Monday, October 27, 2008

Deepavali Vanakum

Happy Diwali to all of my Indian friends! (^o^)/
Today is a big day for them as the "Festival of Light” is celebrated for the victory of good over evil within every human kind, according to Indian legend.
First of all, I’ll like to thank Adam for bringing me all around the Sabah for today trip, along with one of his student in his language center who comes from Yokohama, Japan and studying International Sociology in Yokohama City University. She has being coming here for 3 months for her study trip to Malaysia to experience the festival atmosphere lively. (consequently she have to summit a paper for that) Finally, I have one Japanese friend! ^^
We started our day by visiting a local well-known Hinduism temple. (forget the name! >~<) We were welcomed to follow their praying ritual and one of Aiko Tomita’s objectives was achieved. The whole ritual took around an hour and I was surprised to know that Indian student of University Malaysia Sabah had applied for three buses to bring them here for the ritual! Off course I met some of my friends and they were surprised to see me here, too. ^^
After that, we went for the breakfast prepared by the temple officials. I missed Indian foods! >~< It has been a long time since I last ate Indian food, excluding the Roti Canai that we can get everyday. Besides that, it was my another dining experience with hands. That’s part of their traditions.
Having a walk around the temple is ideal after a meal as it is good for digestion and chances of schmoozing. I met a female Taiwan tourist and a retired French scientist who is residing in Sabah for several years. His name was John Paul (not sure whether I spelled it correctly) and studied a lot about Malaysia culture even though it was not his main expertise. He knew more about Deepavali than anyone of us and Aiko was lucky to meet him as we spent a great deal of time listening to his explanation about Malaysia festivals.
Next we moved on to Tanjung Aru for Kota Kinabalu Baptist Church Family Day. Nothing much to say about it as neither of us were enjoying in the activities. I was spending sometimes with the church fellows for some games while Aiko was indulging herself with the sea. Pastor Adam, which is more commonly referred by the church follower, was talking with some senior followers who were not participated in the games on the beach. Ah, missed another chance to talk with Radiance! *sad*
We headed to Likas Sport Complex for the Deepavali Open House by the Barisan National for free lunch. As expected for such event, there were a lot of people coming for the same purpose and Aiko was so full with Roti Canai. (she simply loved it!) Again, we met Mr. John and this time, Adam was starting another lengthy about current world situation with him. Me and Aiko was regretted for didn’t take any contact information from the knowledgeable old man. Suddenly, I felt so pathetic about myself in language skills. I speak fundamental Japanese, incoherent English, poor Malay, and superficial Mandarin, but Adam can speak fluent English, Singkh, French and little bit of Spanish while Aiko knows about French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Malay! Sigh…
As suggested by Aiko, we went to Kiansom Waterfall for a nature bath.

(Top of Kiansom Waterfall. Taken by Nokia E65 and shaky hand)

This was the most enjoyable part of our trip. The feeling of being flushed by the water was so relaxing after half day travelling around several places. Um…Ah…I was so indulged that I get this…

…minor injury by knocking some rocks. Auch! I was told off by someone about safety rules but it seemed that Andrew Koay is always against or forget about them when it comes to nature exploration.
Before we were returning to our home, we had simple tea break at Inanam. Aiko was so delight to share about her favourite Malaysia items while she was buying some batik sarung at nearby store. Since this was our last stop, we decided to call it a day with a tiring and fun experience.

Friday, October 10, 2008

World Mental Health Day

Does anyone today is the World Mental Health Day? What is World Mental Health Day?
"World Mental Health Day (October 10), is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries."                 -Wikipedia
This year, the World Federation for Mental Health strive to "focus on where we came from and what needs to be done yet for the future. We will highlight different levels of advocacy and its role in creating change and the need for scaling up services so all people have access to information, personalized treatment, and resources to assist them in all aspects of their recovery," (World Federation for Mental Health, 2008)  by the theme "MAKING MENTAL HEALTH A GLOBAL PRIORITY: SCALING UP SERVICES THROUGH CITIZEN ADVOCACY AND ACTION."
From my own observation and reading, the public awareness in Malaysia is still low within the region. Public perception about mental health remains very superficial. In fact, for some of the older generation, mental health topics are taboo (as they attribute mental disorder as spiritual dismay). Therefore, there is a need to advocate and support this issues among the citizen for the sake of overall healthy development of any single human being.
You may think that this is irrelevant to our current situation, the global economic recession, but do you feel distress upon your helplessness in changing this condition? Do you know that few days ago, there is one gloomy incident in Los Angeles, United States of America where one man had killed himself after shooting all of his family members due to his family financial crisis.

Los Angeles County Coroners remove one of the six bodies found at a home in a gated community in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

This photo released Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008, by the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Karthik Rajaram. The 45-year-old unemployed financial manager, despondent over extreme money problems, was found dead Monday with a gun in his hand said authorities. He had shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and then himself at home in a gated community in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Porter Ranch in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/California Department of Motor Vehicles)

It is a shame for me, as one of the psychology student, doing nothing to contribute in this international campaign. Nevertheless, I tried to mention this in my blog, in the hope that my dear readers can help me in advocating the importance of mental health among your loved ones. ;)
(P/S: For those who are interested in World Mental Health Day 2008 campaign, you may have a look at the free material by the organization.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Badminton match

It has been a while since my last participation in any badminton competition. (in fact, I start to practice it since 2 weeks ago after half year break) As usual, for an intermediate players like me, I lost but I was satisfied as I did learn some from the match.

Well, I attended the badminton competition organized by Sabah Baptist Church this afternoon. The venue was not very ideal as the visibility inside the hall is poor due to the old lightning systems and the wall which consisted of endless holes...

Anyway, I did have a good match with several good players. (even though some of them were aunties! lol) There was one 14 years old national player playing and all of his family members were participated. Guess what, they are tough! I paired with his elder sister but our opponent was his mother and good friend. You may think that they were about the same level but my score for that match was 17-21...Experience does matter! I will like to thank my partner for her full attention on the match. (she did fall badly during the match just to save the shuttlecock >~<)

Despite my countless losing in all the participated competition, the experience acquired during the match is different from the normal practice. Owwu, how I wish I can improve my skills through the practice with those skill players whom I met today!

P/S: Aunt Dorris, you're lucky and proud of your family for having so many skilled children! ^^

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Is your food clean?

Recently there are a lots of news and controversy regarding melamine contaminated dairy products from China. Personally, I am not familiar with chemistry, but roughly from what I have read regarding this harmful chemical, the main consequences of over-intake is the production of kidney stone. I will like to warn my dear readers about this. Please be careful when you buy any imported food and read the food label before you purchase (it is another good consumer habit which is always being ignored) because the affected food is not only including milk products but currently, it also involves vegetables! Look at the news from Bernama:

KOTA KINABALU: The Health Ministry is now on high alert over melamine-tainted vegetables imported from China.
“We have learnt from South Korea that they have detected a high level of melamine in vegetables they import from China,” said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.
“We have launched a Level 4 check on all food products from China where we will take samples to ensure the products are safe for consumption before releasing them into the market,” he told reporters Saturday after attending the Sabah MCA convention here.
Liow assured that melamine-tainted food products in the country were at the permissible level of 2.5 parts per million (ppm), whilst baby products contained one ppm. 
- The Star Online, October 4th, 2008
Waw, no more safety for vegetarian? Well, a good warning for any vegetarian, including me. Frankly speaking, will this serves as one of the obstacles for World Vegetarian Awareness Month campaign by North American Vegetarian Society?
Anyway, it is time that China shall reexamine their product quality level, especially the food that we consume everyday and affects our health both in short term and long term.

Oil based paint or water based acrylics?

If you crafting plastic model kit (like Gundam or the fans coin it as Gunpla), at some point of our crafting experience, we would go to th...