Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Reflections: Voyages Across the Seas

When we speak of world explorers, icons like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan come easily to mind, leaving Zheng He a mere afterthought. Despite that, the voyages of this Chinese admiral are no less remarkable than his western counterparts’.Born Ma He in Yunnan, China, he was captured by a Ming Dynasty army in 1381 and brought to serve...

Prized Medicinal Plants and Animals

by Rachel Kwek Mankind has for thousands of years tapped into the plethora of plants and animals on Earth for medicine and food. We take a look at three of the most valuable natural medicines our planet offers. Saffron Crocus Crocus sativus The coveted spice, saffron, is the dried stigmas of this flower and about 75,000 saffron crocus flowers are needed to...

The Healing Power of Bathing

There’s a story in the Nihon-shoki, the 1,300-year-old annal of Japanese history and legend, that at DÕgo, in what is now the city of Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku, a white heron was spotted dipping its injured leg into hot water gushing out of the rocks.The bird was healed in the process, encouraging the local aristocracy and priesthood...

Rock of Ages

Text: Senani Ponnamperuma, by way of Selina TanThe history of Sigiriya (pronounced sih-GIH-ree-ah) is one of vision, grandeur, beauty and tragedy unparalleled in Sri Lankan history. It tells the story of King Kasyapa, who ruled the island of Sri Lanka between 477 and 495 AD. Tormented by guilt and fear after murdering his father, the king abandoned his capital...

Top 5 Places to Visit in Singapore

An multiracial island state with Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians, Singapore is a cosmopolitan city state with a dizzying array of food and culture from all over the world represented in its migrant population. Home to Marina Bay Sands, one of the most iconic buildings in Asia, here are the top five places that you must visit if you're...

Top 5 Places to Visit in Tbilisi

by Flora Toh and Justyna MielniklewiczUnravel the celestial elegance of the Tusheti region, where pristine white clouds spread out to meet exquisite snow-clad mountain terrain. Tbilisi is a place where East truly meets and mixes with West. But there is one rule about Georgia, if you want to fully experience its beauty, you have to open yourself up and...

Top 5 Things to Buy and Try in Singapore

1. CHILLI CRAB Talk about finger-lickin’ good! Described as “sensuous” and “sweet, yet savoury”, with a “fluffy texture”, Singapore’s world-famous chilli crab – ordered with a healthy round of fried mantou (buns), of course – is about as good as it gets, if seafood is your thing. Some of the best places to frequent are Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, No...

Top 5 Places to Visit in Taplejung

by Selina Tan Taplejung is a municipality in the Mechi Zone in the northeastern part of Nepal.  Derived from the words Taple and jung, Taple refers to the medieval Limbu king who was the ruler of the area while jung in the Limbu language means fort. Taplejung is thus literally translated as Fort of King Taple. One of the most...

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The Hindu devotee’s hands are pressed together. His palms touch, close to his chest, and his fingers point upwards. His brightly-coloured turban is in stark contrast to his thick white beard. “Namaste,” he says with a slight bow. Literally translated, the word means “I bow to the divine in you.” A respectful greeting, namaste, or namaskar, combined with the wordless hand gesture, conveys the same meaning of acknowledgement for a loved one, a guest or a stranger, regardless of the speaker’s language, culture or religion.