“China In Those Days” Dinner Show

“China In Those Days”

Get Entertained By Thomas Brandt

Friday, 20th September 2013, 7:00pm – 10:30pm

Chef Low Organic Kitchen, 10 Boulevard, Petaling Jaya, Selangor


imageImmerse yourself in this visual history ranging from the late 1890s into the first decades of the 20th century, the era when it was an absolute privilege to send and receive pictorial postcards from an exotic country – especially one as far away as China. Photography was an expensive novelty, thus snapshots of faraway countries from the other side of the world were rare, if not unattainable.

Step back into the period without internet and digital camera, when even the use of a phone was available only to the privileged few. Around the year 2000 came the internet revolution. Contrast this to a hundred years ago when postcards revolutionized the world’s communication by being the first pictorial documentation circulated on a wider scale, bringing the world a little closer. The first paper postcards were not transported by plane affixed with ‘airmail’ stickers, but rather by ‘steam’ or ‘sail’. Messages were not lost when the ‘server was down’, only when ‘the ship was lost’.

Illuminating explanations and information accompany this journey of fascinating ancient Chinese culture and rituals. The Chinese Overseas (often-called “Offshore China”) is a directly related phenomenon that is not to be overlooked and is therefore covered substantially.

The selection of vintage views displayed throughout, originated from what most probably is the largest collection of postcards of China and imageChinese overseas in existence. The earliest cards span 1895 to 1900 with the majority stemming from ‘The Golden Age of the Postcards” between 1900 and 1914. Not only are they important memorabilia, these vintage postcards preserve China’s social history. Many images of people, architecture and landscapes were not recorded anywhere else but on postcards. These snapshots are not to be found in museums or national archives. Few remain for our education; for some scenes just one lone vintage postcard exists for our enjoyment

Would you like to see how Europeans on the Shanghai Bund enjoyed their afternoons in 1898? Might you be curious about the Forbidden City, the Grand Canal and missionary life in Outer Mongolia in the early 1900’s? What about the dress codes of the upper class? How did the not-so-lucky look? Did you know that Peking Opera was performed on street corners of China at the turn of the 20th century? Are you eager to peek into the everyday life of the Chinese Overseas in Chinatowns all over the world at that time?

Then be part of this picturesque voyage into a time gone by – a vanished, but yet so vivid, past!

imageThomas Brandt, a keen postcard collector, is a General Manager of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, for a period of time during his tenure at the German-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce.  Born June 16, 1966 in Wedel, Germany, Mr. Brandt graduated an economist from the University of Hamburg.

His first book, “Kunci Budaya – Business in Indonesia, the Cultural Key to Success” became a bestseller in both German and English. His second, the ever popular “AsiaComic”, provides amusing insights on today’s expatriate life in Asia. His third was the renowned “Asia in Those Days”. Now on his latest venture, Mr. Brandt solidifies his position as a specialist on Asia and China, with his fourth volume having achieved bestseller status prior to its first print run.

Guaranteed Entertaining


Every one I spoke to who attended your Talk was most amazed and truly enjoyed the whole show: as you quite rightly commented , that even by the end of 2hours they were still in full attention. Yes, I am very happy with your 2nd Book.. Its is a fantastic collection! How you managed to collect these materials baffled many. With regards to the Show, I will certainly keep this invitation in mind.”
Tan Shin Shu
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Walk Down Memory Lane


Thank you for doing such a fine – well done job. Using these ‘timeshot window’ postcards as background scenes – this book ushers the readers to reverse back the time clock and enter the mysterious yet fascinating old China. The social economic, cultural and political portrayal of the Overseas Chinese’ past and present ongoing struggle in order to survive firstly in their new environment outside China and noted some of their notable achievements were concise yet complete and accurate accounts. Your insight as an economist, your general interest in people around you and history and your inherent ability to document events in chronological order were the foundation layers of this book to link the old China with its present contemporary economic might and political spheres of influences. I sincerely wish that for knowing the past as portrayed in your book, the readers and people of the world will learn to make this world a better place for everyone. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this book immensely.
Frank Lin



I am still sharing with my Chinese friends, how thoroughly we enjoyed your talk, and that you know so much more about our Chinese history than even we Chinese people know . . . in spite of your thick German accent that took a while in getting used to. Even Ms Lim Guat Yen (Head of CEE) said that when I met her a couple of days later at another function. My wife was also very impressed by how much Indonesian/Malay words you know. I hope that UTAR CEE will continue to have more of your presentations in the future, as I for sure, will very strongly encourage my Chinese friends and relatives to attend your talk.”
Dr Robert Chen
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UTAR, Sungai Long campus

Thomas Brandt is the author of “China In Those Days” and several other best-selling books.  This article is published with courtesy of Thomas Brandt. You can find out more of his current and previous works here – www.prismnet.com/goasia

It is our honor to invite all ERA members, spouses and friends to this entertaining and yet healthy dinner prepared by Chief Low Organic Kitchen.  To have Mr Thomas Brandt as your entertaining host is not an easy task.  Well, at least it won’t be possible without 12 months of ‘working’ with his already filled-out calendar. 

We are grateful to the organizing committee members, Mr Ng Koon Kow (KK) and Mr Raymond Wong,  as well as our President Datin Paduka Yong, they have spend tremendous efforts to make this event materialized.  Now that you all can take this rare opportunity to get entertained and spice up your Friday night, and let that wonderful feeling fill up the whole weekend, guaranteed!

The Dinner Show would cost only RM50 per pax for ERA member and spouse, RM60 for non-ERA member. Fee includes a delicious organic vegetarian dinner.  Attendant can purchase the “China In Those Days” book for only RM450, a good  discount from the original price and it’s not available for sale in the bookstore.  This collectable book sample can be viewed in the website mentioned above.  It is advisable that you indicate the interest of purchasing the book to Mr Ng when reserving your seats.   It’s not mandatory, but for Mr Thomas to get enough stock for you on that day.

For reservation, kindly click here to download the event details or call Mr Ng at +6012 2073166 or email to [email protected].  Limited seats available.  To avoid disappointment, please reserve your seat(s) asap.

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