Wednesday, August 31, 2011

107-year-old who loved KFC dies

A 107-year-old Porirua man with a love of KFC has died.

Taiwung Yu Hoi recently celebrated his 107th birthday but died in the early hours of yesterday morning from natural causes.

Mr Yu Hoi's long life had been attributed to his love of Chinese herbs and daily hot water - although he had a big love of KFC as well, granddaughter Jessica Yu Hoi said.

His daughter Lole Ernst said Mr Yu-Hoi had loved spending his birthday with his family and they are now making preparations to farewell him.

Mr Yu Hoi marked his 107th birthday surrounded by a handful of his 200 descendants in Porirua East last Friday.

He was born in 1904 in Canton, southern China. He emigrated to Samoa in 1927 aged 24. There he grew cocoa plants, married a local woman and had 11 children. He moved to New Zealand in 1971 and made Porirua his home.

Mr Yu Hoi's daughter-in-law Leonie Yu Hoi attributes his longevity to the Chinese herbs he grew and ate during his long career as a gardener.

He was always passionate about gardens and instilled a strong work ethic in his children, Mrs Yu Hoi says.

Another daughter-in-law, Toto Yu Hoi, says his good health is down to a daily breakfast of hot water, porridge and toast.

Ms Yu Hoi discloses another possible elixir of youth: Mr Yu Hoi's fondness for KFC.

Family is clearly at the centre of life in Mr Yu Hoi's household, and dozens of family portraits hang on the lounge walls. About two dozen of Mr Yu Hoi's estimated 200 children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren spent his birthday with him, eating two giant birthday cakes decorated with his photo, drinking bubbly and enjoying themselves.

- Kapi-Mana News

Last updated 14:13 31/08/2011

BIRTHDAY PARTY: Taiwung Yu Hoi spent his 107th birthday surrounded by his family, from left: great-grandson Xavier Yu Hoi, grandson Tom Yu Hoi, great-grandson Dakhin Yu Hoi, son George Yu Hoi, daughter-in-law Leonie Yu Hoi, daughter-in-law Toto Yu Hoi, daughter Towhina Yu Hoi, granddaughter Jessica Yu Hoi and granddaughter-in-law Ursula Tokuma-Yu Hoi

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bananas and Chinese in Australia

The earliest recorded appearance of bananas in Australia was in the early to mid 1800s when Chinese migrants brought plants with them from their home provinces to begin life in Australia in Carnarvon, Western Australia.

In 1828, two plants growing on the island of Mauritius were taken to Lord Cavendish who grew them in what are now Kew Gardens in England. Some plants from his garden were given to missionaries who were traveling to the South Sea Islands in about 1840.

The bananas flourished in the tropical environment and a missionary named Williams took a few plants with him to Fiji. When sugarcane growers from Queensland went looking for cane cutters in the Pacific Islands they also brought banana plants back with them. These plants were used more as ornamentals and a special treat when fruit ripened than for commercial considerations. This was around the 1870s.

In Sydney, bananas were brought in bunches by ship from Fiji to supply the market there. Bananas taken to the Coffs Harbour region by Herman Reich in 1891 saw an industry begin to develop, later expanding to Yarrahappini and Woolgoolga and ultimately to the Tweed, Richmond and Brunswick areas of New South Wales.

While fruit was generally consumed locally, some adventurers began to send by ship to major cities.

Although bananas have been grown in Australia since the 1830s they were not commercially produced until the 1880s when crops from Queensland were transported south. Chinese played a dominant role in both the growing and importation of bananas across Australia until the 1930s and continue to be active in the area today.

The quick turn over of the banana crop which could be harvested continually once it reached maturity made it an ideal crop for many sojourning Chinese.

Queensland was the main supplier of bananas in Australia. The Cairns and Cardwell (Innisfail from 1909) districts were particularly suited to banana growing. Much of the land in these areas was cleared by Chinese banana growers due to the practice of clearing new land to plant new crops rather than replanting areas that had been already cleared. The early prosperity and survival of the Cairns and Innisfail area has been directly attributed to the success of the Chinese in the banana industry. Both Chinese and non-Chinese businesses in these towns developed to provide goods and services to Chinese banana growers. Chinese merchants in particular played in important role as commission agents and assisting growers with finance.

The move into banana wholesaling and distribution appears to have been a natural extension of the dominance of Chinese growers. It was common for commission agents to negotiate between the growers and city wholesale merchants. A number of large Chinese wholesale fruit merchants formed in both Sydney and Melbourne at the beginning of the century and profited from Chinese involvement in banana growing. A number were very successful. Chinese merchants held over half of the banana trade in both Sydney and Melbourne in the 1900s and also distributed fruit to country towns. Fruit merchants replaced storekeepers and grocers as the new merchant elite within the Chinese community.

Capital from fruit merchant firms was used in the establishment of a number of the largest department stores in Hong Kong, Canton and Shanghai and in the formation of the China-Australia Mail Steamship Line.

By the 1930s Chinese dominance in both growing and wholesaling of bananas had dissipated. In Queensland, the older banana growers were returning the China and the younger Chinese in the area found sugar cane to be a more reliable crop.

In the first decade of the 20th century the wholesale of Queensland bananas had been unfavourably affected by fruit fly contamination, severe cyclones, delays due to World War I, and in particular poor transportation as the shipping fleet was used on the war effort. There was also a limit placed on the amount of land that could be leased by Chinese to grow bananas and incentives for 'white' growers to enter the industry. This provided further impetus for the industry in northern NSW to grow.

When supplies of Queensland bananas were unreliable some Chinese merchants in Melbourne and Sydney survived this through diversification into other markets and fruits. Some began importing Fijian bananas and some even established their own plantations in Fiji. However the introduction of increasing tariff duties between 1911 and 1920 on Fijian bananas eventually made them unprofitable and there have been no banana imports since this time.

During World War I a number of Chinese merchants from Sydney also began purchasing land in the Tweed River area of northern NSW for banana growing. After the war, returned soldiers also began purchasing land there with the resulting competition leading to discontent and eventually racial tensions in 1919. Chinese merchants in Sydney and the Chinese Consul-General tried to dampen the tensions. A devastating outbreak of 'bunchy top' virus severely set back the fledgling banana industry in NSW quelling racial tensions.

In Melbourne in the 1880s the majority of Chinese banana merchants established their businesses and ripening rooms in Little Bourke Street. Bananas arrived at the wharfs where they were loaded onto horse-drawn open lorries and transported to ripening rooms in Little Bourke Street. Bananas were ripened in special rooms that were heated with a mix of raw gas and ethylene. From Little Bourke Street bananas were taken to the major wholesale or retail markets for sale. Other old ripening rooms still exist on Flinders Street, in a building called ‘Banana Alley’.

In the last few decades of the 20th century banana production gravitated towards tropical areas in Queensland, from the sub-tropical growing areas in NSW.

After 1930 Chinese banana merchant firms began to diversify into fruit and vegetable merchants or close their business. In Victoria the fruit and vegetable wholesale industry became centralised at the Queen Victoria Market and banana storage and ripening rooms moved to the new market and out of Melbourne's Chinatown. This market has since moved to premises on Footscray Road in West Melbourne.

Over the years, banana growing, wholesaling and retailing has broadened to embrace people fro many different backgrounds. While all the growing areas of the old days remain, the majority of Australian bananas now come from far north Queensland, where growing conditions are ideal and reliable for year-round production. The only impediment to continuous supply is the threat of cyclones which are prevalent in the area.

The latest was Cyclone Larry In 2006 which destroyed almost the entire banana crop in the Innisfail and Tully areas of far north Queensland. So concentrated was banana growing in this area that wiping out the crop meant that around 90 per cent of Australia’s banana supply dried up and prices as a result increased to record levels as consumers chased the available supply.

Cyclone Winifred in 1986 had a similar impact on the industry and banana supplies to the market, but while growing, picking, packing and retailing systems have become more sophisticated the Australian banana has remained the wholesome, nutritious snack it has always been.

For further information and current industry statistics visit

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guangzhou (Chinese: 广州; Mandarin pronunciation: [ku̯ɑ̀ŋʈʂɤ́ʊ̯]), known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port.[

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011


For the purpose of "life destiny analysis", the Chinese calendar year is made up of “twenty-four period segments”, known as [jie]. Typically a segment occurs every fifteen days throughout the four seasons of the year. The segments were originally designed as a guide to farmers, the segment names or characteristics themselves indicate the weather and its relationship to agriculture. These “period segments” are considered in weather forecast. The segments are:
1 “Beginning of spring” [lichun] . Around 5th February. The start of all activities.
2. “Rain Water” [yushui] . About 20th February. The beginning of rain. At the same time snow begins to melt. If this is supplemented by rain, there would be ample water for agriculture.
3. “Awakening of insects” [jingzhe] . About 5th March. Time when hibernating reptiles, insects become active again.
4. “Mid spring” [chunfen] . About 21st March. The sun is over the Equator, with equal day and night times. Hereafter the weather gets progressively warmer.
5. “Clear and bright” [qingming] . About 5th April. Weather is warm and clear. Plants begin to sprout. This is also a festival day, the day when the Chinese visit their ancestors’ graves to pay their respects.
6. “Rain for the grains” [guyu] . About 20th April. After having sown their grains rainfall at this time is much welcome.
7 “Beginning of summer” [lixia] . About 5th May. The weather gets progressively warmer.
8. “Partially filled grains” [xiaoman] . About 21st May. Summer grains are partially filled, and could be harvested in the near future.
9 " seed sowing” [mangzhong] . About 6th June. Time to sow winter grains, especially those requiring a longer time to ripen.
10.“Summer Solstice” [xiazhi] . About 21st June. Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere, is also the warmest day
11.“Slight Heat” [xiaozhu] . About 7th July. Weather gets warmer, though still not too warm. Grains quality will be affected if the weather is too warm at this time of the year.
12.“Great Heat” [dashu] . About 23rd July. The weather is at his hottest, the air sultry.
13.“Beginning of autumn” [liqiu] . About 7th August. Ripening of crops at this time.
14.“End of heat” [chushu] . About 23rd August. Accumulated heat in the house over the past two months would dissipate.
15. “White dew” [bailu] . About 8th September. Surface moisture forms dew, forming a white, glittering surface, while the weather gets cool.
16.“Autumn Equinox” [qiufen] . About 23rd September. Equal periods of day and night, the sun having returned to the equator. From now on night gets progressively longer.
17. “Cold dew” [hanlu] . About 8th October. Frost appears, the weather gets distinctly colder. Trees shed their leaves the migrating birds fly south to a warmer climate. Chrysanthemum blossoms.
18.“Frost descends” [shuangjiang] . About 23rd October. Frost forms, winter is approaching.
19.“Beginning of winter” [lidong] . About 7th November. Crops have been harvested and stored for the winter.
20.“Slight snow” [xiaoxue] . About 22nd November. The sky becoming grey, beginning of snow fall.
21. “Big snow” [daxue] . About 7th December. Weather getting colder, more snow.
22.“Winter solstice” [dongzhi] . About 22nd December. Longest night and shortest day, though coldest weather is yet to come. This is also a festival day when families make little glutinous rice balls in sugary soup called [tangyuan], a symbol of unity in the family.
23. “Slight cold” [xiaohan] . About 6th January. Weather getting progressively colder.
24.“Extreme cold” [dahan] . About 22nd January. This is around Chinese New Year and about the coldest day of the year. Ponds and lakes are frozen. After this day weather gets warmer and another season begins.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Liyen Chong.

Liyen Chong: Of Positions and half Positions having several Marks at once
26 August – 29 October 2011 Where: Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland Street, Auckland CBD

Opening preview, Friday 26 August, 5.30pm
Guest speaker: Naomi McLeary, Chair, McCahon House Trust

Operating from between the spaces of coming and going, Liyen Chong continues her explorations of the self and consciousness through particular modes of cultural production. During her time as the McCahon House Residency Artist, Chong explored phenomenology, Eastern thought and its implications for her practice in New Zealand. She presents the results of her inquiry in this show, which includes photographic self-portraits that document private performative actions, taken with the help of a self-timer.

Having grown up in both Malaysia and China, Chong migrated to New Zealand in her mid-teens and completed her MFA in Design in Christchurch. She moved to Auckland in late 2005 and since then has exhibited widely in New Zealand and Australia. Her work is present in public collections such as the Chartwell Collection and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

- Saturday 10 September, 1pm
Artist Liyen Chong discusses her exhibition and its development at McCahon House.

- Saturday 8 October, 1pm
A panel discussion exploring issues of the self and culture in a New Zealand context, particularly as it relates to new migrants from the Asian region, led by Vera Mey and Liyen Chong.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NZ Chinese Restaurant menus

Does anyone have any they can email to me? helen.wong888@gmail(dot)com

I recently delved into the museum’s newly acquired menu collection. My focus was a sub-set of the collection: the Chinese menus, which span nearly three decades and come from all over the United States. I was curious to see what the menus could reveal about the history of Chinese food in America. As I perused the collection, I realized that Chinese restaurants don’t simply sell food—they also sell a cultural experience, à la carte.

Historically, many Americans first encountered Chinese cuisine while laboring in mines or on railroads, where Chinese immigrants often worked as cooks. By the late 19th century, increasing numbers of Americans were venturing into Chinatowns in both New York and San Francisco, in search of cheap, tasty meals. Others were drawn to Chinatown for different reasons: Bohemians saw Chinese dining as a sensual and exotic experience, and wealthier patrons sought high-end culinary adventures. Originally established to serve fellow expats, Chinese proprietors saw their business grow as more American customers frequented their establishments.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chinese supermarket

I go to one down the road, its noisy, smelly and divine. Although most of the products are only labelled in Chinese, I do pick up the odd thing to try. This afternoon I joked with the checkout operator that I should learn mandarin and she agreed, said I should visit China. A nice idea. At least the docket is in both languages.

jhan (103 ) 9:15 pm, Fri 12 Aug #1

you are in Auckland . You ARE in China
destiny6nz (320 ) 9:18 pm, Fri 12 Aug #2

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?
buzzi1 (137 ) 9:22 pm, Fri 12 Aug #3

Yes, thats what it feels like. I read a book recently that was by a Chinese author, translated version called 'Old Town'. I got to like China through the book and guess I would like to visit but perhaps I should learn the language because it does seem as though its going to be useful locally.

jhan (103 ) 9:23 pm, Fri 12 Aug #4

buzzi1 wrote:

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?

Wouldn't know really, I stick to buying things I know will cook up well.

jhan (103 ) 9:23 pm, Fri 12 Aug #5

jhan wrote:

Wouldn't know really, I stick to buying things I know will cook up well.

Like what? (just out of curiosity)

buzzi1 (137 ) 9:24 pm, Fri 12 Aug #6

buzzi1 wrote:

Like what? (just out of curiosity)

Pork and chicken, veges and noodles.
jhan (103 ) 9:25 pm, Fri 12 Aug #7

destiny6nz wrote:

you are in Auckland . You ARE in China

It's ok now as the cafe owners have learnt how to make good coffee - some of the best in town.
buzzi1 (137 ) 9:27 pm, Fri 12 Aug #8

jhan wrote:

Pork and chicken, veges and noodles.

Not all those things in packets then. Why does everyone think so much of factory farmed pork and chicken? The posh restaurants charge megabucks for these - "pork belly" etc. The poor pigs in the dark in their sow crates.
buzzi1 (137 ) 9:30 pm, Fri 12 Aug #9

destiny6nz wrote:

you are in Auckland . You ARE in China

Are you feeling threatened?. There are still more Pakeha in Auckland than Chinese.

freebodyguard (45 ) 9:30 pm, Fri 12 Aug #10

buzzi1 wrote:

Not all those things in packets then. Why does everyone think so much of factory farmed pork and chicken? The posh restaurants charge megabucks for these - "pork belly" etc. The poor pigs in the dark in their sow crates.

We can't all afford organic.
jhan (103 ) 9:32 pm, Fri 12 Aug #11

freebodyguard wrote:

Are you feeling threatened?. There are still more Pakeha in Auckland than Chinese.

yea thats it......threatened i might get attacked by a spring roll
destiny6nz (320 ) 9:33 pm, Fri 12 Aug #12

The funny, occasionally musty smells that you get in the Chinese supermarkets/stores are probably Chinese medicine/herbs and spices that are found in airtight sealed packages. They use them in soup much like Westerners use herbal teas for when they're feeling a bit run down or some other reason.

iluvstuf (232 ) 9:33 pm, Fri 12 Aug #13

chinese supermarket cheap as,
$5 for size 7 tray of eggs
toonpi (432 ) 9:35 pm, Fri 12 Aug #14

Where do they get those cheap eggs from? I got some today, the yolks are very yellow, dyes?
jhan (103 ) 9:36 pm, Fri 12 Aug #15

same as other supermarket, no different,
they can sell eggs at cost to get customer in, I heard this before

toonpi (432 ) 9:41 pm, Fri 12 Aug #16

toonpi wrote:

same as other supermarket, no different,
they can sell eggs at cost to get customer in, I heard this before

Loss leader they call it, makes sense.
jhan (103 ) 9:44 pm, Fri 12 Aug #17

I love my Asian supermarket and the staff are really helpful if you need to ask questions. I can buy a pork fillet in there for $17 kg instead of $25 kg at Countdown (they are on special this week, usually $27 according to their website).

Edited by spongeypud at 9:57 pm, Fri 12 Aug
spongeypud (12 ) 9:56 pm, Fri 12 Aug #18

I always shop at the Chinese supermarket - I don't get it when people say they can't afford veges or fruit. Big bag of apples for $2.99. So much great produce and lots of interesting herbs and spices.

spoeklet (219 ) 10:33 pm, Fri 12 Aug #19

I like my local T Mark as it sells all my fav Asian drinks and snacks. Plus the yummy Asian instant noodles are so much better than the rubbish Maggi ones!!

iluvstuf (232 ) 10:35 pm, Fri 12 Aug #20

destiny6nz wrote:

you are in Auckland . You ARE in China

Lol................. Beijing / Auckland one in the same.

pacificflower (512 ) 10:35 pm, Fri 12 Aug #21

buzzi1 wrote:

Not all those things in packets then. Why does everyone think so much of factory farmed pork and chicken? The posh restaurants charge megabucks for these - "pork belly" etc. The poor pigs in the dark in their sow crates.

It pays not to think where your food comes from unless you grow it yourself, I personally love chinese supermarkets, wonderful places, full of different sights and sounds, I was at one by the old Auckland railway. station a while ago and saw live in tanks fish that are banned at our end of the country (koi).

wynyard (298 ) 11:17 pm, Fri 12 Aug #22

Having recently been to China I can strongly recommend that you go. Absolutely amazing experience.

bowies_girl (35 ) 11:21 pm, Fri 12 Aug #23

I use a local Chinese supermarket as much as I do any other store. My rice is cheaper and there's a much better variety, herbs and spices are cheaper. I get my tofu for my Laksa. Mr. T likes his herbal teas from there. They have a huge variety of noodles too. I love shopping there.

thistle4 (430 ) 9:20 am, Sat 13 Aug #24

jhan wrote:

Where do they get those cheap eggs from? I got some today, the yolks are very yellow, dyes?

how would they dye an egg yoke ?

thornton1961 (16 ) 9:59 am, Sat 13 Aug #25

buzzi1 wrote:

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?

I walk past that place every day some time's i just about barf with the smell certainly would not go in, it looks so grotty.

pollypanner (721 ) 10:14 am, Sat 13 Aug #26

Yep I go regularly here. Buy much better noodles, sashimi, spice chilli pastes etc. And the thai stock cubes are all I buy now. They cant be bad made by unilever a multi national company. Tofu is just so yummy i eat it more than meat now I think.

Edit Im in Rangiora near chch and most product has an english name on the labels on the shelves as well.
They are friendly and often have recipe sheets up with selected products.

Edited by phalo at 10:23 am, Sat 13 Aug

phalo (307 ) 10:22 am, Sat 13 Aug #27

buzzi1 wrote:

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?

Is that wah lee's? Ive been there awesom shop. I used to get clove smokes off him for my shop before the govt increased the tax so much, importing them was hopeless for him.

phalo (307 ) 10:24 am, Sat 13 Aug #28

pollypanner wrote:

I walk past that place every day some time's i just about barf with the smell certainly would not go in, it looks so grotty.

beh I sorta like the grottyness, its like a whole new world

n1smo_gtir (112 ) 10:28 am, Sat 13 Aug #29

phalo wrote:

Is that wah lee's? Ive been there awesom shop. I used to get clove smokes off him for my shop before the govt increased the tax so much, importing them was hopeless for him.

Best range of fireworks too. I love the chinese sausage from there and Lim Chhour. Yummmmmy...

rikimeyer (252 ) 10:38 am, Sat 13 Aug #30

thornton1961 wrote:

how would they dye an egg yoke ?

Well, I don't know, my father-in-law used to dye his canary chicks by putting something in their feed.

jhan (103 ) 10:56 am, Sat 13 Aug #31

buzzi1 wrote:

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?

What do these "pongy" things look like? Are you talking about those prickly durian fruit that stink to high heaven?
spongeypud (12 ) 3:09 pm, Sat 13 Aug #32

buzzi1 wrote:

What are the things that smell so pongy I wonder, in some of these, like the one at the top of Hobson St ? All in Chinese. Are they safe to eat?

can't be stinky tofu - maybe it's a durian, or salty fish,

focuson21 (25 ) 3:11 pm, Sat 13 Aug #33

jhan wrote:

Where do they get those cheap eggs from? I got some today, the yolks are very yellow, dyes?

free range - they eat grass and that makes golden yellow yolks. Have you had the duck eggs; the salted eggs,.. And now it's mooncake season. had one today

focuson21 (25 ) 3:13 pm, Sat 13 Aug #34

pacificflower wrote:

Lol................. Beijing / Auckland one in the same.

mandarin/english lol. You can get by in China without the language. Had an awesome time in Beijing - the old Peking

focuson21 (25 ) 3:15 pm, Sat 13 Aug #35

wynyard wrote:

It pays not to think where your food comes from unless you grow it yourself, I personally love chinese supermarkets, wonderful places, full of different sights and sounds, I was at one by the old Auckland railway. station a while ago and saw live in tanks fish that are banned at our end of the country (koi).

That was Tai Ping - an old establishment

focuson21 (25 ) 3:15 pm, Sat 13 Aug #36

pollypanner wrote:

I walk past that place every day some time's i just about barf with the smell certainly would not go in, it looks so grotty.

that's authenticity for you. Wah Lees ahev been around for at least 100 years - used to be in the old China town area before moving to Hobson St. Can't imagine you in HK or China then - at the wet markets. I can just picture it -

focuson21 (25 ) 3:17 pm, Sat 13 Aug #37

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Thursday, August 11, 2011


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The principal part of a Chinaman's religion consists in efforts to deceive the devil. When a Chinaman dies, for instance, the friends of the deceased instantly bestir themselves to forestall the machinations of the evil one. The doors apd windows of the house are carefully closed, to preveut the devil from finding out what has occurred within, and sympathetic friends, in spreading the mournful intelligence, do so either in whispers, that the devil may not overhear, or, when speaking aloud, instead of saying that the man is dead, tell one another that he has "stuck up the pigtail," a euphemism which the devil is not supposed to understand. The funeral is a series of efforts to mislead the arch enemy of the Chinese soul and to throw him off the track In his .earnest pursuit of his prey. It Is well known that the devil cannot see through a cloud of smoke, and that he is 'distracted by noise, so, ere the cortege leaves the house, packs of crackers are fired in front of the door, and in the smoke and confusion the bearers seize the coffin and start off in a. lively trot. After they emerge from the smoke of the house door they are, however, quickly perceived by the enemy, who takes after them on a run. But the Chinese devil is very fat, consequently short of breath, and can not easily change his course, so, after trotting a short distance the pallbearers, turn a corner, at which has been stationed a friend with a supply of tire-crackers, which at the proper moment he lights, and the devil, having already run past, is confused by the noise and smoke, and some.time elapses ere he again takes up the trail. Having secured a good start at the house and at the nearest corner, the pallbearers have little difficulty in deceiving the devil during the rest of the journey to the cemetery, for the route is made us crooked as possible, and there is a lavish expenditure of' fireworks on the way. But the devil knows, that the funeral was started and where It was going, so, after a short and fruitless pursuit, he gives up the chase, goes on to the cemetery gate, where he sits down to rest, get his breath, and wait for the funeral. But the clever Chinamen are to the Inst too sharp for him; they enter the cemetery through a hole in the wall, left for the purpose, hurry through the burial service, with more fire-crackers, and before the old boy realises what is going on the dene} Chluamah is burled and beyond his reach. Undoubtedly there are educated Chinamen who regard these cerembnles as childish observations, at once superstitious and silly, but among the masses of the people they are a part of the Chinese religion, sincerely believed, and honestly practised. They are evidences of the arrest of the Chinese mental development and a proof that the Mongolian race Is yet in mental childhood. Auckland Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 144, 13 October 1900, Page 5

The funeral and mourning customs of the Chinese are so strangle* that it would take a book to describe them. J There are (writes F. G. Carpenter) five degrees of mourning, each" of which has its own, regulations. There is a certain kind of mourning for parents, ' another for uncles and aunts and for dear friends. There is deep mourning and half -mourning. In the deepest, sackcloth is worn without hem or border. In the next grade, one may have blue clothes with a sackcloth belt, and in others he may wear plain clothes, such as white, grey, and black. During three years after the deaifc of a parent no silks should be worn; and the man, if an official, should retire to private life to wail. This. was required of Li Hung Chang when his mother died, but his services were euch that the Empress-Dowager begj ged him to omit the custom for the sake of the State. When a death occurs in a Chinese | family, its members put on sackcloth or white clothes, braid white into their queues, and wear white buttons on their caps. They send out juouraing cards of white paper. i At the end of six months or .so they go into half -mourning. They change their white clothes for blue ones, have I buttons on their caps, and braid blue threads into their queues. They send ! out blue cards, and on them are printed the characters which state: — "Grief not so bitter as before." This means that the members of the family are ready to (resume their relations with the world, and that their friends will be allowed to call to condole with them. Later still they drop the blue I and come out in the gorgeous silks ' and satins common to their daily life. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVIII, 17 January 1910, Page 3

The many curious customs of the Chinese have ,'jeen a constant source of wonder and amusement to the tourist in China. By far the oddest but most impressive of their ceremonies, is the burial rites for their dead. The Chinese hold their dead in high esteem, and shower honors upon their memories by burning incense and candles daily. They also honor their relatives who have died I*—"" before. As soon as a Chir bis relatives embalm him. Dre? -v. in his richest garments, he is placed in a teakwood coffin, solid and airtight, and the coffin is closed and sealed. It is i/hen placed in front of the family altar. This altar is Irung with richly embroidered drapeiies, and decorated with flowers, vases, and josses. The period of mourning begins at once, especially among the women of the deceased's household. They start a daily ■larr.entation over their loss, and iare joined in their occupation of wailing by relatives and friends. The male members of the family are busy digging the grave, while the womenfolk, assist-ed by the professional mourners, do the wailing. The grave is half under and half above the ground, and is onclosed by a crescent-shaped wall about 2ft. high Another thing to be prepared for the dead is a miniature house, which is provided with miniature furniture. This idea is to provide the deopased with all the comforts of a home in the regions where be is ;2oing. An image of the deceased, together" with drinkables and eatables, and money, is placed on the coffin the day of the funeral. The image is not buried, but is burned in the presence of the mourners, who, during the process, shriek and make the most frightful noises. This is to drive out the evil spirit with which the dead man is supposed to be possessi-d. When tlie funeral services are over the mourning banners are taken home and used as ornaments on the bare, white-washed walls of the rooms. Th 4 mqiv the banners the greater the honor paid to the dead. The miniature house precedes the mourners to the grave. Then follows the elaborate hearse, draped with rich dark blue vehet, with silver fringes, borne by the natives. The mourners, too, arc supposed to assist in carrying it, which they do by holding on to che white cords attached to the hearse. Refreshments are served at the burial-ground, and at the end of the services tiie friends ami relatives partake of the food to show their appreciation.Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXII, 16 October 1911, Page 5

To many, of our readers an account of a Chinese, funeral may be interesting. We therefore condense the following description! of funeral of tlie 1 ate Mr. Ping Kee, who £of many years held a prominent position among : the Chinese merchants of victoria,' from the Melbourne Telegraph, of the 7 Sfch instant:—The body, after "-being dressed in a complete ; walking suit of ' beautifully < embroidered -satin, was placed in. "a lead coffin. A, fan was placed in his right hand, and'*-a hand-' •■ kerchief in his left, and beside the body was deposited a quantity of gold and silver, the Chinese evidently., thinking,, from their keen conv_ mercial'instincts, that gold and silver.. . would only cease, to be useful when their- • friend had fairly arrived in the spirit land. Over all was thrown a heavy maroon-colored satin cover, the whole being enclosed by the coffin lid. This r leaden?coffin, was placed -inua heavy case of polished cedar, mounted heavily with solid brass. The cedar case bore the inscription, "Ping Kee, died 4th November; 1871, agod 42^ years." The procession, which consisted of nearly forty carriages, started from the house of the deceased. On the 1 front seat of the hearse was seated'a nephew of deceased, who scattered broadcast, as the procession advanced,!1 oblong sheets of yellow-colored paper. The grave was ah undergrountl brick sarcophagus, lined with cement and impervious to water, and, when the colh'n was placed in it stone slabs were placed on the top,-- also'- made- Watertight. When the procession arrived at'the ground the ceremony of'interment commenced. The eldest son was led forward, and he threw three .

handfuls of earth on the coffin, ami all the other children were led forward to imitate his example.' The grave was then closed, and those present kindled a fire, in which were thrown, joss sticks and joss 'papers. Candles of various colors and sizes were also lit and those present east into the fire their white hatbands., The Chinese wear white as a sign of rejoicing that their dead have entered into a better world, and thoso left are supposed to mourn only because they have not been chosen first. v After the closing of the grave, gifts were distributed. Little neatly constructed paper envelopes were handed to every one who had attended the funeral, and when these packets were opened they were found to contain ten shillings. Over £60 in silver was thus distributed. Cigars and candied sugar were also distributed liberally, and the ceremony concluded. Those who 'understand the feelings and customs of the Chinese will know that it is mnong them an object of the highest | import, engendered and fostered by their religious training, that their ."bodies, sliould ultimately rest in the soil of their own land. The body of Ping-' Kee was, therefore, interred with all the precautions necessary to enable it to bo lifted and carried to China eighteen months hence. Evening Post, Volume VII, Issue 247, 23 November 1871, Page 2

The Otago Daily Times cf Oct. 3 says : -A Cbineee fumml if not an every day occurrence here. Ihe who died suddenly on "Wednesday was buried on Thursday in th< Southern Greneral C-'mt-tery. Previous to th< funeral procession moving', tin express wac ei>nt from the residence <>f the deceased to 1-ht co-ret cry. The express contained n Chinaman, who was in charge of a stock of eatables and drinkables. Anoih r Celestial strewed pieces of flimsy pnjirr, which were punctured (stencil platn fashion) with Chinese characters, on the road to the cemetery. On the funeral reaching the cemetery, those who attended (they came in five cabs) walked to the grave. After they had drawn up near the grave, the coffin was brought from the hearse by cemetery officials and cabmen, preceded by a Chinaman bearing a board, on which were written the name and virtues of the deceased, and which afterwards served as a headstone. On the coffin being lowered, and the grave filled up, the ceremonies commenced. The basket of victuals was brought from the house in the cemetery. The basket contained a boiled fowl, three or four pounds of boiled pork, three bowls of cooked rice, a teapot containing tea, oranges, a paper of lollies, and other luxuries ; also, a bottle of grog and cigars. These things were spread out on a cloth near the foot of the grave. A fire was lighted, and a quantity of fancy paper was burned. This, we believe, represents money to aid the deceased in his pecuniary affairs beyond the grave. A Chinaman, having clasped his hands, faced the grave, and made several bows, and thereupon gave utterance to aome words — apparently a form of prayer in Chinese. Then the rice was emptied out of the three bowls on the foot of the grave ; tea was poured out of the teapot into several little cups, which were emptied ; and grog - was poured into them and emptied likewise. Then cigars were handed round and smoked, grog was offered, but none would accept of it save a European, who took the bottle full, the oranges and lollies were distributed among the little boys present, and the fowl and pork were given to the man who dug the grave. The ceremony over, a Chinaman stood at the cemetery gate anH distributed silver to those going out, and the funeral party then returned home. Star , Issue 2055, 8 October 1874, Page 4
CHINESE OBSEQUIES.It may say so without appearing over anxious to advertise my Irish ancestry, the most important event in a Chinaman's life is hia funeral. A Chinese crowd is the culmination of human noise ; and the Chinese are never so noisy as at a funeral. They have hearty appetites at all times, but they never eat so much as they do at a funeral feast. When I first lived in China I used to find it almost impossible to % distinguish between a funeral procession and a marriage procession. In the centre of one the' coffined corpse is borne on the shoulders of men. In the centre of the other Bimilar men bear on their shoulders the bride, who is in an enclosed sedan chair, and she is followed by her bridesmaids. But to the casual observer the two endß of the two processions are; quite alike in every other respect. Tom-toms, red-clothed coolies carrying roasted pigs and other dainties, smaller coolies carrying cheap paper-ornaments of a Mongolian theatrical type— these are the invariable elements of both processions. THX HEATHSN CHINESE. - The Chinese are to-day the most unique, the most ancient and the most miaunderstood people on the earth, I say the moat ancient because they axe the least changed from what they were long centuries ago. The least changed They are not changed at all. The China of to-day is the China Marco Polo knew. A few of us have been in China. lam not speaking of the missionaries; I regard them as a people apart. "What have we gained in China ? A strange experience (to me a pleasant one), a pound of perfumed tea, and a bale of flowered for both of which we have paid right handsomely. We have been treated in the main politely, but sooner or later most of us are bowed out of China, if not by the Emperor, why then by the climate. The Chinese have at least three religions, Confucianism, Buddhism" and Toaism. But the -funeral rites of the three sects are identical; There are several reasons for this. The three religions are muoh alike, and are all largely founded upon Indian Buddhism. Moreover, religion is a very Second-class affair on China. The priests of two. sects often live together in the chummiest way, Filial devotion is the seal religion of China. All, China is one huge family, and the Emperor is the Great Father." (By the way, Great Father is what the North American Indians call, God. And the Chinese consider their Emperor a god. How we human atoms ring, our petty changes- on a few poor thoughts !) There ii one more reason •why; all Chinese funerals.,aie greatlyalike. China U a land of ceremonials, and the smallest details of those ceremonials are prescribed by the "Leke,^, or Book of Bites* To disobey the least role of this great national: manual is a crime and a severely punished one. In two respeots only does one Chinese funeral differ from another. The first is in the amount of . money spent, jand the .second is in the period after death at which burial takes plaCe. THB DBAD CHINKS. The first ambition of every Chinaman is to have a splendid coffin. A poor Chinaman will half starve himself -and his family forbears that he may daily hoard a few cash" towards the sum' needed fop the purchase oB the coveted casket. When the coffin is really bought it is brought home 'witfi t great ceremony. It is given the plaoe of honour in the .house, and is regarded as the most .valuable piece of furniture in the establishment. Among the' poorer daises it is customary to buy a very thick coffin. No self-respecting Chinese family — and the-Chineße are the moat selfrrespecting of all the nations— will bury a parent until they can do it with more or leas Mongolian magnificence^ Hence, in China, death by do means implies immediate. burial. When a Chinaman dies, hia neighbours come in and help the. women of the family to make the shroud. body is put in its coffin. Then the funeral ceremonies begin, if there is money enough. If there is not, the coffin is put back > in: ita place of honour until -the family finances look up. The day of the death, or the. day after, thejrelatives not living in the house, and the friends pay the last duties of respect to the deceased. When the visitors arrive they are Bhown. into a room in which are all the women and children of the establishment. These latter set up a dismal howl in which the visitors join, or to which they, listen sympathetically. When the tympanum of even a Chinese ear begins to ache the guests are ushered into another apartment where the men of the house give them tea and refreshment. The refreshment varies according to the means of the family ; in the house of the rich it is a dinner. After the visitors have drunk and eaten they are bowed out by one of the kinsmen of the dead. : , The dinner of Chineae affluence, where ever, why ever it is served, consists of five course meal, very rich, thick soup; 2, salad. and meat ; 3, birds' nests j sharks' fins, and other very nourishing dishes; 4, etewe ; 5, fruits and sweetmeats. The first four courses, ase eaten with chopsticks. The last course is eaten with the. fingers— and that ia the way that I believe .fruit always shonld be eaten; Everjj&ing in ; the first four courses is seryefl superlatively hot. Unless a China. mantis starving he will npt eat cooked food unless it is bubbling hot;. I except sweetmeats. And yet he eats the most incredible quantities of ice. Wine is served with all the courses— served hot. It is , not intoxicating, and has, to my palate, a very pleasant taste. I used to dine in America with some people who were just a bit mad on the temperance question. One day they gave me unfermented wine; it was an awful moment. But the Chinese ..dinner giver knows the secret of keeping his guest free from the possible ill-effects of alcohol without making himself ridiculous. At a correct Chinese dinner, the women look on from behind a trellis-work. The Chinese hold tbatrtherseairof the4iuman understaHtl&ig is the stomach. A jtelfcconducted Chinese funeral is the,most gorgeous sight «n Asia*. seem. to us a little tineelly, but that' is a' mere matter of taste. .! And I —who- make bold to like the Chinese— cannot claim that they have a superabundance of taste. - ; IK HABCHB IUNBBBI. At the front of the funeral procession walk the noisy musicless musicians. , Then •come men (they may be friends, they may be coolies) bearing the insigoia of the dignity of the dead, if he had any. Next walk more men, cairying figures of animals, idols, umbrellas, and blue and white streamers. After them come men carrying pans of perfume. Just before the coffin walk bonzes, Chinese . priests. Over the coffin af canopy is usually carried. The casket is borne by about a score of men. •Imaediatete^behjnjL the.. coffin walk the children oitfie" deceasedT The eldest son -comes first. He is dressed in canvas, and leans- heavily upon a stout stick. He is supposed to be too exhausted by grief and faaQng to walk without the aid of this staff. The other children and relatives follow this chief mourner. They are clothed in white linen garments— white is the mourning colour of the Danes, of the Burmese, and of the Chinese. The women are carried in chairs in the Chinese .f uaeral procespiont They sob and wail at intervals and in unison: COM2! TO DUST. When the buryirig-place is reached the bonzes begin chanting a mass for the dead, and the coffin it put into the tomb.

When the coffin is laid in its final position, a large oblong white marble table is placed before the tomb. . Ou the middle of it is set a censer and two vases and two candlesticks, all of as exquisite workmanship as possible. Then they have a paper cremation I Paper figures of men, horeea, garments, and a score of other things are burned. They are supposed to undergo a material resurrection, and to be useful to the dead in the Chinese heaven. The tomb is sealed up or closed, and an entertainment concludes the ceremony at the grave. The forms of Chinese tombs vary somewhat according to the province in which they are built, and very much according to the means of the relative who undertakes the expense. With the very poor the coffin is placed upon the ground, earth and lime are packed about it, and a rude grave is formed. With the rich a vault is built, in the form of a horßeshoe. If the dead wbb of note or position the decorations of the grave and of the coffin are very elaborate. There are a thousand interesting things to be said about Chinese mourning, about the ceremonies commemorative of the dead, and about the funerals of the Chinese Royal family ; but they cannot be put into a paragraph, or into a column, so I leave them. Star , Issue 4971, 8 June 1894, Page 1

The Grey Bivef Argus gives the following account of a funeral at Greymouth, which took plac9 recently:— •" "The person interred was a poor fellow named Lung Luna Lao, aged 47 jears. He came to Grey mouth on Friday laafc, afflicted with lung disease, which terminated fatally on Sunday last at 5 a.m. Deceased was a native of Canton, and although there are nearly one thousand CHioeae in West- Saud, only five of them (those belonging to the firm of Kum Sing Tie, of thia town) contributed to his interment, Upon the arrival of the followers at the Hospital,- where ibe deceased Jay, the body was clothed in a costly suit, and shoes were also placed upon his feet, after having the leather part of the soles:., taken off; the body was then placed in the coffin, and the bands, filled with cards, sft by lin., inscribed with Chinese characters, many more of the same < description beiog placed on the body; these were passports entitling him to accommodation at the various castles in the air. After the departure of the funeral cortege from the Hospital the coffin was: literally covered with slips of paper, similar pieces being scattered on the- road to the burial ground. On the arrival the coffin was lowered. at the foot of the grave on the surface; a quantity of provisions, consisting of boiled egga, bacon and rice, preserved lemons and nuts, ' chopsticks are also provided, and, lest be become faint on his way, h bottle of Chinese brandy, and these diminutive cups will be found useful. An illumination was then made from lighted Chinese painted candles and sandalwood matches, to light him on his way and keep away the evil one; a fire was made at the foot of the grave, in which they burnt a large (quantity of golden paper, and while' this was being consumed, a final adieu was taken, by oaehof the mournera placing his two hands together, and in a stooping position lifting them to his head and letting them drop to his feet. Chinese brandy, fruit, and cakes were then, served round to the spectators, of which all partook freely. Strips of pink caiico, about 2ft 6in long, enclosing a silver coin (English money), were then distributed to the public, this latter an emblem of 'good will to all ' men by the deceased. The whole proceeding waa a great novelty to the Europeans,,, and a Maori or two who I ' kapaied' it, the latter part of the ceremoDy especially." Nelson Evening Mail, Volume X, Issue 208, 19 August 1875, Page 4


A Chinese burial is of such infrequent occurrence in Auckland that the funeral of a young Chinese woman, which took place on Wednesday afternoon lash, aroueed considerable curiosity. The deceased waa a relative of Ah See, about 23 or 24 years of age, and she was buried as nearly as possible in conformity vith Chinese custom. The corpse was dressed in a shroud of white liberty silk, made at the D.I.C, with a new frill round the neck and gathered in at the waist, and deposited in a coffin. The coffin was placer! in a hearse and taken to Waikomiti at the fastest possible speed consistent with safety. Behind the hearse there were live carriages, the foremoet occupied by a female relative of the deceased and the remaining, , carriages by Chinamen. As the cortege passed along the road fragments of rice paper were thrown broadcast to propitiate the erode on behalf of the deceased. On arrival at Waikomiti the coffin was deposited in a grave without ceremony, and after it had been covered large quantities of rice and other food were placed on top of the grave to keep the departed from starvation during the journey she had undertaken for another world. Auckland Star, Volume XXII, Issue 94, 24 April 1891, Page 3

{From the Otago Daily Times October 3.) A Chinese funeral is not an every-day occurrence here. The Ciiinaman who died suddenly on Wednesday, was buried on Thursday iv the Southern General Cemetery, Danedin. Previous to the funeral proceBBion moving, an express was Bent .Tom the residence of the deceased to the cemetery. The express contained a Chinaman, who was in charge of a stock of eatables and drinkables. Another Celestial strewed pieces oi flimsy paper, which were punctured (stencil plate fashion) with Chinese characters, on tbe road to the cemetery. On the funeral reaching the cemetery, those who attended (they came in five cabs) walked to the grave. After they had drawn up near tbe grave, the coifin was brought from the hearse by cemetery officials and cabmen, preceded by a Chinaman bearing a board, on which were written the name and virtues of tbe deceased, and which afterwards eerved as a headstone. On the coffin being lowered and the grave filled up the ceremonies commenced The basket of victuals was brought from the house in the cemetery. The basket contained a boiled fowl, three or four pounds of boiled pork, three bowls of cooked rice, a teapot containing tea, oranges, a paper of lollies, and other luxuries; also, a bottle of grog and cigars. These things were spread out on a cloth near the foot of the grave. A fire was lighted and a quantity of fa ncy paper was burned. This, we believe, represents money to aid the deceased in his pecuniary affairs beyond the grave. A Chinaman, having clasped hie hands, faced the grave, and made several bows, and thereupon gave utterance to some words—apparently a form of prayer in Chinese. Then the rice was emptied out ot the three bowla on the foot of the grave ; tea was poured out of the teapot into several little cups, which were emptied ; and grog was poured into them and emptied likewise. Then cigars were handed round and smoked, grog was offered, hut none would accept of it save a European who took the bottle full, the oranges and lollies were distributed among the little boys present, and the fowl and pork were given to tha man who dug the gravß. Tbe ceremony over, a Chinaman stood at the cemetery gate and distributed silver to those going out, and tbe funeral party then returned home. Colonist, Volume XVI, Issue 1825, 20 October 1874, Page 4
Chinese Ideas as to Burial.

The Motive for the Removal

of the Bodies.

Like tbo Romans, the Greeks, and other nations of antiquity, including the Jews, tho Chinese regard tho rites of sepulture as of the highest importance. The loss of these rites, while their forms vary in different parts of the country, is hold by all Chinese to be a terrible calamity co the dead and to their living kinsfolk. The dead are supposed to be restrained by their animal nature to the tombs where their bodies lie, and to be drawn by their spiritual nature to their children and to the old scenes of their past life. If their bodies are unburied, or do not r.ceive full rites of sepulture, their ghosts are thought to be unhappy, to wander from the places where they lie to their former haunts, and to bring misfortune to their descendants and former companions. So great is the importance attached to funeral ceremonies that a native custom, dating back to the beginning of the Christian era, provides for a fictitious funeral, in which an effigy plays the part of a corpse, when the body of a deceased person has been lost by drowning, or for some other reason cannot be found.

Tombs in foreign lands—or even in Cbina if distant from the family home and graveyard—are usually regarded as but temporary resting-placesj and the bodies have later to be exhumed and buried properly if the souls of the dead are to bo satisfied, and to refrain from troubling the living. The peculiar reverence the Chinese feel for the dead, and the religious obligation upon the Chinese children to see that their ancestors receive due rites of sepulture and customary worship at their tombs will indicate the feelings of those who had sent away the remains of relatives by the ill-fated Ventnor.—Post. Manawatu Times, Volume XXVII, Issue 7572, 30 October 1902, Page 2

A young Chinaman named Wi Ying, a cousin to the well-known Chinese interpreter, died of fever in a house in Wakefield-street on Sunday evening. He only arrived here four months since, was taken ill about a fortnight ago, and though he was attended by Dr. Stockwell and every means taken, death supervened. The funeral, which was conducted by Mr G. H. Leaning, took place yesterday. The interment took place at . Waikomiti, and the obsequies .were attended by some 22 of the dead man's compatriots. The ceremonialwasofavery simple character. Each •of the mourners cast a handful of rice into the grave to support the dead man on his journey to the happy hunting-ground of his race; and after, the coffin had been lowered, those around, after the Chinese custom, pronounced panegyricsonthedeceased. " What did you say Tommy ?" our reporter enquired from Mr Quoi, who supplied the materials for this paragraph. " Oh," replied Quoi, I said "Farewell, oll man ! I wish you go along to heaven quick without much trouble." All the mourners, we may add, wore white " weepers " on their hats, white being the Chinese symbol of mourning. Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 168, 19 July 1887, Page 8
Christians and Heathens.

The first Chinese funeral held in Masterton took place on Sunday, when Ah Quong, who died suddenly in Dr Beard's surgery on Thursday, was buried. The cemetery was crowded with onlookers. After the service the Chinese proceeded to distribute some confectionery amongst the onlookers, when a most unseemly proceeding • occurred. A section of the crowd rushed a Chinaman and took from him a tin of lollies, for which a general scramble round the grave took place. The Chinamen hurridly left the " civilised " Europeans to their sport. The conduct was disgraceful, and the majority of the people quitted the ground with feelings of thorough disgust.—N.Z. Times. Manawatu Herald , 29 March 1898, Page 3

Near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, the other day, Lee Jin Mun, a Chinese Freemason, died, and would probably have attracted no further attention outside his own little circle had not his funeral struck the American journals as grotesque even for a Chinese cere-' , mony. After secret ceremonies at the house, the body was deposited in a casket. A table was spread with the provisions which are to sustain tlie spirit in its new home. These included a piece of fat roast pork, another of raw pork, two chickens, cooked with the heads and legs on, and all kinds of fruit and sweetmeats. At one end of ' the table was a box of sand, in which burned coloured candles and Joss sticks, s Before this officials knelt and said their . prayers. At the head of the procession . was a horseman with a triangular red banner with Chinese characters. - Then followed Masons in carriages. All the way to the cemeteiy tom-toms were beaten. After deciding to place 1 the coffin endwise in the grave, Lee Tom Ma, Grand Missionary, delivered the funeral oration.' Candles and Joss sticks were again burned, and small brass coins scattered on the ground to , keep the devil busy picking them up, so that he will let Lee Jin Mun rest in peace. Then the worldly possessions of the deceased were placed in two piles at each end of the coffin and burned, and the grave was filled up. Grey River Argus, Volume XXXVII, Issue 9260, 10 October 1895, Page 4

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Use your noodle (+ recipes)

In cold weather, ribbons of hokkien, udon or vermicelli are the ticket to warmth and comfort.
Vermicelli with pork belly, gai larn, cashews and chilli. Photo / Babiche Martens

Noodles are fantastic for being so versatile.

When it is a little frosty outside it takes only a short time to create dishes that are both warming and satisfying while providing a needed burst of fresh flavour and colour.

Many flavours and ingredients work well with noodles, so all you need to do is start with a base of, say, beef, seafood, chicken or tofu then choose a type of noodle and plenty of herbs, vegetables and a sauce.

Mix together into a bowl for a delicious and well-balanced dinner. As far as the noodles go, there are many varieties and it can be a little overwhelming.

I believe it is a matter of giving it a go. Fresh or dried, egg, rice, buckwheat [soba] or flour. Look out for delicious Korean noodles made from sweet potato and Japanese noodles made from taro.

The different ingredients provide textures and flavours that are well worth tasting and are all so readily available from local Asian supermarkets and increasingly, from the more mainstream providers.

Choose the ones you like the look of and have a little experiment.

Cooking requirements differ though, so if unsure or the instructions on the packet are in a language you can't understand - just ask.

Vermicelli is a very fine bean curd noodle that can be almost impossible to cut through in its dried state, so make sure you are feeding at least four people with one packet.

The easiest thing to do is to remove the noodles from the packaging, cut off the string then put in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. These noodles don't need to boil to cook but do need to soak in the water for 15 minutes. Drain and then cut with scissors and set aside while continuing with the rest of the recipe.

Find the freshest flavours to complement the noodles. Bundles of mint and coriander are easy to find if not growing in your backyard, or in a pot in the sun on the window sill.

Lemons are plentiful, limes not so easy to find but you will only need a couple per recipe for an unmistakeable flavour.

Thai basil may take a bit of hunting down but is well worth it, as is Vietnamese mint which once planted in a large pot so it is contained does grows like mad, but will provide a sharp taste and spiciness to each noodle dish you create.

Chef's tip

Dried noodles can be kept in the pantry until the use-by date. Fresh noodles need to be refrigerated and cooked as soon as possible - within 3-4 days at the most. Alternatively they can be frozen until needed.
By Amanda Laird | Email Amanda
Derek and Teresa Yee shopping at David Trading in Petone. Photo / Mark Mitchell

For the love of food

Having cooked for high-profile celebrities, restaurateur Derek Yee and sister Teresa are set to teach the masses.

Mick Jagger's daily bread was a baguette with salmon and cucumber. Charlie Watts wouldn't eat anything unless it was steamed. It was a healthy diet by anyone's standards, let alone the Rolling Stones'. Mind you, Keith Richards preferred hearty English staples like shepherd's pie, says Derek Yee, who cooked for the band and a 300-strong entourage during their Voodoo Lounge tour.

It seems a bit of stardust has rubbed off on the Wellington chef. He and his sister Teresa Yee are hosting one of the most popular events at this year's Wellington on a Plate food festival (August 5-21). Both of the Modern Asian workshops have sold out but the brother and sister team hope to stage another similar event, in which they shed light on Asian cooking techniques and demystify the weird and wonderful delights commonly found at Asian supermarkets.

The Kiwi co-owners of FINC (Food Incorporated) Dining Room in Wellington's Wakefield St have a wealth of food knowledge, thanks not only to their Chinese heritage, but also years of culinary adventures that have taken them everywhere from rock'n'roll tours to Morocco and Antarctica.

"Every weekend revolved around food when we were growing up," says Teresa.

"It was a social thing and it got the family together, the grandparents and great-grandparents. Mum and Dad [from Hong Kong and Canton respectively] had always been interested in food as a creative thing."

As kids the Yees picked seaweed from the Seatoun rocks to use in soups, and sat at tables laden with food for special occasions and Chinese festivals. During the Moon Festival they'd eat mooncakes, pastries filled with red bean paste or yolks from salted duck eggs; at Chinese New Year, a banquet of roast pork, chicken and duck, dried shiitake mushroom with vegetables and their dad's signature dish of black moss and dried oysters.

Their day-to-day meals bore little resemblance to the kind of Chinese food many Westerners have become accustomed to, with less of the deep-fried favourites and more of the pickled vegetables, chilli spices and dried lotus roots.

"Traditional Chinese and what you get at a restaurant are totally different," says Derek. "We wouldn't have spring rolls and things like that. We'd have wontons but they wouldn't be fried, they'd be in a soup base with noodles."

At 16, Derek began to take his burgeoning interest in food more seriously, taking a year off after school to learn how to cook the Western way so he could combine it with his Chinese cuisine skills. After gaining experience at fine-dining restaurants in Wellington and Christchurch, he spent a year in Antarctica, where he cooked for US naval soldiers, many of whom were fresh from the Gulf War. Later he took off for his British OE, swiftly securing a good job as a chef at a Conran restaurant in London.

One of his colleagues was into music and it was through her he got the Stones gig.

"You'd pinch yourself every time, but they'd always come into the kitchen and say hi and that was the nice thing about it because you worked damn hard. They really looked after us, sending us to Michelin-star restaurants. It was one big family."

That job led to another tour, this time for David Bowie, cooking for the 60-odd crew, and the star himself. "He always lined up for food, just like everyone else."

Meanwhile Teresa's passion for food bubbled away in the background as she pursued a career in retail. After graduating from university with a fine arts degree she moved into set and stage design, and later window-dressing. She kept her hand in hospitality with part-time waitressing and front-of-house restaurant jobs.

Rather than follow her mates to London, Teresa was intent on taking a food-focused OE. She spent her first three months abroad working as an au pair in Britain, before heading to Aberdeen in Scotland and Devon in the south of England, seeking out signature dishes along the way.

"I went to Lamington for lamingtons and Bakewell for Bakewell tarts, Yorkshire for pork pies. I wanted to really experience food and learn about its origins."

After travelling extensively through Europe she got a job as a merchandiser at the Body Shop working for the late Dame Anita Roddick, who inspired her with her business sense and avid social campaigning.

"She was about being kind to people. She was this amazing corporate person with this empire of businesses but she understood how to communicate."

Teresa then moved to Sheffield for two years with her British partner, before returning to New Zealand.

After years individually honing their tastebuds, the Yee siblings decided to pool their resources and go into business together, opening FINC seven years ago. Derek is in charge of the kitchen and Teresa looks after front-of-house "and everything else". The food at FINC is a tribute to their travels, with about 20 per cent of the menu inspired by Asian cuisine.

Tried these?

Next time you visit your local Asian supermarket, put these in your trolley:


Don't worry, you won't have to deal with slimy tentacles. This surprisingly tasty snack comes diced and ready to eat, preserved in a packet with vinegars, salts and sometimes chilli. Try it with cold slices of pork or braised pork hock, and serve with a salad of shredded carrot, lettuce, spring onion and coriander.


It's not just the Japanese who use seaweed. Chinese cuisine often uses it in soups. You can also buy it as a snack food. Rather than choosing nori, the type used in sushi, look for the flattened and dried variety. It'll give you the same salty kick as chips but with much less fat. It's not all guilt-free though. Some varieties have been deep-fried, salted and spiced; others have flavours added.


This is a versatile product available in a concentrate or pulp. It's a tangy, zingy flavour, commonly combined with palm sugar and fish sauce in Thai and Cambodian cooking. It's also good in curries that aren't heavy on coconut, and can be used to marinate and tenderise meat. Beware, it can also change the colour of meat and easily overpower a dish. Another good reason to go easy: it's known for its laxative effects.

Dried plums

These tart, sticky morsels can be eaten as a snack or used in meat dishes. They go well with pork, especially when combined with ginger for delicious Chinese pork ribs. The Japanese use them in plum wines.

* Wellington on a Plate is now in its third year with more than 80 events between August 5-21, and the return of DINE Wellington, where more than 100 of Wellington's best eateries offer lunch and dinner set menus to meet every taste and budget. New this year is the Fisher and Paykel MasterClass, a chance to see chefs Desmond Harris, Alexa Johnston, Al Brown, Martin Bosley, Chef Wan and Justin North reveal their kitchen secrets.

Where: Renouf Foyer, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. When: Friday August 19, 9am-5pm Cost: $325 per person + $8.75 transaction fee. Ticket price includes four chef demonstrations, coffee on arrival, morning and afternoon tea, a lunch showcasing some of the best Wellington ingredients and wines, Wellington Fisher & Paykel MasterClass recipe book and a goodie bag. Seats are limited. Bookings: 0800 Ticketek (84253836) or 04 384 3840 from a mobile.
By Rebecca Barry Hill | Email Rebecca
12:00 PM Wednesday Aug 3, 2011

Monday, August 01, 2011

Echoes of a lost past

Echoes of a lost past By John Armstrong on Sat, 30 Jul 2011 Magazine | Otago Museum

A major exhibition of Maori artefacts - more than a decade in the making - "Te Ao Maori: Maori Treasures from the Otago Museum" opened last week at the Shanghai Museum, in Dunedin's Chinese sister city. John Gibb accompanied a 16-strong Otago Museum delegation to the opening.

The major Maori exhibition that opened in Shanghai last week may also shed new light on an ancient riddle, involving the disappearance of the Yue people of southern China, which has long puzzled scholars, Shanghai Museum vice-director Prof Chen Kelun says.

"This is a very important exhibition for the Shanghai Museum," Prof Chen says.

It is the first exhibition of the aboriginal people of the South Pacific and their art at the museum and reflects many aspects of Maori life.

Many Chinese people, both ordinary citizens and academics, had been looking forward to the show.
Click photo to enlarge
Singing during Te Ao Maori exhibition opening celebrations at the Shanghai Museum last week are (second from left), award-winning former Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin and (from left) Otago Museum delegation members Associate Prof John Broughton, Suzanne Ellison, Koa Whitau Kean, Dr Jim Williams and Matapura Ellison (the latter both partly obscured), Moana Wesley and Alby Ellison (right). Photos by Otago Museum.
Singing during Te Ao Maori exhibition opening celebrations at the Shanghai Museum last week are (second from left), award-winning former Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin and (from left) Otago Museum delegation members Associate Prof John Broughton, Suzanne Ellison, Koa Whitau Kean, Dr Jim Williams and Matapura Ellison (the latter both partly obscured), Moana Wesley and Alby Ellison (right). Photos by Otago Museum.
Prof Chen says many aspects of Maori culture correspond to Chinese culture.

"This actually gives us a hint ... to see a close relationship between different cultures."

He notes that "a stone implement, an adze" in the Te Ao Maori show is "almost identical" to an ancient Chinese adze, and there is also a resemblance to an ancient Indian adze found in the United States.

He reflected that DNA research had pointed to genetic connections between Maori ancestors and early inhabitants of Taiwan.

The ancient Yue people of southeast China had shared with Maori and with Mayan civilisation in Central America a deep involvement with the creation of jade or greenstone artefacts.

After being involved in an encounter with the Chu State more than 2000 years ago, the Yue people had seemingly disappeared and it had been unclear what had happened to them.

They may have travelled south to Taiwan, and there could be ancestral links with Maori, he said.

Some Yue artefacts discovered by archaeologists featured tattoo-like markings similar to those found on Maori hei tiki in the Otago Museum show, and some motifs found on flax work in the show were "very similar to Chinese textiles".

He had noted many other similarities with Maori, including the pronunciation of Maori words and in a shared preference for using short words and brief particles in both Maori and Chinese languages.

Delegations from the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Museum were active in Shanghai last week, including attending a sister city function organised by Michael Swain, the New Zealand consul-general.

Many Dunedin representatives felt the 17-year sister city relationship was "blossoming" and rapidly developing, but Prof Chen suggests that close ancient relationships may also be involved.

Many visitors from Dunedin making their first visit to Shanghai were impressed with the huge scale of the place, which is already internationally respected as a leading global city, major port, trading and commercial hub, and one of the world's major financial centres.

It was hard not to be impressed with the ambition and sophistication of the Shanghai Maglev Train, a magnetic levitation train, which travels at up to 430kmh between the giant Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Shanghai, although high costs have apparently discouraged some travellers.

Since 2004, this has become the world's fastest train in regular commercial service.

Also impressive was a visit to the Shanghai World Financial Centre, a super-tall skyscraper in Pudong, which includes not only the financial centre but the Park Hyatt Shanghai hotel, which occupies the 79th to the 93rd floors.

This 101-storey (474m high) building is the world's second highest building and the tallest building in the People's Republic of China, including Hong Kong.

"It's just incredible, " a member of the museum's Maori advisory committee, Alby Ellison said, as the museum delegation bus headed from the airport to a central Shanghai hotel.

He was also stuck by the way green farm areas were interspersed among some of the striding tall apartment tower blocks, power stations and other big buildings as the bus scampered on its way deeper towards the heart of the city.

"It's an impressive place. It's going forward. It's doing stuff, the sheer scale of its activity is just really impressive," Otago Museum Trust Board chairman Graham Crombie summed up the thoughts of many.

Mr Crombie later said the formal opening, with its Maori cultural performances, lectures and associated functions and meetings, had been "very, very successful".

A "hugely strong" relationship had been built up between the two museums over the years.

"What we're seeing now is a tipping point," he said.

The relationship between the two museums had moved to a higher level, and the display of the exhibition at the Shanghai Museum's number one gallery for the next four months would also bring wider benefits to Dunedin.

"It will add significantly to the relationship between Shanghai and Dunedin," he said.

Another museum delegation member, University of Otago Associate Prof John Broughton said there was an "exciting, vibrant" spirit about Shanghai and he was "having to come to grips with the fact that there's 23 million people living here".

"The architecture is so different, and it's beautiful."

One of Prof Broughton's tasks was to train 200 volunteer guides to introduce visitors to the Maori treasures at the Shanghai Museum.

The guides were subsequently doing a "remarkable job".

Experiencing the way Ngai Tahu Maori culture and Chinese culture with their respective "protocols and etiquettes" had been brought together in the exhibition and associated activities had been "really enriching", he said.

Otago Museum advisory committee chairman Matapura Ellison, who was involved in co-curating the exhibition, said the Te Ao Maori exhibition has been an "incredible journey".

"We have woven together three great strands to create an important and inspiring result.

Mr Ellison was "struck with the realisation" that the task of selecting the Maori works to be included in the show "had a level of complexity which included a significant spiritual dimension".

"To identify the appropriate ones to make their way to Shanghai, along with good supporting information, was a big responsibility shared among us, and I am confident that we have done this well.

"This exhibition is not only an opportunity to present Maori on a prestigious international stage, it has also been an opportunity to work even more closely with the Otago Museum, to better understand each other and to put our commitment to supporting each other into practice."

Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul said that developing and staging the exhibition had been a "great responsibility".

The show had been "a formidable exhibition challenge" for the museum and a "great step forward" but had also involved working through all the cultural protocols both with Ngai Tahu locally and "with the expectations of our Chinese colleagues in Shanghai".

"It's been a complex project for our team, but we have embraced it and enjoyed it and learned a huge amount in the process," he said.

The exhibition was not only an Otago Museum activity, but was also a "great outcome for Dunedin City" and was growing the sister city relationship.

This was also "great outcome for New Zealand" at a country to country level, he said.

Yes, there are birds here, even in this huge Chinese city.

Someone, having also recently arrived from Dunedin, had earlier said: "I haven't seen any birds yet".

But this morning, jogging early down Ninghai Rd, near your hotel, a few minutes after 7am, you hear them first, calling excitedly to each other, high above, in the bright falling light, partly shaded by cloud.

And then you suddenly see them, about the size of sparrows, zapping past like bullets, at sharp angles and intersecting trajectories, but seemingly with no risk of collision.

They, like many things in Shanghai, also cheerfully partake in some of the unexpected paradoxes of the place.

Just when something has been popped into a convenient pigeon hole, the pigeon escapes, effortlessly beating its wings.

Later, as you are nearly finished stretching your legs in nearby Jinling Rd, you notice something slightly curious, at a newspaper kiosk, not far from the metro McDonald's outlet.

Well before the first crush of newspaper buyers arrives, the kiosk owner sits on a very low chair and shares some food with a friend, a uniformed city worker.

The owner eats some sort of of unleavened bread wrap, filled with what looks like lettuce and various other delicious vegetables.

They may be living in one of the world's biggest cities, but here, paradoxically, a life can also be built from simple gestures, even amid the enormities of scale and ambition.

Even in a global city, something of the village survives.

"Te Ao Maori: Maori Treasures from the Otago Museum" was the first exhibition of Maori artefacts from New Zealand to be displayed at a museum in China.

The collection of 337 artefacts includes fine pounamu (greenstone) items, including hei tiki, as well as a wide range of other taonga (treasures).

Shanghai has grown rapidly in size and importance over the past 40 years. It offers major cultural and trading opportunities for Dunedin, given the continued "blossoming" of the 17-year sister city relationship, in Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull's phrase.

• Shanghai, with a population of 23 million, is the most populous city in the People's Republic of China.
• Located in Eastern China, on the coast, at the mouth of the Yangtze River.
• Has grown rapidly over past two decades.
• Already one of the world's major financial centres, and aims to further develop its international shipping role.
• Also a popular tourist destination, and a key part of the booming mainland Chinese economy.
• Te Ao Maori, with its 337 artefacts, is by far the biggest overseas exhibition organised by the Otago Museum.
• The Shanghai Museum is one of the world's great museums, attracting more than two million visitors annually.

The Otago Museum sent its largest-ever travelling delegation to Shanghai last week to accompany the opening of its biggest overseas exhibition: Te Ao Maori: Maori Treasures from the Otago Museum.

Delegation members were: Otago Museum Trust Board chairman Graham Crombie, museum chief executive Shimrath Paul, museum Maori advisory committee chairman Matapura Ellison, trust board and committee member Dr Jim Williams, museum experience and development director Clare Wilson; iwi cultural advisers Suzanne Ellison and Alby Ellison, committee members Associate Prof John Broughton, Koa Whitau Kean, Moana Wesley, Jane Graveson, cultural support officer Maria Coombs, museum content services coordinator Eleanor Ross, research and interpretation co-ordinator Moira White, museum exhibitions officer Craig Scott, and museum humanities collection coordinator Scott Reeves.

Through the museum's Maori advisory committee, the exhibition was developed in partnership with the Ngai Tahu manawhenua of Te Tai o Araiteuru, the Maori community of the Otago-Southland east coast region.

• John Gibb's visit to Shanghai was supported by a grant from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.