Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Moving Office

Sorry for the silence. I was busy moving office.

Now let me tell you something about moving an entire organisation from one location to another - it's a total bitch that takes up lots of time and energy. But Management always insist it has to be done for the progress of the company, for a more condusive working environment, for branding, blah, blah, blah ...

Moving office was also a crash course in PC hardware - we had to dismantle our PCs for the movers to pack. And we had to assemble it back on our own at the new office. For people like me who can never tell the difference between one cable to the next port, taking photos was the best option.

And just before we bid farewell to the old office, all staff were to place their phones in a common area - my cubicle. So my last memory of my cubicle looked like this:

And after all the boxes and stuff have been moved to the brand new building, unpacking was another bitch.

I plan to keep my brand new ergonomic chair wrapped in its plastic sheet for as long as I can. I wanna be like the Chinamen who never seem to remove the plastic sheets from the seats of their brand new car.

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Mystery of the Egyptian Cross and the Logan Memorial

I was gallivanting around Georgetown in Penang and saw this monument in front of the High Court on Lebuh Farquhar.

"Mahkamah Tinggi" is the Bahasa Malaysia word for "High Court"

It's called the Logan Memorial, named after James Richardson Logan, a Scottish lawyer who served in Penang in the 1840s. Here are 2 inscriptions on the monument about Logan.

Some work needs to be done on this inscription.

But that's not what this entry is about.

When I took a closer look at one of the statues on the monument I saw something mindboggling!

The statue is holding something that looks like an Egyptian Ankh !!!!!!!!!

An ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that means "eternal life".

It can be found in in almost every part of Egypt especially in the magnificent temples in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Karnak Temple in Luxor


Habu Temple in Valley of the Kings.


Temple of Hatshepsut in Valley of the Kings. Somebody must have applied blusher on this statue.

Habu Temple in Valley of the Kings. Can you spot all the ankhs on the front pillar?

So why is the Egyptian symbol of eternal life doing on an English oriented statue in Penang?

You may be thinking what's the big deal? One of my friends said that the person who designed the monument probably added the ankh for fun.

But I'm quite sure this is no coincidence. I'm convinced that there is a connection between the Egyptian ankh and James Richardson Logan.

So many questions went on in my head:
  1. Does the ankh symbolise something that has something to do with the law since the memorial is named after Logan who is a lawyer?
  2. What's the connection between Logan and the ankh? Was he an Egyptologist or someone with a huge interest in Egypt?
Suddenly I felt like Indiana Jones.

So I did some snooping around in cyberspace, and found this bit of information:

"E. A. Wallis Budge postulated that the symbol originated as the belt-buckle of the mother goddess Isis, an idea joined by Wolfhart Westendorf with the notion that both the ankh and the knot of Isis were used as ties on ceremonial girdles.

In their 2004 book The Quick and the Dead, Andrew Hunt Gordon and Calvin W. Schwabe speculated that the ankh, djed, and was symbols have a biological basis derived from ancient cattle culture (linked to the Egyptian belief that semen was created in the spine), thus: 
  • the Ankh, symbol of life, thoracic vertebra of a bull (seen in cross section)
  • the Djed, symbol of stability, base on sacrum of a bull's spine
  • the Was, symbol of power and dominion, a staff featuring the head and tail of the god Set, "great of strength"
Based on the key phrases I've highlighted in red above, take a look at the statue again:

Don't you think the ankh that the statue is holding looks like a thoracic vertebrae of a bull tied to a belt buckle? And the fact that the statue is holding it near her waist gives an indication that it's a girdle?

Therefore the statue must be Isis, a goddess in ancient Egyptian beliefs, which proves my guess that what she's holding is indeed the Egyptian ankh.

So from my observation of the ankh, Isis has now come into the picture. But why is Isis looking like a Mat Salleh (Caucasian) woman instead of an Egyptian goddess?

This mystery is getting more interesting ...

I searched further in cyberspace and it's mentioned that the worship of Isis spread throughout the Greco-Roman world after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt.

I gather that the people in the Greco-Roman world may have remodeled the original Egyptian goddess looking statues of Isis to look more Mat Salleh so that it would be easier for them to relate to her.

In the Egyptian Book of Death, Isis was also known as:
  • she who seeks justice for the poor people
  • she who seeks shelter for the weak people
  • she who seeks righteousness in her people
Since this Logan Memorial was built in honour of James Richardson Logan who is a Scottish lawyer, it would make sense to use the Mat Salleh statue version of Isis to symbolise the above 3 causes. After all, the law is about seeking justice and righteousness.

I am now convinced that the statue in the Logan Memorial is indeed the statue of Isis holding an ankh.

But who would imagine Isis, an Egyptian goddess and the ankh, an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character finding its way across the oceans and sands of time to the island of Penang.

Fascinating, isn't it?

The Logan Memorial made my trip to Penang as fascinating as my trip to Egypt.

 Note: The opinions in this blog entry is solely my own and has no connection with any existing report or findings.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Irritating Adverts in Female Magazine

When I bought the July issue of Female to my dismay there was this irritating advert sticking out from its sides (again!).

These adverts makes it difficult to hold the mag and difficult to turn the pages, especially if you're reading the mag while holding it up and not spread on a table. It's an advertising faux pas in the truest sense.

So this is what I did:

Without the irritating adverts my beloved mag is more reader friendly now :-)

Message to Female team: Adverts that stick out the sides of magazines makes it difficult for the reader. Please drop it.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Chinese Using Fingers to Eat

This photo was damn susah to take, ok ... must juggle camera with left hand while eating with right hand.

Whenever a Chinese eats with her fingers in public, you can be sure of getting many stares and comments.

The Malays and Indians will usually be impressed and encouraging, whilst the Chinese will usually give negative comments which pisses me off. Here are a few recent incidences when I used my fingers to eat:

1) I was using my fingers to whack rice, thick Indian curry and vegetables at a small shop opposite my office. A few Chinese bitches walked in and when they saw me, they whispered in Cantonese amongst themselves in a digusted tone, "Eee... ah... eating with fingers."

2) I was eating nasi briyani with fingers in my office cubicle. One of my Malay colleague walked pass me looking puzzled. She said she feels awkward seeing a Chinese using fingers to eat because she has never seen any Chinese eating with their fingers before! Apparently I'm the first!

3) At an office dinner, I was eating with my fingers. A Malay collague sitting beside me and using fork and spoon said rather embarassingly, "You Cina pun makan dengan tangan, saya pula guna sudu dan garpu." (Translation: "You're a Chinese but you eat with your fingers. I'm a Malay but yet I eat using fork and spoon")

Isn't it a shame there are many Malaysian Chinese who are not open towards other cultures? What is so wrong about using your fingers to eat, even if it's not part of your own culture?

Living in a multicultural and multiracial country like Malaysia, these close minded Malaysian Chinese needs to learn to experience the culture of their fellow Malaysians.  

In fact, wouldn't it be an advantage being able to eat using all possible ways - fork & spoon, fork & knife, chopsticks and even with the fingers?

I wonder whether the Malays and Indians make nasty comments whenever they see their own kind eat with chopsticks.

Let me tell you a few reasons why I use fingers to eat:

a) My dad was a Peranakan from Malacca and so we all ate with our fingers at home, with the exception of my mum who is pure Chinese. If you want to know the difference between a Peranakan and a Chinese, go Google it. Too long to explain lah.

b) Eating banana leaf rice or any other rice dishes like nasi beriyani, nasi tomato and nasi minyak tastes much better when eaten using fingers ;-)

c) If I use cutlery to eat at home or in the office, I would have to wash 'em after use and I don't want to pollute the waters with the washing liquid. So I'd rather use fingers whenever I can.

So the next time you see a Chinese gal eating with her fingers in public, don't make any negative comments cause the gal could be me, and then my finger prints are gonna end up on your face when I beat the crap out of you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...