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Archive for the tag “beliefs”

The significance of Chinese Ang Pow

ImageChinese New Year is just around the corner. What’s on your mind – Ba Gua, Cookie or Ang Pow? Speaking of Ang Pow, it is a red packet containing an amount of money customarily given to unmarried individuals on Chinese New Year. It is also given in Chinese weddings and birthdays. It has beautiful designs and decorations on it that represent wealth and prosperity; it is also believed to have the power to exorcise evil spirits. The two very popular characters that are commonly displayed on the face of the Ang Pow are The God of Longevity and God of Wealth.

If you ask me, I love Ang Pow very much – who doesn’t? Giving money in auspicious occasions is rather simple, practical and convenient. You don’t even have to go out looking for a gift. Instead, Ang Pow is given with a handsome amount of money which any recipient would appreciate! Ang Pow envelope comes in red, a colour that represents good luck and prosperity. The decorations displayed on an Ang pow are always different from one another. Ang Pow designers would always come out with creative and meaningful designs that are capable of delivering significant messages to an Ang Pow recipient. Shapes like flowering lotuses and legendary creatures such as the dragon and phoenix are commonly used as Ang Pow decorations.

As mentioned earlier, the colour red represents wealth, good luck and prosperity. Do not give money in white envelope during auspicious occasions – unless you are going to a funeral. I can’t wait to receive an Ang Pow this year. What about you? Happy Chinese New Year to all who are celebrating it this year. Have a great one!


The shrine of Nangnak, Thailand

The tale of  “Mae Naak Phra Khanong” is so popular in Thailand and is also widely known in some Asian countries. It is believed that little children must always obey whatever they are asked to do or else Nangnak will come and eat their brains with chilli sauce which is really creepy! A shrine dedicated to her was made and people came to pay respect at the shrine of Nangnak.

Did you know that movies and television dramas about “Mae Naak Phra Khanong” were actually made countless time? A movie called “Nang Nak” was then made popular that managed to capture foreign audiences. The movie tells a story about a married couple  who used to live in the Phra Khanong area of Bangkok over one hundred years ago. The young lovers were very loving and spent most of their time together until one day, Nai Maak had to go out to join the army.

While he was fighting for his lives in his battle, Nang Nak gave birth to their baby. Sadly, both baby and mother died at child birth. Nai Maak had no idea about his wife’s death and he came back to meet his beloved wife. He was happy to see her but, what he didn’t know was the fact that his wife was already dead, so basically he was looking and living with a ghost. The villagers tried to tell him about the truth, but Nai Maak was too stubborn to even listen. He denied everything said by the villagers, including his own best friend.

However, he then found out that denials will only lead to sadness which is the part you must not miss! If you have not watched the movie, do watch it because the movie is really good.

Nobody knows whether the story of Nang Nak is actually true as there is no records about it. However, this tale has become one of the local beliefs; they believe in the power of her spirit.

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Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany



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