Cultural fiesta a thrill for locals and tourists

Let us entertain you: The colourful opening number, Warisan George Town, by Kumpulan Boria Omara Pulau Pinang, giving the crowd a taste of what was to come. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The city’s Heritage Celebrations 2022 brought the vibrancy of local cultures to life once again.

Held physically for the first time in three years, it started with two nights of cultural performances that attracted large turnouts.

Locals and foreigners alike packed the Acheh Street basketball court on Saturday night.

The event, held to commemorate George Town’s inscription as a Unesco World Heritage Site, opened with a Warisan George Town number by Kumpulan Boria Omara Pulau Pinang.

The Temple of Fine Arts delivered an Arabhi Pallavi Odissi dance, Journey folk dance and sitar recital while the Wak Long Music and Art Centre played Gamelan.

Chong Yee Chinese Music Centre and Academy’s orchestral melodies, Louds Percussion’s drum number Reborn and the Penang Grocers’ Association’s lion dance piece The Awakening of The Lions also thrilled the audience.

Dikir Barat Suara Mutiara got the audience grooving with Let’s Suka Ria, before the night ended with Beng Geok Hong’s glove puppet theatre The Monkey King’s Havoc in Heaven.

George Town World Heritage Incorporated general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said the programme highlighted the state’s diversity and traditions.

“To better cultivate appreciation of our heritage, we have to make it exciting for a modern audience,” she said while thanking all groups who made the event possible.

Ang said planning for the celebration only started in May after the government gave the green light for large public events to resume.

“It’s heartening to see so many families bringing their kids to enjoy the performances. This was what we wanted – for Penangites to celebrate our diversity,” added Ang, who estimated the crowd to number between 1,500 and 2,500 each night.

The second part of the celebrations will be held on Thursday.

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