Creative Economy Gets Boost Via Peranakan Penang Festival

Malaysia’s creative economy will receive a much-needed boost this month in Penang, via a Peranakan-themed event, aimed at reviving the state’s economic fortunes.

The 10-day Peranakan Penang festival which kicks off on December 17, will feature among others, a gala fashion showcase, musical showcases, tours, food and Nyonya-themed workshops funded by the Federal Government investment arm, MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd.

“Peranakan Penang will comprise a series of events to highlight the richness of Peranakan culture in the region with a focus on the Peranakan community in Penang,” said festival director, Joe Sidek.

He said programs will include talks, exhibitions, fashion showcases, tours, food and drinks presentations, along with performances by prominent Peranakan personalities, scholars, artists, designers and entrepreneurs.

Penang landmarks which include the historic Eastern & Oriental Hotel, the Chinese Straits Eclectic-inspired Pinang Peranakan Mansion which once served as the former residence of Kapitan China Chung Keng Quee and the island’s tourism icon – its trishaws – will serve as backdrops for many of the festival’s events.

Peranakan Penang will include Peranakan-inspired tours, a night of ‘ronggeng’ and ‘joget’ dancing, an afternoon of Dondang Sayang, the presentation of Peranakan Chinese and Peranakan Jawi cuisines, workshops on ronggeng, Nyonya food and embroidery, and also on manik (beaded) shoe-making.

Also on display will be a special collection of Peranakan Batik from Lasem and Pekalongan in Java, with vintage kebayas from Penang.

A proposed Christmas week highlight during the festival is a traditional ‘Tok Panjang’ (long table) Peranakan feast, which celebrates the racially-diverse Peranakan culture and its Chinese and Malay influences.

“Penang,” Sidek said, “is well-suited to stage an international-level series of events as an arts and cultural hub, and to play a bigger role as part of Malaysia’s creative economy.”

“The success story of the Penang brand as an arts, culture and cultural tourist destination,” he noted, “can partly be attributed to an ecosystem of arts festivals and events in Penang.” This festival is a collaboration between Esolved and Joe Sidek Productions, and supported by MyCV.

Source: Press Release

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