If I have to narrow down the reasons to be thankful, for living and working in Penang for almost 3 years now, being personally exposed and immersed to diversities in this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site will absolutely be on the top of my list. It’s always amazing how spending few hours in this quaint area of Pulau Pinang, either in an ordinary sunny day or during a very auspicious occasion, can be utterly enriching! Every experience exceeds expectation. Each visit has been a sensory feast! And this year’s Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration in George Town, Penang wasn’t an exception!
I’m sure my wife, Tina (who had to stay again in our apartment during our visit for CNY to the island, for her to do the usual chores and get enough weekend rest), is also grateful for the countless times that our 8-year-old-son, Gabby has been discovering Malaysian tradition and cultures beyond books.
How could you not enjoy entering an art gallery for FREE?
Because I knew our afternoon will be packed, a bladder break was a must! So before we continued our CNY-merriment in the streets, I invited Gabby to walk towards Chinahouse restaurant just to have a decent minutes in toilet.
The streets of George Town were filled with murals and new steel-rod- art installations that are great addition to the existing ones. Those whimsical caricatures on most walls mention a bit of something from this town’s past and present lifestyles and whatnot. It’s certainly a refreshing and innovative approach in bringing art, history and culture readily accessible to both local and foreign tourists. They easily appeal even to kids like Gabby!
On the spot demonstrations of Chinese arts of sculpting, painting, weaving and even clay-molding were definitely crowd-drawing!
Needless to say, it was effortless for me to further enhance our son’s appreciation to the arts and someone else’s culture and tradition and more so, the need to value and constantly hone one’s skills and talents for self-improvement, forever and ever, Amen! LOL!
How often do you see a volume of men dressed as Chinese God of Wealth?
*What a sweet welcome to the year of the snake!
Regardless of our ethnicity and belief, we all wish this year to be more prosperous one!
No CNY celebration would be complete in any Chinatown without those traditional dragon and lion dances. And this year, Gabby and I were happy to witness an incredibly different performances in Kapitan Keling Mosque street.
It was a pleasure watching the performers from the time they prepared their acts, even happier of the fact that we savored everything in a very strategic spot. Despite my captures were so amateurish, the event was so momentous!
Vibrant colors, dynamic and synchronized moves are common to dragon and lion dances, but performing them on top of stilts or tables (one group had steel tables, the other was more daring dancing on wooden ones) made it more thrilling to watch!
I wish I had better shots! Everything was so awesome!
Enter the Dragonsssssssssssss!
Photographers and other people with camera (like me!) tried to obstruct our best view of the event, thus I had more difficulty in documenting the scenes. I cannot blame them, it was really exciting!
The celebration continued with a 68-drum-performance from an all-girl-group! Amazing!
They’re beaming with passion!
I kept on shouting with the crowd behind us and for a while, Gabby kept clapping his hands too! It was truly an outstanding performance!
No matter how imperfect the photo was and the dusk was upon us, I just had to snap my camera with one of those wonderful drummers and Gabby.
Because the roads in these areas were temporarily closed to traffic, public buses and cars were rerouted making us walk and enjoyed some more minutes in George Town. Our feet brought us to Chinahouse again and this time not only to void but to grab some bites before hopping on the ferry and bus to go home to Butterworth.
It was another happy day in George Town! We cannot be grateful enough!
How was your Chinese New Year celebration?