Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A Hindu Wedding

It was a Hindu wedding dinner held in a rather unorthodox manner: a Chinese dinner in the Grand Sea View banquet hall. But the rituals that preceded the dinner were anything but unorthodox. Having Indian friends for a large part of my life, I found it a humbling experience to witness a ceremony steeped in tradition and solemnity. The significance of some of the rituals escaped me, a manifestation of a lack of curiosity or interest in cultures other than your own. It was definitely a humbling thought.

The downside of the night was that my camera battery died on me although I made sure that I had it fully charged the day before. The photos were badly taken and I had to do considerable retouching to save most of them. I could not take further pictures of the sumptuous dinner that followed.

I would conservatively estimate each table to cost around RM 650 and there were 44 tables.

The elaborate wedding card

The lobby entrance to the banquet hall

Waiting for the guests to arrive

Entrance to the banquet hall

Haridas, the proud father of the bride

Ganesha, the elephant deity at the lobby

The kolam next to Lord Ganesha. Story has it that in the old days kolams were drawn in coarse rice flour to invite ants, birds and other small creatures to share in the food. No doubt a testimony to the harmonious co-existence of humankind and creatures

I was attracted to this trellis with tiny bells that was placed on both sides of the entrance to the banquet hall


On the right is my former teacher, Mr Indran

The elaborately decorated stage for the fire ceremony

A somewhat unusual main table set up in a semi circle

Bridesmaids? Waiting for the arrival of the bride and bridegroom

Mark Stephen Denye, the bridegroom and beside him the best man (?)

The bridegroom anxiously waiting for the bride to arrive

The ceremony:

A picture of the couple and some of the members of both families

Friday, 10 April 2009

A Pork Seller's Birthday Bash

A couple of nights ago, I attended a pork seller's birthday at Parit Yaani, a 'pekan', a village town close to Yong Peng. I don't exactly know him, but I tagged along at the invitation of two friends who were invited. They knew that I love to take pictures and so, I was asked to go along. According to them he is a pork seller in the Batu Pahat wet market, and in good times he disposed of 7 pigs a day, but since times are bad he could only sell 5 pigs a day. But his motto is the often repeated cliche "Don't worry, be happy". So he laid out a huge spread to feed and entertain his guests. There was a lot for food which I couldn't keep track of. With a free flow of beer, wine and liquor (for specific guests), and a karaoke session, the guests were set for an entertaining evening.

Food laid out in a long line of tables. Additional dining tables are laid out in the compound of his large house

Mee siam that goes with the curry chicken and mutton

Pork satay

A plentiful supply of beer, stout and soya bean drink. For the preferred guests there were wine and liquor

And a karaoke hired by the birthday boy to allow guests to exercise their vocal chords

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Country Living (7)

It was his birthday, but we didn't know about it; we were told merely to go up to his place to have a barbecue. We went to his orchard at about 4.30 pm; and there was already some food ready for us: curry farm chicken, fried mee hoon and mee, and of course plenty of fresh coconut palm wine that is to be mixed with Guinness or Royal Stout.

Setting up the music system at the half-completed gazebo so we could have music for the night

Beside the gazebo is an almost completed pond for kaloi. Beside it is the half-completed all important toilet

The open kitchen and dining area

Doing the pavement leading to the gazebo

The completed barbecue area

The birthday boy and some of his family members

His son slicing banana leaves for wrapping seafood in for grilling

Stingray meat, a popular fish for barbecue

Skewers for those who prefer to grill their seafood

The essential item, chili paste for grilling seafood wrapped in banana leaves and aluminium foil

Preparing prawns for the barbecue

Savoury prawns in chili paste

Preparing fresh water crabs

Cooked crabs

Cray fish, 'selar' fish, hot dogs, meat balls and sweet corn (not in the picture)

A leg of roasted lamb, bought from somewhere

Sliced lamb with black pepper sauce

It was altogether an enjoyable evening with plenty of seafood, coconut wine and Black Label whiskey to wash down all that seafood and mutton. And fresh air.