GEORGE TOWN: The first day of the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2017 unveiled the historical parts of the city during a heritage trail around one of its busiest areas – the Chowrasta Market.
The route, led by facilitator Khor Muling, covers popular sites such as Tamil Street, Kuala Kangsar Road, Cintra Street, Campbell Street and Penang Road.
“There are many shops with traditional trades here. A street can have many names according to the people who have lived there before.
“For example, Cintra Street is also known as Jit Pun Huan Kay or Phah Phau Kay to locals in reference to the place the Japanese frequented to look for geishas,” said Khor at the “Walky Talky George Town” trail yesterday.
The entourage visited Woo Shee Khow, 86, shopkeeper of the Kwong Tuck Sundries and Liquors Sdn Bhd at Campbell Street and a fourth-generation businessman.
At Penang Road, they visited the Penang Bazaar, which Khor said used to be a shopping mall for the elite but now sells mostly textiles, clothes and accessories.
“In the past, one of the trades of the Indians was textiles. They set up their business here and it continues until now,” she said.
Documentary maker Tang Siang Ching, 40, said even locals stood to benefit from the heritage trail.
“This is a chance to learn about Penang beyond the surface. The city has always been a subject of intrigue, but this is a chance to speak to the vendors and learn their stories.
“There are many things I didn’t know about, even though I am a local,” said Tang.
At Armenian Park, a series of colourful boards were put up for an exhibition named “Walk The Talk: Open Air Exhibition”, which offered snippets of information of the celebration highlights.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng opened the event at The Majestic Theatre here yesterday.
In his speech, Lim thanked the 16 partners from the local communities for dedicating their time and resources towards the planning and manifestation of this year’s programmes.
“These communities are the living heritage of George Town.
“Their coming together signals the strength of cultural and heritage diversity in the state,” he said.
In her welcoming remarks earlier, George Town World Heritage Incorporated general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said George Town was committed to being a sustainable heritage site.
“George Town will be celebrating its 10th anniversary as a Unesco World Heritage site next year and we are committed to enhancing our capacity as the leading site manager in Malaysia and Asia,” she said.