IT IS time for Teochew people to take pride in their rich culture and start coming up with ways to promote it as a tourism product in Malaysia.
Wanita MCA Chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said they should gather various cultural elements of the clan, like its historical buildings, food, and arts and develop it into something similar to a the concept of a heritage trail.
“Even in Ipoh, we have a few Teochew buildings, and Teochew pottery and restaurants as well.
“By bringing all of it together to develop it as a tourist attraction, I believe that it would do well for our tourism industry as we want to attract Teochews from countires like China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia to visit our country,” Heng said in her speech after attending the Perak Han Kang Association Cultural Exhibition at Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites on Monday.
Heng, who is Teochew herself, said the Teochew are well-known for four specialties.
“They are very talented in business, and they have successful businessmen locally and overseas such as Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow of Public Bank, William Cheng of Lion Group, and even the famous Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing.
“This is because Teochews are hardworking and disciplined when it comes to entrepreneurship, and they honour their word.
“It is these traits that make them successful in business,” she said.
Secondly, the Teochew clan boasts a delectable array of delicious food, like the famous Teochew braised duck and yam paste, Heng said
The audience chuckled when she mentioned the Teochew clan is also famous for having many pretty girls, which is the clan’s third specialty.
“The fourth, is our Teochew youths, who are particularly good in arts and culture.
“Since we are so rich in culture, with all kinds of food, talent, coupled with the historical Teochew buildings throughout our country, why not create attractions based on what we have to bring in more tourists?” she said.
Throwing in her support behind Teochew associations, Heng said she would do her best to arrange a meeting for association leaders to meet with the Tourism Ministry about the idea.
“Our primary focus should be to attract more Teochews from other countries to visit Malaysia,” she said.
The cultural exhibition, organised by the Perak Han Kang Association, showcased an impressive selection of calligraphy, art, pottery, handicrafts and food made by Teochews from all over Malaysia.
Association chairman Loh Yuen Keong said the exhibition’s goal is to let the older generation of the Teochew clan in Malaysia know that the younger generation here is thriving, particularly in arts and culture.
The three-day exhibition ended on Wednesday.