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30 July 2016: The Memories of Dr. Wu Lien-teh – Plague Fighter September 5, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow For as long as anyone can remember, the history of medicine has enthralled and inspired many with stories about its heroes, their work, their achievements and failures, and their sacrifices and courage. Some personalities may appear a little less prominent than others, but their contributions to the…

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23 July 2016: Street Art Penang Style – Posted in: Newsletters

l came to live in Penang in 2011 and quickly discovered its vibrant mixture of wall murals, steel sculptures, and Indian kolams. Art, it seemed, was everywhere. Some of this artwork, l soon learned, was officially commissioned, but much was wild or perhaps more accurately, an unauthorised expression of life and free spirits. – Mike Gibby Years of unsympathetic development and inappropriate makeovers may have left George Town a pale reminder of its former glory,…

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16 July 2016: The Peasant Robbers of Kedah – Posted in: Newsletters

Stories of bandits and their legends have an endless fascination for many people all over the world. Bandits are seen as romantic figures, or as free spirits leading adventurous lives. They are the subjects of songs, poetry, paintings and films. – Cheah Boon Kheng Our book-of-the week, Cheah Boon Kheng’s The Peasant Robbers of Kedah 1900-1929: Historical & Folk Perceptionsis a fascinating account of banditry and the society where it flourished. It all began with…

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09 July 2016: The Memoirs and Memorials of Jacques de Coutre July 11, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

Scholars and teachers will welcome this translation of the travels of Jacques de Coutre in Southeast Asia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Informative and entertaining…richly illustrated and extensively annotated, it will be a valuable resource not merely for specialists, but for all those anxious to bring the past to life in the classroom. – Barbara Andaya, University of Hawaii Jacques de Coutre was a Flemish gem trader who spent nearly a decade…

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02 July 2016: Limbang Rebellion – Posted in: Newsletters

Limbang Rebellion is a great story, beautifully told. The events drew remarkable qualities of bravery, devotion to duty, friendship and loyalty and saw acts of both individual and collective courage and heroism. The book highlights true heroes such as police personnel and ordinary people who did extraordinary things to protect and save others in grave danger. Limbang Rebellion: 7 Days in December 1962 is the stuff of high drama. Charged with intrigue, heroism, courage, suspense,…

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25 June 2016: The Malay Archipelago & Syair Lampung Karam Revisited June 27, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

…van Wyhe’s annotated edition of The Malay Archipelago offers both interesting material for the general reader and a valuable research aid that will serve Wallace scholars for decades to come. – Dr. Will Abberley The Krakatau poem is also a testament to human dignity and courage: brave survivors save lives, strangers care for orphans, and food and money are provided for refugees traveling to Batavia. – Stephen Joyce, Asian Review Featured this week are much…

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18 June 2016: Perniagaan Haji di Pulau Pinang dan Dokumentasi Sultan Kedah – Posted in: Newsletters

The hajj trade flourished from the 19th century to the 1970s in Lebuh Acheh, George Town, transforming the enclave into a hive of entrepreneurial opportunities for the Malay-Muslims, Chinese and Indians. The correspondences of Sultan Abdul Hamid sheds light on the socio-economic affairs of Kedah, which involved the participation of Chinese investors from Penang and trade relations with Siam and Britain. Our featured book this week comprises two award-winning Malay monographs in one slim volume:…

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12 June 2016: Phoenix Rising – Narratives in Nyonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements June 13, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

“Nyonya beadwork provides snapshots of the changes in society and culture as the ideas, attitudes, and aspirations of the producers and consumers of beadwork were distilled into these intricately worked items.” Phoenix Rising: Narratives in Nyonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements is an eloquent, well-researched and gorgeously illustrated book by Hwei-Fe’n Cheah. Like a richly painted triptych, the writer describes significant aspects of Nyonya beadwork in three sections: its social role, its development through time…

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04 June 2016: The Jewelry of Southeast Asia June 6, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

Lavish colour illustrations…For collectors of Asian jewellery as well as contemporary jewellery designers seeking inspiration, there is everything. – Jeweller Because of the way it’s sometimes presented, in a pedantic and dry retelling of things past, history is often perceived as a stuffy subject for many people. A good teacher or a well written book can, however, make all the difference, and turn history into an entertaining and engaging topic. Our featured book, The Jewelry…

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28 May 2016: Pearly’s Nyonya Pantry – Posted in: Newsletters

Penang Nyonya cuisine is famous for its Thai, Malay and lndian influences. To me, this is the true beauty of Penang and Nyonya food, how a vibrant community made up of different cultures and ethnic groups built trust, became friends and eventually created great food that continues to be enjoyed today. – Pearly Kee French novelist Marcel Proust once claimed, in one of his books, that a person’s olfaction possessed the power of unleashing a…

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