Imported traditions


Did I already mention that Kai can stand? Well, he can, among the many other things he seems to be picking up (literally and otherally) on a daily basis.

Before the New Year, we also received Naomi’s updated copy of her family register from Tokyo, which now includes Kai and myself (my name being recorded in Katakana because I’m the alien in the family). Kai also retains his mother’s surname in his birth records for Singapore and Japan.

Because we were officially 2/3rds Japanese, we decided on ozoni for the first meal of the year. It sounds simple enough to make, but we wanted to see if there were any variations on the dish, so we Youtubed it, and found this channel with an alarming title, called, “Cooking With Dog“, but our fears were unfounded because the dog just sits there doing nothing, and nothing gets done to it either.

We followed the instructions for ozoni, and I’m not allowed to make fun of Japanese-accented Engrish, so please, don’t laugh. (You can go an use the rubbertree if you need to pee).

But what’s really interesting was the fact that Japanese New Year follows the Gregorian calendar instead of the Oriental lunar calendar, and I found out, thanks to Wikipedia, that this was not always the case.

The Japanese celebrated their New Year’s the same time as the Chinese until the Meiji period, when Japan underwent a series of sweeping changes aimed at transforming her into a modern society (partly by abolishing the elite class).

So one of the things you eat at New Year’s is mochi – or sticky rice cakes, which are toasted before being boiled to a sticky mess in the ozoni. Wikipedia also has something to say about this:

Because of mochi’s extremely sticky texture, there is usually a small number of choking deaths around New Year in Japan, particularly amongst the elderly. The death toll is reported in newspapers in the days after New Year.



Forced to pay to watch crap

O$P$! If you don't pay, Jeanette Aw will come and Nyonya you to death!

For some reason, our national broadcaster finds the time to justify the collection of tv licence fees.

It makes me really angry. And don’t tell me the UK charges are higher. They have the BBC. We… OMG where do I start?

From Wikipedia:

Even though Singapore’s only television broadcaster, MediaCorp, is technically not a public broadcaster, Singaporeans with TVs in their households or TVs and radios in their vehicles are still required to acquire a television licence. However, advertising air-time remains high at around 15 minutes of advertising every hour

412 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 5

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The house where I lived immediately after I was born (it’s not as romantic as saying “the house where I was born in”, but oh well…) still stands, albeit renovated extensively.

I wrote about growing up there a few years ago, but thanks to Google Street View, I was able to check it out recently without driving there for a closer look. The granite gate pillars are the same as the ones from 1969-1976, though without the lettering “Lee’s Lodge”. I am going to go through my family photo albums for pictures.

I know not many people my age who grew up in Singapore would be able to find the places they grew up in still intact.

A few weeks ago, I thought it’d be a good idea to use Google Maps to identify the things about Singapore we’d fight to protect. Many people identified food items – and it becomes all the same, especially since your Katong Laksa’s sprouted branches on every corner of the island.

So I think it’d be really interesting if we were instead able to pin down on Google Maps the places we lived in when we were born – see if they’re still standing.

Give it a whirl – though I know Google Maps isn’t the easiest thing to edit. So if you’re stuck, leave me a message and I’ll see if I can help.

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