Keeping Ancient Traditions Alive

Spending the New Year abroad is always a treat, no matter what. Some more interesting than the others, I admit. This trip to Myanmar fell right smack on New Year— in Bagan sans the usual fireworks.

new-year-dinner

It was celebrated via a cultural program, which began with a puppet show during dinner.

puppet-show

It was similar but, in my opinion, better than the Mandalay performance.

guests-playing-with-puppets

Since the 15th century, puppet shows were used to entertain the Burmese royalties. Skillfully carved puppets that look like human substitutes were made to move and dance gracefully on stage thanks to the skills of the puppeteer.

The night progressed to a few more exhibits before the countdown. No fireworks, just good old fashion fun.

Chin-Lone

We were asked to move to the garden to watch a group of men kicking a rattan ball – demonstrating what I know as Sepak Takraw.

Chine-Lone-2.jpg

It is known in Myanmar as “Chin Lone” and is considered more of an art (although it is the country’s national sport), as there aren’t any opposing teams but they rather play as one team. Men, women, and children often play together.

elephant.jpg

 

Followed by an elephant dance. Similar to that of the Chinese’s Lion dance, two men together dance in rhythm.   And the most bizarre show I’ve witnessed so far — a snake dance that involved an adult and a kid, which had me worried all throughout. I mean, he is just a kid after all.

snake-dance.jpg

 

 

Yes, it was a unique “end of the year” celebration, so to speak.  But we had fun.

A belated Chinese New Year greetings to all. Here’s to the Year of the Dog.

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‘Twas A Swell 2011

I’m hoping that it being the holiday season, you wouldn’t notice that I haven’t blogged much.  I had wanted to finish my series on Taiwan but I guess the busyness of the season got the better of me.  That said, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as I had with family in chilly Hong Kong doing nothing but eat, sleep and a bit of shopping on the side – couldn’t resist the after Christmas sale.

Credits: Traci Brennan of Prairie Woman Designs and Jan Crowley of Queen of Quirks.

I’m saying hello to 2012 with thanks for a swell year that was and new adventure wishes for the to come.  Have an awesome 2012 everyone!!

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.  ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

A Good Start

I got this for Christmas and had it for breakfast today.  I’ve been eating way too much this last few weeks and the parties still ain’t over.  There are still those “let’s just meet up next year” because our schedules wouldn’t match.  So anyway, I promised to eat healthier as much as I can and because I stayed home today, I had this for brunch.

Not exactly the healthiest kind of granola—there’s white chocolate mixed with the oats, chopped macadamia nuts, raisins and craisins (mine) and loads of honey, that’s why.  But I love it.  With fresh milk (low-fat), a bowl of this homemade granola filled me up till dinnertime.  Seriously.  Methinks I’m off to a  good start.  I hope you’re having a good 1st day of the year too.   🙂

2010

Credits: Daniela Austen’s In the Meadow Quickpage, LivEdesign’s Best day brush set, LivEdesign’s Sing 4 Spring Button Accent 1 & 2, LivEdesign’s Twill2 delight accent

…has been one amazing year.  There were lots of travels within and outside the country, a bit of adventure and exploration with lots of eating in between.  I hope it was a blast for you too.  I look forward to sharing with you more adventure of all sorts this 2011.  Fresh from a very wet vacation, I wish you all a blessed and grace-filled new year!