Wednesday, September 24, 2008

White Rabbit

All those white rabbit sweets I have been consuming! Sorry guys! I feel bad that most of you guys had some in my studio. Okay, let's put it this way. I had lots when I had the bowl of white rabbit sweets at my desk. Tapping away at the laptop and scoffing them down while pondering what to write. So, if any body's kidneys is going to kaput, it'll be mine first. I hope that's a consolation to those who are worrying about it now.

While we say our goodbyes to White Rabbit sweets. Here is a walk down memory lane of White Rabbit Sweets history from Wikipedia.

"White Rabbit Creamy Candy originated at the Aipixi Candy Factory of Shanghai in 1943, when a merchant from Aipixi tried a milk candy from England and thought that its taste was not bad. After half a year of development, he then manufactured the factory's own brand of milk candies.

The first Aipixi milk candies were packaged using a red Mickey Mouse drawing on the label, and were named ABC Mickey Mouse Sweets. As their prices were lower than imported products, they became widely popular among the people.

In the 1950s, Aipixi became state-owned. Mickey Mouse was seen as a symbol for worshipping foreign countries, so the packaging was redesigned to feature a naturalistically-drawn White Rabbit and an artist's paint palette with Chinese and English hand-lettering in a colour scheme of red, blue and black against a white background. The result was a distinctive candy label design that became instantly recognizable around the world. The packaging and brand logo have changed over the years: When the candies were first marketed, the White Rabbit on the outer packaging was lying down; however, this was changed to an image of the rabbit jumping. Currently the trade mark animal on the outer packaging has been given enormous neotenic, forward-facing eyes in the style of Japanese manga, while the inner wrapping retains its classic art deco look and naturalistic rabbit.

Initially, production of the candies was capped at 800 kg per day, and they were manually produced. In 1959, these candies were given as gifts for the tenth National Day of the People's Republic of China. In 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai used White Rabbit candies as a gift to American president Richard Nixon when the latter visited China. Today White Rabbit candies are China's top brand of sweet.

Although the White Rabbit brand already had some history, its populalrity worldwide has grown with the economy of China. Cities and agricultural villages' demands are increasing, especially during the Chinese New Year period, when many families provide White Rabbit sweets among other candies for visitors. In 2004, White Rabbit candy sales hit 600 million yuan, with sales increasing rapidly by a double-digit percentage yearly.

Bye, bye White Rabbit Sweets..........

Seraphina Students at Berakas Beach

Lovely muffins made by Candy C.

Margaret in Surya Namaskar
Warm Up & Stretches with Lizzy S.
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Ardha Naukasana (Half Boat Pose)

Ikuyo and Peter

Candy C. side Crane Pose

Pictures taken by Devin Kho

Surya Yoga

Here we go again. Alarm got us up as early as 4am. I was dragging my feet to the washroom and Pete rolled over from bed to floor. "I think I feel feverish. Don't think I can do yoga this morning. Can I be excused?"said Pete. "Not unless I'm excused too. Nice try. You're still coming." He mumbles something I can't hear. Maybe better I didn't know what he was mumbling under his breath.

Even my parents got themselves ready and dad was keen to cook his 'pisang goreng' for the students. "Dad, I did say 'wholesome' food." He looked at me puzzled,"But it is 'wholesome'. It's freshly fried bananas ." I couldn't argue with him. I have to reserve my energy for the rest of the morning.

In my head, I was praying the gatekeeper wouldn't have forgotten to open the barriers at 6am. We needed to drive in and prepare the area for the students.

The skies were still dark and Pete, for some odd reason was wide awake. I looked over and asked, "Are you okay?" Pete had a grin on his face,"I think it's going to rain. I think we might have to go back home." I looked up at the skies and it looked clear. "If it starts raining, I'll make you do the 'anti rain dance' on the beach." He mumbles under his breath again.

At 5.50am, we arrived at Berakas Beach Forest Reserve and the gates were OPENed. I was happy. We droved in, my mum and I walked down to the beach and starting burning stick incense and mosquito coils.

WHACK, WHACK, WHACK......My mum and I were already hitting ourselves silly. We were on the breakfast menu for the sandflies. Then mum started mumbling in chinese. "Ma, you okay?" I asked.

"As if being in child labour wasn't enough, I have to bitten by sandflies because you want to do beach yoga. Can you please choose air con next time leh?"

The sun was just rising up when the students started arriving at 6.15am and within half an hour, we had 29 students sitting cross legged on their mats. Brunei Times reporter Qistina Rangga watched from a distance while Saiful the reporter took several shots as we started off surya yoga with a bit of meditation and then proceeded on to sun salutations.

Shoosh, kwwwssssh, qssssssh, .....sands were sliding into the students mats each time they went into Downward Facing Dog. Decided not to give them any difficult twists.

The yoga session was a smooth flow of Warrior I, II and III. Every student flowed in and out of the pose with grace and focus.

We ended it in less than an hour and some of us went straight to the picnic table. There was so much food!!!! Lots of fruits (dragon fruits, watermelon, bananas, fruit cocktails), salad, mee hoon, chicken wings, satay, pisang goreng, kelupis, muffins, donuts, yam cake, egg sandwiches, fruit juices. And Candy made cupcakes with pretty decorations. She made cute little slippers and yoga mats out of icings on top of the cupcakes. Very nice!

We played some games after. Yee Man's little girl Hazel enjoyed the Blind Man's bluff game. I think Pete and Alan did too. They fought between themselves for the last pressie.

Just want to say, 'thank you' for being there at the beach and thank you again for all the donations and food. See you all again soon.