Monday, March 22, 2010

Malaysians Are Multilingual ?

It is so often that when Malaysian come to have ice breaking introduction with Taiwanese or Chinese from mainland, the conversation will go like this :

TW/CN : Where are you from ?

MY : Malaysian

TW/CN : you speak 5 languages then ?

I came to realize that ever since my years in England that Malaysians are reputable as multilingual. And I realize how important it is for you to master a few different languages. Malaysian in general speaks 3 languages. We should be thankful that there is at least freedom for us to speak our mother tongue as well as few different dialects. As for me myself, I do have 5 languages under my belt. Foo Chow as my mother tongue, english, malay, mandarin and cantonese.  Knowing an extra language has always been an advantage for us especially when we are overseas. I may not realize the usage when I was little, I used to question the usage of learning Malay. I questioned how many country in this world that speak Malay. Now that I'm wise enough to operate my poor brain, I fully aware that you dare not freaking call yourself a Malaysian if you cannot speak the national language. 

I do have a feeling that my mother tongue is going to stop at my generation. I highly doubt my children is going to communicate in Foo Chow. My younger brother does not speak Foo Chow that fluent as he converse in Mandarin with my parents. This is a sound example that our mother tongue have been taken over by Mandarin and English. The next generation will be encouraged to learn Latin languages like Spanish, Italian even French. It is pretty much me myself to play the role of rotating our mother tongue down to my next generation.

May God Bless Our Mother Tongue.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Help Exchange WWOOFING @ Greymouth

I was delighted to start off my first real event in New Zealand with a homestay/help exchange in a lovely family @ Greymouth. Susan, an American who married Jeffrey, the Kiwi and had since settle down for 15 years in the west coast with a very adorable 11 years old young man, Navare. The couple spent a good whole year to built the house themselves with very little professional help. The house is such beautifully situated that you can see sunrise, sunset, scenery mountain and west coast from the living room as well as the master bedroom. You can even has a romantic glance of twinkle in the sky during starry night in their music room. Let alone the stars in the sky to be your companion to sleep.

Greymouth is the biggest town of the west coast with Grey river as the heart of the town. The town used to be the hub of gold mining business in New Zealand.

The weather in the west coast has not particularly win my favor. It has those typical old English gloomy weather lookalike. Gloomy and creepy.

At Susan's place you get to make your own bread. Chelsea the American girl is the best bread baker among us.

Then, you get to have fresh sandwiches for lunch. Fresh tomatoes, lettuces, apple cucumber from Susan's little green house. Life is so beautiful here.

The welcoming dinner. We learn to enjoy the nature taste of food. A perfect getaway from heavy seasoning Malaysian food.

Corned beef stew. Navare's favourite. It's a broth based on whole day cooking of carrots, potatoes, beans, white radish and of course the meat.

I make my first apple cucumber pickle here.

And my first lesson of gold mining from Jeffrey.Cheers. Your family has been a great host.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wild Foods Festival @ Hokitika New Zealand

Wild Foods Festival is one of those yearly event that the Kiwi party goers mad of. It carry the motto of eat if you dare and whole day party throughout the festival's weekend.

Hippies, backpackers, clubbers are all going to flood this small little town of the west coast, Hokitika. The festival is almost everything to the town whereby you will see businesses even street graffiti carries the name of the festival.

It costs NZ35 for getting your ass into the venue.

The entire westland goes wild. Hips of people are dressing up for the party.

Even the Na'vis of Avatar joined in to party.

And of course, food festival has always been a heaven to glutton like me. The work sandwich - a combo of meat pattie, bacon and ham. Bloody good !!

The highlight of the festival - eating a raw Huhu Grub (Just like our Sago Worm). Not really a big deal for Asian like me. But it does caught a lot of attention among the Kiwis though. Thanks Susan for paying a freaking NZ5 for me to swallow that little protein rich Huhu.

While this was the pickled version. Which taste like sweet peanut butter.

Whitebait tasting which keep me wondering what is so wild about this little fish eehh ?

The Whitebait sandwich which looks like small baby lizard with pan fried omelet.

Paua Fritter and chips. Paua is a Maori name to species of sea snails.

Grasshoppers sushi and baguettes.

 The hairy mussels of New Zealand. Fresh and muscular ^^ NZ6

Worm in Redbull. To boost the energy of those little worms of mine ??

The lion ball. @ NZ2 I don't think you will expect the meat from the king of all animal....will you ?

A steal @ NZ5. Hickory spare ribs.

The Maori feast. Hangi. Food been wrapped and cook under the soil for more than 10 hours. The result ?? hard over cooked plate full of #$*&. Perhaps this is just another festival conning.

Kava - a Fijian drink which have a spiritual status and believe to get people stone after a few high rise consumption. It taste like muddy water and makes my tongue numb.

And of course, party and dance were going on for three full days. Which brought the whole west coast of New Zealand into fiesta.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lantern Festival @ Christchurch

The New Zealanders were having their Lantern festival in favor of the Chap Goh May celebration. With the first station in Auckland on the exact day and Christchurch the week after.

The festival take place in lovely Victoria Garden Square. The Kiwis were giving their full support to the occasion with the square crowded with people of all ethnics.

Lanterns were set up surrounding almost every corner of the square. Its well represent the Chinese red as the symbol of wealth and prosperity.
There were performances from students of the University of Canterbury as well as artists from China. These acted as great eye opener for New Zealand on Chinese culture. 

Tai Chi performance from a local martial art center. Tai Chi and Chi Gong has become a popular recreation in New Zealand among the elderly.

A great opportunity to make quick cash for the Asians.

Of course, the Malaysians were there too. They were selling even Sarawak Laksa and lots of kuih. I didn't buy any of those as I'm still pretty much enjoy my Ham Sandwich and Western Salads. 

The event itself has been a great success in its sixth years. New Zealand seems to be a country which appreciate the culture of Immigrants or rather should I say they are well aware of the rise of China as a nation.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another Day In The Paradise...

My first job in the New Zealand was as a volunteer for a local basketball club. That earned me two free tickets to watch the first match of the Christchurch Cougars in New Zealand basketball league.

Just like any other seasonal country, New Zealand has great blue sky.

Sharp colourful flower which turn every photo you take into a wallpaper quality for your desktop.

The appreciation on the sense of art. The Gothic revival art center @ Christchurch which used to be a campus of University of Canterbury.

The bridge of remembrance.In the memories of Canterbury contribution during the World War 1.

Punting @ Avon River. An old Cambridge traditional which reform here in the pacific ocean.

 Christchurch Tramway, another form of transport for tourists to tour the town.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Makan Makan In Christchurch - New Zealand

Yummillicious bread loaf,wheat seed, wholegrain, raisin.....

Home cook bacon fried egg. Simple yet delicious.

I absolutely adore this roast meal set of pork and lamb. The meat goes well with the mint and apple sauce. The crispy pork skin is really orgasmic and flavourful.

The meal comes with roast potatoes, pumpkins and Kumara (The Maori name for sweet potato)

Beef Tepanyaki @ a lovely Japanese family run restaurant. 

 My Kimchi Pork Tepanyaki. The taste has been pretty much alter to suit the western. Japanese and Korean restaurants are more than any other cuisine.

 A German who sell sausage (Bratwurst)

And his extra long sausage....

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