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Registered: July 2008
Posts: 3,587
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· Date: January 17, 2009 · Views: 23169 ·
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Registered: July 2008
Posts: 3,587
February 2, 2009 12:16am

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 2
February 9, 2009 6:41am

Colours of Penang

This was the first time in 10 years that I actually have to Ďbalik kampungí (going back to hometown in Malay) to celebrate Chinese New Year with my folks. After a full year of hard work, everyone is looking forward to this biggest celebration of the Chinese tradition. And to be away from hometown working, it only makes the experience an even more meaningful one: the idea of returning to oneís hometown and reunite with family members. Hence the reunion dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year. I once read that the round table was first invented by the Chinese. Square or rectangular table was actually a western creation. Since reunion is such a big deal in the Chinese tradition, round table enables all the family members to be congregated around the feast of the year. Unfortunately, this year we celebrated our reunion dinner along a freaking long rectangular table! One can easily sees in the picture that I didnít talk to the person sitting at the other end of the table. Rectangular table is obviously not practical when it comes to the reunion rituals. Anyway, the joy of being with my family members overshadowed my architectural contemplation of the different geometric shapes available.

Penang is well known to be the food paradise of Malaysia. It could be traced way back to the 19th century when Asian, European and Indian merchants came here to trade. Besides doing business, they brought along their cuisine with them. The interaction between these communities helped to give birth to the rich palette of food we can find here in Penang today.

Apart from food, Penang is also famous for its rich culture and heritage. George Town was recently recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage site mainly for the integrity of its Straits Settlement architecture. However, the listing is just the beginning, there is indeed a long journey ahead for all Penangites to fully committed in preserving and renovating these priceless premises for its value to be elevated and sustainable.

One of the more successful and most famous tourist attraction will undoubtedly be the Kek Lok Si Temple. Iíll visit this place every time during Chinese New Year when the group of temples will be lit with colourful lighting decoration.

At least to most tourists, George Town and Kek Lok Si symbolizes Penang because of their architectural grandeur and the cultural elements they encapsulate. There is however a different side of Penang that is not widely publicized but the one that Iím equally excited about. It is the modern and trendy part of Penang which one can find in areas like Queensbay, Penang Time Square, The Light Waterfront and Gurney Drive. When fully developed, these places will complement the rich heritage of George Town and return the Pearl of the Orient to its former shine and glory. I pray hard for the success of Penang to be a global city.

P/S: Is it possible to upload pictures here? I remember I did that a few years ago.

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