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05 Feb 2015: Tragic Orphans February 5, 2015 – Posted in: Newsletters

Extensively researched and engagingly written, a welcome addition to the much neglected topic of the history of Indian communities in Malaya/Malaysia … an insight into the lives and challenges faced by them. – Gauri Krishnan, National Heritage Board, Singapore In view of recent trends and directions structuring the current political scenario in the country, a book which openly discusses the plight of the Indian community in Malaysia, imperfections and all, is presumed to be nothing…

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29 Jan 2015: Unsung Patriot – Posted in: Newsletters

Leaders must be capable of bringing a clear-sighted and intelligent approach to life’s problems, of making just decisions based on available data, of approaching people sympathetically and in a friendly fashion, and of integrity, honesty and uprightness in their own personal lives. – Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee The truism that history is written from the standpoint of the victors often results in heroes being pushed to the sidelines. Their personalities and contributions become increasingly…

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23 Jan 2015: The Mutes in the Sun – Posted in: Newsletters

“Written with a sense of realism, and laden with elements of local colour in the setting, speech, social structure and custom – Lee’s story is truly Malaysian” So much has been said of Lee Kok Liang’s writings, during his productive years and after his passing in 1992, that there are few stones left unturned. Still, his works continue to haunt us and we can’t help but keep revisiting them time and again. One such work is…

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16 Jan 2015: Nonya Flavours – Posted in: Newsletters

An excellent collection of Penang Nonya recipes shared among a circle of nonya ladies. Many of the dishes are photographed in beautiful, original nyonyaware to recreate their past splendours. At a casual glance, there is little to set nonya (or nyonya) cuisine apart from other local offerings  – the red and brown tinged sauces, the soups, noodles and whiff of spices. But the similarity ends there. Food connoisseurs will tell you thatnonya cuisine alone is broadly…

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11 Jan 2015: Cultural Mapping guide and resource kit – Posted in: Newsletters

Designed for individuals & organisations interested in innovative and challenging methods of community-based arts and culture education, and understanding the history of places, communities and their continuity. Cultural mapping is probably an unfamiliar term for those not actively involved in urban and suburban heritage preservation. In a nutshell, ‘cultural mapping’ refers to activities designed to safeguard cultural diversity using a wide range of research techniques and tools to “map” tangible and intangible cultural assets within…

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01 Jan 2015: Prose & Poetry – a Ghulam Sarwar trio January 15, 2015 – Posted in: Newsletters

The writer’s grasp of local nuances & a sensitive appreciation of diverse cultures and cultural manifestations are subtly coaxed into these stories. Dr. Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof’s affinity with local literature, the performing arts and theatre allows him the rare gift of combining multiple genres into a seamless tale, such as the stories of Tok Dalang and Mak Yong Dancer, both of which are included in the anthologyTok Dalang and Stories of other Malaysians. Vignettes of Malaysian…

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27 Dec 2014: Moving Pictures – The Rickshaw Art of Bangladesh December 29, 2014 – Posted in: Newsletters

Beautifully painted and brilliantly decorated, rickshaws are a defining feature of Dhaka; turning the City of Mosques into a city of rickshaws. Hello reader, Rickshaws and their counterparts are a common sight in some Asian countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Although the flat terrain of Bangladesh is suitable for bicycles, people prefer to commute by cycle rickshaws, a mode of public transport which swiftly replaced the horse drawn carriage after the Partition. Auto…

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11 Dec 2014: Malay Weddings Don’t Cost $50 – Posted in: Newsletters

An incomparable and easy-to-read guide to an assortment of Malay customs, culture and heritage, from the common to the unusual. Hello reader, There is arguably no transgression more embarrassing than cultural ignorance, and none more clichéd than stereotyping. Years of co-existing as a harmonious unit is no guarantee that one will not commit the mother of all social blunders. One surefire way of avoiding such gaffes is through education, which brings us to our book-of-the-week –…

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20 Nov 2014: Twee & the Mysterious Howl November 24, 2014 – Posted in: Newsletters

If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important. – Roald Dahl Children’s literature can be divided into two broad genres – a saccharine world of rainbows and happy endings or a darker world filled with otherworldly beings and surreal towns. For every Perrault and Andersen tale there exists an offbeat counterpart found in works by the likes of Roald Dahl and Chris Van Allsburg. Closer to home,…

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24 Oct 2014: The White Crocodile’s Tale November 10, 2014 – Posted in: Newsletters

His memoirs revealed how he interacted with the students … it gives us a tantalising view of how the early citizens of our country were educated. This was a story that had to be written, if not for the ex-pupils of the Penang Free School, then for the people whose lives were touched by its former headmaster John Michael Broome Hughes (Mike to his family and friends). “He was”, his son John recalls, “a friend…

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