A RED-GOLD ‘dragon’ measuring 60m paraded on the streets of George Town, escorted by 48 trishaws, during the 103rd anniversary celebration of the Penang State Chinese Association.
Its president Datuk Seri Tan Gin Soon said a float carrying women dressed in traditional kebaya also featured in the parade which went around Komtar and Prangin Mall in George Town.
“About 25 delegates, who had earlier attended the three-day 34th Baba Nyonya International Convention in Melaka, came along to celebrate our anniversary.
“After the parade, the delegates from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia together with 300 other guests were treated to lunch at the Lot 33 ballroom in Prangin Mall where delectable Nyonya dishes were served on a traditional th’ng tok (long table).
“The guests tucked into dishes like jiu hu char (cuttlefish salad), kiam chai ark (pickled vegetable soup with duck) and otak-otak while being entertained by a six-member music troupe from Indonesia and dancers from the Penang State Chinese Association,” he said.
State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Wong Hon Wai in his opening speech said the th’ng tok Peranakan-style lunch emphasised the significance of preserving the essence of the Peranakan heritage.
“The Baba Nyonya or Peranakan community, known for blending Malay, Chinese and Indonesian influences, has created a unique and vibrant cultural tapestry.
“I acknowledge the community’s invaluable contributions to the state.”
Wong also commended the resilience and vitality of the Baba Nyonya culture, emphasising its ability to transcend boundaries and foster unity.
He pledged his commitment to future initiatives aimed at preserving and promoting the Peranakan cultural identity.
Also at the celebration were Penang Wushu, Lion and Dragon Dance Association president Datuk H’ng Ban Choon and Baba and Nyonya Association of Malaysia chairman Datuk Ronald Gan.
Tan earlier said that the association’s trishaw procession was usually held on Chap Goh Meh but they brought it forward this year to celebrate the anniversary.
“Next year’s trishaw procession will also not be held on Chap Goh Meh as we do not want it to clash with the Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity) procession.
“Instead we will hold it a day earlier (on the eve of Chap Goh Meh).”