BEHIND every successful large-scale public event, are scores of volunteers and helpers whose tireless efforts made it all possible.
While they may sometimes go unheralded, those involved with the 2020 Penang Chinese New Celebration or Miao Hui held on Feb 2 were certainly appreciated.
They were feted to a thank you dinner by the Penang Chinese Clan Council and Penang Cultural Inheritors Society, the event organiser and coordinator respectively.
Held on the grounds of the Khoo Kongsi clan house in George Town last Saturday, the Miao Hui Solidarity Feast had close to a thousand guests in attendance.
They included primary and secondary school children, college and university students, as well as teachers and parents who helped out or performed during the street celebration.
Joining them for a hearty buffet meal were members and representatives of the 100 participating clan associations, as well as event partners.
Penang Cultural Inheritors Society main event planner Choo Boon Chiang (pic) said the appreciation dinner had been held yearly after the celebration.
“These volunteers played an important role in the success of the Miao Hui. As the celebration is about inheritance and passing on our culture to the next generation, it is heartening to see so many youths involved, ” Choo added.
Penang Chinese Clan Council chairman Datuk Yeap Beow Chong echoed those sentiments in his speech, and expressed his hope that participants were able to gain a better understanding of their roots.
One of them was Penang Chinese Girls’ High School student Gan Cimin, 13, who was stationed at the Poh Hock Seah temple during the Miao Hui to brief visitors about the temple’s history.
“I was able to learn new things about my culture. I intend to be a volunteer again next year, ” said Gan after giving a short presentation during the dinner.
Several other youngsters also shared their experiences from the Miao Hui, and put on dance numbers to entertain the crowd.
Many also took the opportunity to write and hang up goodwill messages on a wall, and snap selfies with both their newfound friends and cutouts of the event mascot.
Held around several streets in George Town’s heritage enclave, the recent Miao Hui was themed ‘A Journey of Reminiscence’ and featured lots of activities and performances that highlighted age-old traditions.
Mark your calendars, as the organisers have announced that next year’s event will be held on Feb 20 or the 9th day of Chinese New Year.