Angpow Story - Drums

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 5:13 AM ~

I have been sharing some of my favorite angpow pieces on an angpow collectors group in Facebook and some members have been telling me to continue sharing my memorable stories and so I thought, why not write it down, that way, our kiddos can read about it when they grow up next time, eh?

For those of you who are not familiar or never heard of the words 'Angpow' (also known as 'ang pau', 'ang pao', 'angpau'), here is a quick definition:

Angpow = Red Packet (filled with cash inside) given during festivals

So for today's angpow story, it comes from this piece of lovely angpow:

Angpow Story

Take a look at the picture of the man playing the big drum on the bottom left part of the angpow. I remembered one of my earliest encounter with lion dance troop at very close up (like 2-3 feet away) was during my school holiday time at my late mum's hometown.

During CNY, there will be a group of lion dance troop that will go from house to house to perform. They will do all the dance in front of each house's altar (my late popo was a Buddhist) and plucking and peeling the lettuce or orange and then taking away the angpow.

It was during the peeling process that was so thrilling as the lion dance was lying down still and quiet (with drums sound softly tapping behind mimicking your surprise heartbeat). I remembered few occassions where my cousins and I would be touching the lion dance costume and the head and was curious and excited at the same time.

One time, my cousins and I even tried to play the drum using tin can but was told by someone not to ever do that as there was a belief that whoever other than those in the lion dance troop who play the drums wrongly, is kinda like mocking the spirit of the lion or whatever (can't remember) and can even incur wrath and bring death to your ownself. I can't recall clearly what other details on this but needless to say, we stopped drumming for fear of dying and incurring the wrath of whatever/whoever...

 

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Angpow Story - Lantern

~ Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 5:53 AM ~

I have been sharing some of my favorite angpow pieces on an angpow collectors group in Facebook and some members have been telling me to continue sharing my memorable stories and so I thought, why not write it down, that way, our kiddos can read about it when they grow up next time, eh?

For those of you who are not familiar or never heard of the words 'Angpow' (also known as 'ang pau', 'ang pao', 'angpau'), here is a quick definition:

Angpow = Red Packet (filled with cash inside) given during festivals

So for today's angpow story, it comes from this piece of lovely angpow:

Angpow Story

A while back, a member of the angpow FB group I joined posted this tiny close up shot and asked us to guess where is the angpow from.

Angpow Story

Immediately after looking at that image of the little girl holding a red lantern walking, I know which angpow it was from as I had the same piece in my collection as well. I kept it as it reminded me of a childhood memory of mine, happened somewhere between the age of 8-10.

One year during Lantern festival, I was back in my kampung during school holidays and during the night, my cousins and I decided to play some games at the roadside.

Yup, the tar road smacked right in front of my late popo's (aka my late grandmother's) house. Well, to be honest, there's not many cars at that time anyway (I think it was about 10-11pm). A bunch of us (around 8-10 of us) played some games like we would be sitting in a circle formation, then one person will walk behind the circle and quietly dropped off a hanky while those sitting on the ground will sing some songs or something, can't remember, but this game is like the musical chair..

So anyway, after the songs ended, those sitting must immediately checked behind to see whether they have the hanky. If yes, he or she must quickly get up and chase the person who dropped the hanky.

Anyway, just want to share a childhood game of mine before I get to the main point of why the little girl holding lantern becomes the topic of my storytime today.

After a few rounds of the musical-sit-on-the-tar-road-sneakily-drop-a-hanky-behind-someone-and-pray-you-don't-get-bang-by-a-car-at-night games, we decided the night is still young, hey we were still young, you only live once you know, so a cousin suggested we light up our paper lanterns and walked around the kampung.

 

At night.

10-11pm.

Just us kids between 8-10 years old.

No adults.

 

And hey, we were young, none the wiser so we excitedly lit up our paper lanterns with candles and started our adventures. It was all fine, we were chatting and laughing and we even made it to about 100m further down the road where the whole stretch of road was REALLY dark.

In fact, total darkness.

Yet, we soldiered on because kids know no fear.

Until someone cleverly mentioned the word 'ghost'.

That's when we felt the chills. And scared ourselves shitless with own phobias and fears. Needless to say, ALL of us turned around and bolted straight back to our late popo's home. As if the last person left behind will be terrorised by a ghost or something.

Paper lanterns burnt (because sudden u-turn causing candles to topple and burn the lanterns), slippers fell out (panicked you know) and adrenaline rush and making it out alive hahahaha...

Such a silly experience but yes, memorable still. None of us dared to repeat the same stunt since even though the only ghosts there is was on our own head lol...


** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Angpow Story - Batik

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 5:37 AM ~

I have been sharing some of my favorite angpow pieces on an angpow collectors group in Facebook and some members have been telling me to continue sharing my memorable stories and so I thought, why not write it down, that way, our kiddos can read about it when they grow up next time, eh?

For those of you who are not familiar or never heard of the words 'Angpow' (also known as 'ang pau', 'ang pao', 'angpau'), here is a quick definition:

Angpow = Red Packet (filled with cash inside) given during festivals

So for today's angpow story, it comes from some pieces of lovely angpow or sampul raya in our national language since I'm using one for today's story:

Angpow Story

 

Today's story revolved around this batik design angpows. I like all things batik related. During high school days, there were some Arts lessons which revolved around batik stuff. That was where I learned how to use the batik tools, the tjantings, this little metal pen thingy where you pour the hot wax into the little cup on top and it comes out through the little spout at the end of the tjanting. The batik cloth stapled tightly to the wooden frame (I remembered the torturous times to unstaple the cloth out arghh...), the process of mixing the dyes.

 

The steady hands needed during the process...

The focused eyes as you point and bring your design to life on the batik cloth...

The overwhelming wax smell that you have to endure...

The horror when you realised you missed the wax line somewhere and the dye went over and mixed up or overlapped with previous dye...

The excitement when you finished your batik painting...

The torture wait for it to dry...

The further torture to soak the cloth in some solution for hours to preserve its colors...

The neverending torture in waiting for the cloth to be further processed in order to remove the wax and final rinsing...

The sigh of relief when finally you see your finished batik painting and you realised.. 'That was done by me?!'

 

Angpow Story

When I went to college, I did a part-time job as a sales promoter in a souvenir shop. The first thing that brings back memories to me is of course, the batik products being sold in the souvenir shop. Scarves, pareo, sarungs, handkerchiefs, wall painting, postcards, bags, purses, all sorts of batik stuff you can imagine. I was happy seeing that and even happier to be selling and promoting it to the tourists that came by the shop.

My ex-boss even went a step further by providing unique wrapping paper services. What he did was he bought lots and lots of batik printing wrapping paper (similar to the design and quality of the sampul raya in this picture) and he cut it out to different sizes, DIY and glue into different sizes paper gift bags so that the items that customer bought can be individually placed into the unique gift bags.

I love the idea, though the process of making them was tiring as well. I do love the compliments poured by customers on how the souvenirs they bought is individually placed into each paper bags, the extra thoughts that went into making their souvenirs special.

So, yeah, whenever I see batik related stuff, these memories will surface back, bringing smiles to my face :)


** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.