A peak at our culture

This post has been long overdue. It is the continuation of this one.

These are the traditional equipments used in paddy planting. We can hardly find these equioments nowadays,let alone see them in use. The functions has been replaced by modern equipment that are more efficient in terms of time and energy. Nevertheless, I consider myself very lucky because I have had several hand-on experience on them way back when I was a little kid (in primary school, if not mistaken) and my parents were still planting paddy.

The name of these unique equipments :-

L-R : "kikizapan" (literally translated as 'fan' or 'kipas' in Malay) and "ragus" (sorry, I don't know the translation for this one in English and Malay...hehe..) .

The "laadu" (again, I don't have the translation for this one) and "su'ud" (literally translated as "comb" or "sikat"). The ragus, laadu, and su'ud will need the help of a buffalo and a skilled farmer to function well.

The "inai-inai" (aunties) enjoying their friend's performance of the "kudian" (accordion). Seldom can we hear this type of instrument these days...well, except at Gaya Street every Sunday. There are a band of talented blind street musicians playing the accordion besides the guitar, harmonica and tamborines. And there can sing a variety of songs too. :)

The 2nd photo was the photo session showing lovely Kadazan ladies of different ages clad in traditional costume, "boludu" or "morudu". Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the costume got its name "boludu" from the type of the black cloth it was made of, which is velvet or "kain baldu" in Malay. "Why only got photo session for the ladies only?" Well, there were photo session for the guys too but I mistakenly deleted it from my camera. No discrimination involved ya...hehe...

There were two different "magagung" (beating of the 'gongs') sessions held. The first session was performed by the guys team and the second by the ladies. Bulih tahan kama tu inai-inai magagung..jangan main-main ah... :)

The "magagung" and Sumazau dance session.

Old cloth with the "koi'ing" (small bells) attached. These cloth were used by the "Bobohizan" (KadazanDusun high-priestess) during the "monogit (blessing/cleansing)" ceromony. I haven't seen this ceremony in a long time. I remember having seen it shown on TV few years back during the live telecast of the Tadau Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) celebration at the KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA) building on 30 May.

In the first photo are other common accessories, the himpogot , tatangkong and pada'ang (sword).The second photo shows the siga (headgear) on the gandang (drum/gendang) besides the baa'di. Some antic brass pots and other decoratives in the third photo.

A close-up of the brass candle-holder and miniature "bakid" (2nd photo) and a few wooden canes with head carves to resemble a snake's head and a "suling" (flute/seruling) among them. The container which the canes are put inside is called "topukon" or "tajau", a large pot made of clay.
And these are random photos of Vanessa...having a closer look at the full set of "tagong" and "kulintangan". As a kid, nothing escapes her curiosity. She wants to look closer and touch everything new to her. :)

And this last photo is of a giant tortoise shell. The tortoise was my Uncle's pet. It died a few years ago and Uncle decided to keep its shell in memory of the tortoise. It makes a unique wall decoration, don't you think so? Okay, that round-up the tour to our KadazanDusun's traditional lifestyle and culture. Its not a comprehensive one but enough to give some info. :)

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It’s been a while since my last post. But I am still alive. Sorry guys for the lack of update and not visiting your blog lately. One of reason of my absence is the interruption of internet services in our office. Yeah, I am using the company’s facilities but not to the extent of abusing the office hour ya…*wink* Oh, I do have Streamyx at home but my 'ancient' desktop rosak la pula…arrgh!

Let’s see, there are too many issues happening in our company these few months. Re-structuring is one of the main issues. The top management has resort to drastic cut-down in operation cost…forcing our main office and branches to move to the other subsidiary office. To make things worse, the management only gives one week notice to the staffs about the relocation. *headache* This re-structuring thingy has also caused a number of staffs losing their job especially the contract staffs like moi. Yes, I am going to be one of the thousands of unemployed in the country in two more weeks. I am having mix feelings on being unemployed.

Though Hubby said he is okay with it, I am still worried that it will burden Hubby for he will have to bear all the monthly installments of loans, utilities and the household expenses. On the other hand, another part of me can hardly wait for my last day of work! I found myself wishing that the last day will come quicker than it should be. I think I am excited to be a full time homemaker.

It’s quite a coincidence, all these happenings…my maid just went back to Indonesia for good and I am going to be out of job soon. This is sort of like a perfect opportunity for me to try being a full time homemaker! But seriously, am I really ready to become one? Well, I will never find out if I don’t give it a try, right? *smile* So, I am taking it one day at a time. Hopefully, everything will be fine.

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Of TV and food...

If you get a chance, would you like to be on TV? Well, I do. I don’t mean like being an actress or model or something…but just to be seen nationwide on TV would be enough. I’m not that desperate, okay. I am just curious. How would it feel to see myself on TV? Would I look different? Yeah...those sorts of things…hehe…

My wish would have came true last month if only I comply to RTM’s #1 rule of ‘Strictly no showing of legs”. I blew-up the chance of a lifetime by wearing a knee-length skirt that day. I could have worn long pants on that day if only I’ve known earlier of such a chance. Nobody to blame but myself..hehe… I didn’t ask further when Cousin A told us that there will be a group of West Malaysian coming during the gathering. I should have asked who they were… Oh, the prohibition also applies on the guys. Hehe...kesian la angkol-angkol / kazen mazen lelaki yang pakai seluar pendek…mau pigi magagung pun tida boleh. Punah harapan diorang mau masuk TV.

I only found out about them being RTM TV1 crew for their magazine-style program called Panorama. Uncle B (Mom’s big bro) house has been chosen by as the location for the shooting of a short documentary on our Kadazan Dusun traditional food and culture. There was no exact date on when this particular episode will be aired but according to the director, give or take, 3 months after the day of shooting. That means the episode will be scheduled to air sometime in July.

Okay, I hardly watch the shows on TV1. Why? Let’s just say that the shows on other channels are more interesting. (No offends). But for this particular episode, I’ll make an exemption. I am excited on the idea of watching familiar faces, people I know personally on TV.

These are some of our traditional food/dish that I have taken that day. Some of them are
rarely served nowadays.

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Outing at the beach

Vanessa has been pestering about playing with her new toy (a kite), since her dad presented it to her a week ago. It was an ‘ole-ole’ (souvenir) hubby brought back from his month long work in Terengganu. The little girl was fascinated with the bright colours of the kite, shaped like a fish.

Hubby’s around. The weather’s terrific. A perfect day to spend quality time at Tanjung Aru Beach. So off we went to the beach last Saturday. The trip was supposed to happen on the Easter Sunday but something came up that we had to postpone it. Nasib baik my little girl tida merajukhehe

We purposely opted to go to the Third Beach as it was less crowded there. Easier to fly the kite without the worry of bumping to other people. For those who are not familiar with Tanjung Aru Beach, the beach is divided into three main sections, the First Beach (near Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort), Second Beach (the main beach where restaurants and food stalls are located) and the Third Beach.

This part of the beach is a bit secluded but accessible by car. Obviously, the bumpy road is not a problem since it has its fair share of visitors, families as well as bride & groom-to-be. There were two couples doing their wedding photoshoots that day. We stayed until the sunset was over. It has been a while since I last watch the sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach. The sight is as beautiful as ever. :) It is always a pleasure to watch the sun disappears below the horizon.

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Haven’t been blogging lately…

Hello, people! :) I am still alive and kicking! I haven’t updated my blog and visited yours for days. I am sorry my friends…jangan la marah atau kecil hati ye…I will visit you soon. *wink*

Last Monday, April 5th, Vanessa started her playschool. Since she is less manja with Hubby, we came to a mutual agreement that Hubby will accompany her on her first day. According to Hubby, it took Vanessa a few minutes to warm up with the teachers and the other kids. When I sneaked into her school half an hour later, Vanessa has already joined in the fun. Happily singing nursery rhymes and playing with her new friends. :) As advised by the teachers, Hubby and I left the school.

I called the school an hour later and was informed by her teacher that Vanessa cried for a few minutes when she realized that her dad was no longer there. But after they pujuk her, she stopped crying and resume her activities with her friends *relief* Hehe… We were worried that Vanessa might throw tantrums and we would have to stay with her through the day. Jadi sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga, Hubby took the day off.

Vanessa is still adjusting to her new routine of waking up early in the morning and wearing a uniform. She still cries when we drop her off every morning but so far, she seems to enjoy going to school. “Siok pigi sikul oh… ada nyanyi-nyanyi.…(o)gumu kawan (School’s fun…got singing…a lot of friends )” was her answer when asked about her day. Hopefully, school will continue to be fun for her. :)

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A new journey begins …

Earlier on, I have read Alv blog about how long we spend our life schooling . Now, here I am blogging about (play)school. :) Yup, Vanessa is going to start schooling next Monday. I have enrolled her into Play School 1 in SuauSindak. Oh, I am so excited for her. (Err, I don’t remember being excited about my first day in school…hahaha…) Anyway, I hope Vanessa will be happy at SuauSindak.

We chose Taska SuauSindak not only because of its strategic location (it’s along the road we use to go to work/home and near to my office), but also it offers Kadazan language lesson besides Malay and English. We really want her to be able to speak and understand our mother tongue properly. Nowadays majority of our young generation barely understand the Kadazan language, let alone speaks them fluently. *sigh* Sad but that’s the ugly truth. To me, it’s a loss if we could not speak/understand our mother tongue. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it is the only Taska that has Kadazan language lesson. At least, in Penampang area la.

Although SuauSindak has been our #1 choice right from the start, I visited two other Taska, Taska L and Taska T. Taska L is colourfully decorated, clean and equipped with proper safety measures but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there’s something wrong with it. *sigh* I don’t how to describe it but to me, the place is just not right. Nevertheless, I took their brochure all the same and move on to the other one. Good thing that it is only a block away.

Though Taska T is not as colourfully as the previous, but the moment I walked in its compound, I felt at ease and comfortable. The place is clean and I saw a few assistants entertaining the kids. The owner was one friendly lady. From her, I found out that some of the kids at her place were former kids of Taska L. They were transferred to her place for various reasons such as lack of activities and the food they served. She looks sincere in sharing this info with me. I don’t think that she was just trying to woo me in sending my kid over. :) If we haven’t set our heart with SuauSindak, I would gladly settle with Taska T.

Nevertheless, I am glad that I made the effort to visit Taska L and Taska T. :)

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In the midst of the heavy rain ...

After 3 months drought, it finally rained yesterday. The heavy downpour was much awaited by many, not only us human but also the plants and animals. My cats and dogs were smiling from ear to ear before they curled up in tight-ball positions for their afternoon nap. Hehe..just joking! They didn’t smile la but I’m sure they were happy too..hahaha… Oh, I was on leave yesterday, that’s how I got to witness their happy faces. :)

I took the leave to bring Mom to Klinik Kesihatan Luyang (KKL) for her eye-checking. :) No need to go to QEH anymore. No complaining about the bad service in KKL...hehe. The whole process was super-quick. From registration to consultation, it only took us 2 hours. The waiting area was quite comfortable and there were not many patients around. Even Vanessa was very cooperative that day. She happily belted out a few of her favourite nursery rhymes while waiting for her grandma. :) Free entertainment for the people in the waiting area. The only bad thing I have to say is the insufficient parking space in KKL.

For those who had been there knows exactly how difficult it was to get a parking space in KKL compound. I think I saw a sign that says only Lot 1 to Lot 10 is for public use. The rest are for staffs. The parking lots for public are always occupied. If you found one vacant, it must be your lucky day! Hmm…apparently yesterday was not my luck day; I had to look for a parking space at the nearby Heritage Plaza shoplot which is on the opposite side of the road.

After dropping off my Mom and Vanessa (yup, my little girl tagged along too), I went to park my car there. Good thing that there were plenty of parking spaces available. Having parked there, I had to cross the road and walk a good 100m to KKL. Well, it’s not that far but the heavy rain and the traffic made it difficult. The rain had created ankle-high puddles of water along the road. Each time a car drive by, the water will splash on some poor pedestrian. In this case, that poor pedestrian was me. Some considerate drivers slowed down their car when they drove pass but some didn’t bother. Or was it because of the rain that they couldn’t see someone with an umbrella walking at the road side??? *sigh* By the time I reach KKL, my jeans was soaked up to the thigh.

It was still raining when everything was done with Mom’s check-up though not as heavy as it was earlier. As I need to get the car, I had asked Mom and Vanessa to wait outside the Klinik. “Mau ikut mummy bah. (I want to follow mummy.)” I almost fainted when Vanessa said that. It was not easy to walk with one hand holding an umbrella while carrying a 13kg toddler on one hip. After some reasoning and persuasion, to my relief, Vanessa cancelled her demand and waited with Mom while I went to get the car. Phew!

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Who wants to be Borneo Top Blogger?

You guys have probably heard about this contest but I’ve only found out about it from the newspaper yesterday. And I’m sharing it here again just in case ada yang termiss….hehe

The contest is organized by BorneoColours.com. The award is to recognize outstanding bloggers from the island of Borneo. Therefore the contest is open to all bloggers from Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan, Brunei and Kalimantan. The early process is on going now but there are still time.

For more info, hop on to BorneoColurs.com. :)

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Another baby when?

Now that Vanessa is nearly 2 ½ years old, a lot of people, friends and family alike, have been asking us when we’re going to have another baby. “Don’t you want to give Vanessa a sister or brother to play with?” ; “You don’t even have to buy new baby bedding set or baby clothes, just reuse Vanessa’s old ones.” It is only normal for them to come up with this question/remark, especially the elderly relatives. So, I don’t really mind them asking. :)

Okay, to answer the question. Yes, we do want another baby. We are trying but so far, no luck yet. :) Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from browsing around for baby items like baby blankets, high chairs, strollers, toys, room décor, to name a few. :) At DesignerBaby.com you can find designer brands of baby furniture, bedding and decor minus the designer price tag! Designer brand with its stylish superiority and enduring quality at an affordable price? Yes. No kidding! If I were to become a first-time mom, I would have gone for this fantastic deal... hehe…

Well, since I am not and we already have most of the necessary items, we won’t be buying as many things as the first time when baby #2 come along. It’ll be such a waste to not reuse our older children’s things since they are still in pretty good condition. The baby crib bedding set I got during Vanessa’s baby shower is still good. So are the strollers and most of her clothes, mitten, booties and toys. When I look at the pile of her outgrown clothes and toys, it brings back fond memories. It’s amazing how fast time has gone. :)

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Today's breakfast

By now, I’m sure you all have had your breakfast. Don’t tell me that you skipped breakfast ya. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast will not help us lose weight; but it can get us irritable, restless and tired.

Hmm...what did you have for breakfast today? This is what I had. A piece of char kuey from my favourite stall and a mug of black Nescafe. The char kuey cost RM1.00 a piece. It has been for few years but recently I noticed that the length had been slightly reduced. Why? Price hike in the ingredients. No need to elaborate further la. You guys are smart and can figure it out on your own. :)

Okay, the stall is located outside the vegetable market in Donggongon town. On the sidewalk between the vegetable market and pork market to be exact. Well, the char kuey is not the only thing that the tauke nyong are selling. She also sells buns (butter, tausa, etc), nasi lemak, fried noodles, newspaper and magazines. But the best seller would be the crispy char kuey. Some char kuey are too salty but here it is just ngam ngam. Normally, by 9am, the char kuey are already sold-out. :)

Some of us may prefer to have our char kueykahwin” (married) but I always had mine plain. Char kueykahwin” is made by cutting the char kuey into half and spread with kaya paste on one side and Planta (margarine) on the other half. Then, they were put back together again and so, they were “married”. :)

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Cheap eyeglasses

Prescription eyeglasses don’t have to cost a fortune anymore. You can get cheap eyeglasses online. One place I know of is Zenni Optical.com. Being the #1 online Rx glasses store, Zenni offers a wide selection of eyeglasses. Well, they may not be designer glasses but if you are simply looking for a decent pair then why not?

Zenni Optical takes considerable pride in being able to bring to all a very high quality product of great durability, safety and comfort at truly reasonable and affordable prices. This is the place to find the lowest price progressive glasses. Zenni are able to offer them at such low price because they have their own factories thus no middlemen and no retail overhead involved.

Since I have never bought from Zenni before, I do not have any personal experience to share. However, I know of one satisfied customer. :) You should read
Eric’s review of Zenni Optical.

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The best Monday

For months, I have been dying to get my hands on the latest Dan Brown’s book, The Lost Symbol. I know it has been long available in major bookstores in KK but being in hardcover, I couldn’t afford to buy one. RM99.90 is a big sum to me. I have to ‘suffer’ until it’s available in small-print paperback... :(

But little did I know that my ‘suffering’ was about to end. During lunch, my heart was itching to go the Penampang Library. And…Yay! I couldn’t be happier with my visit. My ‘suffering’ ended TODAY. There on the “Returned Book” shelf was a copy of the book! Yup, you bet. The moment I found it, I grabbed it off the shelf and borrowed it pronto…hehehe….

I was so happy to find the book. I can hardly contain my happiness. I was smiling from ear to ear all the way back to the office. All the stress of Monday was soon forgotten.

Today is by far, the best Monday I ever had. :)

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What was that?

I went to an Aunt house few weeks ago. It’s been a while since my last visit. I was waiting for her to open the door when I caught a glimpse of something protruding from under the cracked pavement of her frontyard. At first, I didn’t really pay attention to it. Then a few minutes later, I saw it moved. Whoa..I wasted no time asking Aunt about it.

I thought she’ll be surprised but I was wrong. She confirmed that there is indeed something living in the ground under the crack. It’s a small monitor lizard (biawak). Well, I was really surprise because I didn’t expect to see one in an urban residential area. Kalau di kampung lain cerita la… :) Good thing that I was not standing near the crack or else, I’d scream like crazy and terrify the whole neighbourhood.. LOL…I keep my distance from anything that belongs in the lizard family, the harmless gecko included…

Right, back to the main topic. According to Aunty, they only realize its existence only a few months ago. That was after her mother passed away few months earlier. Well, maybe it has been there all the while but didn’t make frequent appearance until then. She mentioned about it to her friends and they advised her to treat ‘lizzy’ in good manners. Not to harm it, not to chase it away or something like that. They said, ‘lizzy’ may bring her and family good luck. Some even suggest that it could be the reincarnation of her deceased mother.

Though Aunty is not really a believer in superstitious stuff but she gladly follows their advice. “We (as in her and family) don’t mind having it around. It’s not like it’ll harm you or anything,” she said. Yeah, right. *shudder* Obviously, she and her kids have no fear of this creature. Hehehe…Aunty, next time I come for a visit, I’ll make sure the ground is clear before stepping out of the car. I don’t want to harm ‘lizzy’ maa…*wink*

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Chilled treats

In view of the scorching hot weather, I bet most of us would love to stay indoor as much as possible. Because my house is not equipped with air-conditioner we have to rely on the fans. However, the ceiling fan, although switched on to the max, it is still very hot inside the house. We had to resort to additional help from the standing fan as well. Yup, that’s how hot it is. The maximum temperature outside can go as high as 33 Celsius… don’t play-play ah!

As if the hot weather wasn’t enough torture, there was power failure in our area yesterday afternoon. Huh! What a coincidence?! Vanessa was napping then and I was looking forward to some quiet “mommy time” watching TV, going online or reading a book when suddenly all the electrical appliances went dead! Dang! It certainly killed-off my mood to read. Instead I went to fan the little sleeping beauty, manually. Well, it didn’t take long before the she woke-up. I had expected that. Who can possibly sleep in that kinda heat? Thank God she was not cranky. :)

No TV to watch. No mood to play. Luckily, I had fixed something chilly and yummy earlier on. I have made a bowl of macaroni and fruits salad and the most important thing, it’s chilled to perfection. Just the right thing to have in any hot day!
Nasib baik sempat ambik gambar sebelum habis kena makan...hehe...

It’s so easy to make. All you need are macaroni, canned cocktail fruits or fresh fruits (I combined both), mayonnaise and low-fat plain yogurt. Cook the macaroni for 8-10 minutes, add some sugar and a pinch of salt. Drained the macaroni. Add in the mayo, yogurt and fruits. Mix well all ingredients and chilled before serving. Anybody can make this yummy food… :) We all loved it except Vanessa. She dislikes the sourish taste of the mayo and yogurt.

Knowing that, I had made her these. I named them Crystal-Clear Treasure. Hahaha…don’t mind the fancy name. These cute little ‘treasures’ are made of white agar-agar (jelly) powder, cocktail fruits and sugar. Very appealing, don't you think? My little girl loves them. :)

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