[VIDEO]: Temple life – the routines and charity

Venerable Hui-Xing, the Temple Master and also a monk agreed to have a sit down meeting with #teamvuvu yesterday. We were able to ask questions and get answers straight from the monk himself. Ven Hui-Xing speaks about the daily life in the Temple for the monks and nuns in the video. He also elaborates on what they do throughout the day.


黃嘉麗 WONG Ka Lai, Kali: Monsters Family: Collec...

黃嘉麗 WONG Ka Lai, Kali: Monsters Family: Collection PolyU Fashion Show 2013. Photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明

A visit to Francis Lai Hong‘s house yesterday was by far not what I expected, in a good way. Me and my fellow classmate had an interview with him at his house. I walked in not knowing what to expect but I knew it would probably be a quick interview and we would be out of there in an hour or so. Little to my surprise it was nothing like this.

We entered his house and were welcomed with open arms, he was very pleased to have us there. He had prepared a braai for us and a table full of delicious food. We were immediately served with ice cold cold drinks, which is all I needed after a full morning in the sun. We sat down in his TV room and began to chat.

We met his nephew who is a qualified actuary and is currently doing his articles through a London university. Christopher Kim Sing came and introduced himself and sat down and spoke to us while his uncle prepared the braai. Mr Lai Hong spoke to us open and freely.

We learnt that he was adopted and that in the late 1900’s many Chinese people had several children and they would normally keep one child and sell their other children off for a few pounds. This was the case for Mr Lai Hong. He did not know his parents and his siblings and did not want to, however he still identified himself as a South African, since he had made this country his home from 1958 when he arrived here, he was two months old. Mr Lai Hong came with his adoptive parents. This was quite interesting to me firstly because I did not know the Chinese di this and secondly because I could identify with it as my ancestors from India did the same.

Mr Lai Hong’s entire family was there, his eldest son who is a qualified Charted Account, his younger son who is in matric plans to go into computer science and his daughter who is also in matric plans to be a pediatrician and his wife all joined us at the table, as we ate out lunch. We sat outside on the deck which overlooked his blue pool and green garden, there was a slight breeze and the environment was so relaxed.

It was a lovely environment to have a conversation rather than a formal interview. I learned that some of the Chinese people I had been dealing with as part of my research we actually related to one another, which showed me that the Chinese community for the most part are united.

We could ask as many questions as we wanted. Although Mr Lai Hong rated himself a four out of 10 of how Chinese he thinks he is, his house was decorated  with Chinese garments and the cabinets had Chinese statues inside. So there is evidence of identity with his family which is portrayed through his house. Sometimes, interviewing a person at their house tells you more about them than you could ever ask them.

We spent about three hours with Mr Lai Hong and his family. It was an experience and something I would have never done if I wasn’t researching it for my project.

这是我的中国周末。今天,我们回到绘图板的旅程仍在继续。(That was my Chinese weekend. Today we back to the drawing board as the journey continues).

A celebration of 100 years of Bollywood

The movie Chalte Chalte which stars Bollywood's most famous actors Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerjee, to be shown at the Wits Theatre on May 17th at 6:30pm. Photo: Provided

The movie Chalte Chalte which stars Bollywood’s most famous actors Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerjee, to be shown at the Wits Theatre on May 17th at 6:30pm. Photo: Provided

A BURST of bright colours, contemporary dance and music overcomes the minds of the Indian Diaspora who are gripped by Bollywood movies and assert their culture through this prolific film industry.

The Wits Theatre and the Indian Film Festival hosted a week –long marathon of Bollywood movies at the theatre to honour the Indian film industry that celebrated a 100 years of movies.The week long programme is in partnership with other departments in the university.

The movies of legendary  actors such as Amitabh Bachan, Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Rheka and largely known Shah Rukh Khan had been shown this past week. These movies included Shool, Naseem, Achoot Kanya, Dharavi and Chalte Chalte, which will be aired tonight at 6:30pm in the Wits theatre.

Director of Wits Theatre, Gita Pather who also headed the event said, “This event is a bilateral project to nurture the entrepreneurship of the youth in South Africa.”

INDIAFRICA Competition

The event is also part of the INDIAFRICA competition. The Wits business school will host the finals of the second INDIAFRICA Business Venture Competition. INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future is a unique people to people initiative that aims at engaging multiple stakeholders in India and Africa through contests, fellowships, discussions, events, collaborative projects and cultural exchanges.

The film line-up was compiled by Prof Dilip Menon, a lecturer in the Centre for Indian studies at the university and Bollywood lover. The entire event is being publicised by Catherine Pisanti who also had a hand in choosing the movie Chalte Chalte as she is a die-hard fan of movie star Shah Rukh Khan.

What to expect from the film festival

The film selection aimed to portray a blend of blockbuster films; art films and themes related to social division in Indian society, forbidden love and poverty in India.

Pather, whose parent s met in a recording studio said, “movies are not just movies, they connect [Indians] to their family and their culture.” Pather grew up in a vibrant Indian family who was totally immersed in the culture of Bollywood film and dance.

Pather explained sheand her family used to go to the Adam’s cinema in Chatsworth, Durban, which still exists today, to get their dose of romance, action, thrill and dance from the Bollywood movies.

“My sisters and I used to get dressed up in the Indian attire, play the music we loved and put on a full-fledged concert in our living-rooms, “said Pather.

Bollywood is not just a film industry, there are vivid memories and emotions attached to these films, especially when the older generation are considered.

“We have to watch the music we play in my mother’s house as she can burst out into tears at any time,” said Pather.

Just as black South Africans watch programmes like Generations, Isibaya, Rhythm City and Isidingo, so Indian South Africans watch Pavitra Rishta, Punaare Vivah, Rabsa Sona Ishq, Sapne Sohane Ladake Bhanke. It is a time when people engage with their cultures.

Entrance was free and the event was held to represent the role Bollywood played in the lives of Indians in South Africa whose cultures were marginalised during apartheid.