By V. Sivaji

The Malaysian-German Society (MGS) in Penang celebrated the Bavarian Oktoberfest 2023 celebrations for the 50th year where throngs of people attended.

Seen were guests dressed in the traditional Bavarian costumes such as dirndls and lederhosen to liven up the atmosphere.

Guest of honour was State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy YB Wong Hon Wai who was greeted by MGS president Dr Wolfgang Mark and his committee.

In keeping with tradition, the first barrel was tapped to mark the opening of the celebrations. On hand was the Oom Pah-Pah band, “Die Frankenräuber” from Wurzburg, Bavaria band who have been performing since 2018 for the festival. 

Also lending support was the German ambassador to Malaysia HE Dr Peter Blomeyer, Honorary Consul of Germany in Penang, Dato Hans Brenner among others. 

In his address, Wong hailed Oktoberfest as being one of the events in the state’s tourism calendar and the German cultural celebration as one of Penang’s cosmopolitan heritage.

“Penang also hosts a diverse array of other cultural festivals such as the Japanese Bon Odori Festival, Yosakoi Parade, the Latin America Film Festival and the Irish Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

“These events contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Penang, thus showcasing the diversity and openness of the community which embraces and celebrates cultures from around the world,” he said. 

Meanwhile, organising chairman Ms Petra Muller thanked sponsors and volunteers for making the event a success. 

“Tonight, we have a special Oom Pah-Pah band flown in directly from Germany to entertain you and to have a great celebration. I would also like to thank our sponsors like Carlsberg Malaysia Lufthansa, B Braun and Angsana Teluk Bahang for their support.

“We also want to thank the many volunteers and corporate German companies like Osram and B Braun who have supported this year’s event,” she added.

For the record, the first Oktoberfest was held way back in 1973.

 In keeping with German tradition, beer was flowing in giant glasses along with authentic German dishes. Highlights included the best traditional dressed competition for men and women, arm wrestling and fun activities. Among the dishes were white sausage, Pretzels, Leberkase, sauerkraut among others.

Those who have missed out yesterday, you can still catch the Oktoberfest celebrations this evening (Oct 28) which starts at 7pm.