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Calling All Food, Arts, And Crafts Lovers; The George Town Heritage Celebration Is Just The Event For You
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Calling All Food, Arts, And Crafts Lovers; The George Town Heritage Celebration Is Just The Event For You

by Wendi SiaJuly 2, 2015

Wondering what to do over this weekend? If you’re feeling adventurous, head north to Penang to be part of the annual George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site Celebration. If you’re already there, then there’re no reasons for you to miss this out!

It’s a no-brainer, really; who can say no to Penang’s nonpareil combination of food haven, rich cultural heritage, colonial architecture, arts and crafts? Themed ‘Eat Rite’, this year’s heritage celebrations will showcase George Town’s traditional and ritual foods that have been passed down through generations.

Here’s a rundown of events happening this weekend:

For The Foodies

A) Cooking from the Heart

Get hands-on cooking classes with experienced chefs to gain insight into the cooking techniques, ingredients, and cultural significance of foods from different communities.

1) Rice Kheer & Atte Ke Pureh

Rice kheer is a sweet rice pudding cooked with milk and sugar, flavoured with nuts and saffron, and can be served hot or cold to celebrate happy occasions like Vasakhi.

Rice kheer is a sweet rice pudding cooked with milk and sugar, flavoured with nuts and saffron, and can be served hot or cold to celebrate happy occasions like Vasakhi.

Date: 4th July, Saturday
Time: 10.00am – 12.00pm
Location: Burmah 108 (108, Burmah Road)

Sukhveer Kaur, a vegan chef with vast knowledge of authentic Punjabi food, shows you how to make Rice Kheer and Atte Ke Pureh, two authentic Punjabi dishes that are must-haves at major celebrations.

2) Beef Rendang & Pulut Kuning

Date: 5th July 2015, Sunday
Time: 9.30am – 10.30am
Location: Nazlina Spice Station (2, Campbell Street)

Join Nazlina Hussin – check out her cooking website www.pickles-and-spices.com – as she teaches you how to make two of the most beloved dishes served at every Hari Raya celebration. Rendang is a Malay style of cooking where beef is slowly simmered in a mixture of spices and coconut milk until it achieves a dry finish, and it is paired perfectly with pulut kuning.

These pyramid shaped dumplings are made in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival and wrapped in banana leaves to preserve their delicate flavor and texture.

These pyramid shaped dumplings are made in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival and wrapped in banana leaves to preserve their delicate flavor and texture.

3) Yoke Tang

Date: 5th July 2015, Sunday
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm
Location: Lebuh Muntri (Penang Hainan Association)

Aunty Tan Chiew Lan is one of very few Hainanese who knows how to make Bak Chang. Take this opportunity to learn how to make yoke tang (sticky rice dumplings) and then hopefully try to recreate it for your friends!

4) Nasi Ulam

Date: 5th July 2015, Sunday
Time: 11.00am – 12.00pm
Location: Nazlina Spice Station (2, Campbell Street)

Join Nazlina Hussin in the kitchen again as she teaches you how to make Nasi Ulam, an aromatic rice dish with herbal flavours such as lemongrass, turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, torch ginger flowers, Thai basil and numerous types of mint.

Registration is required for each class and a RM50 fee will be charged. Call 016-4902780 or drop an email to rsvp.heritagecelebrations@gmail.com. Class sizes are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nasi Ulam means ‘herbal rice’ in Malay and is a popular dish among the local Malay and Nyonya communities who serve it during festivals.

Nasi Ulam means ‘herbal rice’ in Malay and is a popular dish among the local Malay and Nyonya communities who serve it during festivals.

B) Street of Treats: Cultural Food Stalls

Date: 4th July 2015, Saturday
Time: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Kampung Kolam

Be spoilt for choice after a day’s worth of exploring the town when you fill your belly with some of George Town’s delicious local favourite delicacies such as chapatti, Nyonya nasi lemak, leng ngah dumplings, rempah udang, sugee cakes, puri with potatoes and more! Also, don’t forget to quench your thirst with a refreshing and fruity nutmeg drink.

For The Arts And Crafts Lovers

A) Unique Arts & Handcrafts Market

Date: 4th July 2015, Saturday
Time: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

Satisfy your cravings – and keep family and friends quiet with souvenirs – by making a trip to the Festival Market for a unique selection of handmade accessories, jewellery, artworks, crafts and traditional peranakan finery. Keep an eye out for the authentic Orang Asli weavings and handcrafts that aren’t easy finds in KL.

B) Crafts for Festivals

Gain a skill or two to show off to friends by learning how to make these handcrafts as well as the traditions behind them.

Date: 4th July 2015, Saturday
Time: 6.00pm − 9.30pm
Location: Depends on your choice of handcrafts

A unique craft of George Town’s Indian-Muslim community.

A unique craft of George Town’s Indian-Muslim community.

1) Star-Lantern Making

Location: Junction of Jalan Buckingham & Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

These colourful star lanterns are lit every evening during Hari Raya to brighten up the streets and homes of Muslim neighbourhoods.

2) Flower Garland Making

Location: Lebuh Ah Quee

Flower garlands are made as offerings at temples or to bring a touch of floral beauty and sweet perfume to any special occasion.

Recycle old angpows for these cute crafts!

Recycle old angpows for these cute crafts!

3) Red Packet Lantern Making

Location: Lebuh Pantai (Seh Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi)

During Chinese New Year, it is customary for families to give angpow or ‘lucky red packets’ containing money to children for good luck. They also make red lanterns out of angpow to hang in their homes as decorations.

4) Thoranam Weaving & Kolam Decorating

Location: Lebuh Chulia

Thoranams are traditional Indian hanging decorations placed around homes and temples to invite visitors in. Meanwhile, kolam decorations are traditionally drawn by Indian women outside their homes using crushed rice grains. It serves to welcome visitors, especially Lakshimi the Goddess of Prosperity as well as to provide nourishment to small creatures as a daily act of kindness to all living things.

Made from tender coconut fronds which are folded into wing-like shapes, the angle and number of wings signified whether the occasion was happy or sad.

Made from tender coconut fronds which are folded into wing-like shapes, the angle and number of wings signified whether the occasion was happy or sad.

5) Ketupat Weaving

Location: Lebuh Queen

Functional and decorative, the ketupat is the iconic symbol of Hari Raya when villagers would gather together to weave coconut leaves into diamond shaped pouches which would be hung up as decorations or filled with rice grains and boiled to cook rice.

For Film Buffs

Kaki Lima Short Film Screening

Date: 5th July, Sunday
Time: 8pm
Location: GTWHI (116 & 118 Lebuh Acheh)

Relax and unwind to the winning short films from the KAKI LIMA Short Film Competition (KLSFC) 2015 as you discover the stories of ‘Food of Festival’ with this year’s theme of ‘Treasures of Taste’.

If you’re planning to stay longer, say… until the 7th of July, which is the official George Town World Heritage City Day, log onto www.heritagecelebrations.info for more information and a full schedule of events. You can even download the Heritage Celebrations 2015 programme booklet here!


Heritage Celebrations 2015 is organised by George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and endorsed by the Penang State Government, City Council of Penang Island, Penang Global Tourism and George Town Festival.

About The Author
Profile photo of Wendi Sia
Wendi Sia
Read, Write, Run, Film. Wendi is editorial assistant and writer for The Daily Seni.
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