Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hari Raya

This is a long weekend, with tomorrow being a public holiday to celebrate 'Hari Raya', the end of a month of fasting for Muslim Malays. It is also the beginning of the lead-up to the Hindu Festival of Deepavali (see below).

Steve's colleague gave us a beautiful box of mooncakes (photos shown), symbolic of a very important Chinese autumn festival, also about this time. They are an acquired taste, but a small piece goes down nicely with a cup of tea!

Rhian has enjoyed his first week at the hostel, despite needing a few good 'sleep-ins' today and yesterday. Jess is getting ready for more exams starting in 10 days. Steve has loads of marking. Celia is socialising every spare minute. Deanie's just had her hair returned to its natural colour. Adam is getting a wee bit more adventurous in the pool. I've had two sessions at the gym this week!!!

We are working on making a big decision in the next week or so, regarding our plans for next year. Very frustrating, but just need a bit more information from some key people. Ciao....

Hari Raya

This is one of the three major festivals in the region, and Hari Raya Puasa literally means ‘the festival marking the end of a period of fasting.’ The festival follows a month of fasting, and the day begins with prayers in the mosque for men, and visits to the cemeteries to pay respects to departed family members, followed by a large meal. This meal usually consists of rendang, ketupat, sambal goreng (fried chilli paste) and serunding (shredded coconut fried with spices).

Deepavali (October/November)This is the Festival of Lights, celebrated by the Hindus. It marks the triumph of good over evil, and is celebrated during the new moon of the seventh month of the Hindu calendar. Rows of oil lamps are lit to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, and a range of symbolic foods is served.

Mooncakes are Chinese pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival is for lunar worship and moon watching; moon cakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy on this occasion. Mooncakes are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival, one of the three most important Chinese festivals.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rhian leaves for the hostel

Today Rhian leaves to spend a full term at the National Junior College School Hostel. He will come home for the weekends though!
Every year group has a term at the hostel, and this term is JH1 (Junior High 1). All Rhian's friends will be there, and there will be a camp and lots of activities built into the time there - so from that point of view it should be a very interesting opportunity.
But look at the daily schedule!!!!
6.30 am - Breakfast
7.30 am - Off to school assembly
School Day
6 pm - Dinner
8 - 10 pm: Study Prep
10 pm - Roll Call and Supper
11.30 pm onward - Lights out!!! Poor Rhian......

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gareth and Caroline

Last weekend we attended a 'renewal of vows' ceremony for Steve's colleague, Gareth, and his wife Caroline. They are an English couple, really fun, and it was a lovely day to be a part of.
Jess and Deanie got to do bridesmaid duties, Celia carried the bouquet in front, and Steve accompanied on the piano accordian.
It was a very special occasion - complete with champagne and yummy food - hosted by friends at their condominium.