George Town Heritage Celebrations are community led

By V. Sivaji

The George Town Heritage Celebrations 2023 is back from July 7 till 9, 2023.

This time around there will be more cultural and community programmes for all to participate and enjoy. They also encourage more youths to take part and learn about the heritage and history of the state as they are the future generation.

Present at a press conference to announce the programmes was State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, YB Yeoh Soon Hin along with Dr Ang Ming Chee, general manager of George Town World Heritage Incorporated. 

Lending support was YB Daniel Gooi, assemblyman for Pengkalan Kota and representatives from the various organisations and non-governmental bodies.

In his address Yeoh, emphasized that the George Town Heritage Celebrations has grown to be one of Malaysia’s exemplary community-based initiatives that is proudly driven, steered and powered by our local communities, to celebrate and appreciate our similarities, differences and distinctive characters.

“This year marks the 15th anniversary of this significant milestone since our inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

“Over the years, George Town Heritage Celebrations has pioneered numerous community-based initiatives through holistic grassroot efforts. It draws inspiration from our multicultural society, who has formed the backbone and foundation of George Town’s colorful, diverse, and peaceful coexistence multicultural social fabric. 

“The State Government of Penang is committed to work with and work for the people of Penang, through community-based initiatives such as George Town Heritage Celebrations as it empowers and establishes strong rapport among and for our local communities,” said Yeoh.

He also shared that the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2023’s programme line-up is curated to offer an enriching and rewarding experience to embrace the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of George Town, cultivating heritage and cultural appreciation among Penangites, Malaysians and beyond. 

“The objective of the celebration is to be a pivotal avenue to catalyze cultural continuity and encourage heritage education. It is through George Town Heritage Celebrations where the public obtains unfiltered first-hand experience to learn about George Town’s rich living traditions, all of which are the core pillars to ensure sustainability in safeguarding our living traditions,” added Yeoh.

Some of the participating organisations this year are Malaysian-German Society, Malaysian Writers Society, Telugu Association of Malaysia, Malaysian-Japanese Society, Persatuan Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang, Liga Muslim Pulau Pinang, Penang Siamese Committee Association, State Chinese (Penang) Association, Penang Eurasian Association, Gujarati Samaj Penang, North Malaysia Malayalee Samajam, Penang Hakka Association, Qaryah Masjid Jamek Benggali, Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjong Tokong,Yayasan Islam Pulau Pinang among others.

Various forms of dance, games, crafts, and demonstrations will be held.

Meanwhile, the organizers are also calling for volunteers to take part in the event as there are only 200 slots available.

Dr Ang (far left) with some of the representatives of the participating organizations