Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Penang all set for George Town celebrations

Chow and Dr Ang (grey jacket) holding a George Town celebrations poster posing for a group photo with other VIPs and GTWHI staff members after the press conference at the Penang Youth Centre in Lebuh Acheh, Penang.

PREPARE for a culturally rich experience at the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2019 themed ‘Let’s Celebrate – Rituals and Festive Events’.

The celebrations held to mark the 11th anniversary of George Town as a Unesco World Heritage Site will see a lineup of events dedicated to local culture and festivities.

The annual community-powered celebrations will feature the eagerly anticipated Street Festival on July 6 from 6pm to 11pm, and Site Excursions from July 6 to 8.

The public will be introduced to diverse traditional and cultural events, such as birth celebrations, wedding ceremonies and major celebrations that honour deities in the form of traditions that have been passed down through the generations.

GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said the Street Festival would see a total of 22 interactive community workshops around the heritage enclave on July 6 (6pm to 11pm) that offers a wide range of activities for the public to have hands-on experience of living traditions with the opportunity to engage with the local community.

“There will also be 18 cultural performances at the main stage in Armenian Park (6.30pm to 10.30pm) and dance floor along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (7pm to 11pm) for celebration-goers to understand the local culture better on July 6.

“Performances such as the Kavadi Attam, Hakka Pixiu Dance, Shimokita Ondo, Awang Batil, Gamelan, Lion Dance and Dikir Barat, among others, will take centre stage to showcase George Town’s rich cultural diversity.

“Participants will also have the chance to enrich and broaden their knowledge through site excursions to seven cultural institutions – the State Chinese Association and Nattukottai Nagarathar Heritage Society on July 6, the Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang Eurasian Association and the Gujarati Samaj Penang on July 7, as well as the Wadda Gurdwara Sahib and Nam Hooi Wooi Koon Association on July 8,” she said during the announcement of the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2019 at the Penang Youth Centre in Lebuh Acheh.

Dr Ang said this year’s theme specially highlights the rituals and festive events conducted by the local communities whose peaceful coexistence is a significant trait of George Town’s multicultural heritage.

“We hope the celebrations will be an occasion that gathers people from near and far and acknowledge the importance of conserving the intangible cultural heritage of George Town.

“This is a time for us to celebrate our diversity and safeguard our precious heritage,” she said, adding that visitors should dress comfortably and bring their own water bottles to the event as water stations would be available.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the annual event highlighted the importance of celebrating cultures, respecting diversity and experiencing interactive activities.

“These multicultural traditions reflect the harmonious coexistence of the different ethnic and social groups, cultures and religions contributing to the vibrancy of George Town today.

“I would like to thank the 24 local community groups for participating in the documentation and sharing their rituals and festive events with us as well as the 400 volunteers,” he said.

Admission is free for the Street Festival and community workshops. For details, visit the George Town Heritage Celebrations Facebook page or gtwhi.com.my/gthc2019.
-thestar online.

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