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© Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Last updated on 12 April 2013 (5 headwords). No reproduction without permission.

vadai /vahr-dı, ˈvɑːdʌɪ/ n. [Tam. வடை vaṭai a cake made of black gram, fried in ghee or oil (Tam. Lex.) < Skt. वटक vaṭaka a small lump or round mass, ball, globule; a kind of cake made of pulse fried in oil or butter; वट vaṭa a little ball, globule, pill, small lump or roundish mass; a cake made of pulse ground and fried with oil or butter < वट् vaṭ to surround, encompass; to tie, string, connect; to divide, partition; वृत् vṛit to turn, turn one’s self, turn around, revolve, roll, move, go (Monier-Williams)]  See quot. 2003.
2003 Teo Pau Lin The Sunday Times, 5 October, L42 Vadai, or Indian prawn pancakes, is a simple snack of deep-fried dough with a few prawns stuck on top..

Vaisakhi /vı-sah-kee, vʌɪˈsɑkʰiː/ n. [< Skt. वैशाख Vaiśākha the first of the 12 months constituting the Hindu solar calendar answering to AprilMay (Monier-Williams), and the second month of the Hindu lunar calendar]  The Sikh New Year, which also commemorates the occasion when five Sikhs answered a call to be sacrificed for their faith.
The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 14 April. Sikhs here celebrated their New Year, or Vaisakhi, by giving away food to the sick yesterday. .. Vaisakhi, which commemorates the occasion when five brave Sikhs answered a call to be sacrificed for the faith, falls on April 14. Traditionally, Sikhs conduct continuous prayer rites for two days prior to the event itself.

Vesak Day /vee-sahk, ˈviːsɑk/ n. [see Vaisakhi]  The most holy day in the Buddhist calendar, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha. In the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the first full moon day in May or, in a leap year, in June. It is a public holiday in Singapore. Observances kept on Vesak Day include the chanting of Buddhist sutras by monks; the visiting of temples by devotees to pray, meditate and make offerings of flowers and fruit; processions around the perimeters of temples with devotees bowing every three steps and chanting “homage to the original teacher Shakyamuni  Buddha”; and the taking of vegetarian meals. Acts of generosity known as dāna [Skt. & Pali दान a giver; giving, offering < Skt. दाgive, bestow, grant, yield, impart, present, offer (Monier-Williams)] are also carried out, such as visiting and giving alms to the needy.
2002 The Straits Times, 25 May, H16 Vesak Day marks the birth and death of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. He attained enlightenment to become Buddha, and entered nirvana, a state transcending suffering and desire.  2006 Ashleigh Sim The Sunday Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 7 May. Making flower offerings to Buddha at the opening ceremony of Vesak Day celebrations yesterday, President S R Nathan later struck a bell three times to wish for peace and harmony in Singapore and viewed a huge lotus flower display. .. The paper blooms, folded patiently by volunteers from more than 50 organisations and thousands of people in the past two months, are to mark Vesak Day on Friday. Project Million Lotus is the highlight of the two-day celebration, organised by the Singapore Buddhist Federation to mark Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana.  2006 Sonia Tan The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 12 May. Vesak Day.. is a day for Buddhists to mark the birth and enlightenment of Buddha, as well as his entry to Nirvana. On this day, Buddhist devotees make their way to the temple to pray, meditate and make offerings. Buddhist temples and organisations also practise acts of generosity, including giving alms to the poor.  2006 “Day of enlightenment” The Straits Times (from Straits Times Interactive), 13 May. Yesterday, Buddhists from all walks of life celebrated Vesak Day to remember the birth and enlightenment of Buddha through acts of piety and charity. While monks chanted sutras, devotees visited temples to make offerings and prayers. The celebrations culminated in candlelight processions which lit up the night.

void deck n. [Eng. void (architecture) a space left in a wall for a window or door; the opening of an arch; any unfilled space in a building or structure + Eng. deck any kind of floor or platform < deck (nautical) a platform extending from side to side of a ship or part of a ship, covering in the space below and also itself serving as a floor (OED)]  A common area or space on the ground level of a block of flats, esp. flats constructed by the Housing and Development Board of Singapore.
2000 Kenneth Lim The Straits Times (Life! This Weekend), 28 December, 10 The void deck, with its pillars of resourcefulness, hard work and patriotism, supports our homes and our lives faithfully.  2001 Neil Humphreys Notes from an Even Smaller Island 109 Just a few weeks ago, a bunch of lower secondary schoolboys were kicking a ball around the void deck of my block. Now this is against the law and signs are plastered all around the void decks clearly stating that all ball games are prohibited. After all, these and other young lads could chip the paint, dirty the walls and cause considerable noise pollution for the residents living above. So being an upstanding young fellow of the HDB community, what did I do? I asked to join in, of course.  2004 The Straits Times (Very! Singapore), 9 August, 23 Void decks, the cavernous empty space below blocks of flats, aren’t really, well, void. .. There are now about 7,000 void decks around the island. The oldest is at Block 26, Jalan Klinik, which was built in 1963. This void deck in Tiong Bahru was the precursor to a decision – formalised in 1969 – to keep the first storey of HDB [Housing and Development Board] blocks free. .. Void decks, says the Housing Board, are part of its efforts to provide ‘a sense of relief’ in the densely built city, and a space for interaction and community bonding. But who was the first to coin the now-household term? It appeared in the local papers as early as the 1970s, but no one, it appears, wants to claim credit.  2004 Asad Latif The Straits Times (Very! Singapore), 9 August, 23 Void decks are one of the most public of spaces in the private existence that envelop public housing. They cannot but be public, since they host three essential rituals of life: birth, marriage and death. When a child is born, his introduction to his home takes the form of the lift landing, where his parents wait for lifts unless they live on the lower floors and prefer to walk up. When he is a young man, he is likely to hold his wedding ceremony in the void deck if he is Malay. .. And when it is time for a Singaporean to go, the void deck stays awake for his wake.

vomit blood /vor-mit, wor-mit, ˈvɔːmit, ˈwɔːmit/ v. phr. [Eng. transl. of Hk. 吐血 tor hui: tor vomit, throw up + hui blood; Mand. tùxiě]  Used to expr. that something is extremely aggravating, frustrating or difficult to endure.

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