Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yellow (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Yellow is a colour that sometimes has negative connotations in the West -- leading to it being so that being called yellow is an insult that means that one is a coward. In Imperial China, however, yellow was the color associated with royalty, and the Yellow Emperor being the label bestowed onto the legendary ruler credited with having achieved immortality (and his wife, Empress Lei Zu, with having discovered that silkworms make silk and inventing the silk loom).
And yellow also is the color of royalty in Malaysia, the home of nine sultans who take turns being king (really!) as well as my native land.

The recent actions of the Sultan of Perak has helped create political turmoil in his state and country at large. But it is to more peaceful times that this Photo Hunt's entry largely hark back to: that is, some time last year when two friends and I visited Perak's royal town of Kuala Kangsar and spent time doing such as checking out its beautiful mosque and -- the building in the above photos -- Istana Kenangan, an old royal palace turned state museum.

A wonderful example of old Malay architecture, its relatively newly painted coats of yellow, black and white (the colours of Perak) may be what initially catches the eye but what really takes the breath away is the knowledge that not a single nail was used in its construction. Built in the traditional Malay way on stilts to deal with flooding, it also happens to have the symbolic distinction of being shaped like a keris, the wavy Malay sword whose aesthetic beauty belies its deadliness as a weapon.

With floors of wood and walls of woven sliced bamboo, it can seem on the less than solid side -- and I had to laugh as my two friends did such as literally knock on each step before putting their weight on them as we ascended the stairs up to the palace/museum! Suffice to say that the building really is pretty sturdy -- as well as surprisingly modest looking inside, especially compared to its outside (hence my preference for taking photos of its exterior over its interior!).


Leslie said...

Wow - that was an interesting post! have a great weekend. :)

Napaboaniya.Elaine Ling said...

Nice~ Yellow for royalty, yellow for hum siap too!! :P *kidding*

Randi said...

A great and interesting take on the theme.
Happy weekend.

EG CameraGirl said...

It's interesting that colours mean different things in different cultures, isn't it? I don't think of :coward" when I see yellow. I think of sunshine, happy and cheerful. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Very good - a building of distinction. I gather it has withstood the tramping of feet for a goos many years. Nails would have rusted away.

YTSL said...

Hi Leslie --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi Napaboaniya --

Hum siap = hum sup? If so, never realized that yellow had that connotation (too)! :O

Hi Randi --

Thanks and happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi "Your EG Tour Guide" --

Am glad that you associate yellow with positive things. :)

Hi Aileni --

Yeah, I think the building was built in the early 20th century -- so is around 100 years old. :)

Anonymous said...

Never thought of it of being coward, for its something cheery, mabye becuse of the sun...and yeah royalty too!Beauitiful architecture!

jams o donnell said...

what an amzing building!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the photos and the information. That was very interesting!

annalarssonphotography said...

What an interesting post and great take of theme!

Mine is up too!
Have a great weekend :)

Anonymous said...

What a cool looking palace! And no nails, that's amazing. Great photos and thanks also for the interesting info; like many Americans I know very little about the rest of the world :( which is one reason why I enjoy PHunt so much!

Happy weekend!

SASSY MOM said...

That's an interesting piece of design. I love your post.

Lisa C. said...

great post... thanks for sharing...

Gypsy at heart said...

Loved viewing, and reading, your interesting post. Thanks for the lesson.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Great photo hunt!
I knew you would post something fantastic.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a guesthouse! I would love to visit one like that someday!

Happy week-end!

YTSL said...

Hi Mirage --

Good on you for associating such a nice, bright color only with positive things! :)

Hi Sherry --

Thanks for appreciating my sharing! :)

Hi Vita --

Thanks and yup, yours is up -- have gone and visited! :b

Hi Annie --

Am glad to be able to help you learn more about the rest of the world! :)

Hi Sassy Mom --

Thanks for reading and viewing! :)

Hi Lisa C --

You're welcome and thanks for appreciating! :)

Hi Gypsy at Heart --

You too are welcome! :)

Hi Sandi --

Thanks for your vote of confidence! :)

Hi Arlene --

Hahaha, sorry, it's not a guesthouse. The furniture inside is more along the lines of exhibit cases these days. :D

Gattina said...

Very interesting ! here the royal color is rather blue. Beautiful architecture too.

Anonymous said...

So nice to see something from home! Well, home Malaysia (I'm from KL), anyway.

Here's my first participation in the Photo Hunt!!


sammawow said...

Wonderful photos and a very interesting post. I would love to see that building!

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

Yeah, the European royals seem to go more for blue. (I think that's where the term "royal blue" comes from in English!) Wonder why that is!

Hi *Lynne* --

Hello there to another Malaysian abroad and hope to "see" you again on other Photo Hunt Saturdays! :)

Hi Sammawow --

Thanks and if you're ever in Malaysia, make sure to go on a trip to Kuala Kangsar then... :b

Unknown said...

Great post and photos. I loved learning here today!

Brita said...

Great take on the theme! Really interesting.

srp said...

What a beautiful building and a wonderful information filled post. I can't get over the beautiful architecture and symmetry of that building.

Thanks for visiting.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Wow! What a terrific post!

I did yellow today, too! I hope you can come visit.

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely yellow building and fascinating information too. Love the perspective on the second photo.
Hugs and blessings,

Colin Campbell said...

Thanks for sharing. Perak is a part of Malaysia I have not been to. Some day.

Connie - Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

I thought you'd like this too.

Dragonstar said...

What an incredibly beautiful place! Thank you for all the fascinating information, too - I didn't know any of that.

Upcountrysmiles said...

Wow..spectacular & interesting post!!

My yellow is up as well==>

SabineM said...

Wow, interesting!
Great way to showcase YELLO!

Carver said...

I loved this post. Very interesting text and what wonderful architecture you showed us. Great job!

Sweetly said...

Wow! Great shot!


ancient one said...

No nails... wow... loved this yellow post...thanks for coming by ...

Sweetanlo said...

That is really neat!

My Yellow Post

Anonymous said...

I love the uniformity of the yellow drapes in the window. The Field Musuem in Chicago had an exhibit a few years ago with artifacts from one of the Chinese dynasties. There was yellow everywhere and it was all breathtaking. Great slate of photos.

If you have time stop by and see my photo hunt.
JyLnC's Yellow

tanabata said...

Very interesting! And it does look quite impressive.

Anonymous said...

interesting info. i had not tried yellow curtains. i wonder how they will add to the effect in a room, will it add warmth or coldness.

Horsoon said...

Good shots of Yellow! Your post's really interesting too.

eastcoastlife said...

That is such a beautiful Istana that I have make a note to visit it in my lifetime. I'm fascinated. :)

Anonymous said...

very interesting...thanks for sharing
have a great week ahead :)

YTSL said...

Hi again "Pagan Sphinx" --

Glad you loved learning and got some of that here! :)

Hi Brita --

Thanks! :)

Hi SRP --

Thanks for appreciating. :)

Hi Mrs Mecomber --

Looks like you went for some cultural heritage too! ;b

Hi Colin --

Have to confess that I'm Malaysian and still only visited Kuala Kangsar for the first time last year! :o

Hi "storyteller's other blog" --

Thanks for your particular appreciation of photo #2. :)

Hi Connie --

Thanks much for pointing out that other amazing yellow building to me. :)

Hi Dragonstar --

Thanks for visiting, reading and looking some more! :)

Hi Upcountrysmiles --

Your comments brought a smile to my face... ;)

Hi SabineM --


Hi Carver --

*Blush* Thanks to you too! :)

Hi Sweetly --

Which shot? ;b

Hi "ancient one" --

Thanks and you're welcome re visiting your blog. :)

Hi Sweetanlo --

Glad you think so! :)

Hi JyLnC --

The Field Museum of Chicago = great museum. Have spent hours visiting it and the Chicago Art Institute. :)

Hi Tanabata --

It's (relatively) small but impressive, I reckon.

Hi Kaye --

Cool. :)

Hi Bingskee --

I think yellow brightens things up but can make one hyper! :b

Hi Horsoon --

So... how far away are you from Kuala Kangsar and are you tempted to go visit there now? :b

Hi EastCoastLife --

When you go to Kuala Kangsar, make sure you check out the state mosque too. Find that really beautiful (and have some pics on this blog, if you're interested). :)

Hi Anant --

Thanks and fingers crossed re having a great week ahead. :)

Bengbeng said...

i havent been to this place although i been to Kuala Kangsar a few times. sometimes we take such places for granted. it was like that for me before I took up photography

Liz Hinds said...

It does look very regal!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! The building is magnificent! True, yellow is a lovely color but nobody wants to be called it ;-)

YTSL said...

Hi Bengbeng --

Agree that photography has make me look at the world more closely and with interest. :)

Hi Liz --

Fit for a sultan, if not a king! ;)

Hi JC --

Re yellow: yeah, have to say I find it weird for my "race" to be called yellow. Wish people would just stop categorizing people by race and, especially by racial colorization.

Tokenhippygirl said...

Wow... very interesting. And what a great shot for the theme!

YTSL said...

Hi Tokenhippygirl --

Thanks but... you only liked one of the shots? Hope not! ;(

Anonymous said...

Arriving very late but couldn't resist commenting on this gorgeous palace/museum. So pretty, almost like a doll's house with all the curtains perfectly arranged.

YTSL said...

Hi A --

Better late than never! And yes, that building can seem more like a doll house than a palace or museum! :D