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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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31 Oct 2014: Reaching Out, Touching Lives November 10, 2014 – Posted in: Newsletters

The award recipients have shown what can be accomplished when we have a vision. They are all examples of courage, wisdom and action. The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull to honour and support people “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”, in fields like environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace. Because the RLA was founded indirectly as…

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24 Oct 2014: The White Crocodile’s Tale – 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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13 Oct 2014: Handmade in India – Posted in: Newsletters

Handmade in India unravels a tapestry of the knowledge and skills of generations of India’s craftspeople in traditional and contemporary settings. UNESCO defines traditional craftsmanship as perhaps the most tangible manifestation of intangible cultural heritage. The Convention acknowledges that it is not just the skills and knowledge involved in craftsmanship that are important, but also the continuation of passing skills and knowledge onto others, particularly within the same communities. Handmade in India is a celebration…

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03 Oct 2014: Concepts of space in traditional Indian architecture – Posted in: Newsletters

Architect and academician Yatin Pandya helps us understand the generic principles of space organization that render so many historical Indian buildings timeless. What sets traditional Indian architecture apart from other forms involves an abstract concept of what is known as kinesthetics, or “the spatial experiences derived through narratives of the dynamic perceptions of time, space and existence.” It’s certainly an intriguing subject, even if it sounds very formidable to all but the most architecturally-informed. Rest…

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25 Sept 2014: Areca Book’s new outlet – Posted in: Newsletters

Hello reader and welcome to Areca Books @ The Star Pitt Street Where books meet art, culture, heritage and more The Star Pitt St, Penang’s new hub for culture, arts and heritage opened on 6 September 2014. Housed on the ground floor where the printing plant used to be is the new Areca Books outlet and The Penang Story gallery. A space for talks and exhibitions occupies the first floor while the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra…

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17 July 2014: One Man’s Will November 6, 2014 – Posted in: Newsletters

We have heard the cries for freedom before … to want freedom is a natural tendency, but acquiring real freedom is not easy — Dato’ Onn Jaafar In a nutshell, the name Dato’ Onn Jaafar is indelibly linked to the creation of Malaysia’s present ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation, formed to oppose the British-dominated Malayan Union.  As the years passed, Onn became increasingly disillusioned with UMNO’s race-based policies and attempted to open the party…

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26 June 2014: Gedung Kuning & The Mango Tree – Posted in: Newsletters

As the past grows evermore remote, one once again remembers the places where one played as a child. Nothing could be more devastating than losing one’s home, even for a noble cause. Even worse is when the stories and life experiences cultivated through generations is consigned to the doldrums of human memory. Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood and The Mango Tree are the collected memoirs of Hidayah Amin, who grew up in a historical landmark in…

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