Archive for October 2013

Friendship made in Phuket   Leave a comment

Friendship know no bound as the saying goes. To me, we can say so much that we may be good friends but when it comes to definition of friendship, I find it rather difficult to describe and define. Though socializing is one of my weaker traits, we did however, make a couple of friends and met up with two friends, from our home-town of Penang, in Phuket. We were indeed very happy to meet Chirasak Chitrsuphap from Bangkok, two more friends from the International School in Bangkok, the Chief Prosecutor of Betong and his family at a restaurant, the neighbours at the hostel and not forgetting Oh Chin Eng and friend from Penang. We had also made many un-named acquaintances like the workers at eateries and even the Vegetarian Food sellers by the road-side who joked with us whether Bertrand is married or not but sad as they have no daughter. The mother lamented she is too old to get married again, jokingly.
F – fraternity
R – relationship
I – interesting
E – eternal, if possible or empathy, enjoyment of company
N – nerve-wrecking, sometimes
D – devotion
S – successfully
H – happy
I – interpersonal, interests eg photography
P – passionate, proximity

From Wikipedia :-
Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. Friendship has been studied in academic fields such as sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, including social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles. A World Happiness Database study found that people with close friendships are happier.
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of friendship. Such characteristics include affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other’s company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.
While there is no practical limit on what types of people can form a friendship, friends tend to share common backgrounds, occupations, or interests, and have similar demographics.

Making a friend
Three significant factors make the formation of a friendship possible:
proximity, which means being near enough to see each other or do things together;
repeatedly encountering the person informally and without making special plans to see each other; and
opportunities to share ideas and personal feelings with each other.[12]
Ending a friendship
Friendships end for many different reasons. Sometimes friends move away from each other and are forced to move on due to the distance. Sometimes divorce causes an end to friendships, as people drop one or both of the divorcing people. At a younger age friendships may end as a result of acceptance into new social groups. (Friendships, 2009) (Berry, 2012)
Friendships may end by fading quietly away or may end suddenly. How and whether to talk about the end of a friendship is a matter of etiquette that depends on the circumstances.

Inserted by SP Lim
Friends forever, if possible.
Keep good friends. Good friends are hard to find. Nurture friendships that make your plight through life easier, more wonderful and meaningful. Truly poor is the man who has no good friends.

The Penang Khoo Kongsi-likeTemple in Phuket, Thailand   Leave a comment

A journey of discovery ? Here is the story from the point where I left On On Hotel on that fateful day. It is the same road back to our hostel which is located about 0.5 kilometre away. The road is called Thanon Phangnga Road. Walking along the same side of the road which On On Hotel was located. We noticed a beautiful wooden arch with the Temple shown but alas as a “banana” myself – an English-educated chap, Mandarin characters to me can be like Greek or Russian. Anyway, we decided to be “busy-bodies” and walked through a narrow alley into the Temple. The idea of the narrow entrance, is quite similar to that of Poh Hock Seah Temple in Penang. Why do we have narrow entrances into the Temples asthis is done for defensive purpose in case of a gang attack from enemies. Historically, Poh Hock Seah and the other bodies at Armenian Street Twa Peh Kong Kong were segmented organizations formed after Kean Teik Tong was declared illegal by then the Straits Settlement Administration. Thus, earlier as so-called Secret Society, sometimes this Temple might be used as defensive Headquarter thus narrow entrances, secret tunnels connecting to Khoo Kongsi next door. Up to know, it is still difficult to locate the Poh Hock Seah if you have no knowledge where it is located as it stayed “hidden” behind the row of shop-houses and short passage-way into the Temple. Back to Phuket, yes, there is quite a similar comparison here. There was a narrow of green-coloured buildings beside the smallish-looking Temple. Though splattering use of Hokkien with the Thai Temple care-taker, I came to understand that the Temple and surrounding buildings were actually modelled after the Khoo Kongsi in Penang! What a shocking surprise and revelation! However, it was quite stupid of me to enquire further there is any connection to Kean Teik Tong in Penang. Is this missing link we are trying to trace in Phuket? I was too busy trying to capture these in photographic evidence. Another shock I received was the exact wall murals of the White Tiger and Green Dragon at the Shrine entrance. The question arose – was these emulated from those at Poh Hock Seah, what is the age? Is these newly made and painted ? The answer is definitely no as the wall mural is old but freshly re-painted. Did they use the same Mainland Chinese restorers? However, my question was answered as I enter the Temple as on the original white wall on both sides of the Temple are quite similar style black and white wall murals found in Khoo Kongsi. Yes, this definitely needs further investigation but with the language barrier we need a Thai translator. Hopefully, Khoo Kongsi with Poh Hock Seah can send a team for further check. Is this our missing link of Kean Teik Tong in Phuket, Thailand after our re-discovery of our Branches in Padang, Indonesia and Yangon, Myanmar ? Without in-depth investigation and research, these questions remained unanswered as time was not on my side as we had to leave as the rain started again. May Twa Peh Kong guide us.

SP Lim

This Ting Kwang Tang Temple is the missing Branch of Kean Teik Tong or just another Khoo Clansmen Temple in Phuket, Thailand?

Great entertainment at Hean Boo Thean’s Annual Dinner   Leave a comment

After a year of busy activities, it is time to let the hair down at the Hean Boo Thean’s Annual Dinner at Weld Quay, Penang. About 200 tables ( of 10 diners each table ) were laid out under canopies at the area near the Floating Kuan Yin Temple as it was still rainy season. We, the volunteer photographers, were allocated special table for photographers. Food and the entertainment were great and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

SP Lim

Heritage houses and buildings in Phuket, Thailand   Leave a comment

With a parallel historical background like my home-town of George Town of Penang, Phuket has many similar look-alike buildings like those in my home town. If one walks down a certain street in Phuket, I might be fooled to think I am actually walking in the old section of George Town – a UNESCO’s World Heritge Site. Phuket shall be conferred this status if the proper application is made in the future. As in the historical past, tin mined in Phuket is sent to the Eastern Smelting Works in Penang for smelting and refining. That’s probably why I felt so much at home in Phuket.

SP Lim

A Wet Market in Phuket   Leave a comment

As we made our way to our vegetarian meals every day while on Penang, we should be passing by the short-cut through a wet market. As a photographer, this was also an opportunity to shoot the every day lives of the workers and vendors in this market place.

SP Lim

The Temple of Chinese Hell   Leave a comment

The Underworld Temple of local Taoist/Buddhist Chinese near Kuala Gula, Perak, Malaysia was erected in the middle of a oil palm estate. Thus, there are security guards at two check-points. We are permitted only to enter at the main trunk road ie the road from Kuala Kurau to Simpang Empat as this check-point closes at 7.00 pm. The other check-point closes at 5.00 pm and probably refused entry to us as it was 3.30 pm already when we reached this point.
This Temple wanted to emulate the one in Haw Par Villa in Singapore where the Chinese Hell is featured as a theme. However, currently this Temple is not well maintained and we did not see a single Temple Official when we arrived at this Temple. We saw two Indian Malaysian ladies who were cleaning the Temple. However, when we were going back to Penang at around 5.00 pm, there were about five of them chatting outside the Temple.
Back to the visit as I slowly shot the photos from outside the Temple and made my way slowly to another Temple annexe which was 200 metres away from the main Temple. It was a hill-like Temple with Buddha and Thnee Kong. At the lowest level we have the Earth Store Buddha and the entrance to the Taoist/Buddhist depiction of Hell or the Underworld (please not the criminals). The place was damp, dark and gloomy-like as there were only a few light bulbs working. The cement statues are quite well made and water is dripping all over and making the floor wet and slippery. The complete darkness in the interior of the cave-like exhibition hall did not help greatly in photo shooting as I am reluctant to use flash. Turned to higher ISO 8000 and slowly increasing over 16000 to capture the dark environment. However later tried HDR so as to capture the wider spectrum of the colours. In the Taoist/Buddhist Hell, dead sinners must cross a bridge to enter into hell where they were judged (no briberies or pressured by the upper level) according to their sins committed during their life-time. The relevant punishment is then meted out according to the severity of the crimes so committed. So, there is no acquittal like the trend in Malaysian courts. Every sinner shall face the rightful punishment handed down.
Punishment varies on the severity of the crimes committed. There are many types – trodden to pieces by horse cart, boiled or with hot water or fried, sawn on the head, and many more.
This is the Taoist/Buddhist version of Hell.

SP Lim

Hell’s Punishments for Sinners   Leave a comment

This series of photographs shows the Taoist/Buddhist Hell’s Punishments for Sinners. Definitely the severity of the punishment is directly dependent of the seriousness of crime or sin committed and it is not acquittal in any circumstances.

SP Lim

On On Hotel of Phuket, Thailand   Leave a comment

Bertrand brought us past this boutique hotel in Phuket as in the past, this “joint” was occupied by then what were known as “hippies” instead of back-packers. He told me that he also spent a couple of nights here at the rate of 100 bahts per night. After refurbishment and upgrading works, it had metamorphosed into a four-star hotel but large rooms for 4 are still available at around 300 bahts per person. Part of the film ” The Beach ” starring Leonardo DiCaprio was shot inside this On On Hotel of Phuket. Thus with such well-known fame, this is definitely the hotel to stay as now, it is elegantly furnished with such exquisite taste. When we visited the Hotel, there was a black-and-white photo exhibition in the lobby.

SP Lim

The Restaurant of Many Orders   Leave a comment

The Restaurant of Many Orders
Produced by Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project

The Restaurant of Many Orders – the show is based on a nationally known Japanese fable with contemporary and traditional dance, voice,songs, and masks, in order to make audience travel between the world of animals and the world of humans. The story is known a nationwide fable in Japan, and is one of Kenji Miyazawa’s most famous piece. Focused on the theme of ” The relationship between Human and Nature”, the show is based on this tale. Performance for 23 October, 2013 only at 8.30 pm, is at Penang Pac Art Center Straits Quay.
Tonight ( Wednesday 23 October 2013 ) only at Penang PAC Stage 1. Reasonably priced at RM30.00 for Adults and RM15.00 for JFKL Members, Students, Physically-challenged, TAS/Senior Privilege Card Holders, and Senior Citizen above 65. Tickets still available.
After the show in Penang, this intriguing and exciting show will be performed at DPAC Theatre (Damansara Performing Arts Centre), Petaling Jaya, Selangor on Saturday, 26 October, 2013 at 8.30 pm and Sunday, 27 October, 2013 at 3.00 pm. Also reasonably priced at RM50.00 for Adults and RM25.00 for Students and JFKL members. Do not miss this great opportunity of seeing this mysterious, delusional and fun show produced by Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project. It is presented by the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Co-operation.

The Floating Kuan Yin Temple’s Procession   Leave a comment

This is the very first Procession of the Hean Boo Thean – the Floating Kuan Yin Temple of Weld Quay, Penang. It was held on 22/10/2013.

SP Lim

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