these here are the tales of...

Belarus (2) Canada (7) China (2) creative (4) Czech (5) dance (4) design (1) Egypt (3) Estonia (3) family (10) festivals (2) health (6) Indonesia (1) inspiration (14) Japan (2) Korea (1) language (11) Lithuania (1) London (2) nature (24) philosophy (6) photos (8) politics (5) roadtrip (4) studies (8) sustainability (8) Taiwan (38) teaching (5) Thailand (9) Turkey (2) video (3) wisdom (3) workie (2) yummm (6)

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Year of Uni Wrap-Up

A few weeks away from starting my second year of the Chinese Language and Culture degree, I found this video of one of my last semester's final presentations -- and post it here because who doesn't like to watch home movies in languages they don't understand? ; )

Actually, I felt pretty critical watching it, like I could suddenly hear a glaring accent and all these other could-be-better things... I mean of course I don't sound like a native speaker yet. Maybe the fact that I'm picking up my substandard nuances means I'm improving.

In case you haven't seen them yet, some shots from the end of my school year, or first half of 2011.
first year uni wrap-up

I really can't believe it's the end of August 2011. That's less than a year and a half 'till the end of the world! I better make sure I'm enjoying the finest chocolate money can buy as often as possible.

Another typhoon on the way in... If it's not raining cats and dogs when we wake up, we're supposed to go on a hike out to some waterfalls with a bunch of fellow adventurers. Island weather - anything could happen! I hope clear skies are in the cards.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fire.. burnin'.. out here.. for the Ghoooooosts!

It's Ghost Month!!!! OOoooooooOOOh! SpoooOOOOooky!

The 7th month of the Lunar calendar is officially Ghost Month or 鬼月, when the doors of those other ethereal realms swing open and all the inmate ghosts are allowed vacation time, roaming freely as they wish. Since they can suck on your soul, possess you or maybe just muck up your finances, there is a looooooong list of precautions/taboos one is to follow if they're to avert certain doom:

- no buying, selling your house or moving
- no getting married
- no changing jobs
- no whistling, especially at night
- no going near water, especially at night
- no playing flute and wind bells at night
- no travelling
- no revealing addresses to ghosts, eg. publicizing location of events too early on

There is also an increase in both frequency and amount of rituals, such as offering food and incense, as well as burning hell bank notes, fireworks, and having parades with loud cacophonous music.

Here is a typical offering table and urn for burning ghost money, in front of our neighborhood restaurant: And here are some photos and a video of the purportedly mafia-run temple parades I happened upon during my camp days in Xinzhu (aka Hsinchu 新竹). The idea is to chase off the vagabond ghosts. Enjoy and remember, don't do anything rash like whistling until August 28th.