Family

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

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We are 2 days away from one of Malaysia’s biggest annual celebrations, the Hari Raya Aidilfitri. This is the day where most of our Malay and Muslim friends travel back to their hometowns and gather with their families to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan and the start of the Eid.

Normally, they will host open houses for relatives and guests to feast on offerings such as curry, spiced rice, various type of meats (halal) and other local favourite delicacies. This is the time where everyone is looking forward to meeting their distant relatives or even friends they’ve not met for some time.  Some would even take the opportunity to tie the knot on this auspicious day.

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The colours green, blue, red and yellow usually dominates the settings for most.  There will be some firecrackers going on somewhere and if you’re lucky enough, you can catch some of those villagers playing with home made bamboo firecrackers (very dangerous but effectively efficient).

Generally, the Malays in Malaysia are a friendly lot and they would be the first to offer food and accommodation to their guests when it’s relevant. Malaysians celebrate the Hari Raya Aidilfitri this Sunday, 25th June 2017 which ends on Tuesday, 27th June 2017. Respect and act kindly to our Muslim friends of their tradition and culture, and you shall be treated likewise. For as long as I can remember, they stand by this proverb – HATI GAJAH SAMA DILAPAH, HATI KUMAN SAMA DICECAH. (Ask your Malay friends if you want to know the meaning) (“,)

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], “festival of breaking of the fast”) is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allāhu Akbar”, literally “God is great”), three of them in the beginning of the first raka’ah and three of them just before Ruku’ in the second raka’ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka’ah. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard فرض (obligatory), Mustahabb مستحب (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob مندوب (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers.

The Fresco and Avid team wish all our Malay and Muslim friends, a happy and joyous Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2017!


Definition of Eid al-Fitr taken from Wikipedia.

Father’s Day 2017

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My father once said to me. “When you become a father, you have the responsibility to look after your family and provide them with the best you could”.

Those words now mean more to me than ever. After 11 years having my own family, my responsibilities grew many folds throughout and naturally, providing them with the best is the least we can do. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt about being a father, it is the value of respect and keeping a cool head dealing with everyday challenges in front of your family.

My dad is no multi-millionaire nor he is a celebrated individual in his field. He is an ordinary person with a family that he cared for very much. We don’t have fancy meals and pricey toys to satiate our childhood. We certainly don’t travel much let alone visiting countries after countries. But what we have was a pretty good family life with a lot of love and care.

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Best dad..

We never question our father’s ability to raise us in the most lavish ways. But God knows how much he must’ve tried and wish that he could. When you have a responsive father and a role model that you could look up to, he is worth more than anyone who could buy you everything in the world.

He earns our respect with the way he conducts himself and if I remembered clearly, there were not once he fell short of providing us with what he was supposed to.  My dad was never the one who speaks a lot, but he is the person who looks after the family with all his might and capacity.

Dad, if you could recall, there was once I threw a tantrum when I couldn’t get some Star Wars activity books from a book fair (equivalent to Big Bad Wolf now) and you went all the way back to the crowded place the day after to buy me a few. I still remember. I  probably wouldn’t have done it for Adrian. I don’t see this as an act of pampering. I see this as your way of showing me how much you loved me and not wanting to disappoint me even for such trivial matter.

To have you as my dad is truly a blessing. You have done so much to raise me up and given me countless advice and wisdom that the only way to repay you is to care for you and not have you worry about me. Happy Father’s Day dad, and I love you!

Adrian made me a Father’s Day card this round. He did so to last year but the work was a little shoddy. This time, it’s a better one. I guess my boy loved and respect me like how I did to my dad. The card was filled with words and scribbles of how much he loved me and thanking me for taking real good care of him.  He even bought a book marker for me with his own lunch money. ♥♥♥

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The Fresco & Avid team wishes all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! May you be forever blessed with the most wonderful gift a father could have- the deserved love and care from your children and loved ones!

Wedding reaffirmation

11th June 2017 was a momentous date for both of us as it was our wedding reaffirmation day @ RLC (Renewal Lutheran Church). After 11 years of tying the knot in 2006, we finally come full circle and guess it’s time to renew our vows once again. Caroline always wanted to do an English and walking down the aisle wedding procession. The last one we had was a simple ROM and a 40-tables wedding feast.

With the help of RLC and of course our good buddies, Albert & Kah Ling, and the selected guests who turned out that day, we made that possible. There were 9 couples participating in the event. We were the 6th couple in terms of wedded days.

Albert helped us with the nice placard for guests signatures and gifts were ready the night before by Caroline and my MIL. Helen helped out with the wedding gown and make-ups. Thank you, guys!

The session starts at 7pm but most of us were there by 5pm. There was a light cocktail prepared by RLC before the main event. All the guests were on time (not the usual Chinese dinner timing.. ahem) and the session starts with each of the couples walking down the aisle following the order of marriage days, ascendingly.

Adrian leads the way and the cheeky boy almost danced his way to the front. And he was so handsome with his white-greyed coat. The rest of the couples also have their children as the flower girls and page boys. They all looked so wonderful!

The couples exchanged vows and rings and by the time the last couple did theirs, everyone was so happy and look forward to their fabulous dinner. The Big Rajah, a premium full services Malaysian food catering and events planning company, is RLC’s favourite caterer. And this time, it’s no different. Their Indian food was super duper delicious. Mutton curry, biryani rice, roti canai, pappadam, dahl… there were even some great ‘kuih-muih’ prepared by some of the RLC members.

Everything went really well as we catch up with friends and family members throughout the night and taking loads of pictures.  *Sorry if the pictures didn’t get to show some of our other guests. We have them in our hearts already though!

Capping off a memorable night, just want to say I love you Caroline Goh. Thank you for having me as your husband and have us the most wonderful boy one could wish for in Adrian.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day from the Fresco & Avid team

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. There is no one more deserving of a day of reckoning than mothers around the world. Be it for her child, her man or the people that surround them. They are the pillar of strength to those who need their support, a fountain of love to those who needed affection and the galaxy of sacrifice to those who require her time and effort.

There are no words enough to describe a mother’s purpose in one’s life. If I could choose a single word to describe my mum..it would be ‘heart’. She does everything wholeheartedly and never cease to take a step back when things got tough. From her care of her 2 children and a breadwinner to her cookings, never once she shied away from her duty. Though not educated extensively, she fills her world with unending learning and teaches us not only the fundamentals of growing up but also the path to becoming a purposeful being.

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Here, we would like to wish all the mothers everywhere a Happy Mother’s Day and may you be blessed with eternal respect and perpetual good health until your final breath.

To my mum, I love you Mummy and may I have your love and care for as long as time permits.

To my wife, I love you darling and may you be showered with lots of love and care from everyone dear to you.. especially me.


Life doesn’t come with a manual – it comes with a Mother.

Visit us at www.fresco.strikingly.com or www.frescoroom.strikingly.com

Be happy.. why not?

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Yes. We should be feeling happy all the time. Maybe it is easier said than done, but it is true. If you think about it, when bad things happen, it triggers our emotions at that moment and we automatically feel bad and sad about it. It is only natural our system process that way. But it is up to us to turn it around. Immediately too, if we want to.

Feeling bad about something that happened (yes, past-tense) won’t make you feel better. The only feeling you will cook up is basically the feeling of guilt and regret, and then hate that leads to anger – they tell you this in Star Wars you know.

When we get mad about something, usually, someone will get hurt physically or mentally. And these are the people that are close to us. Not everyone will put up with our emotions all the time certainly not fair to dump it onto others.

When we have a bad time/day, just give yourself a moment. Sit down. Reflect on what happened. Why did it happen? What could’ve happened? Is what just happened better off than something else? If yes, do you feel grateful?

Calm yourself and appreciate the things that are still positive around you. No use lamenting and kept circling around the matter if you can’t handle the emotions that come with it. Let go and relax about it. Feeling depressed and anxious will not solve or make it better. Really.

Follow the activities from the above image. Do something that pleases you and that can make you relaxed.  While doing those things, something that you do less like watching the telly and hiding away from people around you will definitely make you more happy and sociable.

Have a happy weekend and remember, stay happy and let those around you live longer too! Hah!

Happy Wesak Day from the Fresco Apartment & Avid Estates

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We would like to wish all our fellow family and friends a Happy Wesak day which happens to fall on the 10th May 2017 – that is tomorrow! Those not working, have a great day-off.

Wesak Day is a holiday observed traditionally by the devout worshipers of Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One. Wesak Day is celebrated by Buddhists throughout the world especially in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and South East Asian countries which include Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. Wesak Day, or sometimes known as Wesakha, is informally referred to as ‘Buddha’s Birthday’, with the special day being commemorated in honouring the birth, enlightenment (nirvana) as well as passing away (Parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. The holiday is usually known by its Sanskrit name in Mahayana Buddhist traditions.

Please follow the link to read on…Wesak Day Celebration


Article courtesy of WonderfulMalaysia.com

You’ll Market Better and Be More Persuasive Knowing These 10 Brain Facts

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If you throw a frog into boiling water, it’ll jump straight out. However, if it’s placed in cold water and the temperature gradually increased, it’ll be found dead without any attempt to escape. We’ve all experienced that subtle death.

Neuromarketing takes advantage of that vast blind-spot beyond our conscious awareness; leveraging psychological phenomenons in subtle ways to lead us into certain decisions.

Here are 10 subtle neuromarketing strategies to start leveraging:

1. Give me one reason.

The classic “Xerox copy” study by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer demonstrates the power of simply giving an explanation. The set-up was a student attempting to cut in line for the copier.

In the first scenario, she asked “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Sixty percent allowed her to cut-in line. In the second scenario, she asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” Compliance shot up to 94 percent with the addition of a reason.

The third scenario was the most surprising: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” The rate was almost the same at 93 percent, even with a redundant and ridiculous explanation.

Our brains love answers; such is our love for crosswords and brainteasers. EEG recordings show a burst of neural activity whenever we have an “A-ha” or eureka moment, and on a lesser scale, when we’re given answers and reasons.

Compliance comes with satisfying that neurological and intellectual hunger for solutions. The most engaging speeches don’t simply convey information, but offer resolutions. The most effective products don’t address problems, they solve them.

2. The whole world in your hands.

Allan Pease gives a fascinating Ted Talk on how hand gestures completely change the public perception of a person’s presentation.

Repeating the same script, the only thing that changes is hand gestures and positioning: palms showing, palms hidden, and using the index finger. The speech delivered with palms showing was remembered 40 percent more people, and the speaker was described as likable and friendly. Palms hidden was described as authoritative. Using the index finger elicited the most negative response and least retention.

Pease explains that the presentation of our palms is historically a sign of peace, that we have nothing to hide. Hidden palms subconsciously reflected protectiveness, dominance or power. Just picture Hitler’s salute.

When giving presentations, being intentional about showing your palms will elicit a better response.

3. Paradox of choice.

From salad dressings to computers and vehicles, we’re flooded with options. Most people celebrate that, but if you’re looking to make a sale, you’re better off giving fewer choices.

Only 3 percent of shoppers made purchases when presented with 24 different varieties of jam as opposed to 30% percent when six varieties were offered. Similar results  were found when an employer offered 50 different mutual funds versus five.

More options produce paralysis. The mental processing required to assess and make a decision goes into overload. Avoid decision paralysis by narrowing your options down to three. In sales, increase your conversion rate by offering fewer options.

4. Loss aversion.

The effort to save $100 is much greater than the effort to gain it. That’s because our emotional reaction to loss is twice as intense as our joy in gain.

Put into practice, a group of teachers were given $4,000 upfront, but told they’d have to return the money if their students didn’t show academic improvement. Another group was promised $8,000 — twice as much — but only after student’s grades came in. The higher grades came from the teachers working not to lose their $4,000.

Savvy marketers always address what the customer stands to lose if they don’t purchase, not just what they gain. Productivity and goal-setting experts also use loss aversion, encouraging placing money on the line to increase motivation.

5. Color, smell and sound.

In many supermarkets, you’ll find the florist and bakery located by the entrance and checkout, along with walls of impeccably stacked candy and chip packets. The smells and colors are a sensory overload, releasing endorphins and a state of pleasure that results in more purchases.

Colors trigger emotional and physical responses: Park rangers will plant bright colors to deter loitering. Waitresses who wear red receive more tips. Hospitals use white to bring a calming effect. Restaurants use yellow to perk moods and stimulate hunger.

Low tempo music will cause shoppers to move slower and purchase more. Classical music has been linked with increased sales in wine stores and restaurants. Pleasant music played while you’re placed on hold keeps callers on the line longer.

Logic and reason can easily be overwhelmed by our senses. A simple shopping list is great advice from your spouse for many reasons, one of which being a great tool for breaking through these subtle influences.

6. The scarcity principle.

Advertise “for a limited time only” and, suddenly, there’s a spike in sales. Airlines often advertise “three seats remaining” to prompt you into making a purchase. When options are scarce, what’s available becomes much more attractive.

Psychologists refer to it as a “temporary shrunken world,” causing our perceptions and decisions to change. The love at first sight on The Bachelor is lucky to get a second glance on a regular night out.

When we have a strong need for something, we’re prone to falling into a “shrunken world” and making irrational decisions. Having that awareness is key to breaking out of it.

7. The power of stories.

We say blood is thicker than water, but face embarrassment when our love for a football team can eclipse our own child. Dr. Paul Zak’s study showed just that.

He monitored the release of the love molecule oxytocin while asking subjects questions related to products and significant people. Products evoked a stronger response over loved ones when they were framed within a story, e.g. the watch that belonged to your grandfather who went to war.

FMRI analysis show that when our brains engage in a story, it behaves more like a participant than a spectator. A story is the bridge between getting and keeping someone’s attention.

8. “You.” Yes, you.

Copywriters are very intentional with the use of “you.” Although the goal is to reach millions, the method is to sound like you’re reaching one person.

Moving from general to personal breaks down the psychological “fundamental attribution error.” It’s our cognitive bias, we have one lens in which we judge other people, and another lens for ourselves; you’ll be furious seeing someone texting and driving, but find justification for your own crimes.

A generalized message will be interpreted through the critical judgmental lens, but a personal message is met with the sympathetic lens. Making someone feel as if they’re the only person in the room isn’t just good social intelligence, but very effective communication.

9. The contrast effect.

A company listed their bread maker for $275 and barely made any sales. They later doubled sales not by reducing the price, but by placing a similar bread maker for $429 right beside it. That $275 bread maker suddenly became a bargain.

A clever salesperson will offer the highest priced product straight off the bat. A $129 tie doesn’t seem much after you’ve spent over a thousand dollars on a suit. An initial price that’s sky-high becomes an anchor for comparison and makes everything else look reasonably priced.

It works beyond business. You could tell your partner you’re pregnant, followed by the dint you just put on the car. Our brain processes information relationally but these comparisons can be warped and unprofitable. It’s helpful to think in isolation also.

10. Mirroring and mimicry.

Increased success in negotiations may be as simple as crossing your legs at the same time your prospect does. Imitating another person’s posture, mannerisms and even tone of voice creates rapport. It happens unintentionally, but can be leveraged intentionally. Whenever we’re comfortable with another person, we naturally become in-synch. When they take a drink, you take a drink.

Italian scientist Giacomo Rizzolati affirmed this with his neurological discovery of “mirror neurons.” When we see someone scratch their nose, the same physical neurons that fired for their action sparks up in our own brain, as if we did the same thing. Evolutionists explain that it allows for empathy and bonding, a survival mechanism that can now be leveraged to build rapport and make people more inclined to accepting proposals.

Of course, it’s a fine line between mirroring and mockery. It has to begin with a genuine interest in the other person. Dressing in a similar fashion to your colleagues, and finding out the dress code for the upcoming conference is a good place to start.


Article contributed by THAI NGUYEN | Writer & Editor: TheUtopianLife.com
Image courtesy of http://www.theplaidzebra.com and Jessica Beuker