Clan villages brimming with folktales


Actors enacting a traditional wedding ceremony during the play ‘Our Clan Jetties’ by Nineties Production at Chew Jetty in George Town, Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

IN ORDER to share the rich heritage of the Penang clan jetties in Weld Quay with the outside world, a fifth generation resident in Chew Jetty has willingly converted her wooden house on stilts into an auditorium.

Chew Siew Pheng, 42, turned three out of the five bedrooms into a hall for live theatrical performances titled ‘Folklore By The Sea’ which tells the history and development of the clan jetties from the 1880s.

(Above) A scene showing the hardship faced by the early settlers. (Below) Hee Meng Sum sharing the history and development of the clan jetties.
Hee Meng Sum sharing the history and development of the clan jetties.

“There are seven clans here in total in Weld Quay. Besides Chew, there are also the Ong, Lim, Tan, Lee, Yeoh and the Koay clans.

“The community here was started by pioneer Chinese immigrants and their houses were built on stilts above the sea and connected by wooden walkways.

(Above) The signboard showing the way to the house converted into a mini auditorium at Chew Jetty. (Left) Visitors watching the play in the mini auditorium on stilts by the sea.
A scene showing the hardship faced by the early settlers.

“Although some of the structures have evolved over time, the jetties’ old-world charm still exists.

“We hope our stories can be heard and passed down to our descendants,” said Chew during the launch of the auditorium recently.

Chew hopes the stories can be heard and passed down to their descendants.
Chew hopes the stories can be heard and passed down to their descendants.

Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi Zi Sen said the transformation was in line with the state’s effort to promote performing arts.

“George Town is full of interesting tales, and a lot of culture and heritage that we can share.

(BRIEF CAPTION) Folklore by the Sea at Chew Jetty in George Town,Penang. Pic by: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star/ 29 November 2018.
The signboard showing the way to the house converted into a mini auditorium at Chew Jetty. (

“Storytelling which has been practised in the early days through words or writing is still very effective until today,” he said.

Tickets for the storytelling sessions are priced at RM18 for adults and RM10 for children, while the play is priced at RM35 for adults and RM18 for children.

(BRIEF CAPTION) Storytelling by Hee Meng Sum on Our Clan Jetties at the Folklore by the Sea at Chew Jetty in George Town,Penang. Pic by: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star/ 29 November 2018.
Visitors watching the play in the mini auditorium on stilts by the sea.

(The storytelling sessions are available on Monday to Thursday, the play on the weekends, and a mixture of both on Friday).

For bookings, call 014-2269549 or 011-6246 2884.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Metro News

Excuses abound to get out and about
‘Be patient at roadblocks’
State to oversee the giving out of aid
Restaurant owners take MCO in their stride
More businesses allowed to operate during MCO
New hawker centre welcomes relocated food operators
Jinjang folk want low-cost flats project to resume
Sg Buloh residents say street light problem unresolved despite complaints over two years
Chinese brush painter and students feature their handiwork on clothing, bags and fans
Centre to drive adoption of digital transformation in state

Stories You'll Enjoy