A memorable experience for visiting French couple

Captivating sight: People filling the streets of George Town to witness the annual Penang Chingay, Lion and Dragon Dance Parade.

GEORGE TOWN: Getting to hold a 10m flagpole during the annual Penang Chingay, Lion and Dragon Dance Parade here may not be a big deal to many of us, but it was a unique and unforgettable experience for Frenchman Thomas Goubet and his girlfriend Marina Hammouti.

Clearly thrilled, the couple, both 32, seized the opportunity to inch closer to the participants, with Goubet even trying to balance the pole on his shoulder when the parade was passing Jalan Kampung Kolam.

“The pole was not heavy but it was difficult to balance due to its length.

“I’m amazed with the performers, who are able to do these ama­zing stunts with the flagpole such as balancing it on their forehead, shoulder and even mouth,” he said while snapping photographs of the event last night.

Having a go at it: Goubet trying to balance a flagpole on his shoulder while Hammouti watches at the parade.

The couple, who are visiting Penang for the first time, were glad that they got to see the parade.

“We are here for a short vacation and lucky enough to witness these unique acts,” added Hammouti.

The 3km parade featured eight flagpoles, including one sponsored by Star Media Group.

The colourful procession comprising six chingay troupes, 15 lion dance troupes, five dragon dance troupes and an Indian dance troupe started in Jalan Gurdwara at 7.30pm and passed through Penang Road, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Lebuh Carnarvon, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Light before ending at the Esplanade.

Among other notable giant flags which were hoisted were those sponsored by Ivory Properties Group Bhd, Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Penang Chinese Town Hall.

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