malaysia Tag Archive

Food does not lie: Malaysia Festival 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment, Student Life

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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).

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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.)

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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?

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Chicken dumpling snack: Steamed Momos

Written by Entertainment, Student Life

This dish I absolutely love. Why? Well because it looks great, it’s convenient to eat and tastes oh so good. This dish isn’t hard to make. Just a little bit of practice and we all can be professional cooks of Momos ! However, they do take some time to make, so ensure that you have a good couple of hours to complete this dish. These snacks are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re also a great picnic snack, party food and really convenient for people who work a lot and have only short breaks in their workplaces.

mommo

A little history on Momos:
They originated from Nepal and Tibet but are a very common fast food in Nepal, North and Northeastern India, Sikkim and Darjeeling. You could say Momos are like dumplings with a Nepalese twist.

So without further ado, I shall tell you how you can make these little packages of delight.

For the skin of the Momos:

Ingredients:

4 cups flour

1 to 1 1/2 cup of water (approximate)

Method:wrapper

  1. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a pit in its center like a well.
  2. Add water slowly and gradually and mix it until the dough can hold itself together.
  3. Knead the dough until it is firm and supple (kneading it for a couple of minutes gives better results)
  4. Flatten the dough completely into a thin yet firm layer.
  5. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out equal shaped wrappers.

For the filling of the Momos:

Ingredients:

1 lb minced chicken

I chopped small onion

2 stalk spring onion

small pinch of cilantro

1 tablespoon oil

2 table spoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

salt and pepper

Method:momo

  1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl using your hands and add teaspoons of water to keep the mixture wet.
  2. Lay the wrappers flat and moisten the edges with water.
  3. Place the filling onto the centre of the wrapper so that there is a 1 or 2 cm border
  4. Pinch the edges of the wrapper together to make a fringe
  5. Put the momos into steamer and wait until they seem dry. If they feel sticky, they need a little more steaming.

Keep practicing and trying and one day you’ll get the perfect plate of Momos.

Good luck!

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Missing Piece likely to be from MH370 found in Mozambique

Written by News

Earlier, the US television channel NBC reported some debris found on the East African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar. There is speculation that it may be from the infamous Boeing 777 used by Malaysia Airlines on the 8th of March, two years ago. The aircraft had mysteriously disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers and crew in total. .

Information on the second piece of debris found at Reunion Island came just days after a US surveyor detected some material 2.1 km away from Reunion Island in Mozambique waters. The 3 m long object was sent to Australia by the Malaysian Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, for analysis.

Malaysia Minister Of Transport – Liow Tiong Lai, on 2/3/2016 said there were pieces from a wreckage that was highly probable to be from a Boeing 777. The Boeing 777 was the aircraft that Malaysia Airlines had used during missing flight MH370.

Aircraft debris was found in Mozambique there is a high probability of a Boeing 777 of the flight MH370 (Photo: NBC News)

Photo: NBC News

On Twitter, Liow Tiong Lai says: “Based on initial reports, there is a high possibility the debris found in Mozambique belongs to Boeing Model 777”. However, he also stressed that some of the wreckage pieces found were still “untested and [confirmed].”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Australia Darren Chester said the location where the materials were found had the same details and bearing number as the MH370 aircraft.

In a statement, the Minister Darren Chester said: “The location of the debris consistent with the hypothesis that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau launched and reaffirmed that Australia turn to search MH370 in the southern Indian coast Indian Ocean “.

(Photo: AFP - Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Blaine Gibson)

Photo: AFP – Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Blaine Gibson

The information above is given only a few days before the two year anniversary date of the missing MH370 aircraft. The investigators thought that the aircraft was on its way south before crashing into the Indian Ocean. However, so far the search teams have not yet been able to localize where the plane crashed and the cause of the accident has yet to be launched.

According to the original, in Momzambique fragments could be part of the stabilizer of the aircraft. If confirmed, this would be the second fragment is found from the plane bearing number MH370 Malaysia Airlines.

Source: AFP

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