Malaysians love their holidays and Penangites are gifted with such history that holidays associates with them. Marking the 10th year since awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage on the7th of July 2008 , Penang is in a gear mode of full celebration on this day with the theme of ‘Po-Ten-tial- of the past, in the present,For the Future’ hoping to bring people of all backgrounds and the journey of life to correlate in a harmonious way through music, history, and heritage.
Georgetown World Heritage Day: What can you do on this day?
We, the Knights of typing thumbs are laying out for ya the top 8 things to do during the World Heritage Day. The centerpiece of the celebration is a street festival with more than 20 local communities gather to share their culture and traditions with celebration-goers that will be held all over the Heritage Zone from 6 pm until 11 pm on the 7th of July so this is pretty much the best time of the year to be out and soak in the joyous celebration altogether.
1. Visit the Georgetown Sites
When you’ve lived on an island your whole life, there’s only so much enthusiasm to head to the beach every day. Same thing here with our heritage sites that are rich with stories but untold to many. Organized by the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), seize the moment to participate in their site excursions facilitated by storytellers with a broad spectrum of knowledge on local history specifically on religious adaptation and migration in Penang.
Register in advance to secure a place on this adventure. Its FREE for Malaysians and though they cost a hefty RM100 for non-Malaysians, it’s worth every penny of foreign currency for the best tour this island can offer the visitors. To register online visit this page and grab your place.
For a brief read on some of the religious sites, peep into this article on the Streets of Harmony.
2. Involve in community Workshops
Free your childlike mind from 6 pm to 11 pm with traditional games from generations of old like Kho Kho, a game tag based on values of discipline and loyalty or Pachikala Ata, a strategic game derived from the Indian myths and legends.
For the flavor cravers, join in the workshops on making Idiyappam (18) or Hakka Lei Cha (20) presented by Penang Community. A map of the locations of each of the stations and brief descriptions of each is available from George Town World Heritage Inc.’s offices on Lebuh Aceh, and at hotels and other tourist locations. Click here for a better view on the brochure.
3. Join & Enjoy Street Performances
Pack your portable chairs, blankets, and pillows to rest on while enjoying traditional performing arts and contemporary interpretations from local contributors and invited troupes from 7 pm to 10.30pm. Interspersing Lion dances, Indian dancing and Teochew opera with modern cultural dance, German songs and contemporary interpretations of traditional songs aims to showcase the cultural diversity of Penang’s community and the ways it continues to impact the modern-day performing arts scene.
Oh and the dance floor will be created on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street), next to the junction with Armenian Street, and here the audience will have the opportunity to get involved themselves. Wear them dancing sheos and join the party with that booty shaking!
4. Check in @ Heritage Houses
Did you know some historical places here are more than just for visiting? Take this special day to not only appreciate our colonial built heritage some built in 1840 and before but also experience the authenticity of George Town by staying there a night or two in Heritage Zone Shophouses, Houses of Hutton Lane and Heritage Home among many others through Airbnb. What better way to experience it than to live in it 🙂
DIDN’T KNOW FACTS: Even the great Cheong Fatt Tze-The Blue Mansion also known as The Blue Mansion, arguably one of the state’s most prized possession in Penang offers visitors an option to check in :))))
HAHAHA when is it NOT an adventure we participate in lol! Needless to say more, this day may the best it can get to indulge in various street food that is exclusive to Malaysia especially Penang and made by the hands of immigrants in a new land introduced to unfamiliar ingredients from various parts of the world back when only senses of touch, smell and words played an important role in creating something new.
6. Visit the Museums & Art Gallery
And to have in-depth experience with the past, visit the local museums and gain the insight into the culture, colonization period, immigrants journey into a different land and such especially during the day that honors and celebrates this island’s past. Some of our favorite museums:
a. Penang State Museum
Some of the museum collections feature Penang historical evolutions since its founding by the British in 1786 until the early 20th century. This includes old paintings, art gallery, old photographs, maps, charts, old documents, Chinese furniture, embroidery, Malay wedding costumes and priceless historical relics.
b. Batik Painting Museum
c. Penang Peranakan Mansion
7. Movie marathon featuring Penang & history
For the ones who rather spend the day at home on this historic occasion, take part with popcorns or murrukus in front of the tv and enjoy the works of the local movie industry showcasing their talent in movies such as Olympic dreams directed by Don Hoe that have been shot in Penang for the entire movie. How cool is that?
a. Anna & King
Witness the old Armenium Streets of Penang in Anna & King filmed back in 1999 and acted by the famous Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat. Stripped of that fleeting glamour when the area was transformed into 19th century Siam, Armenian Street itself has a notable past worthy of the attention of movie-makers interested in local history.
b. Indochine (1991)
8. Photowalk the Streets of Georgetown
Get your camera ready to capture the scene with the lively audience as models and sites with characters on this World Heritage Day. Penang comes to life through the images of colonial houses, street arts with a multicultural influence throughout. What better days to fully satisfy the capturing important moments than now? For a company of two to tag along while you venture into this photography zone, check on this photography group on the Facebook page and make a friend 🙂
UNESCO believes that heritage is a legacy from the past, what people live with today and what will be passed on to future generations. Establishing World Heritage Sites preserves the past for the people of today and tomorrow. And that’s a wrap! Hope you get to enjoy this beautiful day indoors or outdoors by enjoying and appreciating the islands Uniqueness 🙂 Happy Holidays Y’all.
We would like to invite you to join our New Private Community Group! Here you are free to ask questions, share your love for food, and explore the Penang community! We will also regularly post about casual promos and latest findings.