Chances are, you already know quite a bit about the cherry blossom flower, or sakura. The delicate and ephemeral flower not only represents the arrival of spring, but also the circle of life. This change in scenery also reminds the industrious Japanese to take a break from work, open picnic mats in nearby parks and just relax. A brief history of Hanami The act of gathering under sakura trees to eat, drink and socialise is called hanami , which translates to “flower viewing”. Marking the beginning of the rice planting season, hanami was initially only enjoyed by Japanese nobility . Dating back to the Nara period (710–794AD), it was ume (plum) blossoms or momo (peach) that people admired at that time. Eventually, sakura, being similar in appearance to ume blossoms, gained popularity and became synonymous with hanami . Rulers of the archipelago would eventually plant cherry blossom trees across Japan, so that sakura and hanami can be enjoyed by people of ... » Learn More about People around the world have been admiring sakura blossoms for more than 100 years. Here’s why.
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Vaccines for people insured under the Social Security Act resume at the Thai-Japanese stadium in Din Daeng district, Bangkok, on Monday. The Social Security Office acted swiftly after an order from Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha refused to lay the blame for recent vaccination cancellations for individuals or state agencies when speaking to reporters at parliament on Monday, saying reports had been muddled by too many sources. "I'm not blaming anyone. Others may not have the same understanding of the issue because information is being passed through too many channels," Gen Prayut said while replying to questions about the stop-start nature of the national vaccination programme in some parts of the country over the past few days. The prime minister said he has instructed the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to reiterate his desire to balance current stocks according to demand and urgency. ... » Learn More about Prayut won’t lay vaccine blame
SINGAPORE: Food and beverage businesses are bracing themselves for another round of disruption after authorities announced that dining-in will not be allowed from Sunday (May 16) until Jun 13 as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Singapore will on Sunday enter what the Ministry of Health (MOH) labelled as Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) after a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the community. Mr Kelvin Ong, CEO of Eurasia Global Food, said that the announcement was unexpected as Singapore appeared to be on the path of re-opening. The company has a meat distribution business as well as 15 eateries under the brands of Gochi-So Shokudo and Tun Xiang. READ: Group sizes down from 5 to 2, dining-in suspended as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures READ: Additional COVID-19 antigen rapid testing to be rolled out for people with symptoms Mr Ong said that during "circuit breaker" last year, sales at the restaurants dived 70 per cent to 80 per cent. They had takeaway ... » Learn More about No dining-in at eateries: Restaurants pivot again, food delivery services gear up
PERSPECTIVE: Living on a high floor and getting to select a HDB unit on a high floor has become an aspiration for many. But what is it about high-rise living that makes it so coveted in Singapore? We find out more from several Singaporeans living above the 30th storey in HDB flats. Living 32 storeys above, Zheng has learnt first-hand that it can get pretty windy. In the year she has been living in the St. Georges' Towers BTO project, she realised that it's generally tough for indoor plants to grow well under windy conditions, given the breeziness in her living room. But that's a small inconvenience for Zheng and her husband to live with, considering that their home faces a glorious city view including the Sports Hub and the sea. From their bedroom, they can even see Marina Bay Sands in the distance. "We were fortunate to be given the opportunity to [select a BTO flat with] a high floor. If there was an even higher floor, we would have been keen." Zheng and her ... » Learn More about The ‘true value’ of high HDB floors, according to S’poreans living above 30 storeys
Who would have thought that the Covid-19 pandemic can make its way even to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest? The news of the virus reaching the Himalayas via overseas climbers is a blow for Datuk M. Magendran and Datuk N. Mohanadas, the first Malaysians to reach the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal in 1997. Their plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their feat in 2022 is now uncertain. “If the pandemic is about to stay for a while with no signs of recovery, then we might just call off our plans to travel to Kathmandu and find other means to celebrate our anniversary, ” Magendran said recently. Magendran and Mohanadas had initially planned to celebrate the silver jubilee of their climb together with fellow Malaysians at Everest Base Camp on the summit day of May 23, 2022. Magendran, the first Malaysian to step on the majestic Mount Everest peak at 11.55am local time – 15 minutes before teammate Mohanadas – on May 23, 1997, said preparations for the silver jubilee ... » Learn More about First Malaysian Everest conquerors re-route silver jubilee plans amid pandemic