Friday, June 26, 2015

Farewell: Chinese Pastor at Mt Albert Baptist Church.

Sunday 5th July, Albert Ng leaves after 4 years in Mt Albert Baptist church.

National volunteers week

The Color Red [Friday My Town Shoot Out]

Get involved in promoting volunteering in New Zealand during National Volunteer Week.

VNZ puts together resources to help you promote events and activities starting the 3rd Sunday of June annually.

National Volunteer Week is from 21-27 June 2015. I have been involved in teaching ESOL, English speakers of other Languages for about nine years. I take a day off to volunteer teaching them.There have been others who have volunteered for a long time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

John Chan Hiu Fei's family photo.

This photo was sourced by the Publisher WW Norton & Company to be in their Book: Biology Now.

The Chan Family 1970 January

Back Row:
Dr Margaret Kit Yok , Ann Kit Suet, Charles Chok

 Kwong, Rose Kit Fon, Elizabeth Kit Pen.

Front Row:

Helen Kit Mei, Mother, (Kong Wah Kiew, Mary)Grace
Kit Mui, Grand Pa (Chan Kee Seng), Father (John

 Chan Hiu Fei 陳鹞飛/陈鹞飞), Dr Henry Chok Khuang,

 Joseph Chan Chok Hiu.

Every now and then, I find friends from yester-year. I repost the photos for them.

New Zealand Chinese of days gone by.

Went to an exhibition and felt very much belonged.  The Chinese ladies wore Cheong Sum. I need to lose weight before I can fit into one. My Mum used to wear them.

Wellington and my books

The is the Icon of New Zealand, The Beehive , the parliament of New Zealand. All five of my books are circulated in the National Library of New Zealand.

Alexander Turnbull Library - National Library of New Zealand
Alexander Turnbull Library - National Library of New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

304 miles
Library info Add to favorites
National Library of New Zealand
National Library of New Zealand - Wellington Service Centre
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ABC Wednesday, letter W for war time food.

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War 2. I like to show you the food my people had to eat during the Japanese Occupation.

We are not exactly excited about pumpkin because we don't eat pumpkin. Many friends don't understand why.

You see, Mum and Dad grew up as kids and teenagers during the Second World War when the Japanese plundered Borneo. Import of rice and other food ceased, and the poor people depended on root vegetables and pumpkins to survive. Dad said they ate so much of the boiled thing without any salt or oil. They were so scared of them. Hence, they never served it to us.

When I was in primary school, Dad would drive us pass a small river where there were barges laden with pumpkins. Dad told me that the pumpkins were for pigs. This "Pumpkins were for pigs" were so ingrained in me that though I am past half a century, I would still not touch pumpkin.

This is why I don't eat pumpkins no matter how delicious it is. 

I do not like tapioca very much. Manihot esculenta, with common names cassava (/kəˈsɑːvə/), 

It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.[8]  wiki

Taro or yam is a difficult plant to process and make your hands very itchy.

Kumara/sweet potatoes, both leaves and tuber can be eaten.

Zongzi/chung Duan Wu Jie

The one used for ba zhang should be the big leaf bamboo called Indocalamus tessellatus
This is a post of Tradition and nostalgia. The Zhungzi or zhung in my Cantonese dialect or commonly known in Singapore and Malaysia as Bak Zhang is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. Through the years in South East Asia, it has morphed into the Nyonya Zhung where the fragrant pandan leaf has been used to impart it's fragrance.

We ate this every year on the Lunar fifth of May, and we helped Mum wrap this difficult dumpling. I can make it but I am a lazy person, so I have not made it as an adult.

The History behind this dumpling and the Dragon boat festival associated with is Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu jumped to the sea when he was frustrated that the king did not listen to his advice. After his death, the people realized that the king had made a great error by not listening to him. By then it was too late, they threw rice into the sea so that the fish would not eat his body. The banging of drums on the dragon boats was to scare the fish away.

These days you can buy the tetrahedral shaped zhungzi throughout the year. My traditional Cantonese ones are rectangular shape like a pillow. My two older sisters Rose and Elizabeth can make them. Alas for me, too many decades away from home and combined with laziness, this tradition has died with me. I think I can make the tetrahedral shape of my mother in law, if I tried. They use a special kind of bamboo leaf which my mum grew in her garden. Most people buy from imported from China. The Vietnamese call this Elephant bamboo.

I took the photo of the bamboo clump when I arrived on the Gold Coast. It was the same one Mum had grown in Borneo. Here where her body lay, they also grown the bamboo which we used to make Zhungzi. We used with without having to boil them as you would have to with the imported ones. The leaves were soft and subtle.

My friend and ex school mate has written about this festival. You may like to read about it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

ABC WEdnesday: Letter V for valor; brave: a valiant Dad the actor

Dad the actor.
After the war, to rebuild the war torn town, the town fathers put on a play to fundraise.

My dad acted as a spy for the Japanese in the play. We asked him why he accepted the role of a villian. He said, someone has to do it.

In real life, he was more than qualify to do that role. He knew the ways of the Japanese soldiers. First, at 17, he did his Romusha to built the road to the Airport. Then for many years, he worked as a Japanese civilian worker. Going to the villagers to tell the villagers how much rice they had to contribute to the Emperor of Japan. When harvesting time came, again he had to accompany  the Japanese soldiers to collect the rice. It was a dangerous job, a villager's revolt to ambush the Japanese could mean that he could be mistaken to be a Japanese as well.

Woe to the villager whose field did not produce enough rice.

Dad wasn't a villian, he had  valor, he was  brave and  a valiant.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mt Albert Baptist Church: Chinese Congregation lunch.華人團契 2

 Mr. Jing giving his testimony.
 special guests Dr Merv & Adrienne Coates, International Connections with Lisa

Mrs. Jing speaking

華人團契 We had lunch this afternoon. Brother Xi Jing and his wife gave a touching testimony. We had special guests Dr Merv & Adrienne Coates, and some new students from China, and Prinka from Nepal.