and culture in the very heart of the biggest most progressive country in the world, directly to their next generations. It is an annual program organized by the International Students' and Scholars' Office of Purdue University, running for almost 7 years now. I'm glad i'm part of it.

Posted by peixin at 04:42 AM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2006



Posted by peixin at 01:38 PM | Comments (6)

November 06, 2006

Dangdut vs Roti Canai

Indonesia has gone through some trails and tribulations intermittently throughout her history, undoubtedly due to failure in unifying her citizens. Project Pop, one of the most popular nu metal group in Indonesia, address this issue with a witty solution (a full description of the video in English is available here. Lyrics is also available at the very bottom part of the page):


What with the recent news about how Dr. M's criticisms will break the Malaysian community apart, and also in the true spirit of kiasuism, we should come up with our own unity song too!


Well, I couldn't find the original rendition of the song, but i like the song A LOT.

Oooo... Roti canai (dua, duadua)
Harganya murah (murah, murahmurah)
Eeenak rasanya! (enak rasanya!)
Sangat popular.....!

(repeat chorus)

Di mana boleh dapatkannya??
Di Malaysia... Singapura.... Indonesia....
Terutamanya... Kuala Lumpur!!

(repeat chorus)

Laughter, as it always is, is the best medicine.

Posted by peixin at 02:01 PM | Comments (2)


watashiwa benkyou shimasu!!
I studying am!! (sounds yoda-ish, i know)

noticed that 勉強, which means 'study' in Japanese, incidentally and ironically means 'forcefully/unwillingly' in chinese lol...

Anyway that's sort of prelude to my Jap-induced-and-influenced blog entry triggered by a certain seemingly uneventful yet meaningful incident i happened to be involved with this afternoon.

It is also a prelude hinted by the structurally incorrect title that reflects the state of the author's mind.

While i was studying, something that bugged me for the whole afternoon after a visit to Westminster Village (a hospice) and 3 hours of death note and suzumiya haruhi just fired an action potential which bounced into a chain of information transfer that drove my neurotic mind into a state of active questioning.

What if the next day my memory failed and i can't remember a thing?

Memories are what we hold onto to remember the past events we experienced; joy, sadness, friendship, parent love, sibling banterings, studying for exams, studying for the sake of studying, even those small insignificant things which turn your saddest day 180 degrees, are stored in millions and millions of Myelin sheath-coated, dendrite-connected, electrically-triggered, neurotransmitter-releasing cells we collectively know as the grey matter aka the frontal lobe of our brains.

Incidentally, those cells cannot regenerate.

Therefore, in simple math,
old age = dying cells = memory altered/fractured/lost

I was in the Westminster Village singing songs to some old folks there this afternoon. During a short break, a very nice lady by the name of Margaret strike up a conversation with me. She had silver flowing hair, donned flourishingly white frilled blouse and sleek blue coat, like what air stewardess wore back in the sixties. The fashion, antique as it was, was incomparable to the vast experience she had garnered from her past life traveling to Thailand, India and China, all with his husband on missionaries. Not to mention being a biology teacher. But at one point she kept looking at her analog watch and telling me she was expecting someone to marry later in the afternoon and she had to be excused from the gathering. I thought she's telling the truth, until a worker came along and told her there's no such thing and asked her to stay put instead. I watched her expression of disbelief and confusion upon hearing that.

What if when i am old, my memories became so fractured that i cannot believe what i remembered anymore?


Selective memories happen when we cannot remember everything.

If i can select memories to remember forever, would i want to remember how Yagami Light schemed and plotted to become the new God of the world in 'Death Note' or how odd events turn out for the SOS Brigade members which comprise of a 'God', a human, an alien, a time traveler and an esper in 'The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi'?

Those seemed too trivial to remember if i have constantly-reducing memory storage space.

If i can select memories to remember forever, i would choose to remember my family and all they have done for me; my high school gang who were there for me through thick and thin; my ASEAN gang who went to 'hell' and 'heaven'(aka sentosa trip lol) together with me; my INTEC gang who gave me so many wonderful time together; my ex-girlfriend(s) and girlfriend(s)-to-be =P; and my current Purdue friends.

That's not too much to ask for right?

However, i think i would prefer this alternative option: to do research on stem cells for neuronal regeneration.

Posted by peixin at 12:06 PM | Comments (3)