THE MESSAGE NO. 136, MARCH 2013
SPONSORED BY BALBIR SINGH
RED PACKETS - A MOST VOLATILE GIFT
In Chinese and other Asian societies, a red envelope or red packet is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions.
It is known as hongbao in Mandarin, angbao in Taiwanese (also Singaporean Hokkien), angpau in Min Nan, lai see in Cantonese, in Vietnamese and sae bae don in Korean.
Red envelopes are mainly presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The act of requesting for red packets is normally called (Mandarin): (Cantonese): Red packets is usually given out by married couples to single people, especially to children.
The amount of money contained in the envelope usually ends with an even digit, in accordance with Chinese beliefs; for instance 88 and 168 are both lucky numbers, as odd-numbered money gifts are traditionally associated with funerals. Still in some regions of China and in its diasporic 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" resembles that of the word "death" and thus signifies bad luck for many Chinese (See Numbers in Chinese culture). At weddings, the amount offered is usually intended to cover the cost of the attendees as well as signify goodwill to the newlyweds.
During the Lunar New Year, mainly in Southern China, red envelopes are typically given by the married to the unmarried, most of whom are children. (In the North, money is not given in envelopes.) The amount of money is usually a single note to avoid heavy coins and to make it difficult to judge the amount inside before opening. It is traditional to put brand new notes inside red envelopes and also to avoid opening the envelopes in front of the relatives out of courtesy.
In Vietnam, li xi is lucky money and are typically given to children.
Red envelopes are also used to deliver payment for favorable service to lion dance performers, religious practitioners, teachers and doctors, etc.
How much angpau did you get or give during the recent Chinese New Year?
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO FACE THE KILLER - CANCER
This is for your personal health education - it is important to know and do, if ever you need it. This is the story of a person who went to hell and came back alive and well! And is now a helping others to survive Cancer.*
Well, today he has been free of Cancer for 6 years and is now helping others who are in the same straits, through a NPC (Nasopharyngeal Cancer) organisation. He said you need to do three things to survive Cancer attack:*
1. Juice fresh Papaya leaves and stalk to drink.
Papaya Leaf: The anti-cancer treatment
2. Boil Lemon grass and drink as water.
3. Eat Apricot seeds to kill the Cancer cells.*
He said *Apricot seeds is nature's Chemotherapy*. It is cheap and natural. Chemo kills you - it kills everything - the collateral damage is total. *Apricot seeds which contain **natural cyanide kills Cancer** without any collateral damage*.
I am going to eat Apricot seeds or boil them as in dessert.
With these three natural cures - Papaya leaves (or raw fruit), Lemon Grass and Apricot Seeds, there is no need to FEAR CANCER! And if all the traditional concoctions and modern medicines don't work, then live as long as you can before meeting the Almighty in the end!
FROM DESA TO BUKIT CHAMANG WITHIN HOURS
I got up at 4.30am this morning at Desa Petaling. But at 7.30 am I am now in the Bukit Chamang house, Bentong! How is it possible now? Well, things just happened and I wish it could see something positive, something that brings good tidings.
When I arrived at the Bentong house, car No. 2607 was parked outside. What a surprise, isn't that Barry girlfriend's car! No surprise, when I strutted in I saw the house full.
I waited for Barry and family to wake up. Then I told the missus to ask Barry to take her to the hospital to undo the stitches. Why the sewing up? She had fallen down from her motorcycle a few days ago! I said I would stay home and clear up the rubbish. Yes, that was done. Then I slept on the two health beds.
Barry and his family and the missus returned at about 12.30 pm. They bought me a packet of beef noodles. As I was feeling hungry, I devoured the noodles. However, I could not finish it. There is a lot left over.
When the missus was sleeping, I drove out to town. I went for a haircut. The Chinese barber at Ah Peng Street happened to live in Repas village. We had a very amicable talk. The charge was RM8.00 cheaper than the other barbers.
The missus called me warning me not to cut the hair too short. She has a liking to comment on people's haircut! I drove back to 1st mile Tras Road. I went into the two dollars shop and bought some items for household use.
The missus called me to tell me to call Telekom to fix the house phone. It has not been working for two weeks. I drove down to the TM POINT shop to inquire. They said they have checked the external cables. They have to check the internal fixtures. They said they could fix it on Thursday. I told the lady that it would be better to do it Tuesday next. (Did they do the repairs? No, not even after another two weeks and more calls! I feel Telekom still think that they are working like a government department where red tapes galore, so doing things is slow, though it had been privatized). I returned to the house. I informed the missus of the arrangements. She was not so clear of the situation. I bathed and rested in bed.
Later in the evening Barry and family took us out for dinner. We ate at Yee Fatt restaurant at first mile Tras Road. The food we ordered were: ribs braised in preserved soya, steamed meat with yam called kau yuk, bean curds, stir-fried fern shoots and sweet and sour vegetables soup. We had a hearty meal. Barry footed the bill. He drove his family back to Kuala Lumpur after dinner.
The missus and I went to the deceased Wong Yow Onn's house in Perting Village. There was no crowd yet. I saw a rare sight: a traditional old huge Chinese coffin, the one with wide ends at both sides rising up high.
According to Samyee the wife of the deceased, it was the dead man who chose that type of casket when he was alive! I lighted three joss sticks for the dead. While sticking the joss sticks into the urn, I chanted the secret word of my spiritual fraternity for the deceased. We sat there for a while and talked to the deceased wife. We actually shouted whatever came out of our mouths because it was really very noisy! The namo men (Chinese funeral rites priests) were chanting away while beating gongs, drums and cymbals plus blowing their little trumpets that emitted music; no, they were noises that went like di ta, ti ta, ti tit ta... Four namo men were chanting and occasionally dancing. The din emanated was so loud so much so that to talk to somebody we have to shout.
There are elaborate rites for the Chinese community to observe as part of the ritual to honour the departed.
Later in the evening, I went to the Old Town White Coffee outlet at 1st Mile Tras Road, to do some banking business online. And, there made me met a certain former colleague at Khai Mun National Type Secondary School. After my visit to the toilet, suddenly a gentleman called me. "Hello Chan," he said. "Sorry, I don't remember your name." "Adnan, my name is Adnan." He explained. Then he came over to my table which was just next to his. Adnan talked so much about those good old days. He mentioned of the Ali Akbar (deceased), Joseph Fernandez (don't know where he is), Fredericks, Wong Meow Lee, Chen Chin Hua, etc, etc, etc!!!
He even mentioned of our former colleagues in ABS Temerloh like Jimmy Chu (he is kicking around in KL with a pair of new knees), Thomas Kok, the late headmaster Ong Eng Sun, Wahab Hashim the senior assistant, Yahaya, Syed Hussain, and others.
We had a long talk. Finally I reminded Adnan that he had left his friends and wife for too long to talk to me! So he went back to his table. I even apologized to his table mates of my attracting him over to my table and talking to him for so long. They appeared not to mind for the inconvenience!
MEET THE GIFTED COUPLE
Zainal Lisut and his wife Puan Norma
A call came from Zainal Lisut. I knew he would bring good tidings for he is a man dealing with gifts. His missus is the active boss of Delinur, a gifts supplier of all sorts and for all occasions. Well, I have to pay him a visit as he promised me some gifts.
Well, it was a good day, a Friday. I have a spiritual function to attend in Kelana Jaya. So I would first go and see Zainal, then I would attend the function. It is what we usually describe as hitting two birds with one stone. With such golden opportunity of doing two things at one bidding I wouldn't let the good fortune go! To me it would be running two errands with one journey!
At six, I pushed off from Desa Petaling heading to Petaling Jaya. The traffic was heavy, so I turned into Jalan 222. From there I drove over to Zainal's residence in Kelana Jaya. As I entered I almost saw a warehouse sort annexure to the main building. There were boxes and boxes here and there. There were discarded boxes, emptied boxes and dismantled cartons. His maid moved hither thither trying to get her boss. I was seated at a vacant table.
Soon Zainal's two sons emerged. They have grown a lot since I last met them in Bentong about five years ago. They were waiting for their father to appear. Soon Zainal came out and the boys left in the family's MPV. Zainal served me tea, biscuits and other tidbits. Norma also showed up. She is a busy lady. She presented me with many gifts so much so that I felt I was gifted superfluously. A superbly packed and nicely wrapped hamper was presented by Zainal to me. I thanked him profusely and certainly red packets were my presents to them for their generosity. As the Cantonese say "KONG HEI FATT CHOY, HONG PAU DAU LOY." (wishing you prosperity; red packets give to me.") It is so direct; no ceremonies. It is a joy to reciprocate all gifts.
Any problems of choosing and settling gifts, you may contact Norma or Zainal via their web page: giftdelinur.Com. Tel: 0123375375 and talk to Zainal Lisut. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org. From the wide exposure in the electronic media, we are sure that they are gifted to run this gifts business successfully and lucratively.
Zainal has a great desire to meet all of us who know him or he knows them. He suggested that we from Bentong and especially M.E.S. alumni have a get-together to have a good munch while we reminisce. Interested anyone? We shall have lunch in. ALL RIGHT KLites? WELCOME ALSO THOSE FROM OUTSIDE.
APRIL FOOLS ARE ON THE WAY.
THEN CHING MING WILL COME - THE CHINESE ALL SOULS DAY.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN MARCH
||TEH BOON TAN
||LOH KOK KEONG
||JOHAR B. ZABIDIN
||LOH FOOK CHENG
||A. KRISHNAN ARUMUGAM
||HJ. TENGKU PUJI
||LIEW CHOW YIN
||ABU HANIPAH MOHD
||ZULKIFLY M. ESA
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