3 Jul 2013

Georgetown Festival - Penang

Since we've not been to Penang for at least 6 years, we decided upon a visit to coincide with Georgetown Fest and a dear friend's visit.

What an absolutely lovely festival! I highly recommend it when it comes around next year. We walked close to 9 hours over two days, and I think that is the best way to explore Georgetown, for as we walked, we came across many of the beautiful mural/art work done on random spaces on walls and back alleys.

We also chanced upon many galleries of unique art and photography work and several  cultural performances that were happening along various streets. Both Nel and Jo also enjoyed the architecture of old buildings and temples there.  They were more than once, tempted to play hide and seek in some of these very old buildings with spiral stairways, heavy wooden doors and hidden passage ways with long corridors. So mysterious and enchanting indeed. Below just some random photos from our visit.

Our walk started with exploration of the Chew Jetty. It was so interesting listening to my friend Bee's story of how her mum used to live in one of the wooden houses right by the sea, and how her dad used to take part in swimming competitions swimming from the jetty to Georgetown and back again.

We found this humorous mural on Lebuh Ah Quee by accident. It's not easy to spot, as it's hidden in a back alley.

There were lots of craft markets, and of course my girls, esp Jo wanted to shop shop shop. However, I seldom encourage random shopping, so I gave both girls a limited amount of pocket money and told them to spend wisely, for once finished they cannot ask for more. This encouraged them to really think before spending. In the end, Nel hardly spent, while Jo bought a pair of lovely owl earrings for me. I was surprised, touched. :)

Enjoying old buildings. This is the Yap Temple.

Khoo Kongsi building, as the performers prepared to perform in front of a large crowd.

Girls enjoyed the mask changing performance and the acrobatic lion dance. There was once, the acrobat took a tumble, but recovered in a really amazing way.

Below a short video clip of mask changer:

Along the streets there were games for people to try. We tried stilt walking, top spinning and some other games from olden times.

A really cool group of female percussionist

An art gallery featuring art created out of household things. Nel really loved this, since she likes creating new things out of recycled materials.

Nel's been looking after stray cats in our back alley, and naturally she loved this huge painting on a wall.

Jo intrigued by this art collage made out of broken pieces of mirror.

We enjoyed this exhibition, Views from a Postcard by Luna. The girls especially loved the dress up section, where they had a chance to use a variety of props to create new characters.

Djitron Pah and Brothers from Indonesia was the highlight for me. They created amazingly beautiful and soothing music with their ethnic instruments. My camera wasn't able to capture the beautiful nuance of their music. You have to be there to understand how beautiful their music is.

Below a short video of their rendition of Hey Soul Sister:

We had lunch at China House. This is one restaurant you have to visit. There's art on the walls, chalk boards for anyone to draw on, art paper and crayons for all who dine there and random board games to play with before meal is served. Their spread of dessert is oh....so scrumptious and good! This picture was taken in the courtyard. The restaurant itself is really crowded but worth it!

Girls did me proud by walking in the heat without any whining. I told them, this means they are now ready for real travel (exploration sort.)

Dad and Jo going on a bike ride on Sunday when they closed some streets for cyclists.

Jo sat down and drew some cats while Nel ran the whole street counting the number of kittens there were.

After visiting several galleries, Nel decided she liked these pieces by Chan Kok Hooi the best. (Featured at the Whiteaways Arcade, Beach Street.)

I on the other hand was captivated by  life size portraits done by Ahmad Zakii Anwar.

Finally an exhibition that really touched us. Photographs depicting the lives of those in Papua who've suffered because of HIV. This exhibition was in the gallery above China House. They say, a picture paints a thousand words, and these ones certainly did.

Below some random videos.
1) Video of drum performance at Khoo Kongsi. Watch in the background, you'll see the lion dance acrobat doing his practice.

2) Video of Acrobatic Lion Dance

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013



gail said...

The girls are getting so big! Jo's hair is so long now...so is Nel's.

What stories the girls will have for their children. You and Ted are blessing them, my friend.

marie said...

What a great backdrop for so many great pictures! And fun to see your husband too :) My kids would have wanted to go nuts with the shopping too, it's nice that my oldest makes her own money through babysitting.

Divoo said...

Beautiful pictures of the festival! I so wanna feel like going there. :) Those wall murals, the market, your girls... lovely! Nel looks like a big girl now... they all grow so so fast!

The picture and the story of that girl who died at the age of two is touching.

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