World's Best Airline & Airport 2021

Qatar takes both the World's Best Airline & Airport in 2022
Qatar Airways named World’s Best Airline for seventh time at 2022 World Airline Awards

Qatar Airways has been voted the World’s Best Airline for a record seventh time at the 2022 World Airline Awards, winning the prestigious Airline of the Year 2022 title.

After two years of virtual award ceremonies, the 2022 World Airline Awards event returned to normal procedures, with airlines from around the world attending the 2022 awards ceremony, held today at the historic Langham Hotel in London, United Kingdom. Widely regarded as ‘the Oscars of the aviation industry’, the World Airline Awards began in 1999, and remain totally independent and impartial with all of the customer survey costs and awards event paid by the organisers, Skytrax.

Singapore Airlines takes second position in the world, with Emirates third, ANA All Nippon Airways fourth, and Qantas Airways in fifth position, out of more than 350 airlines included in the survey results. The World’s Top 20 Airlines in 2022:
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Emirates
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Qantas Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Air France
  • Korean Air
  • Swiss Int’l Air Lines
  • British Airways
  • Etihad Airways
  • China Southern
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Cathay Pacific
  • KLM
  • EVA Air
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Vistara

Doha Hamad International takes ‘World’s Best Airport’ award

Hamad International Airport has been named as the World’s Best Airport for the second year running, announced at the 2022 World Airport Awards that were held at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Paris, France on 16 June 2022. Other major winners include Singapore Changi Airport, winning awards for the World’s Best Airport Staff Service and the World’s Best Airport Dining; Istanbul Airport won the awards for the World’s Best Airport Shopping and as the Most Family Friendly Airport.

Tokyo Haneda Airport won awards as the World’s Cleanest Airport, the World’s Best Domestic Airport, the Best Airport in Asia and the Best Airport PRM & Accessible Facilities. King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh secured the award as the World’s Most Improved Airport. Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport was named the World’s Best Regional Airport; Copenhagen Airport won the World’s Best Airport Immigration Processing award, and Zurich Airport repeated it’s success winning the World’s Best Airport Security Processing award.

The World Airport Awards are voted on by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. They are regarded as the quality benchmark for the world airport industry, assessing customer service and facilities across over 550 airports. The survey and awards are independent of any airport control, influence or input. Analysis of the results shows a close correlation to customer numbers using the airports during 2021, a time when varying travel conditions remained in place across many global regions, and with air travel quickly returning across most of the world, more normal times are coming back. The World’s Top 20 Airports for 2022:
  • Hamad International Airport
  • Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
  • Singapore Changi Airport
  • Narita International Airport
  • Incheon International Airport
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Munich Airport
  • Istanbul Airport
  • Zurich Airport
  • Kansai International Airport
  • Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
  • Central Japan International Airport
  • London Heathrow Airport
  • Dubai International Airport
  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Madrid-Barajas Airport
  • Copenhagen Airport
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
  • Vienna International Airport
  • Hong Kong International Airport

Qatar takes both the World's Best Airline & Airport in 2021
AirlineRatings.com announced its 2021 Airline Excellence Awards 20 Top Airlines in the World

Heading the list is Qatar Airways followed by Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, EVA Air, British Airways, Lufthansa, ANA, Finnair, Japan Air Lines, KLM, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin Australia, Delta Air Lines, and Etihad Airways.

To be named in the top twenty, airlines must achieve a seven-star safety rating and demonstrate leadership in innovation for passenger comfort. Qatar Airways was ranked number 1 because of its cabin innovation, passenger service, and its dedication and commitment to continue to operate throughout the COVID pandemic. The airline has a host of industry firsts. First to complete IATA’s important IOSA safety audit, first to be fully COVID audited and compliant by both AirlineRatings and Skytrax, and amongst the first to trial IATA’s COVID Safe Travel Pass.

Air New Zealand which took the second position in the Top Twenty, is always at the forefront of airline awards because of its constant innovation and industry leadership. In third position is Singapore Airlines which continues to excel in technology innovation and in-flight products. The airline also took at Best First Class.

Qatar takes the World's Best Airport 2021
Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar

Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, has been voted the Best Airport in the World at the Skytrax 2021 World Airport Awards, ending Singapore Changi Airport’s eight-year reign at the top.

This year, the World Airport Awards have recognized the efforts of global airports in adapting and meeting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the past 18 months officially recognized as the most financially difficult period on record.

Airports across the globe have invested to provide the safest possible environment for their customers and staff during the pandemic, although events have impacted some regions and airports more than others, with many areas having few, if any, international routes operating for more than a year.


Ho Ching urge Singaporeans not to be kiasu

Update 19 Feb 2022: Ho Ching calls out ‘entitled’ customers, calling them worse than a ‘Yaya Papaya’

Prolific Facebook commentator  Ho Ching offers her views on the wave of people exhibiting unjustified superiority and self-entitlement, as described in a New York Times Magazine article by contributing writer Maggie Jones. The article headlined “See (the Worst People in) the World”  retells the stories of how Covid-era passengers have turned the job of flight attendant into “a total nightmare”.

The well-travelled Madam Ho condemns these passengers from Hell as being worse than a Yaya Papaya, a Singlish slang term describing people who are arrogant gloating braggarts. Well, you get the picture. And here’s the point. One would think that Madam Ho, being the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and a corporate bigwig in her own right, would feel, well,  entitled to feel entitled. But her sympathies are definitely with the downtrodden.

Madam Ho makes quite plain her sentiments towards people insisting on “more” rights, and how their sense of entitlement affects other people who are just doing their job. She says:
  • “Somehow, if we veer towards demanding more and more ‘rights’ for ourselves, we become an ungracious society that does not respect the rights of others and become abusive of others.
  • “Being abusive to nurses who look after us or our families in hospitals, or being aggressively demanding on-air stewardesses who serve us on board flights, reflect poorly on ourselves.
  • “Perhaps people do this to show their “superiority”, but it shows them up to be inferior people who drag society down the path of anarchy, distrust, and abuse.
  • “It’s one thing to be a yaya papaya.
  • “It is quite another to tell lies, abuse our position of trust, and then wrapping ourselves up in the cloak of victimhood to excuse our bad behaviour.”

HO Ching Yesterday at 9:54 AM

Somehow, if we veer towards demanding more and more “rights” for ourselves, we become an ungracious society that does not respect the rights of others, and become abusive of others.

Being abusive to nurses who look after us or our families in hospitals, or being aggressively demanding on air stewardesses who serve us on board flights, reflect poorly on ourselves.

Perhaps people do this to show their “superiority”, but it shows them up to be inferior people who drag society down the path of anarchy, distrust, and abuse.

It’s one thing to be a yaya papaya.

It is quite another to tell lies, abuse our position of trust, and then wrapping ourselves up in the cloak of victimhood to excuse our bad behaviour.

Ho Ching on Facebook - Stop the Bitching
Stop the bitching, said Ho Ching on Facebook on Wednesday (Oct 27)

The former CEO of Temasek Holdings was addressing the unhappiness raised by many after the report that Bloomberg New Economy Forum delegates coming here next month will be permitted to dine in groups of up to five, while household members are not permitted to do so under the existing restrictions.

Ms Ho was expressing how stretched healthcare workers are in Singapore and around the world.

"So folks who bitch about their freedom to dine in bigger groups, whether as a family or as friends, just stop it!" Ms Ho wrote.

Long Queues On 1st Day Of Mask Collection

At 11.50am, Temasek CEO Ho Ching put out a Facebook post asking Singaporeans not to be kiasu. 

She shared that there are plenty of masks left so there’s no need to flock down all at once. Additionally, Madam Ho added that the collection lasts for a month so there’s absolutely no need to rush.

Addressing criticism about collection methods, she also said it was not possible to deliver the masks directly to households as they are too bulky. She also urged the public to be kind to counter staff at the distribution centres.

Hello, kiasu Singapore!

There are plenty of stocks for the medical grade masks, so don’t come and Q with your bag and SP bill, unless it is your birthday today, tmrw and this weekend.

This will help reduce the Q and crowd for everyone’s safety!

Temasek Foundation has plenty of stock, and collection is over one month.

Why not make it a birthdate treat to go collect on your birthday, on behalf on your household?

If you are born on 26 of whichever month, come down and collect today.

If you are born on 27 of whichever month, come down and collect tomorrow.

That way, we collectively help to manage the queue - each one make a simple decision to collect on the date of our birthdays.

Sorry, lah, cannot send to your letterboxes, for one practical reason.

‘Sorry lah, cannot send to your letterboxes’: Ho Ching on free mask collection
Under the initiative, each household can collect 50 medical-grade surgical masks and 25 N95 respirator masks at selected malls and supermarket outlets islandwide The Straits Times

Even though we previously said don't kan cheong, mention free goodies to any Singaporean and it will surely cause a major stir.

So much so that Ho Ching has chimed in on Facebook on Thursday (Aug 26) to remind "kiasu Singapore" that Temasek Foundation has plenty of medical-grade masks available for their fifth distribution exercise which started on the same day.

To some who suggested distributing these boxes via post, she said: "Sorry, lah, cannot send to your letterboxes, for one practical reason. "Almost all the letterboxes are just a teeny tiny wee bit to small to fit even one box of mask, not to mention three boxes!"

Ho Ching urges S'poreans to stop 'coming up with all sorts of excuses' to avoid clearing tables at hawker centres

On Sep. 1, Temasek Holdings chief executive Ho Ching took to Facebook to urge people in Singapore to channel their creativity into thinking of ways to keep hawker centre tables clean instead of finding reasons not to do so.

Ho, who is also the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, wrote:
"Come on, lah, folks!
Coming up with all sorts of excuses not to clean up after ourselves at hawker centres, food courts and coffee shops?
Very creative, but better to direct the creativity to finding ways to clean up better, and leave a clean table after we have finished our makan."
Ho also shared a post from the National Environment Agency (NEA) which stated that the elderly persons, persons with disability and children aged under 12 will not face enforcement action if they are unable to clear their tables.

HO Ching 23 hrs

Come on, lah, folks!

Coming up with all sorts of excuses not to clean up after ourselves at hawker centres, food courts and coffee shops?

Very creative, but better to direct the creativity to finding ways to clean up better, and leave a clean table after we have finished our makan.

Even more important - to set a good example for our kids, and to care for our elders as well.

After 17 years as CEO of Temasek Holdings, Ms Ho Ching finally stepped down on 1 Oct 2021
We look back at her journey from being "Student of the Year" at National Junior College to marrying Singapore's Prime Minister.



Vagina leaking clear & stretchy discharge

Update 2 Feb 2022: Vulva Health: Why women should take care of this most intimate feminine area
You should take care of your vulva as you would any part of your skin – that means keeping it clean and healthy. How often should you wash this intimate area? Can your sanitary pads or underwear affect vulva health? CNA Women asked doctors to shed light on what we need to know about caring for it

A friend sent a video from late-night television show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to our WhatsApp group chat the other day.

It was titled “What Do You Know About The Female Body?” and had the production team hitting the streets to find out how much men knew about the female anatomy, in particular, the female reproductive system. Naturally, my girlfriends and I laughed when we saw the video because the men interviewed had no clue where or what things were. But at the back of my mind, I wondered how much we, as women, even know about our own anatomy, especially the goings-on down south.

How many of us know the difference between the vagina and the vulva, for instance? Or if it’s an area of the body we should give extra care to (or none at all)? And really, what should we be doing?

COVID-19 Vaccines and the Menstrual Cycle
People have reported menstrual cycle changes after COVID-19 vaccines, but more research is needed to understand if they are related, which women may be affected, and the exact mechanisms for why

NICHD recently awarded five institutions one-year supplemental grants totaling $1.67 million to explore potential links between COVID-19 vaccination and menstrual changes. Researchers at Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Oregon Health and Science University will investigate whether such changes may be linked to the COVID-19 vaccine itself or if they are coincidental, the mechanism underlying any vaccine-related changes, and how long any changes last.

Several of these studies will use blood, tissue, and saliva samples collected before and after vaccination to analyze any immune or hormone changes. Other studies will use established resources — such as large cohort studies and menstrual cycle tracking apps — to collect and analyze data from racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse populations. Two studies will focus on specific populations, including adolescents and people with endometriosis.

What you need to know - Increased stress, changes in weight and exercise, and other major lifestyle changes can affect menstrual cycles — and all of those changes are common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, studies have shown that some women who had COVID-19 experienced changes in the duration and flow of their menstrual cycles. Some people have reported changes in their menstruation after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including changes in duration, flow, and accompanying symptoms such as pain.

Vagina leaking clear & stretchy discharge - Here's why!

Vaginal discharge is the fluid that's released by cells present in the vagina and cervix. Its primary job is to remove the old cells and debris, thus keeping the vagina and reproductive tract clean, as well as maintaining a healthy pH balance.

While it is normal to notice chances in the colour or consistency of your vaginal discharge, as it can vary from day to day depending on the stage of your menstrual cycle, it can be worrisome if it is accompanied by discomfort.

Let's take a deeper look into

 why that happens and when you should worry:
  • Changes in vaginal discharge during the ovulation period
  • Changes in vaginal discharge after ovulation
  • Changes in vaginal discharge during the menstrual cycle

Why we need to talk about the #PantyChallenge, discharge, and women’s bodies

Twitter brought the internet’s attention to the existence of the #PantyChallenge – a new trend on Snapchat and other social media sites that saw young women and girls sharing photos of their clean underwear, free of any evidence of discharge.

Thankfully, the majority of women on Twitter weren’t joining in on the movement. Instead they were tearing it down.

And that’s important. Because the #PantyChallenge isn’t just another weird thing young people are doing. It’s a deeply damaging reinforcement of negative perceptions of women’s bodies. It’s a sign that girls don’t have an understanding of their own bodies. And it’s a reminder that we need to talk about this stuff.

Vaginal Discharge Is Perfectly Normal. Let’s Talk about It

Jenny Slate's character in 2014's Obvious Child does standup comedy, and one of her sets talks about how at the end of the day, every woman's underwear looks like it fell into a vat of cream cheese. It was a joke all the women laughed at, because they all knew that if they looked in their panties at that very second, they would find some kind of discharge in there. It was a great moment for women, considering someone was talking about vaginal discharge so openly, with no qualms or taboos surrounding it.

Cut to July 2016, and some uninformed challenge is doing the rounds on social media by people who think vaginal discharge is unhealthy, where women are showing off their clean underwear to show they supposedly have no discharge.

Of course, women on Twitter took it upon themselves to educate everyone. While it has been proved that the #PantyChallenge is absolutely rubbish, it did open up the opportunity for us to talk about vaginal discharge.

Keep your vagina healthy by avoiding these mistakes

You can’t care for your lady bits the way you do your face — you’re not supposed to cleanse, scrub, tone or even moisturise your vagina.

In fact, very often, the best way to care for it is to leave the self-cleaning organ alone, and unless advised by a doctor, you should keep it away from any sort of feminine hygiene products.

Want to keep it in optimal health? For a start, avoid making the mistakes below:
  • Don't douche
  • Don't exfoliate
  • Don't shave the area bare
  • Don't use scent soaps
  • Don't steam
  • Don't have overly vigorous sex
  • Don't wear thongs round the clock
  • Don't eat certain veggies

Vaginal tightening: Simple ways to tighten your private parts

Yes, it is uncomfortable and awkward to even say these words. But be honest. Haven't you thought about this at some point? You may have even searched through websites and books to check if it was an option you can try, especially after childbirth.

Even though it shouldn't matter, this "issue" makes many women very anxious. They become less confident, doubt their own sexual prowess and most of all start to feel inadequate.

What are the methods of Vaginal tightening:

Indonesian women swear by Madura sticks to please men; doctor warns of infection and cancer risks
Sarifah Nurhayati, who uses a Madura stick, and her husband, Reno Waldi, who sells them.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

Sarifah Nurhayati is five months' pregnant with her second child. Her post-partum plan, she says, includes getting her vagina "back in good shape to keep my husband happy".

The 27-year-old, who lives in Depok, in greater Jakarta, plans to use a tongkat Madura, or Madura stick - a cigar-shaped product promoted as a sexual-health aid that erodes gradually in the vagina - to achieve that goal. The stick leaves the vagina drier, tighter and stronger, she says. Some experts, on the other hand, warn that it could also cause infection.

Sarifah says she slides the stick into her vagina and leaves it for two to three minutes before taking it out. When finished, "just wash the stick, air dry it, put it back in the box, and you can use it again", she adds. Sarifah can use one 20 times before replacing it.

Feeling 'loose' after childbirth? The truth about postpartum vaginal laxity

If you’ve been experiencing urine leaks and unsatisfactory sex, and getting the feeling that you’ve become somewhat lax "down there" after giving birth, you may be suffering from post-pregnancy vaginal laxity.

Vaginal laxity or vaginal relaxation syndrome occurs when the vagina loses moisture and elasticity – a condition that is aggravated by childbirth and hormonal changes, according to Orchard Clinic, which specialises in postpartum recovery. Co-founder Cheryl Han said hundreds of women visit Orchard Clinic each month with conditions such as urinary incontinence and dissatisfaction with intimacy, with the root cause being vaginal laxity.

How is vaginal laxity treated? First it needs to be determined, experts said. “When women come to me saying ‘oh I’ve just had a baby and now I have laxity in my vagina’, I ask, ‘do you really?’,” said Laura O’Byrne, a specialist senior physiotherapist and co-founder at Health2U. “Because the first thing we need to address is, what is your vagina? Most women refer to everything down there as their vagina when actually that’s not the case,” she added. “Many women will tell you they don’t know what their vulva looks like because they’ve never really properly looked. It’s a part of them they never really see. We should be encouraging a healthy form of self-examination.”

Vaginal warts and all
Nicole Lim during the recording of an episode of her podcast "Something Private" in Singapore on Oct 7, 2020

From vaginal warts to masturbation, taboo-breaking Singaporean podcaster Nicole Lim tackles topics that may make some squirm but has won a following in socially conservative Asian societies.

With her series "Something Private", she has tapped into a growing appetite for more open discussion about sensitive issues affecting women in the city-state and beyond.

It has featured interviews on subjects ranging from domestic violence to disabled women's dating experiences and intimate relationships involving multiple partners.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Vagina Candle Exploded
Gwyneth Paltrow and her This Smells Like My Vagina candle

Gwyneth Paltrow’s vaginal candle was apparently too hot to handle for some folks. Well, at least for one woman in the UK. Jody Thompson of Kilburn, North London, told The Sun said she won the anatomically- inspired candle — called This Smells Like My Vagina — sold by Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop, in an online quiz.

The candle retails for US$75 (S$100) and its aroma is described to contain a “blend of geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed.”

Thompson, 50, a media consultant, said that after she lit the candle, a “50cm flame” leapt from the wick and out of the glass jar. She told the paper, “The candle exploded and emitted huge flames, with bits flying everywhere. I’ve never seen anything like it. The whole thing was ablaze and it was too hot to touch. There was an inferno in the room.”


When to stop drinking caffeine

For a good night's sleep
Different people can react very differently to caffeine

Many of us start our days the same way: with a cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine is as much a part of our routine as brushing our teeth or getting dressed for the day.

Maybe your habit extends to a cup of coffee in the afternoon, or you have a soda with your dinner.

And maybe as a result, you lie in bed awake later thinking of where you went wrong instead of getting needed sleep.


Will Mars ever be habitable?

The writer says that the first humans to land on Mars will have to build the "biodomes" where further experiments can be carried out and crops can be grown under controlled conditions. PHOTO: NASA

Elon Musk's mission to populate Mars seems to be always on trend, even when nobody is particularly talking about it.

It's been several years since the announcement of such an endeavour, and in 2020 we've seen some stories about the first space crew for this grand mission (even though nothing has been finalised).

Once they will set foot on Mars, there's no turning back - other crews in batches will likely join them, and then colonies, cities and civilisations will be formed on the Red Planet, and it will cease to be one of the lonely occupants of our universe, hanging around through the passage of time.


Eating leafy green vegetables helps reduce risk of heart diseases

Consuming a cup of green leafy vegetables every day can significantly lower the risk for getting heart disease, according to an Australian research. /CFP

People can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases by eating one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables every day, according to an Australian research.

The research, revealed on Tuesday, was jointly conducted by Edith Cowan University, University of Western Australia and Danish Cancer Society, and the findings were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Based on data from over 50,000 people residing in Denmark over a 23-year period, researchers found that people who consumed the most nitrate-rich


US V-P Kamala Harris meets President Halimah

United States Vice-President Kamala Harris will begin her formal engagements on Monday (Aug 23) with a call on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana, followed by a meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

An orchid will be named in her honour in a ceremony at the Istana.

She will also visit Changi Naval Base and the US littoral combat ship USS Tulsa, which is in port for a multilateral exercise.

Halimah Yacob 23 August at 00:25

I had a good and frank discussion with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

We reiterated the strategic importance of the US to the Asia Pacific region and how its presence has contributed to the peace, stability and security of the region. Vice President Harris’ visit will further strengthen the Biden Administration’s Indo Pacific Policy.

We also talked about the enduring, strong and comprehensive bilateral relations between our two countries, particularly in the areas of defence and economic cooperation, and talked about ways to further our collaboration on cybersecurity and climate change.

On the Covid-19 Pandemic, both countries will continue with ongoing efforts to support the COVAX initiatives, to do our part to support regional and global efforts.

We also touched on the empowerment of women, a subject close to both our hearts.

I wish Vice President Harris a fruitful visit to Singapore.

Kamala Harris' US election victory a 'historic moment for women minorities': Halimah Yacob

Kamala Harris’ US election victory is a "historic moment for women minorities in the US and around the world", Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob said on Sunday (Nov 8).

Mr Joe Biden was declared the President-elect by all major TV networks early Sunday morning (Singapore time), after he took more than 270 electoral votes.

"I am also especially heartened by Ms Harris‘ election as America’s first female, black and South Asian vice president," said Madam Halimah in a Facebook post congratulating Mr Biden and Ms Harris.

"Alamak" (ah-lah-mak) is an expression to display dismay, shock or alarm as one would with “Oh, no!”. Example: “Alamak! I forgot to feed the cat!”

Madam Halimah was
sworn in as Singapore's 8th President on 14 Sep 2017, a very special day:
1 + 4 = 5
5 in Thai language is "Ha" and in Malay is "Lima"
So, it is "Halimah" 555
Hence "5 5 5" in Thai is "Ha Ha Ha".


Zhōngyuán Jié 中元节 Hungry Ghost Festival 2021

The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of the best times of the year to soak in the local culture and observe traditional rites in hyper-modern Singapore.

Just as the Americans have Halloween, the Chinese have the Hungry Ghost Festival (also known as Zhong Yuan Jie in Chinese), when the souls of the dead are believed to roam the earth.

According to custom, these ghosts can get up to mischief if ignored so all sorts of offerings are made during this period, which is the seventh month in the lunar calendar.

Making offerings:
  • Notice those metal bins scattered around residential areas and housing estates?
  • They are specifically provided to contain the stacks of hell money and paper offerings, such as cars, watches and jewellery, that are burned by relatives to appease their deceased family members – taking care of their material needs even in the afterlife.
  • Do watch your step in case you trample on food left out in the open. Although many place their food offerings (oranges, rice or even suckling pig) and joss sticks on proper altars, others tuck them at the side of footpaths or even alongside trees.
Boisterous shows:
  • And as if satisfying the ghosts’ appetites for money and food wasn’t enough, taking care of their entertainment is also important.
  • Large tents are set up in open fields to host raucous dinners and auctions in heartland estates like Ang Mo Kio and Yishun. There are performances too, such as Chinese operas and 'getai' (literally ‘song stage’ in Chinese, or live stage performances), which feature tales of gods and goddesses, bawdy stand-up comedy, as well as song and dance numbers.
  • Everyone is welcome – so sit back and enjoy the show. Just remember not to sit in the front row, unless you want to rub shoulders with the ‘special guests’.
Times they are a-changing:
  • A mainstay of the festival is the 'getai' performance, thrown as a popular mode of entertainment for the wandering spirits. But 'getai' today is a very different animal – jazzed up with snazzy LED panel lit stages. Young, sexy perfomers sing not just traditional songs in dialect but thumping techno versions of English and Mandarin pop ditties. It appears that even the tastes of the spiritual world are moving with the times.
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Hungry Ghost Festival: 9 questions with a paranormal investigator on haunted houses and what homeowners can do
In another encounter, Mr. Ace shared a photo of a silhouetted figure in an adjacent room. He lives alone

Since it’s the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore, or the Seventh Month, (Aug 8 – Sept 6, 2021) with the peak Ghost Day falling on Aug 22 (where the religious Chinese believe the Gates of Hell open), 99.co thought it would be interesting to speak to someone familiar with the subject.

In the day, Eugene Tay, who is in his early 40s, makes his living designing tech solutions but after office hours, he runs a platform called Supernatural Confessions, where Singapore residents who had supernatural experiences can share them and find comfort in like-minded individuals. He’s been doing this since 2012 and appears on web specials with hosts like former radio DJ Rozz, local playwright/director Jonathan Lim and Viddsee’s Letters to God series.

99.co asked Tay some questions related to bizarre stories and experiences he’s seen or heard in relation to hauntings in homes and what homeowners can do about them:
  • Let’s start with a simple question. What are the dos and don’ts during the Hungry Ghost Festival?
  • In a typical year, how often do you get queries or requests from homeowners to visit their homes to conduct an ‘investigation’?
  • What sort of encounters have you had with homeowners about unexplainable phenomena in their houses?
  • Any significant ones that you can share with us?
  • Based on your experience, are they usually more psychological, scientifically explainable or spiritual?
  • Can you share why only some houses experience these phenomena (and not other adjacent units or blocks)?
  • What do you normally advise the homeowners on what they can do to ward off these terrible mishaps or occurrences?
  • There are homeowners who invite their religious leaders to bless their houses before they move in. Can you explain the differences among these different prior move-in practices?
  • Are there any haunted houses in Singapore that remain unsold or abandoned which you’ve documented or monitored?

‘I hope the deceased will receive these items’: Penang paper effigy apprentices passionate about their craft

Dozens of bamboo sticks were spread out on the floor within the reach of paper effigy maker Lee Teik Joo, while more were propped against the wall.

Using a small knife, he deftly sliced the sticks lengthwise and cut them into shorter pieces. Sound of the sticks shuffling against the floor filled the workshop, where Mr Lee and his co-workers were rushing an order.

“I’m used to having splinters in my fingers,” the 25-year-old told CNA.

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