Local traditions and culture in Penang

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Penang

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    Eating - the Chinese way

    by kenyneo Written Mar 29, 2004

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    Well to chinese FOOD means Prosperity !
    So not eating all the food that is given to you means you are wasting Prosperity !

    Plus chinese are generally too thrifty ( thank god I know how to balance up myself ) so they will be glad if you finish up the last grain of rice or food you have on your plate ! I have been trained by my mum to finish everything ...so to pacify her and to maintain my diet , I eat very little rice back home.

    Well I guess this in fact is a very good practice.Coz there are millions in Africa and war torn countries are starved to death , and here we are wasting food all the time ...

    But chinese also being very gracious host will insist that you take more and more , once you finish whats on your plate and declining would mean their food is tasty ...so I guess the best way out is for the first plate take a smaller portion and go for 2nd round ....for a Win - Win situation !

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    Chopsticks ...when you eat

    by kenyneo Written Feb 19, 2004

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    Chinese believes that its not good to plant your chopsticks in your bowl of rice ( just like erecting a pole ) or other servings because this is usually done only for offerings to the spirits or during offerings to ancestor .

    So whenever you are eating rice or other stuff with chopsticks , and if you have to excuse yourself or stop for a while ..place it on the table or chopsticks holder ...

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    Broom ...

    by kenyneo Written Feb 19, 2004

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    Well broom is considered very inauspicious for the Chinese , so if you happens to be holding one ( well rather unlikely though when you are travelling ) dont ever let it touches the Chinese people.....and its supposed to bring them bad luck !

    Thats why Chinese are not supposed to sweep the floor during chinese new year ..at least the the 1st of the 15 days !

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    Long live unlimited years

    by l_joo Written Apr 22, 2004

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    This is the photo I snapped from the famous Kek-lok-si temple in Penang. Somewhere in the ascend I came across a doorframe with such title -Long live unlimited years pagoda- and you can see another inner title was the name of the person who built this pagoda. It is more like a memorial of that person but I'm not sure who is that, probably another Penangite. The title says Long live unlimited years which means the pagoda and whoever visited this pagoda are somewhat related to immortality. So don't wait, please go now.

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    New Hell money available

    by SLLiew Updated Jul 29, 2006

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    Some Malaysian Chinese will buy hell money to burn to their deceased beloved during annual Qing Ming (Chinese all souls day) festival, Hungry Ghost festival, death anniversary or funeral.

    Now available, Malaysian ringgit (RM) currency equivalent for use in the older world. Look-alike in RM10, RM50, RM100, with a bundle of 100 quality notes at a bargain of RM1.50. Singapore S$2 and S$5 are also available as these China printed notes are banned from being import into Singapore.

    Available at Chinese religious items shops near Chinese temples and at Lebuh Carnavon, Penang near Komtar.

    Buy some as souvenir?

    Note: Taoist beliefs is that after death, everyone has to go to hell first and punished accordingly to their wickedness before being reborn again. So having a lot of hell money will ensure this journey is facilitated.

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    Festivals from Oct to Dec 2004

    by kenyneo Written Apr 18, 2004

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    Tourism Award Night 2004
    3 - 5 October 2004
    Venue: Penang
    Organiser: Pen Events Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04 - 645 1934
    Fax: 04 - 645 1953

    Pahang Bazar ramadan
    15 October - 13 November 2004
    Venue: KOMTAR, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Government / Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce
    Telephone: 04 - 262 0202
    Fax: 04 - 262 9903

    Penang Festival 2004
    1 November - 31 December 2004
    Venue: Throughout Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Government
    Telephone: 04 - 262 1957
    Fax: 04 - 261 8618

    Raja Muda International Regatta 2004
    1 - 30 November 2004
    Venue: Port Swettenham, Penang
    Organiser: Penang Tourism Action Council
    Telephone: 04 - 262 0202
    Fax: 04 - 263 1020

    Penang December Mega Sale Carnival
    6 November 2004 - 2 January 2005
    Venue: Major Shopping Centres, Lebuh Campbell and Little India, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04 - 645 1934
    Fax: 04 - 645 1953

    Penang Aidil Fitri Open House
    21 November 2004
    Venue: Fort Cornwallis, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04 - 645 1934
    Fax: 04 - 645 1953

    5th Malaysia International Dance Sport Championship 2004
    4 December 2004
    Venue: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Government / Malaysian Dancers' Association
    Telephone: 04 - 261 6495
    Fax: 04 - 261 5497
    E-mail: gen@pc.jaring.my

    11th Penang International Dance Sport Championship 2004

    5 December 2004
    Venue: Bayview Beach Hotel, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Government / Malaysia Dance Sport Championship 2004
    Telephone: 04 - 261 6495
    Fax: 04 - 261 5497
    E-mail: gen@pc.jaring.my

    25th December
    Chingay Procession ( Dragon dance, lion dance , proceesions , acrobatics performance with gigantic flags ) + Christmas celebrations

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    Eating Non-stop Penang Style

    by SLLiew Written Dec 26, 2006

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    One of the most popular entertaining or activity in Penang is going out to eat. It is a great way to socialize and enjoy the great variety of food that Penang is so famous for and at affordable prices.

    You can find places selling food everywhere. From 24 hours restaurants to a table set on the road side to sell prepacked food to passing motorists.

    Because the importance of eating in all the major communities of Chinese, Indians and Malays, that there are many factories and hostpitals in Penang where people are working on day or night shifts, there is a ready number of hungry customers any time of the day.

    Note that most Penangites are wary of their health too and eat small helpings but very often.

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    Festivals from August to September 2004

    by kenyneo Written Apr 18, 2004

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    Hungry Ghost Festival ( a month long celebration on the 7th Lunar month of chinese calender ) usually start mid July to Mid Aug ( gregorian calender but need to confirm )

    Penang August Mega Sale Carnival
    7 August - 5 September 2004
    Venue: Major Shopping Complexes, Cambell Road & Little India, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04 - 645 1934
    Fax: 04 - 645 1953

    Penang Merdeka Eve Celebration
    30 August 2004
    Venue: Esplanade, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Secretariat Office
    Telephone: 04 - 262 1957
    Fax: 04 - 261 8618

    Penang Merdeka Day Celebration
    31 August 2004
    Venue: Esplanade, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Secretariat Office
    Telephone: 04 - 262 1957
    Fax: 04 - 261 8618

    Festival Silat Nusantara 2004
    6 September 2004
    Venue: DOME ( KOMTAR ), Penang
    Organiser: Pesaka Malaysia / Penang State Government
    Telephone: 04 - 658 4490

    Penang International Mountain Bike Asia Cup 2004
    18 - 19 September 2004
    Venue: Penang Municipal Youth Park, Penang
    Organiser: Penang Mountain Bike Association
    Telephone: 04 - 262 4400
    Fax: 04 - 262 6260

    The 36th Penang Festival Cycling Championship 2004
    18 - 19 September 2004
    Venue: Around Penang (Road Race), Gurney Drive (Criterium Race), Penang
    Organiser: Penang Tourism Action Council
    Telephone: 04 - 262 0202
    Fax: 04 - 263 1020

    Penang Lantern Festival 2004
    28 September 2004
    Venue: Sri Pinang Hall
    Organiser: Penang State Government / Penang Chinese Townhall
    Telephone: 04 - 261 7194
    Fax: 04 - 262 1959

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    Festivals from May to July 2004

    by kenyneo Written Apr 18, 2004

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    Penang YTL Arts Festival 2004
    24 May - 22 June 2004
    Venue: Sri Pinang Hall and various locations in Penang
    Telephone: 04 - 262 1957
    Fax: 04 - 261 8618

    Wesak Day 2004
    26 May 2004
    Venue: Malaysian Buddhist Association, Jalan Burmah, Penang

    National Colours of Malaysia
    29 May 2004
    Organiser: Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism
    Fax: 03 - 2693 4789
    Website: www.mocat.gov.my

    Penang International Floral Festival
    30 May - 6 June 2004
    Venue: Botanical Garden, Penang
    Organiser: Penang Botanical Garden Department

    25th Anniversary Penang International Dragon Boat Festival 2004
    19 - 20 June 2004
    Venue: Teluk Bahang Dam, Penang
    Organiser: Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04-505 5251
    Fax: 04-507 4700
    E-mail: chinyinfat@yahoo.com OR pidbf@tm.net.my
    Website: www.penangdragonboat.com

    Penang Beach Carnival 2004
    25 - 27 June 2004
    Venue: Batu Ferringghi Beach, Penang
    Organiser: MATTA Penang Chapter
    Telephone: 04-226 1635
    Fax: 04-227 7266

    Gema Boria Semutiara IV 2004
    26 June 2004
    Venue: Seberang Perai South, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Culture & Arts office
    Telephone: 04-281 7791
    Fax: 04-281 7781

    Penang Culinary Expo 2004
    2 - 4 July 2004
    Venue: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)
    Organiser: Chefs Association of Malaysia (Penang Chapter & Intranasionale)
    Telephone: 04-646 8000
    Fax: 04-885 2829

    Penang International Artistic Challenge 2004
    2 - 4 July 2004
    Venue: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)
    Organiser: Chefs Association of Malaysia (Penang Chapter)
    Telephone: 04-646 8000
    Fax: 04-885 2829

    Penang 'Bon Odori' Charity Carnival 2004
    17 July 2004
    Venue: Padang Esplanade, Penang
    Organiser: Penang State Secretariat Office
    Telephone: 04 - 262 1957
    Fax: 04 - 261 8618

    Penang Food & Fruit Fiesta 2004
    31 July 2004
    Venue: Gurney Drive, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04 - 645 1934
    Fax: 04 - 645 1953

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    Fort Cornwallis - Seri Rambai Canon

    by SLLiew Written Jan 3, 2007

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    One of the most popular touist package destination is Fort Cornwallis at the Esplanade.

    Inevitably the tour guide will talk about this Duth canon named "Seri Rambai" where local women used to believe that if you offered flowers or touched the canon it will help to ensure a pregnancy that has eluded the worshipper.

    So everyone will be trying to take photo with this canon. And if you are hoping to get pregnant, no harm in making a wish and prayer while you are there.

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    Additional State Holidays - Penang

    by SLLiew Updated Jan 16, 2007

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    Pulau Pinang (Penang State) was obtained from the Sultan of Kedah. Hence no hereditary kings. A Yang Di-Pertuan Negeri is appointed to serve as Head of State.

    If you are visiting Penang, take note of following additional state holidays beside the nationwide public holidays.

    1 February 2007 Thursday
    Thaipusam
    (Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor only)

    14 July 2007 Saturday
    Birthday of Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang

    29 September 2007 Tuesday
    Nuzul Al-Qur'an
    (Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu only)

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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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    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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    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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    Traditional Malay Wedding 1 - Merisik & Bertunang

    by AngMimi Updated Sep 17, 2012

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    It's a good friend of mine, getting married yesterday on 16th September 2012. I was there to witness the Malay friend wedding adat-adat (Ritual). Fiza and Farid (the newlywed Bride and Bridegroom)

    My good friend Fiza, we meet when she joined the company. Being an introvert, I don't talk much but I can talked to her for hours, strange very strange..We talked almost everything, even about her now found love, Farid. To make the story short, they were engaged on 12th February 2012.

    Adat merisik - is a ceremony from the boys to visit the girls home, meeting the family and asking for the hand of the girl they like. Meeting both family, discuss and setting the date of engagement, dowry, expenses for the wedding and so on.

    So on 12th February the engagement day, it was really busy day for the whole family and relatives and friends staying in the same kampung (village). Preparing hantaran (gifts for the boys), food to serve everyone attended the engagement.

    On that day, the boy's mother and relatives came, boy stayed outside (I dont know why he was not invited in the house, poor boy), then some pantun rendered between two families. See my pictures.. Such a wonderful cememony...

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