Local traditions and culture in Penang

  • Jade Emperor
    Jade Emperor
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    Roast Pig Offering
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  • Mixed Offering Jade Emperor
    Mixed Offering Jade Emperor
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Penang

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    Da Qing descendants

    by l_joo Written Dec 14, 2004

    Da Qing descendants are actually Penang's Tanglang. Da Qing means The Great Qing Empire 1644-1911 (Old China). Penang's Tanglang means the descendant of The Great Qing Empire in old. Penangites in the old days only recognize one mighty emperor of Qing, they never care who the hell in power in Penang, that's the way of life back then. Picture is a stone work from an old building in within the graveyard at the back of Penang's turf club.

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    Punjabi tomb guards

    by l_joo Written Dec 14, 2004

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    Punjabi tomb guards are Penang's Tanglang culture. I did not go to the graveyard on purpose, it was a funeral of my grandmother. I went there and I saw so many Punjabi tomb guards being turned into stone by Penang's Tanglang (Ancient Chinese). It was the British that made the Pujabi work as security guards, somehow Tanglang also take it as their 'servant' to look after the tomb.

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    Penang Turf Club

    by l_joo Written Dec 14, 2004

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    Penang has a turf club located at Jalan Scotland, the club started at 1864 In picture is a booklet for Penang's Tanglang to learn the strategy of turf gambling to win big money, one of Penang's local culture. I saw this booklet discarded at the roadside of Jalan Lumba Kuda, snap!

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    Jangan ganggu saya

    by l_joo Updated Sep 8, 2004

    Jangan ganggu saya is a local custom, yeah I agree with this custom. The meaning is Don't disturb me. Somebody perhaps constantly disturb by irrelevant peoples got fed up, try to notice them not to disturb again. Hand written on the door, looks nice, very Penang.

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    Wesley Methodist Church

    by l_joo Updated Sep 8, 2004

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    Somebody by the name God, he or she says, call to me (by phone??) and he or she will answer you (return call perhaps). I have no idea what this is but I want to build this tip for you because I quite sure this must be some kind of local custom or cultural slogan. I was surprised to learn God has had phone nowadays up there but I am not sure what brand of phone it can be, Japanese Sony, Nokia of Finland or American Motorola or Chinese Haier or perhaps Malaysians' own Telekom?

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    Keck Khee part 2 (inverse remarks)

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

    Keck Khee is a common knowledge which has many versions, very important in Penang. Keck Khee part 2 introduces inverse remarks. This custom is very new to foreign tourists, how? When a Penangite tell you "...it's okay, no need....no need...". Excuse me, such remarks were inverse remark of Keck Khee. They want you to, but they say it the way inverse. This is called Keck Khee, it belongs to traditional manners or courtesy, very important. Tradition says, if one wanted something, do not directly say it, should understand etiquette and custom, otherwise you shall be considered 'no manners'. For example, if your friend say "...it's okay, it is my pleasure to treat you as guest, let me settle all the bill for this meal..." Quickly you must say "No my friend, let me settle the bill..." So, have you learnt yet?

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    Let the wealth comes to me

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

    Let the wealth comes to me is a local custom. I took this photo when I strolled behind an alley somewhere Argyll Road. The words written in Chinese were "Let the wealth comes to me". Somebody dreamed of big cars big houses for sure who did this. One of Penangite's custom, please enjoy.

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    Indonesian maid

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

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    Indonesian maid is now a custom in Penang and many urban areas of Malaysian. Indonesian maid is employed to stay 24 hours with the owner for a certain period 2 years, 3 years and maybe more. Indonesian maids were employed to do all the house works including car washing, baby-sitting, cooking, etc as well as to bring to certain occasion to indirectly notify friends and relatives as one's status, quite similar as to own a German Mercedes-Benz.

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    Keck Khee (polite remarks or polite greetings)

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

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    Keck Khee is Penangite's polite remarks or polite greetings. Very common in Penang. Normally it happens when two Penangites about to settle the bill of eating. One guy (AA) will start with " Let me pay this meal for you, its my pleasure to treat you" then the other guy (BB) will say "Oh please no, let me who is your friend settle the bill..." AA reply "Come on, this is an opportunity for me to treat you, let me settle the bill" BB reply "I am very happy today, let me settle the bill..."

    This is called Keck-Khee custom in Penang, so please look out, very interesting custom.

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    Have you eaten yet?

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

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    Traditionally Penangites say Have you eaten yet? (Chiak Paa Aah Boay?) This is equal to How are you in English. Yeah, so try to say Have you eaten yet to your friends next time while you are in Penang instead of How are you. Besides Have you eaten yet? Penangites also have "Waaa, tow kay, ho say bo?" or "Waaa, koo bo nqua tiuk loo liao lor, ho say bo?"

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    Do not turn back

    by l_joo Written Sep 8, 2004

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    This is a tip for kids, very effective to make them scare and scream. When I was young, friends of mine always talk about this Do not turn back custom. What is this? If you smell something fragrance at night or in the dark, never turn your head back, never turn back, or else the ghost or ghosts will come to you.

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    Here they are

    by l_joo Updated Sep 7, 2004

    Yes here they are, who? Who they are? This tip is slightly confused due to ermm...not able to speak in public, do you know what I mean? If you want to know what this is, please walk to Campbell Street in the evening after 6pm to see it for yourself. You can see girls in sexy outfits standing like this. That's all I can tell you, should not exceed this, otherwise I will be in trouble.

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    Wedding banquet

    by l_joo Written Aug 4, 2004

    Wedding banquet is without doubt, a Penang local custom. Most Penangites traditionally have a habit to arrange a German Mercedes-Benz for their marriage ceremony to drive both bride and bridegroom around and to the hall of wedding. An experience of a lifetime.

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    Chinese New Year

    by davidmc Written May 12, 2004

    I came to Penang at Chinese New Year unintentionally, I didn't really know the background for the celebrations but felt included in the events that were going on. The Lion Dance and all the decorations made a big impression.
    For a tourist the only down side is that most of the shops a closed for several days after! Aparantly the new year greeting "Gong Xi Fa Cai" is not "Happy New Year" but wishes for "Increasing luck and prosperity for the coming year" - That sounds very good to me!

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    MAZU the Goddess of sea

    by l_joo Updated Apr 22, 2004

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    MAZU was born about 1000 years ago. Goddess Mazu is a woman, a brave yet strong-minded woman of ancient days back in China. Some Penangites worship her just as the way they worship the Buddha. Try this link if you want to learn more about this goddess. If you want to visit her temple, try Thien Hou Temple in Jalan Muntri (if not mistaken) just next to love lane off Leith street in Penang.

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Penang Local Customs

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