Saturday, February 23, 2013

Skywatch Friday: Rain Raain, where are you?

Are these rain clouds, we desperately need some rain. There is a total fire ban.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flowers: How many children do you have?

To my grandmas, my aunties  and my fellow bereaved mums. If you look at this spray of orchid, you will see some buds did not reach maturity. We are this orchid plant.

Last evening, my much younger than me boy cousin wrote to me about his late mum.

I knew his mum had a deceased baby. I was in my primary school. Mum came back and told us, 2nd Aunty had a baby, Grand ma asked Mum to dispose of it. My mum found a trishaw man, gave him $20, and he took the dead baby and threw it away like rubbish. Poor Aunty was in the hospital, had no say at all. The baby was to be forgotten. We didn't know if it was a boy or a girl.

This impacted me a lot. When Andrew was dying, and we were discussing his funeral arrangement. I thought of my poor aunty. I wrote about it in my book.

Officialdom has not changed much. This year, we have our census.

 'How many babies have you given birth to?' with the only options for answers being 
a) number born alive
b) none
c) Object to answering this question

This is not allowing woman to include any babies that have been stillborn or died as a result of an early loss. It's like how many children do you have, we only count the surviving ones, the dead ones don't matter.

Media Release

Question 25 of the 2013 census likely to cause distress
Sands New Zealand is  concerned about the distress that is likely to be caused by the wording of
question 25 of the nation’s census form for individuals.
The question asks female respondents to answer the question: “How many babies have you given birth
to?” It then offers three options: Number born alive, none, and ‘object to answering this question’.
These options will likely be viewed as being extremely upsetting by the hundreds of women who, each
year, give birth to a baby who is stillborn.
“Mothers who have had a stillborn baby regularly report distress answering the question, ‘How many
children do you have?’ in social situations,” says Dr Cathy Buntting, Chairperson of Sands New Zealand.
“Now, in the national census, they face the same upsetting predicament. They are asked how many
babies they have given birth to, but there is no room for them to acknowledge their babies who were
born, but who tragically were not born alive.”
Sands New Zealand understands that question 25 relates to the fertility of New Zealand women, and
that this is a statistical concept with social relevance. We also acknowledge that fertility in demographic
terms reflects not the ability to conceive, but the actual bearing of a live child.
Fertility has only been addressed in nine censuses (1911, 1916, 1921, 1945 for Māori only, 1971,
1976, 1981, 1996, and 2006). Sands New Zealand assumes that in the intermittent censuses, fertility
was measured by the use of registered live births against the population total. We endorse a continued
use of this process.
Sands New Zealand also notes that in the 1996 census, 10.6% of the adult female population failed to
answer the question or objected to doing so. We wonder what this level of non-response represents,
and also how meaningful the resulting statistics are?
“A baby’s death is extremely difficult for society to talk about. As a result, parents who have had a
stillborn baby are often disenfranchised in their grief. This feeling is reinforced by the current census,
which completely ignores the hundreds of babies stillborn in New Zealand each year. These babies
might not matter to fertility statistics, but they do and always will matter to the mothers who bore them
and the fathers who miss them!”
Sands New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that supports bereaved parents and whānau when a
baby or infant dies, no matter what age or gestation. “We received a large number of complaints from
both mothers and fathers prior to the 2006 census about this issue, and we are again receiving
complaints with this census. Parents just want the opportunity to acknowledge the existence of their
stillborn babies.”
Dr Cathy Buntting
Chairperson, Sands NZ
Phone: 027 313 4558
21 February 2013

Sands New Zealand

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chinese New year for the Hokkiens.

The Chinese celebrate their new year for 15 days. For the Hokkien/Fujien dialect group of Southern China, they celebrate the 9th day in a big way. According to history, this coastal province was attacked by bandits on the evening of the 8th. They ran into the sugar cane fields. Because the sugar cane plants had "hairs", the bandits didn't want to go into the fields and get itchy all over.

The Hokkiens attribute their survival to the humble sugar cane. Up till this day in Singapore, the Hokkien people would buy two stalks of sugar cane, from the leaves to the roots, and place them on either sides of their front door.

The temples have worshippers and roast pigs and longevity buns. Even non worshippers display the sugar cane as a cultural thing. My parents are Cantonese, I didn't celebrate this day.

Here are sugar canes if you ever wonder where your sweets and lollies come from. I didn't eat a lot of lollies when I was young. Mum would cut a few stalks, we cut them to 1 foot lengths, peel off the hard outer skin, and then bite off and chew the sweet inside. It was good for the teeth, as the fibre clean the teeth very well.

My sister Helen lives in Australia. This closeup shows the bottom end of the sugar cane which you can not eat because it is very hard and has root.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge. I now use the name Ann that Dad used for my Roman Catholic Baptism. Many of my classmates and students would not know who Ann Chin is , as Chin is my married name. I told the water engineer that perhaps I should revert back to my madam name when my books make me famous. LOL. My name in school was Chan Kit Suet, Kit Suet is translated as Puresnow.

This photo was taken when I was 14. It was taken at Buloh Road, a Government quarter. You can see part of the neighbouring house which is identical to ours. The house has stilts. I sent this photo to my pen pal in England, and she noticed the stilts. We had floods every year. The plants behind me is sugar cane.

Skywatch Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It is Chinese/Lunar New Year, and my niece Jane took this photo in Kuala Lumpur. I miss the company of family and good food.

Flowers: zuchinni/courgette

outdoor wednesday: wordless wednesday: Windsurfing

  1. There aren’t many rules for this blog – mostly the usual ones: Every Wednesday, post a photo that speaks for itself (and you are the one to make that judgment!).
  2. Post only photos that you have authority to use.
  3. Include a link to this blog in your post -
  4. Leave the link to your Wordless Wednesday post below on Mr. Linky.
  5. Visit other blogs that are posted, being sure to leave a comment.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Watery Wednesday: Summer in Auckland

Had a great smmer, but these 2 days, you think Autumn/fall is here already.

  1. There aren’t many rules for this blog – mostly the usual ones: Every Wednesday, post a photo that speaks for itself (and you are the one to make that judgment!).
  2. Post only photos that you have authority to use.
  3. Include a link to this blog in your post -
  4. Leave the link to your Wordless Wednesday post below on Mr. Linky.
  5. Visit other blogs that are posted, being sure to leave a comment.
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Red: Lantern and origin of the Chinese New Year.

Brilliant Red   Lanterns for Chinese New Year. On February 18th, I am invited to give a talk of Chinese New Year to the St John Ambulance group. I plan to talk about Why Red colour is used, and the Nian/ dragon. I will have my dragon then.  This is at my friend Francis House; red to frighten away the Nian monster.

I made this monster when I go and give my interactive talks.


Hand-painted Chinese New Year's poetrypasted on the sides of doors leading to people's homes, LijiangYunnan
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian(ChinesepinyinNián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pohutukawa: New Zealand Christmas tree

Thanks Judy for your hard work.

click on link to see other display.  Forever In My Heart exhibition which is at the Peacock Art Gallery, Upton Country Park, from 31 January to 4 February 2013.

Judy Lancaster-Bowen

Hello Ann and Deborah,
The Forever in my Heart exhibition is this week and your book and Deborah's drawings really look so lovely. Thank you so much for including them in the exhibition. Many people, especially, stop for quite a while and look and comment on Deborah's drawings. Really spending the time looking at her Chinese Baby, Andrew, and your family picture. It does touch my heart each time I see someone standing in front of her drawings, and that even though it has been a long time since Andrew passed, you are still able to communicate what was going on for your family when Andrew was going to be "an angel".
Here is a link to the website where I have uploaded photographs from the exhibition.
You can also see more photographs on our facebook
Thank you so much