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Burping All The Way To Timbaktu

Create: 10/09/2016 - 20:34
Ayer Oren Bodoh at Simpang Pertang

At the small town of Simpang Pertang in Negeri Sembilan. The junction town leads to either Titi or Simpang Durian. The latter is a small town that bears the last signs of civilization before a long, lonely drive to Karak in Pahang. The deserted road is rarely used unless Karak Highway is cut off by a major accident or landslide.

Pleasantly surprised to to find out I have a friend originating from the pit stop town of Simpang Durian. It is the frontier town before heading to remote Telemong or Malaysia's own Timbaktu.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Procession In Jinjang - Part 2

Create: 10/06/2016 - 22:55
Femaile medium pierced

The problem with educating kids is that no college or university graduate wants to make a career out of some horrific bondage practice that makes one become like a slab of meat hooked and hung in a cold room.

Mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with spears is now practised mainly in Thailand Phuket's Chinese community celebration of the festival. The bizarre ritual attracts a large number of tourists.

Portrait Of The Chief

Create: 10/06/2016 - 21:23
Portrait Of The Chief

I don't know who this man is but he seemed to be the chief among the mediums at the Jinjang Temple. He can speak Thai and Hokkien. He reminded the RELA and temple security personnel that photographers must be given close access.

For that, I reward him with an intimate portrait which I hope to present him later as a print. He is probably a former 'taikor' (chieftain of the gangs).

I know some of you feel squeamish about the violent but voluntary rituals. Conversion to black and white hides the blood.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f4, 1/80 sec.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Procession In Jinjang - Part 3.

Create: 10/06/2016 - 19:49
Walking With Latuk Kong

I have seen many strange things in my life but it was still startling to see a Malay or Muslim-looking guy taking part in a Taoist parade. Baffled, I walked alongside him and started a conversation.

Me: Selamat berpesta, bro. (Happy festival, bro)

Guy: Sama sama (likewise).

Me: Boleh tanya, hang in mewakili dewa yang mana satu? (if I may ask dude, which deity do you represent?)

Guy: You bukan Melayu? Saya pun. (You not Malay? Me neither).

Me: Kanasai (like shit in Hokkien).

Guy: Saya Latuk Kong, bro [after which he gave me a fist bump]

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Procession In Jinjang - Part 4

Create: 10/06/2016 - 19:35
Nine Emperor Gods Festival Parade In Jinjang

It is currently almost unknown and under-promoted. I asked the cycling man about the significance of pedaling the tricycle. He told me has no idea. Lol.

Besides talking to strangers, I spent most of my time adjusting the flash strength as the white attire worn by devotees can over-expose or burn out easily.

One thing I learned is that the standard zoom (24 to 70mm) lens and tiny HVL-F20M flash were sufficient for the parade. Felt like jettisoning the redundant heavy prime lenses and powerful HVL-F60M flash I brought along but my car was too far away.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Procession In Jinjang - Part 1

Create: 10/05/2016 - 22:05

The roads here are a maze so I had no idea of the route the parade will cover. Heck. I don't even know where my car was parked but I did bread crumb my tracks with a pic on my phone camera at every junction or turn during the walk.

Jinjang was a Chinese village notorious for gangsterism and triads many years ago. At one time, no taxis will send passengers in for fear of ambush by the gangs.

Chwee Kueh

Create: 08/01/2015 - 20:36
Chui Ker, Chwee Kueh or Woon Chai Koh

Chui Ker (Hokkien) or Woon Chai Koh (in Cantonese) is rice flour cake steamed in metal cups or bowls. The rice pudding is then topped up with 'Chai Por'.

The toppings of Chai Por is preserved and fried radish (lobak) chopped into bits with sesame oil and soy sauce added. Chili sauce is optional.

It is takeaway or street food that should be eaten on the wax paper it comes wrapped in.

The exact recipe varies. Some use shallots or turnip, some add dried shrimps (heh bi) while others soak the toppings in a special oil concoction.

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