Monday, March 30, 2009

Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Grand Mosque), Abu Dhabi

We can see many mosques in my own country-Singapore. It has never been in my mind to visit a mosque as I thought non-muslims usually are not allowed to enter. However, my last trip in December 2008, we visited Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Adu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. The architecture is facinating and gorgeous. The spread of the mosque is amazing and indeed very impressive. It is the third largest mosque in the world and is named after Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Nahyan the founder and the first president of the United Arab Emirates who was buried at the mosque site after his death in year 2004. It is a pity that we did not get a chance to visit the interior of the mosque as you need to make a booking for a guided tour. It is definately a 'must see' attraction if you visit Abu Dhabi.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Fun Helper

My 16 months old toddler has become my laundry helper. This little one loves to mingle with the washing machine every day. He would open and close the washing machine door, or stuck his head inside the washing machine or press the control buttons. I have to stop his mischievous act every day and sometimes ended up with frustration when he continues to do it. So I decided to allocate a task for him by instructing him to take out all the washed laundry and pass it to me to hang on the cloth rack. He is so excited and delightful with his new task...haha..see the video below....little kids can be so amuse and cutes at times!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pray "Tian Gong" (拜天公) - The Hokkien's Vegetarian Style

The ninth day of the Lunar New Year is the birthday of the Jade Emperor ( called "Tien Gong" in hokkien). It used to be one of the most important events for the Hokkien community but turns quieter as the younger generation like us didn't bother much. We simple just follows our parent traditions when comes to this important event.

My mum used to pray the tian gong (in mandarin) in non-vegeterian style. However, after my grand mother passed away, she converted her tian gong" offering into vegeterian style. I am writing this to remind myself of the precedure to carry out offering for 'tian gong'.

The evening before the prayers at midnight, I will help my mum setting up the tables where the offerings will be placed. The table will be placed at the main entrance of our house with the sugar cane stalks tied to each side of the table leg. Followed by the brass joss sticks holders with a red ribbon tie onto it (Xiang Lu in mandarin) placing at the centre of the table and two brass candle holders consist of big red candles are bring placed at the side of the table. All of the brass holders had been polished for the Chinese New Year and this night. Then 3 cups of chinese tea and a bowl containing some red dates will be placed in fronting of the joss sticks holders.

The food offering include 5 types of fruits placed in a plate such as apples, oranges, banana, grapes & pears, as well as 12 types of vegetarian items all placed in a small bowl such as mushroom, fungus, vermicelli, tou kee, spinach, ang ku kueh, rice crackers, green bean cake, peanuts crackers etc. Others include mee suan, huat kueh, tien kuah (nian gao in mandarin), pink peach buns and pomelo. Each of the offerings actually means a form of good luck. Also, red round paper are placed on or around the food offerings to convey good wishes like luck, prosperous and success to the family. Prior the ceremony, all folded joss papers in shapes of ancient gold and silver ingots with different sizes will be placed underneath the table for offering to the god. One with bigger size is know as the Ti-Kong-Kim are folded in shape of gold ingots.

The ceremony started by lighting up the big red candles and three large joss sticks. Then the family members beginning from the elderly to the younger generation will pray toward the heaven with lighted joss sticks (3 each).

My mum will throw the kidney shape wooden blocks on the floors so called 'pua-puay' to see if the god had happily enjoyed his meal. If the god had given us the "green light", then we will proceed to burn the prayer paraphernalia which include joss sticks, kim jua (folded joss paper) and and the suger cane leaves. By then, it will be around 2am in the morning when we finished the prayer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coffee Republic

We usually go to Deira City Centre every friday not only to shop for our weekly grocery at Carrefour but also to visit Coffee Republic (CP) to enjoy a cup of cappuccino. The cappuccino produces by CP was really nice and great!

Well, kind of sad this time when I visited CP as almost half of the staffs were no longer working there. I was told that the company has transfered some staffs to Oman's branch due to financial crisis. These groups of nice people always will play and have fun with my baby. My baby really enjoys his fun times in CP. It seem so quiet now in CP as there is less laughters and voices. Wat a pity!
All the Best to you guys!