Flag Vault

Flag Vault.

The Chingay part of the annual Johor Bahru parade is seldom photographed before sunset. By the time the temple procession and floats move into the city, it is usually way past nightfall. To catch the giant flag bearers in daylight, I went to the starting point in a village. That turned out to be near impossible as every surrounding road was closed for the massive event.

Me and JB resident Sharon navigated through a maze of back roads and shortcuts before finally ending up at the village where the procession assembled. We still needed to walk a long way to the starting point as there were like a million people already there.

Bewildered and unaware of what was going on, we discovered a site where there were 4 different Chinese operas of different dialects and where worshipers congregate to pray. It was human crush just moving along there among the crowds.

Even though I had plenty of experience covering cultural processions, it was to be one of the toughest stints on foot, starting from 3pm to 3am.

Chingay is the street art of balancing and vaulting giant and heavy flags. The Johor Bahru Chingay Parade is said to have a 140-year history. It is happening in JB tonight.

Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f6.3, 1/1000 sec.

#festival #chingay #parade #culture #johorbahru #johor #jb #malaysia #olympus #tbt #chinesefestival,

Raise The Black Monopod

I was taken aback by the sheer number of monopods fighting with joss sticks for space at this temple procession. The new crowdscape of raised cameras is an inevitable sign of the times, I suppose. For the uninitiated, a monopod is a one-legged telescopic camera stand, as opposed to the three-legged tripod.

Many of the dSLR video shooters were using monopods to get a higher P.O.V. or simply to get above the crowd. The trend will become even more prevalent as more new cameras come with remote control and monitoring via smart phones.

The street parade was part of the annual Taoist Chingay festival at the old Chinese Temple in Jalan Trus, JB. Title inspired by “Raise the Red Lantern” by Zhang Yimou.

Olympus OM-D, ISO 320, f6.7, 1/1000 sec.

#chingay #jb #johor #taoism #procession #streetphotography #jossticks #monopods

Multi Faith And JB

Three years ago I caught the sending off or launch procession for the Chingay Festival from the temple in town to the prayer site off town. The JB Taoist procession passed near the very old Catholic church.

I positioned myself and waited for the juxtaposition of icons from the two different faiths. The annual event took place this morning. There was another religious harmony factor involved which I found out when I visited the church a few days later.

The church was built on land donated by the late Sultan Abu Bakar and was then known as the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. There is also a marble statue of Mother Mary gifted by Sultan Sir Ibrahim Abu Bakar and it is still standing at the church’s front courtyard.

#chingay #jb #johor #taoism #procession #streetphotography #jossticks #church

Whoa – Souped Up Cars On Thaipusam Chariot Night

I really don’t know how to write the captions for this pic. You know the cars that we see parked under the bridges in Putrajaya? Their intent are to show off their car’s sound system or I.C.E. (in-car entertainment system), I think.

I always expect see some owners waving jumper cables because battery drain will be no small issue. Haha.

You know how some Yindians like to decorate or accessories their cars in the most gaudy fashion? What happens when they combine the two loves?

Last night, we saw a car decorated like a chariot and it was blasting very loud Indian music. Lo and behold! There wasn’t just one Knight Rider or KITT wannabe.

The whole street had similar cars parked together like an exhibition or competition, all with funky lights and music thumping hard in anticipation of the chariot.

Imagine the noise and blinding lights from the mobile Light Sensation show. Am happy to be able to record this new phenomenon on a Thaipusam procession night.

What are such car competitions normally called, anyway?

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 3200, f4, 1/30 sec.

#thaipusam #chariot #procession #lights #caraudio #night #streetphotograph

What A Lulu

The roads were peppered with mysterious stationery cars that stalled in the middle of the road, it seemed.

Jugjet found his Lulu moment when he realised he was tailgating illegally parked or driverless cars. All of a sudden, I saw a LuLu.

Like a Lulu, I felt like a ‘Jakun’ seeing the bright lights of Las Vegas for the first time. Lulu is also a local slang word for noobiness or a numbskulled person but usually used affectionately.

LuLu, the neon celebrated building here, as I found out later, is an international retail chain with presence in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qater, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and Indonesia. The lights of Vegas were soon outdone by an Yindian car we saw moments later. Coming up next.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 3200, f4, 1/50 sec.

#thaipusam #chariot #procession #lulu #neonlights #lulu #hypermart #streetphotography #night