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14) Where is your Tunnel of Memories?


tunnel 01

If you asked around the locals about this pedestrian tunnel, they will concur with a smile of contentment.  This is a well-known pedestrian tunnel connecting Queen Elizabeth Walk (Esplanade Park) to Empress Place.  Apart from crossing over on the Fullerton Road that leads to Anderson Bridge, this is a leisure way to enjoy the beauty of the Singapore River.  In the past, it’s a park where families spent their weekend on.  Couples holding hands, dress up like super stars in their bell-bottom pants meet up in the park.  Gone were those days, where happy couples, groups of youngsters, families with kids gathered around on weekend in this memorable park of pride.  It leaves good memories in most children in the 60s/70s.

tunnel 02

On top of the tunnel is Anderson Bridge, a famous local landmark visited by countless.

tunnel 03

The concrete parapet wall remains the same standing under the rain and sun unlike the landscape of Esplanade Park that has changed tremendously.

tunnel 04

It is quite amazing to see those trees still standing green and lavish while those who once saw them were long gone…

tunnel 05

This is my tunnel of memories, where is yours?

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Friend (19) – The Four Gentlemen


plum flower (kind unknown)

plum flower (kind unknown) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plum Flower

My Friend, there is a nation who feels proud of you.  Your unyielding nature makes you look even emaciated.  But lanky is not your name.  You are not afraid of the cold winter, but you are the first to bloom in spring.  The first gentlemen standing on the land dancing fearlessly with spring and a smiling gentleman, I called.

Chrysanthemum

My Friend, you do not mind lying next to the grave, and you do not mind associating with strangers soaking up in holy bath.  But you mind only if fall brings you the beauty of grief or sorrows.  With your haughty attitude in autumn, I do not ask for much.  As maple leaves died out all over the floor just for your tender face.

Orchids, Bamboo and Rock, before 1740, by Zhen...

Orchids, Bamboo and Rock, before 1740, by Zheng Xie (1693—1765). Hanging scroll, ink on paper. The Palace Museum, Beijing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bamboo

My Friend, your elegant, free and easy attitude whirling in the wind, bring a pause to my reminiscent for others.  But you are so modest, you do not forbid birds and landscape rivals with you on a manuscript and you give way to a painter’s inspiration.

A shot of an (Cymbidium - cultivar) orchid

A shot of an (Cymbidium – cultivar) orchid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Orchid

My Friend, you are infamous.  You uphold the title of a National Flower and people sing so well of your elegant glory.  What else do you lack of?  Your distinctiveness, wholesome and noble sentiments put you high up to the zenith.  Infact, with your independent personality, praises are to you only a title, but a pursuit in the eyes of others.


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21) Where is this MRT Station / 这是哪一个地铁?


A glance at the Stadium MRT Station.

Stadium MRT Station, an underground Mass Rapid Transit station on the Circle Line in Singapore. The station serves the Kallang area and it’s located within the Kallang & Mountbatten vicinity.  It was opened on 17 April 2010 and earned The 2010 Singapore President’s Design Award, Design of the Year by reputable firm, WOHA Architects.

▼It was captured at an angle perceived with distorted effects.

In my opinion, the interior of Stadium looks like a ship, cladded with gray tiles, side windows and a central skylight allowing light penetration.  It also provides an oceanic view with vibrant turqoise colors as you slide from the top of the escalators to the basement platform.

 Impresses every commuters like a stream of blue water flowing to the river ground▼


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(4) Life – Chinese Ghost Month / 生活 (4) – 中元节


中元节是华人传统的节日,它也叫孟兰节或鬼节。传说农历七月鬼门关大开,被禁放出来的孤魂野鬼,会到处去觅食,于是人们借助祭拜仪式,祈求游魂得到他们的保佑。

Hungry Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, which is also call a Mong Lang Festival or Ghost Month.  The Chinese believe that during the Seventh Lunar Month, the Gates of Hell are opened and spirits are let out to roam the earth for 30 days foraging for food.  Believers will arrange worship ceremony to pray and appease the spirits in return to get their blessings.

另一个说法是源自于佛教故事;释迦牟尼佛的弟子目犍连拥有神通,他妈妈生前做了很多坏事,死后变成饿鬼。目犍连知道后用法力将食物拿给母亲吃,但食物到了妈妈的嘴边却化成灰烬。目犍连非常伤心,向释迦牟尼佛求助。佛陀告诉他,必须以众僧的力量,在7月15日把百味五果放入盆中,以此才能济度他母亲。最后目犍连依照佛陀的指示,他母亲终于得到解救。

Another saying is derived from a Buddhist tale.  Moggallana a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha had supernatural powers and his mother during his lifetime did a lot of bad things.  She became hungry ghosts after her death.  Moggallana used his supernatural ability to offer food to his beloved mother, but whenever the food touches her mouth it turned into ashes.  He was heartbroken and seek help from Sakyamuni Buddha.  The Buddha told him to draw on the power of the monks, and on this very day of 15th of the Seventh Month to place five types of grains into a pot so as to appease his mother.  Moggallana act in accordance to the Buddha’s instruction and his mother was finally rescued.

从此,祭拜的形式一代传一代,种类也演变成多样化。流行于新马一带的歌台也是其中一种演变出来的祈福仪式。仪式通常由一些工会,小组织联合主办。他们会临时搭建一个有蓬盖的小舞台,找一些知名的主持人和艺人载歌载舞,再配搭劲爆的音乐,效果非常平民化与富有娱乐性。庆典的目的是给那些孤魂野鬼观赏,所以你会发现观众的前排椅子是空着的。这种表演仪式慢慢形成一种,有7月必有歌台的风气。

From then on, the form of worship passed from generation to generation, and it evolve into diversity.  Getai (a live stage performance) is one of the ritual evolution of the festival and is popular both in Singapore and Malaysia.  The performances and ceremonies are usually jointly organised by number of unions or/and small organisations.  There will be a makeshift canopy of a small stage, looking for some well-known presenters and entertainers, with their boisterous singing and dancing, match with the world’s best music, the very civilians entertaining.  The performance are meant to be for the spirits but also for people during the Seventh Month.  Chairs lined up in the audience’s front rows are usually empty and reserved for the spirits.  This form of entertainment has become a must have in the Seventh Month festivals.

庆典的目的是给那些孤魂野鬼观赏,所以你会发现观众的前排椅子是空着的。

The performance are meant to be for the spirits but also for people during the Seventh Month.  Chairs lined up in the audience’s front rows are usually empty and reserved for the spirits.

另外一种仪式是拍卖会;就是大家一齐拍卖东西,拍卖成功的人把东西请回家,接下来的一年会得“好兄弟”的保佑而一家平安。

Another observed ceremony is the auction where people dine at the auction dinner and bid for the highest priced items.  The sucessful bidder will bring home the items where the Good Brothers (euphemism for spirits) will bless them with good tidings for the following year.

所谓“一人得道,鸡狗升天。”现在歌台旁还有一些流动小贩,卖的小食如雪糕,麻糍等等。可见,这种祭拜仪式不止单单反映当地的文化民俗,也为国家经济添加一分力。

As the saying goes “When a man attains enlightenment, even his pets ascent to heaven”.  Next to the performance stage, there are some itinerant hawkers selling ice creams, Ma-Ci (a soft rice snack with grounded peanuts) etc.  This does not only reflects the local culture and folklore, it adds a contribution to the national economy.

 

 

更可喜的是,草根传统文化在科技时代里还能生存是非常难能可贵。

Far more and far most, it is even more gratifying and commendable that the grassroots traditional culture is able to survive in the era of Science and Technology.

 


41 Comments

Friend (12) – 3P Porridge / 朋友(12)- 3P 粥


能够暂时离开繁嚣,找个安静的角落,来一碗清淡小粥,享受恬静淡雅的一刻,人生何求!
Able to leave the hustle and bustle aside, find a quiet corner, have a bowl of light porridge and enjoy the quiet and elegant moment, what else do we ask for in life.
这是一碗3P小粥;平安,平淡,平凡的粥。
This bowl of 3P porridge; peaceful, plain and pleasant.
一碗毫不起眼的粥,没有名气的架式,没有奢华的点缀,没有高档的环境,没有美食家的评语。一副苍白虚弱的样子,默默摆在我面前,就为了填饱我们的肚子。
A bowl of humble porridge, not known in the rack, there is no luxury embellishment, upscale environment, no gourmet reviews.  With a look pale and weak, quietly placed in front of me, just to fill up my stomach.
尽管它没什么分量,但他还是紧守岗位,作为一位“护胃者”。
Although it has no load, but he still stick to his position as a tummy guardian.
这种3P无声无息摆在眼前,用天平称不到,长在额头的眼睛看不到,更别说走进时尚的高档品味。
This 3P sits quietly before us, can’t weigh it with a set of scale, catch no sight with our eyes, let alone into the upper crust.
所谓各花入各眼,这3P是一种福气,有异于一般。
As Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder, this 3P is a blessing, as it is different from the others.


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Friend (11) – Monkey / 朋友(11)- 猴子


在驶往贝雅士蓄水池的小路上,发现一头猴子蹲在路旁,外表逗趣可爱长相令人发笑。灰色的毛发与傻呼呼的样子,在看守来往的车子。

In Pierce Reservoir along Old Upper Thomson Road, saw a monkey kneeing along the roadside. His cute appearance looks ridiculous and his gray hair and insensibly manifestation guards at every car that passes by.

车子慢慢移近,它站起了身体,对车子有所期待。我没把车窗调下,以防它来个七十二变。它等了一会儿见车里头没动静,又坐回原位。我拿起相机拍它的样子,但它却不理不睬,还故意把脸转向另一边。它似乎提醒我,要拍就要有酬劳。

He stood up to the body, whenever a vehicle move closer to him as if there is something to look forward from the car.  I decline to unwind the car windows, just in case he stuns his“Seventy Two Transformation”.  While he waited for awhile and see no movement in the car, he sank back in situ.  As I direct my camera towards his direction, he ignore my interest on him and turn his face away from me.  He seems to be reminding me for a reward if I demand a snapshot from him.

有关部门提醒公众不要餵食野生动物,这不是没有理由。

Reminders have been put up constantly by relevant authorities to the public not to feed wild animals without invalid reasons.

自然界里的一草一木,自有它求存的一套本领。每一各体总有他的强项与天分。这套本领舍弃了而去依赖外界的施舍,到头来只剩下外界的怜憫眼光与那副博人同情的可怜相。

Flora and Fauna in their natural habitat has its own sets of survival skills.  Each bodied its own strength and flair.  Once the skills are discarded, it relies on external aid to subsist.  End of the day, what is remained and reminded is the pathetic vision asking for mercy from our human eyes.

幸亏猴子还算可爱,再来几只也无伤大雅。

Fortunately, monkeys are delightfully adorable, a few more to come is harmless and undisruptive at least to our very own nature that is loosing out in no time soon.

**There is a belief that the Monkey God has capabilities to do Seventy Two stuns with different transformation.

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