A burst of arts and culture

THERE were kebayas, antiques, handicrafts and a host of other items on sale. 

As for food, there was local hawker fare such as muar chee, char koay teow and putu mayam as well as foreign delights like sushi. 

In the afternoon, there were cultural performances while clowns, stilt walkers, Samba dancers, fire-eaters, jugglers and native dancers livened up the launch at night. 

The event was the ‘Arts Explosion Fair @ Khoo Kongsi’ which was held at the Khoo Kongsi and Cannon Street in Penang last Saturday. 

The one-day fair, which was held in conjunction with the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, started at 10am with 16 booths set up in the compound of the Khoo Kongsi selling antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts while cultural performances started at 2pm. 

Children were seen giggling at the antics of clowns who presented them with balloons of different shapes. Some of the kids had their hands and face painted by an artist while adults enjoy themselves browsing for items to buy. 

The visitors had a wide range of choice such as kebayas, beautiful handmade decorative items, shoes, paintings and batik.  

German tourist Anna Hofmann, 21, said it was an eye-opening experience for her, adding that such a cultural fair would surely attract more foreign visitors to Malaysia. 

“My friend and I enjoyed the performances by the local artistes in the afternoon and are going for a hawker food dinner after this,” she said. 

Teresa Capol, who was selling many of her own collections which included silver and bronze wares, sianah (lacquered baskets) and hand-sewn kebaya, said she was happy to be part of the fair. 

“This is part of my contribution to the country's tourism sector,” she said.  

At 5pm, more than 20 invited hawkers and hotel chefs swung into action along Cannon Street selling mouth-watering local fare that included laksa, muar chee, char koay teow and putu mayam (string hoppers) as well as foreign cuisine such as sushi and pizza. 

Organised by the Malaysia Shopping Secretariat and Penang Tourism Action Council, the event was launched by state executive councillor Datuk Koay Kar Huah at 9pm and lasted until about midnight. 

After the launch, there was a stage performance by Joe Flizzow and his ‘Urban Collective’ hip-hop and rap singers. 

In his speech, Koay said Malaysia was a well-known shopping haven with foreign tourists spending RM6.6bil last year on shopping.  

Also present at the launch was Pempena Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen.  

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