Something Evil’s Lurking in the Dark

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaturday 1st November was not for the weak hearted as ghouls from every land and clime descended on Muzium DiRaja (Istana Lama) and started to walk in their masquerade. Yes, it was the annual dinner of the museum volunteers; a night filled with fun activities and ending with a Thriller dance choreographed by Mariana and performed by CK, Cze Yan, Effa, Karen, Kayla, Kuan Yong, and Mariana. You can catch the dance by clicking here.

The ghouls started arriving at 5pm but were stopped at their tracks with a quiz. Although termed a treasure hunt, this really was a straight forward quiz which could be answered by poking around Muzium DiRaja. Answers to the quiz can be found here. Marking was lenient but the only treasure hunt-like question (question 16) stumped everyone. Let’s discuss this question: Stinted madly but gave a crown. In which room can you find this? In treasure hunt parlance, “madly” is an anagram indicator. An anagram of “stinted” is “dentist” and a dentist gives a crown. So both parts of the question give “dentist”. Where can you find the dentist – at the Royal Clinic and this is the answer. Another question worth mentioning is: What are the different moods available to the Agung in his bedroom? If you went on the tour, the guide would have shown you the different moods – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. This is achieved via lights controlled by a panel on the wall. Overall, the ghouls did very well. Congrats to Sham and Ned for tying at the highest score.

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As darkness fell across the land, the ghouls sat down to enjoy a spicy dinner catered from Pakeeza. But unknown to them, the Chief Ghoul was checking them out to see if they met the high standards set for scariness. Edwin, the little count Dracula, got the nod as did Harith, the British officer from days gone by.  The Pontianak Effa was lauded as the scariest female around. Approval was also given to Nisrin for the chilling photo booth backdrop and to Kinga for the grisly cake that the ghouls relished to the last bit.

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Dinner was not a picnic as the ghouls had to toil during this meal and come up with terror inducing centerpieces; the prize for the best went to Hayley.  They also had to write stories using horror film titles – Robin and Ng Wei had the best. Let’s enjoy these two stories while reliving the night – another feather in the witch’s hat for Cze Yan.

(more photos have been uploaded onto Facebook)

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Martin wanted to borrow Jacob’s Ladder to Come and See The Birds and The Fly that were living on The Thing on the side of The Orphanage. Kwaidan had also told Martin to paint a picture of a Peeping Tom on The Old Dark House. “What colour?” Martin asked, using the same voice he had used in his Audition. “Deep Red”, Kwaidan replied. “That is a Suspiria colour,” Martin said, feeling a bit Braindead. So Martin climbed up the ladder, but as he climbed past a shot of the bloke who had cornflakes before killing The Abominable Dr Phibes, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, he thought up a better plan then The Wicker Man had come up with. “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death”, he chuckled as The Fog started to close in. Martin was worried though. Jessica’s mother, Carrie, might not open the window to Let the Right One In. He got to the top of the ladder and The Mist had lifted. He stopped and looked into a window. Inside he saw Eyes Without a Face watching The Black Cat. He shivered and had a quick drink of Wolf Creek to settle his beating Angel Heart. The Vanishing mist allowed him to peer closer into the room without Repulsion. He looked at his watch, a Cronos Videodrome which had been in his Possession since that “Daughter of Darkness” incident. 28 days Later, it was still working and played Black Sabbath’s famously unpublished song Black Christmas Freaks in the Dead of Night. Maybe looking for Jessica wasn’t such a good idea. Polite Society would never forgive him. He climbed down the ladder and walked off to see Father Psycho, his favourite priest. He tapped on Father Psycho’s door using the Eraserhead knocker. Father Psycho was busy practicing his magic tricks, his best one being The Vanishing Ring. Father Psycho walked towards the door and turned The Shining door handle.  “Don’t Look Now”, he said to Martin. “The house is in a mess. It feels like I have had an Invasion of the Baby Snatchers”. “We are all Martyrs to our religion, Father”, replied Martin, entering the Halloween themed hallway. Rubbing his Jaws, which still ached after that Switchblade Romance with The Haunting woman Salo, Father Psycho looked at Martin. He was worried that Martin was spending too much time with The Freaks who were A Nightmare on Elm Street. “I’m sorry Father,” Martin said. “I wanted to Come and See you, not The Others. “I am sorry Martin, I am too busy today. I am doing a wedding. I am marrying Professor Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein”. Saddened Martin left, still worrying about Jessica. “God Told Me To help her,” he thought.

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It’s a dark dark night. Two kids are staying in the house. Suddenly… “Shhh… Oh no! There’s something outside the window. The Thing is crying like old Rosemary’s Baby. Come and See, Martin,” said the Daughters of Darkness. “Come on, Ms. Darkness. There’s no such thing as ghosts. If so, I will be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and God Told Me to marry the Bride of Frankenstein”, answered Martin. As soon as they looked out of the window, they heard something whispering, Don’t Look Now… It’s the Night of the DemonKill, Baby…Kill!” Then both of them saw a pair of Deep Red Eyes Without a Face. Martin and Ms. Darkness screamed. “Oh, come on… you two are always so dramatic…”, said Frankenstein and Dracula as they came in through the door. “Ha ha ha. We knew it was you. Happy Halloween! Let’s enjoy this Phantasm night.” Soon the Others joined in and started to dance like The Devil’s Backbone.

Bunka no Hi – MV style

by Maganjeet Kaur

We learned to eat sireh like a lady, we learned about French cheese and wine, we learned to tie the yukata, we learned how to walk elegantly in Dutch clogs and we learned the correct way to drink Japanese tea – all in a convivial atmosphere with good food, music and company.

After last year’s resounding success with Bollywood night, this year’s annual dinner organisers were challenged to match this and last Saturday (16 Nov), Cze Yan, together with Karen and Erina, gave us a night to remember at Simply Mel’s.

460Simply Mel’s is a family owned restaurant at Bangsar South serving Kristang food and we were treated to an array from the Portuguese-Melakan heritage; with the Cincalok and the Portuguese Devil Curry being my personal favourites. After the meal, the owner, Melba Nunis Victor known simply as Mel, gave us an insight to Kristang food including some of the traditions handed down from mother to daughter. For example, pineapple tarts used to be cut using a round thingummy and the flowery sides were hand-crafted into shape – a laborious task made easier today with the use of plastic (I think) moulds.

398The meal was accompanied with lovely music. We were fortunate to be entertained by a group of very accomplished koto players. The koto is a string instrument and it is the national instrument of Japan.

An experience of Japanese culture would not be complete without sampling tea and Erina hosted a session where the volunteers were taught the correct way to drink tea.

An expert taught the volunteers on the correct procedure to drink tea
An expert taught the volunteers the correct procedure to drink tea
While some volunteers learned to drink tea, others learnt to tie the yukata.
While some volunteers learned to drink tea, others learnt to tie the yukata.
Erina was proud of the four volunteers who tied the yukata
Erina was proud of the four volunteers who tied the yukata

We like our wine and we like our cheese. But do we know where the different wines and cheeses come from? Dany challenged us to find out and we learned a lot about French wines and cheeses in the process – pity there were none for sampling. Anyway, it was a contest whereby Dany had prepared a list of regions in France and volunteers had to figure out which wines or cheeses were associated with these regions and with a prize for the volunteer who got them all. It turned out that six volunteers got all the answers correct! But Dany was only giving out one prize and so she made them sing for the prize – they had to sing a song by Edith Piaf. Ingrid and Susan took up the challenge and sang together leaving Dany with no choice but to present prizes to both.

Dany, handing out the prizes to Ingrid and Susan
Dany, handing out the prizes to Ingrid and Susan

This was not the only contest – we also had a slogan writing contest. The MV committee wanted a slogan to go with our logo and volunteers were asked to submit entries. Volunteers rose to the task and 26 entries were submitted. After dinner, we voted on the best three. The slogan ‘take the mystery out of history‘ was the front runner; easily beating the next highest entry, which was ‘take today to know the past‘ by a comfortable margin. There was a tie for third place – ‘making history interesting‘ and ‘2kang cerita‘. These four slogans will be submitted to Dato’ Ibrahim for his final choice which will then become our official slogan.

On hand to showcase Dutch culture was Mique who was prettily attired in Dutch costume together with tulips and clogs. Ashok, then, paraded for us in the clogs that Kokkie had kindly lent for the demonstration.

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The sireh tradition is the quintessential Malay custom and using the tepak sireh received during her wedding, Zahara explained the cultural significance behind each ingredient in the quid as well as how to correctly roll a quid. A quid for anyone? Chewing betel is supposed to prevent tooth decay and mindful of my upcoming dental appointment, I put my hands up for the first quid rolled out. The quid was kept in place with a clove and this was a bit too sharp for me but, apart from this, it had an interesting flavour. The powers that be say that although betel chewing is not addictive, it gives a sense of well-being. Although it was a short chew, I can attest to this and I am ready for my next quid.

Zahara explaining how to roll a quid with the help of Karen
Zahara explaining how to roll a quid with the help of Karen
Yukari sampling a quid
Yukari sampling a quid

Enjoy the photos below (you can click on them to get the full view) and if you do have some good photos, please do post these onto Facebook.

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Museum Volunteers’ Annual Dinner – Bollywood Style

By Hani Abdullah

The Museum Volunteers (MV), a non-profit organisation hosted under the Department of Museums Malaysia, has been operating for six years now and chose to celebrate its anniversary recently in an annual dinner themed “Odissi Night”.

Stuart tying a turban with Karen looking on
Stuart tying a turban with Karen looking on

Volunteers from all the training batches came together, dressed in Bollywood-style with garlands, pottu, headgear and all, and were treated to a delectable array of Indian cuisine – vegetarian, halal and non-vegetarian – as well as a night of fun-filled entertainment complete with prizes, all provided for by among their own volunteers.

At first, the 50 adults and 7 children were given a saree-tying demonstration, where three different styles were shown, before a competition was held for the most decent-looking saree tied within 5 minutes.

Mariana and Effa dancing to "Chammak Challo"
Mariana and Effa dancing to “Chammak Challo”

Then the song “Chammak Challo”, one of the most famous Bollywood songs, filled the air while two volunteers gave a captivating, hip-gyrating, dance performance that could put the likes of Kareena Kapoor to shame, and which managed to pull the crowd to the floor to join them in a surreal Hindi movie-like flash-mob performance.

Volunteers strutting their stuff
Volunteers joining in the dance

Later a tricky museum gallery quiz was distributed to tease the volunteers more than test them with its cheeky questions, and later the best dressed female and male received their 2 minutes of fame.

A night to remember!!  Enjoy the photos below which can also be viewed on F481728_499527256744737_2023752662_nacebook386382_499527650078031_214705043_n.270142_499527230078073_1960988390_n

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MV Odissi Night

MV ANNUAL Dinner at THE OLIVE TREE

DATE : Sunday 18 November

TIME : 7:00pm onwards

VENUE : THE OLIVE TREE, B-2-6 Plaza Damas 3 (opposite Hartamas shopping centre & next door to Agung’s palace)                          

COST: RM35 nett (children 4-12: RM17.50 nett. Children below 4: free)

The Cuisine

The Olive Tree is a Halal restaurant.

The buffet is suitable for vegetarians. Meat dishes are placed in a separate section

An Odissi to Remember

Please dress up in your favourite saree, kurta, gamchha, sherwani, sharara, lehenga, etc.  There will be a prize for the best dressed!

There will also be party games suitable for museum volunteers – charades based on Muzium Negara artifacts, saree tying competition, etc.

Come for the food and stay for the fun.

Registration

Please register at focusmv@yahoo.com by Sunday 4 November 2012.
Please do register sooner rather than later so that we can plan better.
The Olive Tree is a very popular (no joke) North Indian restaurant & wants us to confirm our number of diners 2 weeks beforehand with a deposit.

MV Fourth Anniversary Dinner

Around 40 MV members came along to our 4th Anniversary Dinner on October 13 in Precious Restaurant in Central Market. The food was most excellent Nonya cuisine and we were all very happy to welcome in the fifth year of Museum Volunteers. Our president Chrissy Lioe gave a short speech, and called for new MV members to step forward and take  up responsibilties in our lovely MV. We have come a long way in a short time!

Precious Restuarant, Cenrtal Market