Monday, April 17, 2006

easter reverberations

Maybe I no longer identify with Simon Peter as much as I used to.
Or I've grown in a different direction since then.

But what got me this Easter was an unnamed disciple in the Easter drama.
And it wasn't even anything much he did at first.
Just grabbed by one of the Roman guards and flung to the floor.
But the picture of this lanky young disciple shrinking back, as he was held at the collar with his face inches from the guard's, keeps surfacing in my head like a photo shot.
What would I do if I were him?
Would I even be that far ahead?
Or watching the One I love being whipped, from afar?

I've always had this fear that when persecution comes, I will not make it.
I don't think I've ever feared death, but I almost cower at the thought of pain.
What's to say that under fear of pain, I will not deny Jesus like Simon Peter?

But when I watched the drama for the fourth and last time, I saw something that told me, it'll all come together somehow.
The same disciple was grabbed by the Roman guard, because he was bent on getting to Jesus during that struggle down Via Dolorosa.
He could have easily been whipped anytime along that road, but I think that was the least of his concerns.
Several times, he sprints to slip through the guard escort and almost manages to reach Jesus, before he is yanked away.
And just when Jesus is inches away from the cross, in a final effort, he pushes aside the guards to finally touch Jesus and holds on to His hand until the guards drag him away.

This petrified looking disciple had his last words from Jesus.
Because love really does make bold.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

something to go with the banana, cheena and ah lian entry

This is the piece Vanessa Mae played during the Hong Kong handover in 1997. It's got all of happy, melancholic, light-hearted and stirring moments. My fave bit is somewhere near the end, just before the drums roll in to steal the show. Even now, this fusion piece still gets me with its brilliant arrangement and execution. Or at least, that's what it sounds like to my very untrained ears. Haha!

p.s. turn up the volume, it's ineffective otherwise.

Friday, April 7, 2006

name my ibook contest comes to an end

And the winner is Gracie with CHASHEW BAO!

Prepare the world for Shachew and her Chashew Bao.
Ooh la la yummy. :O

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

shuang xi

When I was much younger, it was considered uncool to be associated with anything cheena, or remotely linked to a Chinese background.
The 'in' kids in school were always the English-speaking bunch, especially the Eurasians and those who hung out with the Malays.
These were the ones who raved over Madonna and Depeche Mode and Bananarama and Duran Duran.
So they were laughed at in Chinese classes because they read with an ang moh accent.
Big deal.
It only made everyone else want to be like them more.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the cheena ppl who make your head spin with their Chinese idioms and proverbs and what-nots.
These are the ones who go ga-ga over The Little Tigers and the 4 Heavenly Kings and Sammi Cheng and Vivian Chow.
So they knew nothing about what was going on in Hollywood.
Big deal.
As long as they had their Qiong Yao novels, the world can come to a standstill for all they care.

Having a dad who hails from China, and a mum who taught me to appreciate reading in English, I found myself somewhere in the middle.
My Chinese gang thought I was too Westernized and my English-speaking friends constantly complained that I was too cheena.
And to add on to that, let's not forget that I converse with my cute granny in Hokkien.
I think it was confusing for people who were just getting to know me.
They just didn't know what to call me - Banana, Cheena or Ah Lian.

I would really like to say I am effectively bilingual, but I think my grasp of the Mandarin language is nowhere near my conversant level in English.
I don't think I own a single Chinese book, with the exception of my English-Chinese Bible, and my bed-time reading remains of the English variety.
I have, however, learnt to appreciate and love the beautiful Chinese language.
It only takes a few well-chosen Chinese words to make me swoon, as I realised from watching Huan Zhu Ge Ge! Hahaha.

Walking contradiction? Maybe.

But I've come to terms with it.
I am a hybrid of my environment.
So I am influenced by the Western in my dressing, but I remain staunchly Asian in my values and thoughts.
That's cool for me.
Besides, now that China is starting to open up, it's getting more hip to return to our Chinese roots.
I'm sure everyone who failed Chinese and laughed about it then, is regretting it now. Ha!
If nothing else, it's fun to have friends from all camps of life! :)
Maybe I should pick up Bahasa Indo and Korean, and brush up on my Cantonese too eh? :)