Critical Mass Birthday Ride


I’ve heard about this the two years ago but haven’t had a chance to join the ride. But fortunately this year, I finally made it. The Critical Mass Birthday Ride. Briefly about Critical Mass. Qoute from Critical Mass (CM) Flyer. In 1995, Melbourne cyclists came together for the first critical Mass ride. Since then, the famous CM ‘Party on Wheels’ has been a famous monthly part of the cycling scene. And this November is the 11 years of CM ride. CM boosts the pleasure by creating a car-free, bike-filled space on the road.



There is about 500 riders join the CM this month and it seems like it’s the biggest ever. We meet in front of State Library on Swanston St and La Trobe St at 5:30 pm, last Friday 24 Nov. I can see many different people with different style of bike. They dress up for the birthday ride. We started to ride from Latrobe then to Exhibition up to Collins. Then we ride down to Queens St and cross the bridge and ride in front of Crown Casino. Then we ride through Yarra River and back to the city. Well, I had so much fun with the friendly riders.

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Rethinking Identity

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I learned that every developing countries are facing the same problems. Our next generations are struggling for new identity in the era of globalization. Or will there still be Malaysian identity? Perhaps it will change to a global identity? Do people care much about their ˜identity? What is identity? Websters dictionary states identity is the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. American Heritage Dictionary define identity as ‘The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known’.

Identity begins with our names, addresses, family groups, and cultural backgrounds, but how does it grow from there? Is it true that identity changed and evolved through generation? What cause the changes of identity? Why is it important to express our identity? Is identity how we see ourselves or how others see us? Is identity what we are or what we would like to be? Do we form our own identity or do others form it for us? 

I think these questions will be a starting point to rethinking an identity. Till then….signing off NR ‘Good Night and Good luck’.


A Performance of Wayang Kulit: Ramayana


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Last weekend I went to The Consulate General, Republic of Indonesia in Melbourne for a performance of ‘Wayang Kulit: Ramayana’ Shadow play show. It was great. I never seen a ‘Wayang Kulit’ from Java before, this is the first time. I’ve seen one from Malaysia, originally shadow play is from Indonesia, but it’s part of Malaysian now because we have many Indonesian or Javanese who migrated from Indonesia long time ago.

I’m not so sure if the new generation do appreciate ‘Wayang Kulit’ as much as before. It’s less popular compare to going to cinema, shopping or just hanging around in Starbuck or shopping complex. These are the things that I guess ‘the young’ generation’ loves to do. My first wayang kulit show was in Penang. I’ve heard and read about it, but never had any chance to see it live. It is when the theater group in the universiti, I was studying (USM) organized to bring the ‘Tok Dalang’, the man who act behind the screen to perform ‘wayang Kulit’. That show was great! I couldn’t understand what he said because he speak mixture of Malay and Java language.

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Gamelan performance by PERMAI

In this ‘Wayang Kulit’ show, the Tok Dalang speak Javanese. I don’t understand at all what he said, as I can only speak Malay and Indonesia. I do understand the gesture, like when it’s funny or it’s seious. But that’s it. Before the show start, he describe about the story line for the ‘wayang Kulit’ and has been translated by a translater to English. The story is about the journey of Ramayana. A mystical story of Ramayana. There is six character in the show, which is Ramayana, his bestfriend, his wife, two of his bodyguard ( which act as a clown or joker ) and the monster.The begining of the story, Ramayana and his bodyguard started their journey to explore the world and left his wife in his kingdom guarded by his bestfriend. Then the monster kidnaped his wife and he with the help of his friend, fight to get his wife back. In between the scene regularly, there is few scene where the two bodyguard ( also act as a joker or clown ) talks about normal day life, issues happening around the world and many more. This scene is consider as ‘the real’ scene in Wayang Kulit. And the whole Ramayana scene is the ‘imagination and myth’ scene to add in flavour.


The whole show lasted for two hour. The Tok Dalang name is Ki Soemardi. The show also been accompanied by Permai (Friendship between the peoples of Australia and Indonesia) with Gamelan (traditional music instrument originally from Indonesia). The Indonesian Consulate are very kind to provide us some food and drinks for that night, which is so good. We had ‘Nasi Goreng dengan ayam goreng’ with dessert ‘Pulut Hitam’.

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