Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lantern Festival kicks off for Year of the Snake

Lantern Festival kicks off for Year of the Snake By Lincoln Tan 5:30 PM Friday Feb 22, 2013 Snakes will be in Auckland to illuminate one of its central parks as part of the city's Chinese New Year festivities this year. A 6m-long specially-designed lantern based on the Chinese legend of Lady White Snake, featuring two weaving green and white snakes, will be the Auckland Lantern Festival's feature exhibit to commemorate the Year of the Snake. The lantern depicts an ancient Chinese fable about a white snake and green snake fairy who take the form of two beautiful young women, and the complications they encounter after Lady White Snake falls in love with a human. "We thought since there are no snakes in New Zealand, it would be nice to celebrate the Year of the Snake with the legend, which would also mean we could tell people about a famous Chinese story at the same time," said festival organiser Jennifer King, who is also Asia New Zealand Foundation's culture director. Ms King said the lanterns for this year's festival had been made by Chinese traditional lantern makers Zigong in Sichuan, and had "travelled a long way" to transform Albert Park into an explosion of lights and colours. "The lanterns were taken by road to Chongqing on the Yangtze River where they were loaded into container, and travelled by barge to Shanghai," she said. "From Shanghai, they were loaded onto one 20ft and another 40ft container, for the journey to Auckland." The festival started on Thursday night with a lantern-only night, but was officially opened last night with booming firecrackers. Big-name Chinese musical groups, including award winning folk and rock band Omnipotent Youth Society, and all-female classical music ensemble Beauty and Melody, are among the entertainers brought in for this year's festival. There will also be screenings of Chinese movies on the waterfront, and lantern presence along Queen Street, the Sky Tower and Khartoum Place. Organisers expect about 100,000 people to enjoy the lanterns, street stalls and the entertainment over the three nights that the festival is on. Also known as the yuanxiao festival, the lantern festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, to mark the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. Some people also regard yuanxiao as the Chinese Valentine's Day. For the first time since the festival started 14 years ago, fireworks will also be launched from the Sky Tower tomorrow to close the festival. What's in store at the lantern festival Lanterns: Hundreds of lanterns, with the feature display "Legend of the White Snake". Entertainment: Top Chinese groups Omnipotent Youth Society and Beauty and Melody, and local acts including lion dancing and cultural performances Food: festive street bazaar with hundreds of stalls selling Asian delicacies, decorative items and more When: Until tomorrow 10pm Where: Albert Park, Auckland By Lincoln Tan Email Lincoln

Monday, February 18, 2013

Raven King Ming (Ray) GIN,

A funeral will be held on Wednesday for Raven King Ming (Ray) GIN, he is from the Clan of which the Wah Lee people came. You may remember his genre breaking Orient Restaurant. It was beneath Strand Arcade. Previously, there were small formica top tables and Chop suey and steak and chips. Tried his steak and chips too, they were great. But I was young, and had no idea of my opinion going viral by word of mouth. Someone asked what it was like, and whilst excellent might have said something like it was not like mum's??? So the word may have got back. OOOPs. Like · · Share · 4018 · 12 hours ago · Darlene Cook, Lia Garnett, Nea Harris and 37 others like this. Deborah Batchen I remember happy times at the Orient- my condolences to the family 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Mistral Wray i went to that restaurant once a long time ago and i remember lots of red and gold it was my eyes that really was good tho 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Heidi Blennerhassett Bless. 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Elaine Byrne I regularly went to the Orient Restaurant when I worked on Queen Street in the 1970s - good times 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Jo Easton Oh the Orient. Some good memories. 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Murray McGill Always a great meal and the quality was always superb, especially the Banana Pancakes!! 12 hours ago · Like · 1 Isileli Takulua I remember going there a few times back in the 90's.....will never forget their awesome asian cuisine!!! 12 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Mary Troup the orient restaurant was fantastic !!! Our family used to go there often and the food and the service was great ! 11 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Teresa Allen I remember having my mum's 30th birthday at the orient...gosh long time ago. awesome memories 10 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Mink Mehta Went ther so many times. 10 hours ago · Like · 1 Kate Hart i went to my very first yum char there! 10 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Linda Oudshoorn I can't remember how many times I ate there but it was always great, I miss it SO much 10 hours ago · Like · 1 Sue MacDonald Went past it many times but never dined there. 9 hours ago · Like Eunice Crosbie Thats right they used to advertise the resturant at the movies....thats sad...old legends leaving us behind...very sad day ..... 8 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Jaelle Devereux my feet have trod its environs...a long time ago 8 hours ago · Like · 1 Sadie Mucke i had my wedding reception at the orient restaurant. 7 hours ago · Like · 1 Naomi Barlow I remember it well... Most delicious roast crispy duck (possibly chicken)... It was so exotic and otherworldly.., 6 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 June Peel Orient wad one of our favourite places. Had my hen party there. The banquet meal was awesome. Miss it a great deal. Haven't found anywhere that comes close 2 hours ago via mobile · Like GIN, Raven King Ming (Ray). Passed away on 11th February 2013, aged 82 years. Partner of the late Kay and dearly loved father, brother, uncle, great-uncle, grandfather and friend to many. You will be sadly missed, but never forgotten and always in our hearts, RIP. A service will be held at Mangere Lawn Cemetery, Chapel of Love and Remembrance, Wednesday 20th February, 11am, followed by a private cremation. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be left at the service for Ray's chosen charity. Messages are welcome in the guest book, NZ Herald website. All communications to the Gin Family C/o C Little and Sons Ltd, Epsom, Auckland 09 638- 9125 . Published in The New Zealand Herald from February 15 to February 18, 2013 Sunday, 17 February 2013 Uncle Kingy, thanks for those wrestling moves that were so useful at school.That was a great Restaurant you started at the Strand Arcade, The Orient Restaurant. Finally, real Chinese food was to be found in New Zealand. ~ Barry Wah Lee, Auckland, Auckland Contact Me Sunday, 17 February 2013 Uncle Ray - always so special to Kai and I. So many fond memories with you and A.Kay growing up. You will be in our hearts and thoughts forever. ~ Anthony Hoy Fong, New York, NY Brendan Lowe, Sydney, New South Wales

Thursday, February 07, 2013


A movement is at present on foot among the Chinese-population of this Colony so singular in its nature as to be worthy of some remark. This is nothing less than a wholesale exhumation of deceased Chinamen who have died and found burial in New Zealand, with a view of transmitting the bodies back to their native land. If the nature of this undertaking is singular it will be readily understood that its details are not only singular but slightly repugnant to European ideas. It is difficult to arrive at a very accurate understanding as to the custom which compels the Chinese to carry out such an expensive and unpleasant piece of work, but it may fairly be assumed that it is partly done out of respect to social and partly to religious observances. At any rate, it appears to be a recognised and very important part of a Chinaman's creed that his dead body, or those of his friends and kindred, must not be allowed to repose in a strange sepulchre longer than is absolutely necessary. To effect the required translation, societies exist both in China anl in this Colony, whose object it is to raise the funds needful for a general or partial resurrection. In this case the resurrection is partial only, and is confined to natives of Pon-Yu, a district in the province of Canton. The inhabitants of this district are either wealthier or more energetic than their neighbours, and they are first in the field with the very considerable sum requisite to disinter and translate the bones of their deceased friends. As a consequence the Society here has lost no time in bestirring itself to carry out the proposed operations. An accurate record has been kept of the date of death and place of burial of Celestials belonging to each separate province, and their friends as a rule know exactly where to put their hand upon such of the remains as may have resisted the touch of time. The matter has been placed in the hands of a solicitor, and permission obtained in due form from the City Council to disinter those corpses which had found a resting-place in either of the Dunedin cemeteries. Many of the original inhabitants of Pon-Yu, however, have wandered far afield, and these it has- been necessary to track to the place of their decease, and similar permission for disinterment has been obtained from the local authorities. Thus, from almost the length and breadth of the Colony the defunct Pan-Yuites have been and are still being slowly gathered in at the cost of much expense and much labour, too unsavoury to dwell upon. {From Lawrence, Waikaia, and a number of country districts we hear that the Chinese resurrectionists are diligently at work. It is a general custom among the people to place certain objects in the coffins with their deceased friends, and as each fresh assortment of human remains is brought to light, an eager and almost affectionate process of identification takes place. The bodies are then placed in fresh coffins or boxes (as circumstances may require), and forwarded to a place which has been prepared for their reception pending shipment to China. The locale of this novel kind of mausoleum is the Lower Kaikorai, not very far from Burnside, and a goodly number of Chinese corpses are now stacked there in their coffins, until a special vessel which the Society will charter for the purpose is ready to take them on board. As may naturally be exp_ected,some difficulty has attended the prosecution of these operations, .and it is to to be feared that in some cases mistakes may even have occurred. The possibility of such a contretemps is especially suggested by the case of one Ah Chook, whose remains, if report speaks truly, were utilised for certain anatomical purposes at the University here. The fact of the University being mentioned as his last resting-place, however, fortunately suggested no ideas but those of ordinary burial to the minds of the resurrectionists, and to satisfy their natural anxiety the following: rather amusing letter was ad dressed to the authorities by a well-known solicitor whose services were retained in the matter:— The olraond-eycd bcatct of this epistle has undertaken to achieve the translation of sundry defunct kinsmen to tho happy land of Pon-Yu, provinco of Canton. Si me slumbered in the Northern and some in the Southern Cemetery, but they have all been raised," and now lie (strongly bound in teak) awaiting their departure per sailing ship But one of tho band i< missing, and hi3 brethren cannot leave him to languish alone in the land of the barbarian. It ia fondly fancied that he is "bellied" at tho University, but I more than suspect that his mortal remains h»v9 been sacrificed on the altar of science. He was known in tho dayß of his flesh as Ah Chook and laboured in his vocation as n peripatetic vendor of vegetables, humble but happy, with a pronounced taste lor opium and petty larceny. But de mortuis, &c. He is now a coppercoloured shade, haunting the purlieus of the University a"d the adjacent sewer in a fruitless search for tho disjecta, or rather the dissccta membra, of his whilom seif. Pray hand over to bearer as much of tho late Mr Chook as is still on tho premises, ivnd for mercy's sake main Win the piouß fiction of tho hollial" at the U.iversity. p.S.—I may add that the boneg arc essentials, and further, that the average Chinaman is not an anatomist. Verb. sap. Whether or no the seekers in this instance have been pnvided with any bones answering to their ideas of their deceased friend we are not in a position to say, but theabove affords an example of some of the difficulties with which the indefatigable Celestials have had to contend. From the Dunedin cemetries alono some 38 bodies have been exhumed, and this number is largely increased by the numerous arrivals from the country, and will yet receive considerable further additions. It maybe mentioned that whilst the more educated of the Chineso are influenced doubtless in this m&ttor only by religious or social prejudices, auloug the ignorant classes a vast amoUnt of superstition ovidontly exists upon the subject. Somo of tho hitter oA'en express the firm belief that tho Corpses will bo reanimated on their arrival in China, and, probably to inako provision for this contingency; nlnco hi tho coffin food, a supply of opium, a bottle.of gin, and other articles equally necessary and desirable for a Chinaman rcdiv'ivuii. Otago Daily Times , Issue 6548, 8 February 1883, Page 3