Entertainment Entertainment

Food does not lie: Malaysia Festival 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment, Student Life

12974454_1017269061696894_7657137633177262451_n

Malaysians and various locals attended the annual Malaysia Festival at Tumbalong Park on September 4th this year. The Malaysia Festival is an annual cultural not-for-profit festival organized by Malaysian Student Committee of Sydney with the support of Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism Malaysia, and Education Malaysia. The organizing committee is made up of Malaysian students in universities all across Sydney and they affiliate with the Malaysian student associations in those universities. The Festival is a great way to connect with locals and educate them about the peninsula of Malaysia.

image2

Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page

It was a sunny day, merging into the beginning of spring. The park was filled with people, particularly in the food stalls. The Festival was larger this year but just as popular. The various stalls formed a U around the main stage with scores of people lining up, especially at the juice stands.

DSC_1085

The sugar cane thirst quencher

Some of the notable food stalls were Papparich and Mamak, both of which had never-ending visits by hungry Sydney-siders and Malaysians alike.

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Some of the delicious food sold at the stalls at Malaysia Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Besides food, there were some cultural stalls as well. The Ministry of Agriculture dedicated a booth for people to experience durian, the thorny and strong smelling fruit that’s become representative of Malaysia.

A cultural booth stood between food stalls. Inside, Malaysian student volunteers manned the booth with cultural games, cultural artefacts, traditional clothes, and traditional processions like a traditional Indian wedding.

DSC_1092

Harimau and Monyet, the Festival’s mascots wandered around the venue, taking photos with kids and adults alike. The atmosphere was jovial and carefree, with laughter and conversations buzzing all around.

Harimau posing with Malaysian students on the eve of the Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

All the while, there were various performances up on stage. There were performances by famous Malaysian artists, instrumental performances, cultural performances, and contests. Young children from the MAAN Malay school performed dikir barat, which is a traditional musical form popular in the state of Kelantan. Malaysian students from Sydney universities also performed the bamboo dance, which is traditional in Sabah.

DSC_1098

The MAAN Malay school performing a medley of famous dikir barat songs for the attentive crowd

DSC_1133

Malaysian students performing the bamboo dance, a traditional dance from Sabah

The notable and much-awaited performer was by Amy Search, a famous Malaysian rockstar. But before the legend, an equally amazing artist took the stage: Cassidy Anderson (a.k.a. CassidyBoleh). She’s an Australian singer who makes Malay covers of various songs. She first rose to fame through her Malay rendition of Let It Go by Idina Menzel. Cassidy was super popular with the crowd, with young and older men gifting her flowers (and one even gave her satay, now that’s #goals).

image1

The only way to profess your love is through food

Visitors didn’t some coming until the very end of the Festival. Every year, the reception has been positive and just as festive as the last year. MFest will be back next year, so don’t forget to check out their Facebook page or website to receive updates! Hope to see you next year to enjoy the delicacies that Malaysia offers.

If you would like to see the goings-on at MFest this year, check out this video montage by Cassidy. (You’ll also get to see her receive the satay mini-bouquet at 5:56.)

Read More

4 Best Mooncake Flavours in Sydney

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment

What is your favourite type of mooncake?

Mooncakes are eaten during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival on the 15th August of Chinese Lunar calendar. Originally, this festival celebrated the moon. The moon is seen as a symbol for family unity and harmony as well as an abundance of harvest. Since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop.

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

There are various types of fillings based on the culture or the region’s tradition. In Australia, since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop or bakery. One of the most common places that have the most types of Chinese mooncakes is Breadtop or Market City. In Breadtop, besides the traditional flavors, there are a few more special fillings such as white lotus seed paste with triple yolks, lava custard, low sugar white lotus seed paste and macadamia nuts, mixed nuts with ham and so on.

Lava custard mooncake (Cre: Miss Tam Chiak)

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

Interestingly, new generations of mooncakes can have transformations in taste and dietary needs, since people are more conscious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, bakers created low-fat, low-sugar mooncakes with ingredients such as yogurt, jelly, and fat-free ice cream. They also offer a healthier choice of filling like green tea, ginger, fruits or veggies. According to some brands, one baked lotus seed paste mooncake with one egg yolk weighs about 180g, has 790 calories, and contains 45g of fat.

Jelly Mooncake (Cre: http://kay.vn)

Here are more types of mooncakes around the world:

1/Vietnamese Mooncakes

Mooncakes in Vietnam are widely known as ‘Banh Trung Thu’ with two common kinds: Baked sticky rice cake and plain sticky rice cake. Both are prepared from cooked glutinous rice. The mooncakes have a crust consisting of cooked glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. The filling consists of delicious ingredients like jam, mung beans, eggs, lotus seed and watermelon seed.

Banh Nuong (Baked Mooncake) (Cre: thegioiphunu.net)

Homemade Vietnamese mixed fruits and nuts mooncake (Cre: Savourydays.com)

Colorful Banh Deo (Colorful Sticky Rice Mooncake) Credit: http://kenh14.vn/

2/Green Tea Mooncakes

Mooncakes and tea are a traditional combination of Chinese food and together they create a new flavour. The green tea mooncakes are made by adding green tea powder to the other fillings and some lotus paste.

                         Mövenpick Green tea Mooncake and Tiramisu with Cheese Mooncake (Cre: Mövenpick)

3/Geppei (Japanese Mooncakes)

Mooncakes in Japan are known as Geppei. The red bean paste (Azuki) is the most popular filling, followed by chestnuts and beans. Unlike other mooncakes, Geppei does not make use of egg yolks as it is not preferred by many Japanese people.

Rabbit Wagashi Mooncakes (Cre: Little Miss Bento)

4/Ice Cream Mooncake

Sounds exciting, right? The ice cream mooncakes are usually square or round in shape. The crust is made from dark or white chocolate and the fillings can be an ice cream flavour of your choice. It also consists of egg yolk and is popular among youths.

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Mooncakes open yolk (Cre: Häagen-Dazs)

***Tip: Buying a box will be cheaper! Have a wonderful evening tasting mooncakes with friends or family with cups of hot tea!!!

What are your favourite flavours?

Read More

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Written by Entertainment

The 2016 Paralympic Games is the 15th Summer Paralympic Games. It’s a major sporting event for athletes with disabilities and this year, the Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 7th of September to 18th of September. The opening ceremony will take place at the Maracanã Stadium.

The International Paralympic Committee has announced that it would include a team of refugee athletes under the Independent Paralympic Athletes and they will compete under the Paralympic flag. Similarly, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games also sported a team of 10 refugee athletes.

The refugee Olympic team 2016

  1. A small gathering of British World War II veterans initially started the Paralympics.
  2. Trischa Zorn of the United States is the most decorated Paralympian in history. She has competed in the blind swimming events and won a total of 55 medals, 41 of which are gold.
  3. Neroli Fairhall, a paraplegic archer from New Zealand, was the first paraplegic to compete and the first Paralympian to participate in the Olympic games back in the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A.
  4. The 2016 Paralympics is the first Summer Paralympics to be held during the host city’s wintertime
  5. This is also the first time a Latin American and South American city hosts the event.
  6. The 2016 games will also see the introduction of two new sports: canoeing and the paratriathlon.
  7. The official emblem of the 2016 Summer Paralympics incorporates a heart and the infinity, symbolizing a beating heart and the idea of an infinite amount of energy to overcome obstacles.

The 2016 Paralympic Games emblem. From left to right: Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro; Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 president; and Sergio Cabral, Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro launching the logo.

Though there have been various disparities in terms of funding and sponsorship between the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games, these shortcomings have little effect on the Games or athletes themselves. These athletes will continue to strive for the best and make their countries proud.

Celebrating diversity and equality.

Australia will send 177 of their best athletes to compete at the Games and we hope you’ll be tuning in to support.

The 2016 Australian Paralympic team

Read More

Pokemon Go: what’s good, what’s not and what’s ugly

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

2016 is a year that will leave its footprint in history. Our future generations will look back at our legacies and think “They had nothing to do, did they?” All jokes aside, this year has fulfilled the dreams and wishes of every Pokemon trainer in the world.

POKEMEN 2
Pokemon been a major part of our childhoods and each of us has wished to have their own unique Poke-squad to challenge and venture with. Thanks to technology we can now do exactly that! Niantic has made a fantastic game which allows players to live a fictional virtual world where we can play as our fictional characters.

The Good:

It forces people to exercise. For real, has there ever in history, existed a game so good that it accidentally makes players exercise? (Emphasis on the unexpectedly).

Tom Yates, a researcher at the University of Leicester, suggests that the new game can ‘ease type 2 diabetes burden.’ He further says that the risk of type 2 diabetes is “widely associated with physical inactivity obesity” and that Pokemon Go “could be an innovative solution for rising obesity levels”. Click here to read more about their findings.

20160731_132630

Photo credit: Sumaiyah Tasneem

Pokemon Go is not a game that you can play walking around your house. (Unless you use a drone, that is some next level stuff). A player must walk to Poke Stops to collect Poke balls, potions and step outside to catch Pokemon. This results in lots of exercises. Walking is one of the best ways to get healthy. Additionally, people get the chance to explore new places and areas too. Families have found a good way to bond with each other through the game, proving that both the younger and older generation can enjoy it. In fact, a nursing home in Florida is using the game to unite and connect their senior citizens. It helps them maintain physical activeness and freshen their minds. 

giphy (3)

On a Facebook page titled “Pokemon Go Stories” many people posted stories both positive and negative regarding the game, however, the positive experiences posted by individuals is noticeably larger in number.

Apart from all the benefits listed above, many people happen to find mental health benefits from the game. Many people feel a sense of community while playing, finding an easier way to socialise with people and expand friendships. In an article by Nathan Grayson,the author speaks extensively on how Pokemon Go has assisted him in dealing with his social anxiety. However, it is important to note that Pokemon Go is not a substitute for mental health treatment but just a tool of assistance in dealing with it.

giphy
One more thing, as silly and fairy-tale like it may sound, it unites people in a world where division threatens unity. This game has made people more united, created a community where people feel a sense of belonging. It is the most fun way to put aside differences and just be friends enjoying the same things.

However, hold it right there. As wonderful as the game is, nothing is perfect. We must know that with incredible technological advances, we have some people who may be careless or use the advancement for harm rather than good. Although Pokemon Go has provided many benefits, it has also attracted some negativity due to various reasons.

The Bad:

The possibility of accidents while playing are very high, many people have reported injuries, car road hazards, trespassing and more dangerous situations, examples ranging from car crashing into a cop carsomeone being shot at for trespassing, and even a man getting threatened at knife point while playing the game. What’s worse about robberies is, the game has the perfect device to lure in unsuspecting players and find themselves victims. The game has a certain feature where setting an “incense” can attract players and Pokemon. However, robbers have invited players into isolated areas and robbed them while they look for that rare Pikachu.  

13925235_1070078096412555_2958579731012906875_n

The Ugly:

Moreover, finally, what’s the most strange and odd thing about this game is the privacy policy. Pokemon Go has access to your entire Google account. Yes. On top of that, they have the right to provide your information to government officials at any given time and place.

The ugly abt Pokemon GoOne can argue that they collect information for statistical purposes. However, to have access to information of many many people and to have the right to provide whatever information to third parties, one cannot help but wonder why exactly they hold onto the information and if they truly use it only for statistical purposes. I’m not a conspiracy theorist! I just find this something to get suspicious over. I cannot be the only one worried and slightly paranoid by this piece of information.

giphy (1)

So finally after reading on about that, do enjoy this game! Be the best Pokemon adventure destiny calls you to be. However, please do be careful! Happy hunting!

 

Read More

Things You Don’t Know About EID in Malaysia

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Islam is a religion practised by over a billion people and Muslims are followers of the faith. The ninth month of the Muslim calendar is the holy time of Ramadan, when Muslims all around the world fast for a month. By avoiding food and water from dawn until dusk, Muslims look to fulfill one of the pillars of Islam. (The five pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam that are considered mandatory and are the foundations of Muslim life.) After resisting temptation and fighting inner demons, they are then rewarded with Eid (or Raya), a month filled with food, forgiveness and celebration. As it is a big occasion in countries all over the world, Eid is observed in tandem with the country’s specific culture.

In Malaysia, where I come from, the event is a huge deal. Preparations can even begin from the second week of Ramadan. It depends on how much money you’re willing to spend, but some families go all out and make their Eid clothes or kuih (koo-weh). Some even give their living room a makeover: new curtains, new cushions, new furniture, new paint, the whole she-bang. Others choose not to be too grand in their Eid preparations. 

What do we do during Eid in Malaysia?

The night before Eid, Muslims in Malaysia watch their TV sets and await the Eid announcement after Maghrib prayers (second last prayer of the day). Once it is announced, a takbeer is heard in the nearby mosques and various TV channels. It is a proclamation to prevent Muslims from becoming too prideful and to remind themselves that the month of Eid is a blessing and a reward from Allah (the Muslim god).

The takbeer is usually performed by men at various mosques

On the first day of Raya, Muslims go to the early Eid prayer at the nearest mosque. Then, they return home to the delicious home-cooked meals that have been prepared that morning or the night before. Raya is celebrated with immediate family members first, then with other relatives and/or friends.

After breakfast, we have a “forgiving session” where family members take turns apologising to each other for any mistakes made or harsh words spoken. Usually, the youngest will ask for forgiveness from the eldest and move down the age line. The reason we do this is because Eid is the time of forgiveness and renewal. A common phrase used during this period of the year is kosong-kosong which translates to “zero-zero”. It means that all past mistakes are forgotten, and we begin our relationship with each other fresh and new for the rest of the year.

As shown here, the oldest sibling is asking for forgiveness from their parents

Families usually go to each other’s houses to visit, reconnect and eat. So people who you haven’t seen in a long while or have never even met before may pop up at your home. But, in the spirit of forgiveness and Eid, you greet them with a smile and open arms. At the end of the visit, the adults may give out duit raya, money in individual packets, young children, students, the elderly and orphans.

Duit raya in colourful packets

The amount will vary depending on each family and each person. The packets are either bought or received for free from various institutions like departmental stores or fashion boutiques. The more relatives you visit, the more delicious food you get to eat and the likelier it will be to get money as well!

What do we wear during Eid?

In Malaysia, we wear our traditional clothes during Raya. Women wear baju kurung or baju kebaya that can be ready-made or tailored.

Baju kebaya

Men wear baju melayu with sampin and songkok.

Though recently, women may be seen wearing long dresses known as Judah or abaya that can have a variety of designs and colours. However, it isn’t usually considered traditional Malay clothing, but Arab.

Since it is encouraged to dress nicely and wear new clothes on the first day of Raya, many people are eager to prepare in the days leading up to it. Some families may even decide to coordinate their Raya clothing. There’s a sudden surge of shoppers at various malls selling traditional materials, new designs pop up (ranging from affordable to expensive), discounts are offered and shoe sales increase. Needless to say, it can get pretty hectic!

However, after the fifth day of Raya, the excitement starts to die down a little bit. You can wear non-traditional clothes or stop serving Raya food to guests if you wish.

What do we eat?

The first day of Raya, we eat traditional Malay food such as ketupat (ke-too-pat), rendang (ruhn-dang), sambal kacang (sam-bal ka-chang) and ayam masak merah just to name a few. Each state will have variations, but it is the same all around Malaysia.

Ketupat or nasi impit are soft rice cakes that have been boiled for a few hours, with a hand-woven coconut leaf case. Because of the skill required to make the casing, ketupat takes longer to make. Therefore, many tend to buy versions ready-made from the market or use nasi impit instead. The skill is still practised in more rural areas of Malaysia though.

 

Ketupat or nasi impit is best eaten with rendang is a dark-coloured spicy meat dish that originated in Indonesia. The smell is one-of-a-kind and aromatic.

Sambal kacang is a spicy peanut sauce that’s usually eaten with satay during normal days. Ayam masak merah is another spicy dish, but it is red and uses chicken instead of meat or peanuts. (We do like our spicy food, eh?)

Seen here are rendang, ketupat, ayam masak merah, sambal kacang, and seronding.

To cool and sweeten our palate, we treat ourselves to various kuih (dessert/pastries) that have been homemade or store-bought in the days leading up to Raya. Desserts may include tart nenas, suji, Almond London, other cookies, cakes and kerepek. In this modern day and age, you have just got to know where to get the best kuih to impress your relatives and friends.

What do we listen to?

Raya-related songs can be heard everywhere you go during this month. Here are some classic selections:

Eid is a grand celebration for Muslims all over the world to mark the completion of Ramadan, regardless of culture and customs. Even so, Eid has its special identity within a culture. For example, in Malaysia, Eid is unique in such a way that it is identified by the food that is served, clothes that are worn, and most importantly, duit raya.

How does your culture uniquely celebrate Eid?

Read More

Unity in the community: My experience in Art Week at The University of Notre Dame

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Mental health is a growing issue in today’s society. One in four of the population suffers from mental health related issues. With all the taboos surrounding it, it has become a challenge to discuss mental health openly and well-being. However, it is an ongoing battle and between students of all ages and backgrounds, spiritual healing is an important aspect of de-stressing and mental peace. To shed light on mental wellness week, Art week was held the University of Notre Dame Australia, on the Broadway campus. It was a week long event dedicated to focusing on the mental well-being of students. My experience in the event was enlightening and opened my eyes to the possibility of art as a coping mechanism for the mind.

Screenshot_2016-05-07-02-31-48-1

Art Week was organised by Students Association of the University of Notre Dame Australia (SAUNDA). In previous years, it used to be a global themed event, in which they had performances such as singing, dancing, etc. However, this year, they turned it up a notch, organising a week-long event, where students displayed their artistic talents while others took part in the interactive art lessons set up my members of SAUNA. It was a set theme, which was art. The goal was to heal mental spirituality through a medium which isn’t commonly used. “It was a collective idea within the team,” said Rian Galliot, the education director of SAUNDA. “The reason we used art was that Notre Dame was full of artistic students who needed an outlet to express their talents.”

suds

Suds and soaps made by Jenny Chen

glowly suds

They glow when you put them through the sunlight!

gren wal 2

Art displays made by students across the green wall looked like a unified masterpiece

“The initial start was hard.” said Christian Santos, president of SAUNDA. “but when it gets going, when people join in, its great. People love being involved in it.”

The student body perhaps wished for something different, and the event delivered successfully. In my opinion, using art as a theme was perfect as it was vague in itself. “Art” was a way of expressing emotions in different ways. Through music, through voices, through drawing/paintings and knitting. There were many amazing singing performances which created a calm, blissful and beautiful environment with musical instruments backing their raw vocals. Other students performed magic and illusion tricks, walking around the courtyard and interacting with students and blowing their minds away (mine included). As for the art displays, many statements were made through the artworks and the viewers related to them. It made me realise that us students go through similar instances and art we find such similarities, connect to each other and be more unified. This was an ice breaker to get more acquainted with students, creating a stronger community. While being in the event, I felt the community spirit, and many participants agreed with me.

“This event is different, unique and brings the community together.” said Christelle Santos, the club director of SAUNDA. 

beauty

sing       gurlss

Additionally, to promote students to get immersed in art, there were art tables set up, where everyone could paint, draw or knit. I was fortunate enough to witness a masterpiece come to life.

prog shots

On Thursday of the week, there was a petting zoo in the courtyard. SAUNDA collaborated with The Law Society of Notre Dame to bring us beautiful animals! Everyone present loved it. Staff members and students alike dropped by for some precious moments with the beloved little creatures today.
baby lamb

 

 

baby bunny

And of course, a great event is never complete without great food. Sausage sizzle and crispy Nutella toasties were served for a dollar each.

king grill

And since this is an art event, there were some amazing artists who I was fortunate enough to meet. Talking to them and discussing the statements, styles and subjects of their works was insightful and inspiring. To look at their works, follow them on social media:

Jenny Chen

Instagram: One_Eye_Deer

Facebook: Suds ‘N’ Sparrow

“I get to focus on nothing but the brush strokes, its like art therapy.”

JENNIE

Julie Tabouli

Instagram: Jodie tabouli

“When exams pile up, I procrastinate, and art is the result.”

JULLIE

Marie Carydis

Instagram: aquarellaart

Facebook: AquarellaArt

“I am an Australian artist residing in Sydney. I predominantly draw and paint fantasy or nature-based art using watercolour.

MARRIE

Rian Galliot

Deviant art: Astaldour.deviantart.com

“Art is meant to be an expression of beauty, and I like to express what that means. For me, as a Catholic, the topic of God is the source of beauty.”

boxseu

I would like to thank everyone who came to the event, participated in it, enjoyed it and mostly, the Student Association and everyone else who was involved in organising it. The event was very well planned and executed. Many students and I included would love to see this event happen again. I encourage everyone to join in on the fun next time, submit their art, perform and get involved! It’s all worth it, I promise you. 🙂

Read More

1 Queen, 12 Presidents, 29 Prime Ministers

Written by Entertainment, Uncategorized

April 21 was Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.

She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She celebrated 60 years on the throne in June 2012 with the Diamond Jubilee. Since then, there have been 12 U.S. Presidents and 29 Australian Prime Ministers. WOW! To commemorate the Queen’s 90th, here are some fun facts about the beloved sovereign.

1. She speaks fluent French and often uses it for audiences and state visits. She doesn’t require a translator because of this. [VIDEO]

2. Her Majesty is Britain’s 40th monarch since William the Conqueror.

3. In 2002, at 76 years of age, Elizabeth II became the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee.

The youngest was James I (James VI of Scotland), who was 51 years old.

4. The Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, introduced small, informal luncheon parties at the Palace to meet unique people from all professions, trades, and vocations.

It was first held on May 11, 1956 and the tradition continues to this day.

5. The Queen, technically, still owns the sturgeons, whales, and dolphins in the waters around the U.K.

A statute from 1324, during the reign of King Edward II is still valid to this day. Sturgeons, porpoises, whales, and dolphins are recognized as “fishes royal.” When they are captured within 3 miles of U.K. shores, they can be claimed on behalf of the Crown.

She also retains the right to ownership of all unmarked, mute swans in open water (Credit: Alamy)

6. Who says older people cannot join Facebook? The Queen herself joined Facebook in November 2010, albeit with a page called The Royal Family, which features royal news, photos, videos, and speeches.

You cannot poke the royal family, though.

7. She also joined Twitter in July 2009, with teams at Buckingham Palace tweeting daily updates. None of the royals actually tweet.

8. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s first televised address, a YouTube channel was launched for the royal family, called the Royal Channel.

The Palace had hoped it would make her annual speech much more accessible to the younger crowd and those in other countries. [VIDEO]

9. Her real birthday is in April but each Commonwealth country traditionally celebrates her birthday on a designated day in May or June.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, it falls on the first, second or third Saturday in June. Britain had officially marked its sovereign’s birthday since 1748 when the event was merged with the annual “Trooping the Colour” ceremony and parade. Elizabeth spends her real birthday enjoying private festivities with her family.

Baby Elizabeth (Credit: Speaight/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

10. During her time on the throne, she is no stranger to strange gifts, including a variety of wild animals.

The more unusual ones have been placed in the care of the London Zoo. Some of it include jaguars and sloths from Brazil and two black beavers from Canada.

11. There have been 6 Roman Catholic Popes during Her Majesty’s reign (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI).

12. It is pretty rewarding to be a palace staff: the Queen gives her entire staff gifts at Christmastime.

Continuing the custom of King George V and King George VI, the Queen and her husband also give our Christmas puddings to their employees.

13. She joined the women’s branch of the British army and learned to drive in 1945.

She and Winston Churchill’s daughter were members of the group, known as the Auxiliary Territory Service. The queen remains the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is the only living head of state who served in World War II.

Elizabeth dons a uniform and stands beside an ATS first aid truck in WWII (Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

14. She was a Girl Guide (1937), a Scouting movement for girls and a Sea Ranger (1943), a section of the Girl Guides focused on sailing.

15. The Queen is a keen photographer and enjoys taking pictures of her family.

The Duke of York is also a photography buff and has taken some photographs of Elizabeth, including an official photograph for Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

The Queen “photobombing” Australian hockey player Jayde Taylor’s selfie (center) at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 (Credit: Rex Features/Madame Tussauds)

16. In 2003, she sat for her first and only hologram portrait, which is made up of more than 10,000 images of the Queen layered over one another, giving it a 3-D effect.

17. She has 30 godchildren.

18. The Queen has met at Buckingham Palace, the most prominent astronauts of the day.

First man in space, Russian commander Yuri Gagarin (top left); first woman in space, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (bottom left); and the first men on the moon Neil Armstrong (far left), Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (right), and Michael Collins (left) (Credit: Alamy/AP)

19. She visited a mosque in the U.K. for the first time in July 2002, in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

20. Elizabeth has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan, who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944.

A good proportion of these has been direct descendants from Susan. Elizabeth currently has five corgis: Emma, Linnet, Monty, Holly, and Willow..

You can never have too many corgis in your life (Credit: Rex Features)

21. In June 2002, to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, the Queen hosted the first public concerts in the garden of Buckingham Palace.

She attended both the classical and pop concerts. The Party at the Palace show was one of the most-watched pop concerts in history, attracting about 200 million viewers from all over the world.

22. She was the first member of the royal family to be awarded a gold disc by the recording industry.

The live CD recording of the concert as mentioned earlier went on to sell 100,000 copies.

23. She hosted Buckingham Palace’s first women-only event, “Women of Achievement,” in March 2004.

24. Only three other world heads of state have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee during Elizabeth’s reign: King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2006; the former Sultan of Johor (now part of Malaysia) celebrated his in 1955; and Emperor Hirohito of Japan celebrated his in 1986

25. The last and only other British monarch to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897, at the age of 77.

At 86, Queen Elizabeth will be the oldest monarch to celebrate this occasion.

Queen Victoria arriving at her Diamond Jubilee at St. Paul’s Cathedral. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

26. She is the first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two different countries.

27.Queen Elizabeth II is supposedly the only British monarch properly trained on how to change a spark plug.

She received driving and mechanic training as a member of the Auxiliary Territory Service. [VIDEO]

28.She does not have a passport, despite being history’s most widely traveled head of state, having visited roughly 116 countries during her reign.

Since all British passports are issued in the queen’s name, she does not need one. She also doesn’t require a driver’s license, though she has been known to take joyrides around her various estates in her Range Rover.

29. She paid for her wedding dress in ration coupons.

Held during the postwar recovery years, their wedding was relatively understated. Elizabeth had to save up ration cards to purchase the material for her wedding dress, an ivory satin gown designed by Norman Hartnell and encrusted with 10,000 white pearls.

(Credit: PA/Alamy)

30. The Queen was shot at by a teenager during her birthday celebration on June 13, 1981.

Marcus Sarjeant, a 17-year-old who idolized the assassins of John F. Kennedy and John Lennon, had fired six blank shots in the queen’s direction. Elizabeth merely calmed her startled horse and resumed her procession.

The Queen rides her horse on the official celebration of her birthday shortly before a would-be assassin fired at her. (Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

31. Elizabeth II has a way to go before she becomes the world’s longest serving monarch.

King Sobhuza II of Swaziland ruled for an incredible 82 years from 10/12/1899 to 21/08/1982.

(Credit: Courtesy National Record Office)

32. Madame Tussauds have showcased 23 different waxworks of Her Majesty to date.

(Credit: Rex Features/Madame Tussauds)

33. The Imperial State Crown that Queen Elizabeth II wears at the State Opening of Parliament is set with 2,868 diamonds.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend (Credit: Getty Images)

34. There have been 12 U.S. Presidents during her reign, starting with Harry S. Truman and all the way to Barack Obama.

(Credit: Getty Images)

35. The Queen has sat for 130 official portraits. Her first was in 1933 when she was only 7 years old.

(Credit: Rex Features)

36. In Maori, the Queen is known as Kotaku, which means “the white heron.”

(Credit: Rex Features)

37. The Queen attended her first football match in 1953.

She is seen here handing a medal to Blackpool’s victorious Stanley Matthews (Credit: Getty Images)

 

BONUS: Here’s a lovely, family tribute video celebrating Queen Elizabeth at 90.

For more information about the Queen, visit the official Royal Family website here.

Sources:

TIME

ABC7

History.com

The Telegraph UK

Read More

Only 90’s Indonesian and Vietnamese Kids Know It!

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

If I am an Indonesian kid from 90s:

I would get excited on Sunday morning for these cartoons on TV

 

I would buy this kids magazine every week

 

This Annabelle-looking doll may look creepy to you but for 90’s kids – me, we knew she’s got big dreams

 

I would have an Umbrella Chocolate Snack in every birthday party

 

I would eat these for afternoon snack during the school time

 

I would chew Yosan Bubble Gum every single day

 

I would draw the exact same landscape more than once

If I am a Vietnamese kid from 90s:

I would check this “Tamagotchi” every single minute

I would skip my lunch nap and play “’Bịt mắt bắt dê” (Blind Man’s Buff) during the break

 

I would battle “Trò Chơi Câu Cá” with friends all the time, even with parents

 

I would save money only to buy this

 

I would have a whole collection of the marbles to play “Bắn bi” game (Marble)

I would wait for the show every single night

Read More

World Press Photo 2016

Written by Entertainment

World Press Photo 2016 is a global exhibition showcasing the best visual journalism of the past year. Compelling photos are displayed in the State Library of New South Wales until the 19th of June. I urge you to visit the impressive library and the exhibition. But a fair warning, some photos are graphic so viewer discretion is advised.

The atmosphere at the exhibition was silent and reflective. The photos felt emotional and raw, bringing to life the phrase “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. The photos brought to life some of the remotest parts of the world, such as the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Tibetan Buddhists would travel to this place for the week-long Bliss Dharma Assembly. Photos of the earthquake that hit Nepal were also featured. These were some of the most emotional photos I had ever seen, apart from photos of the refugee crisis.

13293158_1398778456802757_1338726639_n

The Larung Gar Buddhist Academy at Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture celebrating the week-long Bliss Dharma Assembly

13250402_1398778416802761_1898376210_n

Some of the devastating shots after the massive earthquake that hit Nepal

13282163_1398778403469429_822910857_n

Some of the devastating shots after the massive earthquake that hit Nepal

Beautiful shots of nature, as well as some of the bloody truths of the world, are on display. They remind us to acknowledge that even though some of these issues don’t affect us directly, it will surely affect us in the long-run both personally and as a species. News of devastating events such as the earthquake in Nepal, the refugee crisis, or police brutality becomes much more real because you can’t simply change the channel and pretend things like that aren’t happening.

13281884_1398778446802758_1468692086_n

Shots of the current state of some of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas as a result of police shootings

13278112_1398778326802770_544361538_n

Some of the less gory photos of the refugee crisis, including the famous one where Syrian refugees designate a chair for each member of the family that they’ve lost

13288974_1398778333469436_764129986_n

Racism is not a thing of the past and it is still a heated topic in America

But, not all photos that were displayed were of devastation. There were shots of sports such as basketball, ski-jump, and synchronized swimming.

13250484_1398778390136097_1142946948_n 13277936_1398778360136100_1056011306_n 13288991_1398778430136093_695025150_n

Photos of cultural traditions such as the feast of Las Mayas were included as well.

13292867_1398778346802768_892445997_n

Life at the Antarctic was also captured, truly reminding us that there is life just about anywhere.

13278030_1398778336802769_1322445357_n

It is important to remember that though these shots are beautiful, they are more than art. They are real people, real photographers, who sometimes risk their lives to showcase the truth. These are real issues and each shot tells a story. This exhibition connects us with each other because empathy is universal.

“World Press Photo’s prestigious Photo of the Year was awarded to this evocative image of a Syrian man handing his baby through barbed wire as he crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary It was captured in August 2015 by Warren Richardson, the first Australian to win World Press Photo’s top honours!” (taken from The State Library of NSW Facebook page)

So please, visit the exhibition and see for yourself these compelling images because the photos featured in this article do not do them any justice. The library opens at 9am Monday – Friday and 10am Saturday – Sunday.

Read More

Calligraphy is Not Dead!

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

Calligraphy comes from the Greek word kalligraphía, whose root words are kallos (meaning “beauty”) and graphein (meaning “write”). Back in the olden times, it was a tool for communication, but it was also an art practiced in many languages in various cultures. Some examples of languages that practice calligraphy as the art of beautiful writing are Arabic, Persian, Indian, Mongolian, Chinese, and Japanese

Sometimes calligraphy is used as a substitute for “regular” art. In Islam, it is forbidden to paint portraits, hence, why Arabic calligraphy boosted in importance and sophistication. Islamic calligraphy has been used from architecture to coin design, with beautiful writings of passages from the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.

In Chinese history, calligraphy is seen as one of the highest forms of Chinese art. What you wrote is as important as the way you write it. The history of Chinese calligraphy is as long as that of China. It’s more than just a showcase of the abstract beauty of lines, but a way of self-expression and preservation of culture.

An artist by the name of Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang has fused Islamic calligraphy with that of Chinese. He works to write Arabic using traditional Chinese calligraphic brushes and techniques. Born in 1963 in the Shandong Province of China, he is a renowned master of this art form. He’s the first Chinese Muslim to be awarded the Egyptian Certificate of Arabic Calligraphy. Haji Noor’s work has created a new world of calligraphy, much like J. K. Rowling has created a new world for witches and wizards. His art falls under the subcategory called “Sini”, which is a Chinese Islamic form for Arabic script

His work has been displayed in galleries and museums around the world, often known as the first Chinese/Arabic artist. Visit him on his website for more details.

As an added bonus, here are some modern calligraphy art to soothe your senses.

Be right back, I am going to find myself a brush, pen, and some ink.

Read More