Saturday, 13 February 2010

Happy Valentines New Year

Traditionally Chinese count their dates using the lunisolar calender which is based on the cycles of the Sun and the Moon as opposed to the Gregorian calender widely used in the West. This is why Chinese New Year (and many other Asian festivals) falls on different date each year of the Western calender. By chance this year's CNY came in at the same time as Valentines Day. So if you're Chinese and got yourself a date you'll be getting a double treat of red packets and Valentines gifts. But regardless there are loadsa other stuffs to look forward to like all the yummy food, fireworks, lion/dragon dance and more yummy food.

If anyone's reading the BBC Ronin wishes you a lovely Valentines Day and Gung Hei Fat Choi (Gong Xi Fa Cai for you Mandarin people)!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Feather Duster Fury

Now available in different colours

To most people a feather duster is no more than just a household cleaning tool, but for us growing up in a Chinese family mentioning the feather duster will always bring back some very 'painful' memories. Usually the ones that are used consist of a thin bamboo stick, about two feet long which half it is covered with long feathers. Chinese parents have cleverly (or cruelly) discovered more than one use for it; whilst the feathered part is for sweeping dusts, the handle is often used to lash out at their naughty kids, or just taking it out on their kids after losing their gambling bets (just kidding). The funny thing is you'll never see them do any dusting with it. It's more like a secret weapon disguise as a fluffy cleaning tool, usually tucked away and out of reach from their children. The feather duster is commonly used by Chinese parents for punishing their kids, of course there are other tools as well like a slipper, coat hanger, bamboo sticks, light saber....etc. But the feather duster will always be symbolic to us and you could say it's like a tradition passed on from one generation to another.

It's questionable whether this type of corporal punishment is actually effective or required in order to bring order within the family. Inflicting pain on children is the most straight forward and old school way to deter children from doing wrongs, or basically behaving like little brats. Most certainly what we've learned out it BLOODY HURTS! Usually our parents will give us a warning like a count to10 and if we continued to disobey, the feather duster will be unleashed onto us, we can run but it's impossible to hide. The more you pissed the parents off the harder you get hit - The art of feather duster beating.