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Saturday, July 9, 2011
An eventful Penang Heritage Festival
Different races, religion and cultures were gathered here in an historic event that will give Penangites and tourist from across the globe a great time to remember. Only one couple find it the most memorable and exciting moment in their lives. They are none other than me, Prakash J Jakathesan and my dear wife, Mrs Punitha, who showcased part of our collection for the public to see. There were some amazed reactions by the public as they have not seen certain items that were found especially in Penang. It is difficult to say that the collections were hard to find and we had to endure countless of adamant owners who does not want to give up their remaining legacy of their late relatives.
According to my research, there were some of the items brought in from South of India to Malaya by Indian labourers or they were here to start a better future. Either they come in as coolies (those who worked at railway tracks, berthing docks, etc) or missionaries for the British armies. It is an interesting piece of history that it is hardly being discussed or highlighted in our Malaysian history. The language they brought over, the culture and race were integrated with other races for an example; the Baba Nyonya adapted some of the Indian influence which can be commonly seen on their embroidery.
Penang has lots of things to offer to the eyes of the world. In comparison with our Malaccan history, there are lots of things in common such as the Baba Nyonya descendants and culture that were closely related to Penang’s Baba Nyonya. However, the integration of different cultures, Penang is a hub for all. 7 July 2011 is definitely a date to remember. All culture and races that is hardly seen by public, gathered here along Armenian Street, Carnavorn Street and Chulia Street to experience different ethnicity in one place.
I was very excited that they were a lot of people who dropped by at our booth especially tourists and our local Malaysians. They were keen to know more on each of the items displayed and I was more than happy to explain to them. Some of them mentioned to me that they have never seen such collections. Those to whom I know came to support us.
The most memorable moment was being there the whole evening and I had never expected so much of crowd. Some of them thought I was selling them. That was a bigger shock to me! There were minority of them said the Indian items I have has no value. In my opinion, the beauty of these items can never be the same and it is very rare now. They do not understand the value and its rich history by bringing them from its origins to Malaya and it was being introduced later on. Each and every item tells a story that only those who have had them will know the true meaning of hardship for those migrants from India.
For now, I wish that I was given a place to store my collections for me to exhibit. The current location is too small and it is not a strategic location.
To conclude my article for today, I would say that I am indeed proud to be part of our Penang historic event as it is an eye opener to the younger generation. Modernization and globalizing is way advancing into our 21st century. Our culture and society is slowly depleting into extinction. Part of our history still remain within these valuable items that distinct us from the globalization and our rich, cultured society that is still being practiced in our Pearl of the Orient, Penang Island.