Tags: Culture, Design, Festives, Food, Gift Ideas, Hong Kong, Humour, Packaging, Product design
Itchyfingers were recently over the moon….If you have been following Itchyfingers, you would remember that we mentioned about a very uniquely designed mooncakes from Hong Kong some years ago. This year, they finally brought them in, about a year after they opened shop here, as they couldn’t get licensing for selling food in time for the festival last year.
What are Itchyfingers talking about?
Oooo? What are these? Looks like some chinese calendars…It reminded me
of my IT bag, the one featuring August 9 – Singapore’s National Day
The bigger “calendar”. Like a typical chinese calendar with a daily page for you to
tear off with each passing day, there is this section on both the big and small
“calendar” boxes where they will give advices on the “dos and don’ts”. Here, it is
advisable for “self-consumption and gift”, while it is not so good “to keep for
three months and not eating”…hahah…On the bigger box, there are a rows of, er,
what are those?!?! Bums?
You have guessed it right! Itchyfingers were over the “moon” when we heard that the Hong Kong lifestyle company, Goods of Desire, or G.O.D. (which is 住好啲 in Cantonese to mean “to live better”), finally brought in their unique butt-shaped mooncakes to Singapore! Couldn’t wait to lay my itchy fingers on those bums and rushed down to buy some!
I know it’s tough to see the “full glory” of the bums with their plastic
wrappings, so here’s the bums on their leaflet….Which is your favourite?
Actually my favourite is still the “Full Monty” which they didn’t bring in…booo..
So, why use the bums as mooncake design? Here’s the rationale…haha…
The moon on the 15th day of the lunar eighth month is supposed to be the
brightest (though some people say it’s brightest on the 16th). In the chinese
language, the phrase “八月十五” (literally means August the 15th) is a colloquial
term used to describe one of our least exposed bodily parts, which is supposed
to be as bright as the moon on the 15th of August. Yes! it is the BUM – as round
and as bright (or white) as the moon….hahah…Legend also says that Chang E, the
lady who flew and stayed on the moon, saw a bright reflection of the moon on
the river during August, when it was actually her boyfriend’s bum being reflected
while he was doing his business by the river! Wahahah…I don’t really like the
second point they mentioned here where the pomelo, a fruit that is commonly
consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival, shares a common name with the bum
in chinese, so the 15th of August is also called the bum
This morning, Itchyfingers took out one bum for brekky…Haha…Decided
to try our least favourite design, the “Bunny”. The drawing looks much
cuter than the actual one, which looks a bit like piles growing on the butt!!!
Wow, gross! Wahahah!!!
Besides looking funny, the mooncakes are actually made by a renowned baker in Hong Kong. They come only in the white lotus paste filling with single yolk. In my opinion, they should make it into the black lotus paste with lotus seeds (黑豆沙and瓜子) to make it even funnier – er, if you know what I mean…gross lah! Wahahahah!!!! As for the packaging, I thought the bag should come with those red and white cotton twine that were commonly used in the early days on brown paper bag. The paper used on the bag and box could also be changed into uncoated paper stock to make it more authentic like those used on the real chinese calendars. That being said, I think the whole idea and concept of the bum mooncake is simply brilliant! But that is if you can share their kind of sense of humour! Wahahah! Itchyfingers think this is the perfect gift for friends or relatives who have an open mind and great sense of humour. Certainly suits those working in the creative field! You can now get a 15% early bird discount if you buy your butt before the 31st August! Hurry, move your butt down to G.O.D now! 😀
Also see related posts:
> The IT Bag
> Basket of Abundance
> Talking Behind the Bag – Carrier Bags in Singapore From the 1950s to the 1980s
> The Full Monty
Tags: Animals, Arts, Cats, Design, Hong Kong, Packaging, Product design
Itchyfingers got this nice little black tee as pressie recently and really like the way it was packed – in the shape of a bone. :p
Tees for Animal Welfare – a collaboration between SPCA Hong Kong
and Giordano. 10 esteemed designers lent their hands to drive home the
message, “Respect for Life begins with Concern for Animals”
The back. There is an intro on the designer as well as the design rationale.
Could have been better if it was done in two column for easier reading…
The zig lock bag made taking out the tee a breeze without the need to tear
open the plastic. Wow! Finally Itchyfingers got a designer’s item…hahah
Designed by Hong Kong designer, Tommy Li. The design rationale of the tee
says, “Some people think keeping animals is like shopping, while always
ignore the duty of taking care of them. The simple idea is to create a shopping
bag as a prison, animals are not products, but always need more care from us.”
In short, I think the designer wants to convey the message that animals are
not toys you can get off the shelves, they are life-time comittment
I am glad my friend got me a cat design, as they are one of my favourite
animals. This adds on to my collection of animal welfare tees…
Itchyfingers will definitely be wearing my designer’s tee to pass the message around…hahah…
Tags: Animals, Hong Kong, Language, Taiwan, Thailand, Travel
When we were planning our trip to Taiwan last year, news reported that China was sending two Giant Pandas to Taiwan as a friendly gesture and to forge greater link with the Mainland. Then in December, the two Giant Pandas, Tuan Tuan 团团 and Yuan Yuan 圆圆 reached Taiwan and were kept under observation for a month to adapt to the new environment. Their first public appearance was scheduled during the Chinese New Year. Our trip was planned slightly earlier than that, which meant that we would not be able to see them…. 😦 But I was still hoping that Taiwan might decide to bring them out slightly earlier if they were adapting well.
But when we were there, the local news did not report anything about the two pandas. Sigh! So we were not so fortunate to see them here in Taiwan. 😦
We reached Taipei Zoo on a Sunday morning. The moment we alighted from our bus, we saw this on another bus….hmmm…seemed like they were all ready to welcome the stars to the zoo!
Cute pandas on bus ad
We were greeted with more pandas after we entered the zoo…
The chinese words on this banner said, “Live happily ever after!” :p
Oh my goodness! So many pandas! Cute! 😀
By the way, we did not believe our eyes when we read of the entrance fee on our travel guide. It cost only NT60 (S$2.70) for an adult! Wow Cow! Cheap like dirt as compared to our zoo’s S$18 adult ticket! :O And if you think the entrance fee is so cheap because the zoo is in some horrible condition, you are in for a big surprise! Not only it is big and well organised, it also has some of the endemic animals of Taiwan. Well, otherwise, why would you think China was willing to part with two of its national treasure – the Great Pandas?
Since I knew that I would not be able to see the two pandas in Taiwan, when we were walking around after dinner on our first night in Taipei, I bought myself a cute little panda stuff toy…
Most panda toys made them stand on fours or sit upright. But this one was
sitting with the hind legs stretched out. Cute right, so chubby….er…it cost
more than the zoo entrance fee…NT100 (S$4.50). We forgot to try to bargain..
not too sure if people bargain in shops there or not?
If you had been watching the news on the pandas, you would realise one very interesting thing about what the Taiwanese media called the pandas. ‘Panda’, as most people know it, is called ‘xiong mao’ 熊猫 (or literally, ‘bear cat’) in Mandarin. But in Taiwan, they are known as ‘mao xiong‘ 猫熊 (or literally, ‘cat bear’)! When I first heard that in the news back in Singapore, I thought the Taiwanese media were trying to be funny or calling them that as it sounded cute…then when we were at the shop looking at the toy panda, the lady also said ‘mao xiong‘ 猫熊! And then in the zoo, people also called it ‘mao xiong’!
Now, just why the difference in the name? Being Itchyfingers, I did a search.
There were a few explanation behind it. According to this site, “猫熊”意为“像猫的熊”，“熊”为主词，“猫”只是定语，它属猫熊科，而非猫科动物”. So, in short, “貓熊” (mao xiong) means “cat bear”, where bear is the base noun, which is grammatically correct.
Another explanation according to this site, “panda was named as mao xiong in 1940s by then Kuo Ming Tang government and they put down “熊猫” (xiong mao) on the labels in zoos and exibitions. At the time, traditional Chinese literatures were written or published from up to down, then from right to left. So the label should be read from right to left. (i.e.,“猫熊” mao xiong). However, 1940s was also the time for many Chinese to change the writing styles from left to right, then up to down. Since zoology was a new subject in China at the time, and most scientists were considered westernized, people took for granted that they wrote the label from left to right. Thus the name xiong mao was read and used by regular people. In 1949, the Kuo Ming Tang government lost the civil war in mainland and moved almost the entire government structure to Taiwan, and so does the official name of mao xiong. For the people who stayed in the mainland, they went for the more popular name of xiong mao.”
Interesting right? 8)
So back at the Taipei Zoo. Since we knew that we were not fated to meet the two Giant Pandas, what we could only do was to take a look at their exhibition area and took a photo…:p
The yet-to-be opened new building where the two pandas will be housed
What are these in front of the new exhibition building…?
Oh! Panda sculpture! Oh I wished I could see the face…:o
Yeah! This piece showed the face! And it had a baby in the mouth! 😀
Huge signboard under testing in preparation for the expected big crowd to see
the pandas. Visitors would be given time slots to avoid overcrowding and
stressing the pandas. The sign showed the present time slot and the next one.
Wow! Only ten minutes allocated? Where got enough leh! :O
A sign on the glass panel at the outdoor exhibit area. The pandas may be
brought outdoor only if weather is cool cos their natural habitat is around
six to 17 degree
More pandas…spreading conservation message…
Well, Itchyfingers might have missed the pair in Taiwan, but we were fortunate to see pandas in both Chiang Mai and Hong Kong.
Cute panda decor at Hong Kong Ocean Park
Two cute pandas munching on their favourite food…there were three of them
in the Ocean Park
Their ‘dark circles’ are so serious that you sometimes can’t see the eyes…hahah
This cute panda was in Chiang Mai Zoo
Ah….now you can see the eyes…Pandas must be one of the cutest animals
on earth! 😀
A close up of the hairy foot…:D
While it was always amazing and a great joy to be able to see these beautiful animals so close in front of us, it will definitely be even better to see them in their natural habitat. Itchyfingers really hope that with the efforts of zoos and the conservation bodies in China, the numbers of Pandas will thrive and one day we would be able to observe them in the wild, living happily ever after! 🙂
Also see related posts:
> Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5
> Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
> Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
> Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
> Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1