Asian Games 2014: The Closing Ceremony

After a grand two weeks of competition and fighting for first place, it is time for the Asian Games 2014 to come to a flourishing end. It has been a tough battle, with top athletes from all 45 participating nations strutting their stuff and showing who’s boss in each of the event category of sports that were hosted and organized in Incheon, South Korea. The closing ceremony will be held on this Saturday, October 4, 2014, at 5:00pm (South Korean time), 1:00am (Sunday, October 5, 2014, Malaysian time).

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South Korean girl group to perform in the Asian Games 2014 closing ceremony. Photo by Soompi.

The Closing Ceremony

There will be three main parts of the closing ceremony: the Welcoming Performance, Part One: The Countdown, Part Two: Remembering the Games with special feature films, and the Final Part: A Congratulatory Performance. During the Welcoming Performance, the Asian Games 2014 staff and volunteers will welcome the visitors and provide them with seat information while the Official Mascots and comedians will provide entertainment to the spectators. During the closing ceremony, famous K-pop stars such as CN Blue, Big Bang, and SISTAR will be performing live for the musical ears of the spectators.

Part One kicks off with the countdown, followed by the Korean Cultural Performances, such as the National Dance Company of Korea, Gugak Center Dance Troupe and Kukkiwon. Part Two will begin with the host nation’s flag brought forward to the venue of the closing ceremony. A special feature film will be aired for the spectators, to remember when the Games began on September 19 until the very end. Also, the Samsung MVP Award will be presented during the Part Two of the closing ceremony to the memorable and spectacular athletes who shone during the Games.

The Final Part of the closing ceremony is the Congratulatory Performance where the next host country for the Asian Games 2018 will be presented. Indonesia has won the rights to host the next Games so their flag will be brought forward into the venue. The Extinguishing of the Flame will be conducted at the end of the closing ceremony to close the celebration of diversity and sports throughout Asia.

All Eyes on Malaysia

A hearty congratulations to all the Malaysian athletes who took part in the Asian Games 2014. We may not have met the target for 8 gold medals but there is always room for improvement and we can certainly be better in the 2016 Rio Olympics and the next Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia! Below are the medals tally for our country:

  • Squash: 2 gold medals by Nicol David (singles category) and Low Wee Wern (doubles team with Nicol David and two others)
  • Karate: 2 gold medal by Lim Chee Wei (individual kata category) and Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan (kumite 61kg category)
  • Sailing: 1 gold medal by Ahmad Syukri Abdul Aziz and Mohamad Faizal Norizan (two-person dinghy 420 category).
  • The rest of the medals are 14 silver and 14 bronze.

Chee Wei’s gold medal is Malaysia’s seventh in karate at the Asian Games since 1994 after emulating the feats of R. Puvaneswaran (two), C. Muralitharan, R. Muniandy, S. Premila and Ku Jin Keat (Chee Wei’s master who ended Japan’s dominance in men’s kata in 2010). Karate is now on par with badminton as Malaysia’s joint-fourth highest gold medal contributor at the Asian Games.

Nicol David has worked hard to impress the nation and her supporters in the Asian Games 2014. She was selected as the flag bearer for the country, won two gold medals in squash, and now being nominated for the prestigious Samsung Most Valuable Player award. She is the first ever Malaysian to be awarded the nomination for the award. Now it remains to be seen whether she will lift the award during the closing ceremony. We certainly hope she does, as it looks to be her last Asiad now that the squash No.1 player has already hit her 30s.

Oktoberfest 2014: Bottom’s Up!

The time to drink and be merry has arrived once again in Munich, Germany, as the Oktoberfest kicks into full gear. The German locals as well as those who travelled far to participate in the Oktoberfest can feast on a smorgasbord of food served the traditional way, and washed down with big mugs of German beer!

The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival held annually in Munich for 16 days and attracts over six million people every year. About 1.5 million gallons of beer are consumed, together with 200,000 pairs of pork sausages and 480,000 spit-roasted chickens during the two-week extravaganza. My goodness, that’s a lot of food! The festival reinforces a stereotypical image of beer-loving, meat-loving Germans who dress for the occasion in dirndls and lederhosen, but most of the party-loving people are made up of visitors from all over the world. The Oktoberfest is one of Munich’s largest and most profitable tourist attractions, bringing over 450 million euros to the city’s bank books each year!

Did you know…

… that the largest Oktoberfest held outside Germany takes place annually in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterlook in Canada? That’s the residence to a large ethnic German population.

Did you also know…

… that the largest such event in the United States is the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which boasts half a million visitors each year! Phew!

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Oktoberfest: A festival of food, fun, and frolic under the beer tents. Photo by DrinkStuff (Beer Festivals).

The Origins of Oktoberfest

The first Oktoberfest began on October 12, 1810 after the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (who became King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. Five days after the marriage, a large festival was held in front of the Sendlinger Tor, one of the gates leading to Munich. The festivities included horse races that eventually became an Oktoberfest custom until 1938. An agricultural fair was added in 1811, and the first carousel, two swings, and beer pubs were included in 1818 along with performers. Oktoberfest gradually became a great tourist attraction and a way for visitors to learn about Bavaria and its people. In 1887, lederhosen and dirndls became the traditional attire of the Oktoberfest attendees. Beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries replaced the beer stands in 1896.

The Festivities of Oktoberfest

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Horse-drawn brewer carts during the Oktoberfest parade. Photo by The Travel Republic Blog.

The festival may have begun in October, but it is now held in September as the weather is milder then as compared to October. The festival lasts for 16 days, beginning on a Saturday in late September and ending on the first Sunday in October. Oktoberfest traditionally begins with a parade before noon, which includes the participation of the mayor and other civic leaders, followed by horse-drawn brewer’s carts, bands, and the townspeople wearing their costumes. The parade ends at the oldest private beer tent, the Schottenhammel tent, where the mayor opens the first keg of beer to kickstart the festival, and the toasting begins. The opening ceremonies are usually attended by more than 7,000,000 people.

The remainder of the festival site provides the space for a funfair. At the foot of the Bavaria Statue, there are carousels, roller coasters, and all the spectacular carnival rides for the enjoyment and excitement of the public. The festivities are often accompanied by music and dancing, followed by a program of events, including the Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Costume and Riflemen’s Procession, and a concert that involves all the brass bands represented at the “Wiesn”.

The Grub and Beer of Oktoberfest

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The big mugs of beer at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Photo by Jillian Wilson (uwishunu).

The festivities are not just the highlight of the Oktoberfest. The endless flow of beer and the wide array of food prepared for the partygoers make up the rest of the festival. The Oktoberfest beer is an amber-gold coloured lager with six percent alcohol with the addition of German hops such as Hallertau and Tettnang. Six major Munich brewers known to take part in the festival are Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hofbrauhaus, Augustiner, and Paulaner. They can be found in the seven halls where live music can be heard from all throughout the day. The variety of food served during the Oktoberfest is far and wide, and includes meat such as beef, chicken, veal, and pork, as well as sauerkraut, potato salad, cabbage, onions, and pretzels.

This has been an entertaining Oktoberfest session, don’t you think? All this talk about food and drinks has made me hungry. For all the beer-lovers out there, we have posters on them as well as the country where Oktoberfest and beers originate from, and not to mention, our favourite cartoon character, Homer Simpson! He who drinks the most beer and still lives to tell his tale. Drop by our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus or our Facebook page to get your beery posters!

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17th Asian Games Incheon 2014

This Friday, the world will tune in to live telecasts of the opening ceremony for the 17th Asian Games 2014 that will be held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19, 2014 to October 4, 2014. The opening ceremony will start at 5:00pm (Malaysia time) on September 19 with the showpiece event of various performances exemplifying the elements of Korean traditional culture and their latest technologies. Athletes from all participating nations will be a part of the event, marching past their respective contingents on this very day. Even important officials from Asian countries will attend the opening ceremony.

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Official poster and three seals mascot for the 17th Incheon Asian Games 2014. Photo by India.com.

Similar to the Olympic Games, the Asian Games is held every four years and is the most prestigious event organized by the Olympic Council of Asia. The Asian Games follow a similar arrangement of the sports programme to that of the Olympics, with swimming and athletics at the core, while featuring disciplines in the diverse sporting culture of the continent, such as sepak takraw (Southeast Asia), kabaddi (South Asia), and wushu (East Asia). The first and foremost Asian Games was held in New Delhi, India, in 1951 with 11 countries competing in six sports categories. The 16th Asian Games took place in Guangzhou, China, in 2010 and featured 45 countries and regions competing in 42 sports categories. As a result, the growth of the Olympic Movement in Asia was highlighted. Now the 17th edition of the Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea with 439 events in 36 sports categories and disciplines.

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The official poster of the Incheon Asian Games 2014. Photo by IAG14 (Blog).

Diversity Shines Here

The Asian Games 2014 is officially known as the XVII Asiad. ‘Diversity Shines Here‘ is the official slogan of the Asian Games which was unveiled on September 16, 2010. The official slogan represents and highlights the significance of Asia’s rich and wonderful diversity in history, cultures, and religions. Incheon was awarded the right to host the Games on April 7, 2007, after defeating New Delhi, India. It is understood that Incheon made an offer to raise USD$20 million of funds to support the countries who have yet to win a medal in the Games, as well as offering free flight and accommodation to all the participants, while India offered nothing, which led to the South Korean city to win the right to host the Games. Incheon is the third city in South Korea after Seoul (1986) and Busan (2002) to host the Asian Games.

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Other official posters depicting five games (racquet – top left corner / aquatics – bottom left corner / ball – middle / athletics – top right corner / combat – bottom right corner). Photo by IAG14 (Blog).

Malaysia is one of the 45 nations participating in the Incheon Asian Games 2014, with core focus on top local sportsmen and sportswomen like Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and Nicol David (squash). National hockey coach A. Arulselvaraj hopes his unorthodox ways of blaring Pink Floyd music on the loudspeakers will motivate, encourage, and inspire his team to a gold medal. Low Wee Wern from the national squash team hopes to have an all-Malaysian final in the Incheon Asian Games 2014 with World No.1 Nicol David. But she will have to wait and see what happens when Nicol David takes the squash courts by storm. The Malaysian Tiger footballers defeated Laos 4-0 in their second Group A match to stay afloat for their stint in the Incheon Asian Games 2014. And Datuk Lee Chong Wei will be looking to add more gold medals to his current tally as he prepares to wow his legion of Malaysian fans in the Asian Games. Chong Wei’s badminton counterpart Chong Wei Feng is relishing a left-handed battle with his childhood idol and China’s Lin Dan. No doubt everyone will be hoping for a bigger haul of medals for the nation this time. Malaysia Boleh!

To Malaysia, With Love

It’s understandable that most Malaysians can only associate with National Day which is celebrated annually on August 31. After all, it is a nation-wide event that has been marked as important to us ever since we gained independence on that fateful day.

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Happy Malaysia Day! (Selamat Hari Malaysia!). Photo by Say U Lov Me (Blog).

But wait, we have another national public holiday to celebrate and it is known as Malaysia Day! This equally important day is celebrated annually on September 16, and has been steadily gaining recognition. In 2009, the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Abdul Razak made the decision at the Malaysian Parliament to officially announce Malaysia Day as a national public holiday in 2010. This means that Malaysians now have two national celebrations related to the country’s independence. Sadly, not many are aware of the significance of the date. Come, let me tell you a story…

The Birth of Malaysia Day

The plan to officially declare the formation of Malaysia was initially dated August 31, 1963 to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the Malayan Independence. The formation of the country had initially  included Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya, and Singapore. Due to issues surrounding the Indonesian and Filipino objection to the formation of Malaysia, the date was postponed to September 16 that same year. Another reason given for the postponement of the date was to allow the United Nations time to conduct referendums in Sabah and Sarawak regarding the two states’ participation in a new federation. On September 16, Tunku Abdul Rahman was given the title “Bapa Malaysia” (Malay for “Father of Malaysia”), and the national flag was raised for the first time in all 13 states  (11 Peninsular states and two from East Malaysia). The formation of Malaysia was successfully made through the introduction of the Malaysia Bill to the Malayan Parliament on July 9, 1963 and consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on August 29, 1963. However, on August 9, 1965, Singapore officially announced its separation from Malaysia to form an independent nation on its own.

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Malaysia Day, so let us all celebrate this national event together with all our heart and soul. Happy Malaysia Day everyone! From us at Posterific!

Ground Zero Remembered

On September 11, 2001, two planes were hijacked by terrorists and flown straight into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The towers crumbled, crushing the occupants of the towers as well as killing scores of innocent bystanders on level ground and those who were nearby. A third plane intended for the White House changed its flight course and crashed into an open field after the passengers onboard fought back. A fourth plane was flown straight into the Pentagon. It was the darkest day for the Americans, and those who survived, lived to tell the tale that they had seen with their own eyes. Those who have gone to lend a hand to help out included the brave firemen and policemen, and while they were able to rescue others, some of them have lost their lives in the aftermath of the incident. The devastating attacks were caught on public television, shocking every other nation who tuned in to their local news channel and watched the whole event unfold before them.

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9.11.2001. The power to believe. The will to win. The strength to go on. Photo by Vicki Blackwell.

Today, we remember the brave firefighters who lost their trying to save people who were trapped beneath the rubble.

Today, we remember the courageous policemen who lost their lives trying to contain the terrorists and hijackers from attacking elsewhere.

Today, we remember those who lost their lives after being trapped in the towers as they desperately tried to escape, the innocent bystanders who lost their lives despite being outside the Towers, and the families who lost their loved ones in the horrific incident.

Today is the 13th anniversary of 9/11 (as it is fondly known as today). Today, we put our differences aside and pray for the victims and their families.

Gentlemen, Rev Your Engines!

The 2014 Formula 1 season is back from a mandatory summer break. This time, the race will be held in Belgium on the 24th of August (this Sunday at 8:00pm Malaysian time). The drivers in this weekend’s race will be revving their engines and making their way to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit Belgium (image below).

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Above: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo taken from the official Formula 1 website.

A Brief History of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most storied venues in the world of motorsports. It is also known as the home of the Belgian Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Spa, and the Spa 1000K. Fondly known as Spa, it has long been recognized as a supreme test of courage and skill. Spa’s list of winning drivers reads like a history of Grand Prix and sports car racing, such as Michael Schumacher, Pedro Rodriguez, Jim Clark, Jo Siffert, Jacky Ickx, Henri Pescarolo, Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Dan Gurney, and Alberto Ascari.

The circuit was designed by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois van Ophem in 1920. The triangle-shaped circuit originally ran over public roads between the Belgian towns of Spa, Malmedy, and Stavelot in the Ardennes region. The elimination of a hairpin turn in the Eau Rouge Valley creek shortened the circuit by about a kilometer and added to its already fearsome speeds. Even if Spa lacked the long lanes of Le Mans, Monza or Reims, with the exception of the famed La Source hairpin, it comprised exclusively of fast, sweeping curves where speeds rarely fell below 100 mph.

Spa has seen many changes over the years. The revamped circuit retains much of the original course and many of its signature turns including La Source, Blanchimont and the daunting Eau Rouge. The renewed Spa features a demanding, purpose-built section that sweeps down a valley through the fast Pouhon curve and the Campus esse bend before rejoining the “old” circuit near Blanchimont. As a result, it is the most challenging tracks on the current Formula One and sports car racing schedule. According to seven-time world champion driver, Michael Schumacher:

“It is the best circuit in the world. The kind of atmosphere you get at Spa is similar to the old Nurburgring. The only place which still has quality and atmosphere. Eau Rouge is really the most tremendous corner. Imagine flying downhill and seeing a big mountain in front of you. You feel as though you are driving into the road before going up and it is probably the best sensation and the most satisfaction you can experience as a racing driver.”

The timetable below shows the action for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix:

DATE SESSIONS TIME
Friday, 22 August 2014 Practice 1 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Practice 2 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday, 23 August 2014 Practice 3 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Qualifying Round 8:00pm
Sunday, 24 August 2014 Actual Race Day 8:00pm

The timing above follows the local Malaysian GMT+8.

Did you know…

… that Lewis Hamilton is the only current driver to take pole position more than once at Spa, yet despite his luck, he still trails Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in the victory count?

Did you also know…

… that all four of Jim Clark’s Belgian triumphs and five of Michael Schumacher’s six victories came without the benefit of starting from pole position?

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing has won the Belgian GP race for three years in a row, from 2010 to 2013. And now he will fight to maintain his place on the podium as the drivers of Mercedes, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, will do their best to snatch the victory from Vettel. Rosberg and Hamilton have both won a number of races already this year. Rosberg have been on the podium four times this year, having won races in Australia, Monaco, Austria, and Germany. His partner, Hamilton, outshone the German and took home trophies from races in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Spain, and Great Britain, one more race than Rosberg.

Show your support for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix with a purchase of a Fernando Alonso or Ferrari poster. Get yours today at the Formula One Grand Prix poster album from Posterific Facebook, while stocks last!

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Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014

From 23 July to 3 August 2014, the focus will shift from post-World Cup to the XX Commonwealth Games that will be held and hosted in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom and for a modern cultural and sport-loving city, it has lively hearted, forward- and creative thinking Scottish folk (the people of Glasgow are also known as Glaswegians). 71 nations and territories will be participating in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Glasgow 2014: XX Commonwealth Games by Singapore Athletics.

 Among the 71 nations, we are proud to announce that our beloved nation, Malaysia, is also participating in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games! Our athletes will represent our country in Glasgow and participate in games such as badminton, cycling, diving, gymnastics, hockey, judo, squash, swimming, and table tennis, among the other games that some of our other athletes will be participating in. Names like Liew Daren (badminton), Josiah Ng (keirin cyclist), Pandelela Rinong (diving), Nicol David (squash), and Khoo Cai Lin (swimming) should ring a bell somewhere not too distant in our memories.

Did you know…?

… that the mascot for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 is a ‘thistle’ by the name of Clyde (see picture below)? A thistle is defined as a beautiful but common weed in the form of a prickly-leaved, pink or purple-flowered Scotch thistle. The thistle is actually a national symbol of Scotland, besides the tartan.

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(L): Glasgow Games Mascot Clyde the thistle by Design Week. (R): Scottish thistles by Visit Scotland.

Eager to feel the Scottish vibe and build the mood and momentum for the Glasgow Games? Then come on over to our Posterific Facebook page and get your posters on United Kingdom in our ‘Maps & Flags‘ album as well as the ‘Keep Calm‘ album! If you’re interested in flying to Scotland to watch the Games live, or visit Glasgow as part of your vacation, then click here to find out more about the city before making your holiday plans!

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