Penang Miao Hui celebration goes virtual this year

Miao Hui volunteers visiting a temple in George Town, Penang, for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration that will be fully online due to the pandemic.

THE Miao Hui celebration held annually during Chinese New Year takes a twist this year by going online.

Audience will be able to participate virtually through various programmes held to promote the theme of the celebration — ‘Cultural Gems’ within the heritage enclave.

In a live video hosted online to kickstart the celebration last Saturday, Penang Chinese Clan Council chairman Datuk Ang Cho Teing said the new format was to keep up with difficult times during the pandemic.

“Our volunteers started preparations since last March.

“A curatorial team was set up for each ancestral hall to collect information and plan for the exhibitions.

“However, due to uncertainties of the pandemic, we foresaw that it would be impossible to host an upcoming Miao Hui like before.

The team has produced a series  of video clips for each of the  20 ancestral halls, says Ang.The team has produced a series of video clips for each of the 20 ancestral halls, says Ang.

“In November last year, the committee suggested converting Miao Hui to a digital format to enable the meaningful folk event to continue, ” he said in the video posted on social media.

Ang said in order to convey the significance of cultural treasures, the team has produced a series of video clips for each of the 20 ancestral halls.

“The videos contain dramas, documentaries, interviews, performances, narrations and animations to deliver the core meaning of the cultural gems.”

They will be introduced from the first day (Feb 12) to ninth day (Feb 20) of Chinese New Year on Facebook and YouTube.

On the sixteenth day (Feb 27) of Chinese New Year, children can participate in an online cultural quiz which will be open to all pupils.

“A certificate will be issued to pupils who excel in the quiz and they can apply for extra curricular credits from the Education Ministry, ” he added.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present during the 40-minute video launch, commended the organisers for not giving up.

“Many traditional activities have been affected including the Penang Lunar New Year Celebration event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The organisers of Miao Hui did not give up but changed their delivery model by exposing the public to learn about cultures online and creating a new experience of the Miao Hui celebration, ” he said.

Also present during the video session was Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China Lu Shiwei, who extended his best wishes to the organisers of the event.

“The Miao Hui event has been held since 1999 with different themes each year.

“It is an important event which highlights the charm of Malaysia’s multiculturalism and national unity, ” he said.

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