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Showing posts from October 4, 2009

Making a Living on Monkey Bars

I spent almost half an hour watching these modern spidermen travelling from one point to another point of the bamboo scaffolding. They were actually building it which extended to the seventh floor at the time I took the pictures.Watching them doing the stunt is a feast to the eyes. Enjoy yourselves!

Woody Heritage

The post of yesterday naturally brings us to the admire the bamboo art form in this city once more. Previously, we dug into the story behind bamboo scaffoldings in some sequential posts.One of the way to see a city is by walking around it, especially true for a packed city like Hong Kong. When you stroll in the street here, the sighting of bamboo structures cannot be missed. They may be in the form of a ladder, platform, scaffold, wall and whatnots.Even better is if you run into the workers building something with the bamboo sticks. Otherwise, watching them climbing from one corner to another on the bamboo structure is simply entertaining, if I can put it this way.The bamboo structures are flexible, seemingly flimsy, but unyieding to strong winds. They in a way reflect an traditional aspect of the Chinese culture: modesty. This nature is still obvious in some common conversations in which the Chinese dutifully refuses to be credited for a job well done. Maybe it also has a bearing on …

Building a Bamboo Stage

The Sheng Gong opera is not the only occasion when a bamboo-built stage is needed.  A lot many traditional Chinese folk festivals feature similar Chinese operas staged in a bamboo structure.The bamboo-built stage is an art form that originates from years of yore.  It was lucky of us that Chris got a chance to photograph the builders making a stage and shared the photos with us.
I dug into my photos and managed to find two photos I took in a museum.   The photos show the completed bamboo structure before being covered by galvanized zinc sheets.

For Spooks' Sake

^A two-storey papier-mache effigy of Dai ShiAll activities on the Ghost Festival celebration relate to one thing, pleasing the ghosts. One of the celebration rituals is to invite the ghosts from the Hell among which Dai Shi (literally, Big Guy) holds that highest status.
^Sheng Po, or literally, the Deity Gown.The Big GuySome folklore has it that Dai Shi is the constable of the inferno guarding the ghosts while others tell that he is the incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddhist deity to save the sufferers. Either way, no one at the rituals will take time shilly-shallying in bribing the bigwigs of the spiritual world to keep oneself out of the hellish way on earth. That is exactly why Dai Shi makes a guest appearance on the celebration, taking burnt and food offerings.< Another effigy, this time a ghostly horse.
^A heavily decorated pailouProbably the ghosts have retained some human nature of curiosity. The decorated pailou at the celebration site, as we saw yesterday, actually ser…

Oriental Ghost Festival

As the West has Halloween, the Chinese has a day to mark the opening of the realms of Heaven, Hell and the living. It is the Yu Lan (literally, Bowl Orchid) Festival, also known as Chung Yuan (literally, Middle Beginning) Festival, the Ghost Festival or the Chinese Halloween. The festival is on the 15th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar. It is a month traditionally taken as the Ghost Month among the Chinese, when ghosts and spirits of all kinds take a break from the Hell and roam among us mortalsUnlike the day of yore, festive celebrations on the day of the Ghost Festival now take on a much lesser scale in Hong Kong. The Ghost Festival first appealed to the coolies working as stevedores who were mostly from Shawtao, Luk Fung and Hoi Fung counties. For this reason, bigger whoop-de-doos for the spooks are still seen in some older areas, like the docks on western Hong Kong and the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate II (LNII). LNII was featured in our special series months ago which you …

Seriously, Compact Camera?

Under the spotlight today is Samsung's new compact camera…er, actually, mobile phone codenamed W880.  Besides the functions a present-day cell phone is supposed to have, it sports a 12MP CCD sensor with a 3x optical zoom lens.  And look, it has a mode dial on it with M mode!  Samsung is really the rebel sabotaging the line between the two. The image quality is of a decent standard, not what you would wish to replace a true camera with for sure.  But with some imagination, the phone makers can come closer in a year or two.  A sample image at the widest focal length is here, and the longest here.  The close-up sample is here.W880 can record videos in MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, DivX and  Xvid formats.  The highest resolution is 1280 x 720 at 30 fps, which is at HD resolution. A detailed preview and more samples have been posted by GSM Arena.