Religion and Spirituality

4) Blue collar’s song / 蓝领之歌

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When I push the trolley to collect reuse items

I have to bend myself down.

As the sun is so heavy on me

Hey, call me a Karang Guni

I am A Karang Guni

I work for a bowl of rice with a price

I work from sunset to sunrise

 

When I stand behind the counter

I have to keep up and look neat

As everyone’s eyes are on me

Hey, call me a sales girl or a counter girl

I am a sales girl or a counter girl

I work for a bowl of rice with a price

I work from day to night

 

When I go from seats to seats

I clean up tables and seats

As I am pay to clear dirty seats and tables

Hey, call me a cleaner

I am a cleaner

I work for a bowl of rice for a price

I work from day to day, holiday to holiday

 

When I reach your house steps

I have rubbish to collect

As the garbage is unpleasant to environment

Hey, call me a refuse collector

I am a refuse collector

I work for a bowl of rice with a price

I work from home to home, moment to moment

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

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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.

 

10) An Army Camp (1) – unwanted visitor / 兵营 (1) – 不速之客

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事情发生在本地兵营。

一晚,回营训练士兵需要在2359之前回营报到。由于大家提早报到,趁着多余的时间他们在一楼的休息室闲聊。聊着聊着,士兵John说有点累他要回房休息,于是他先行离开。

大伙儿继续聊天吃东西,突然一名士兵从二楼跑下来,满脸慌张地说:“大事不好了!John好象中邪了!”

大伙儿听了一窝蜂跑上楼!来到房间,只见John一个人坐在床缘面向窗口,身体不停地前后摇晃。大伙儿见状,警惕地走近John。只听见John用福建话不断地重复一句话:“叫我上来做什么? 叫我上来做什么?”

接着,他发疯似的对着一个站在窗旁的士兵乱骂:“不要挡住我的路,臭小子!”大家吓了一跳,唯唯诺诺退出房间。

退出了房间,你看我,我看你,怎么办?大家不知如何是好。

正好,这时住在隔壁房外号九纹龙的士兵杀气腾腾走了出来,没头没脑就对他们乱k一顿!但九纹龙已改邪归正,所以脾气也收敛了许多,又因为见的世面多,见到被骂的同僚没有吭声,感觉不妥就问:“什么事?”

这班吓破胆的士兵只会用手指指向房间,然后自动化地让出条路给他过。

“搞什么东西!” 九纹龙自言自语走了进去。

进到房间见到john的情况,他心里有个底。接着,他慢慢地移到john的身边。九纹龙的篤定,令他们想到九纹龙其实是一名professional乩童,所以这个大工程由这位professional take over是最恰当不过。

现在,项目由九纹龙in charge,他对John说:“你是谁?为什么上他的身?”

John低下头,喃喃自语:“你们叫我上来。。。。。你们叫我上来。。。。。

”就一直重复同样的话。

“我们叫你上来?谁啊?你们啊?” 九纹龙转头问那些士兵,那些士兵既摇头又摇手急忙说没有!

“我们没有叫你上来。” 九纹龙回应。

“香在窗口。。。。。香在窗口。。。。。”John重复一句‘新’的话。

香在窗口?九纹龙听了在那儿沉思。接着,他似乎领悟到东西,点了点头,对那些虾兵蟹将说:“你们去查一查整座楼的窗口上有没有人点香,快!快去!” 虾兵蟹将即刻接受命令,正要退下。

“还有!” 九纹龙还没讲完,虾兵蟹将钉在地上继续等待命令。

“如果找到香,先请示一下,然后说声对不起拜三拜才拿下来,懂吗?” 虾兵蟹将似懂非懂一接命令然后一拍两散!

没多久,虾兵蟹将回来,其中一个手里拿着香。

九纹龙一见怒斥:“你拿到香还不丢掉,拿来拜自己啊?”士兵听了慌忙丢掉。

跟着,九纹龙用尊敬的语气对John说:“对不起!是我的朋友不小心把你请上来,不好意思你要回去吗?”

John听了之后,身体左右摇晃地站起来,低着头一步步走出房间(这情形蛮恐怖的),来到外头的走廊,他停住了脚步但身体还在不断地摇晃,双脚原地踏步,就不停地摇晃。

九纹龙觉得有点不妥就问John:“什么事?”

“椅子,椅子。。。。。”John讲的话只有九纹龙会听得懂。

“快快去拿张椅子来!” 虾兵蟹将几个人忙着去找椅子,结果真的换来几张椅子。

九纹龙哭笑不得,随便拿了张椅子放在John后面,John在摇晃中坐下。

接着, John又有所要求:“茶,香,茶,香。。。。。”

虾兵蟹将听了,嗖的一声就去找茶和香,真是熟能生巧!

没多久,香是来了,但是却没有茶!

大家你看我,我看你,其中一个问九纹龙:“Ang Mo Teh 可以吗?但是咖啡店也关了叻!所以白开水可以吗?”

九纹龙盯着他说:“这时候你还会搞笑?”一边接过他手中的白开水,慢慢递给John。

John接过他们的水和香,左手抿了一嘴水,右手拿着香,轻轻地叹了一声气,说:“我要走了,我要走了。。。。。”

其实这时候已经有一大群虾兵蟹将围着John看戏,感觉象在看脱口秀(只不过主角是坐着的)。

John一说完我要走了,突然,站在他前面的几个人无端端往后翻倒! 大家都感觉有一道力量经过。

接着John身体一松一软,整个人往前倒。。。。。

幸亏虾兵蟹将及时把他扶住,但John似乎迷迷糊糊整个人松趴趴的,大伙儿见状只好把他抬到床上。

不久,他才悠悠醒来,他望着床边的虾兵蟹将们感觉万分惊讶。

无力地说:“你们在这做什么?探病啊?”

虾兵蟹将被骂后全部一哄而散,只剩下几个室友和九纹龙,还有床上的John。

九纹龙问John:“你知道刚才那东西上你的身吗?”

“其实,我今晚已经感觉有点不妥了,所以我先回房睡觉。哪里知道一睡下去就昏昏沉沉的,一醒来就看见你们。”

“老兄,你知不知道有人把香插在窗口上?” 九纹龙说道。

“是那一个兔崽子做的!让我知道有他好看!”John非常生气地说。

“你应该知道香插在玻璃上经玻璃反射可以招到的,这种事情我们不可以阻止别人做,怪只能怪你自己身为乩童他们上你的身你也不知道!”原来John也是一名乩童。

“老兄啊!我是乩童,但不象你这样professional的,我是part-time的,功力当然没有你好啦。。。。。” John有点难为情。

“所以,还要怪谁?难道怪他们啊?” 九纹龙指着窗外。

“呵呵。。。。。 sorry!”John忙赔个不是。

折腾了一晚,2359早一过,事情了结,上床睡觉。