Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The FORT, The ASSIMILATION & The SNAKE



Day 2
(27 March 2009). Penang, The BEST.




Fort Cornwallis by the sea, our first stop on our day 2 Penang Heritage Trail. We are really serious when we said we wanted to see whole of Penang (well not whole lar as Penang is relatively HUGE) as a local tourist.

THUS, everyday itinerary was well planned (perasan = self-congratulatory) by mui - kid you not (we meant business ;P ).

Fort Cornwallis is an old star-shaped fort and is named after the late 18th century Governor-General of Bengal, India, Charles Cornwallis. It is also the largest standing fort in Malaysia (gosh! I just found out about this myself). Captain Sir Francis Light took possession of the island from the Sultan (King) of Kedah in 1786 and built the original fort.

A little bit of a backgrounder - Captain Francis Light was the founder of the British colony of Penang and its capital George Town in 1786.

Well, we spent half a day here and went for lunch after the tour in the fort. We then proceed to the townhall to take pics of the colonial architecture, it is located next to the fort as well as by the sea.

Nicknamed Ang Mo Kong Kuan by the Straits Chinese (European Club), was once a premier location for George Town’s social events, balls, public speeches, art exhibitions and amateur concerts for the town’s European community.

OK! This is the thing that makes the Negeri Selat (Straits Settlements - Penang, Malacca & Singapore) so unique, it is the Paranakan Heritage/Culture which exist in Malaysia only (I think, hehhehee.... I hope, to be fair - perhaps exist in Indonesia as well [Singapore use to be part of Malaysia back then]).

Peranakan and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region during the Colonial era. According to a legend in 1459 CE, the Emperor of China sent a princess, Hang Li Po, to the Sultan of Malacca as a token of appreciation for his tribute. The nobles (500 sons of ministers) and servants who accompanied the princess initially settled in Bukit Cina and eventually grew into a class of Straits-born Chinese known as the Peranakans.

Easily & loosely define : It is when the Chinese emigrated from China to the British Straits Settlement of Melaka, Singapore, Penang. They married the local females and their distinct background, cultures and customs blended together harmoniously and became baba nyonya inPeranakan culture. They assimilated not only the culture but also the daily practices, language, food and tradition of the Malays. You have to remember, when 2 cultures meet, the heritage is fantastic!

What better to do then visit one of the Peranakan antique mansion own by one of the renown Kapitan Chung Keng Quee right? One of the riches so far that I have ever seen, be it antique collections, house size, furniture, carvings (this are magnificent!); everything spells out exquisite!

Basically it was lavishly furbished with elegant ceramic floor tiles from England, beautiful iron casted art work from Scotland for the balconies and railings and elegant carved-wood panels and screen for the doors and walls from China. Tourist MUST MUST pay this place a visit, as a local - even I am in AWE!

The Snake Temple (simplified Chinese: 蛇庙) or less popularly known as The Temple of the "Azure Cloud". Interesting huh! Perhaps the only temple of its kind in the world. The temple was built in circa 1850 in memory of a Buddhist monk, and apparently legend has it that the Buddhist monk, who was also a healer, gave shelter to the snakes of nearby jungle and when the temple was completed, the snakes mysteriously appeared and moved in. Hence, this temple is dedicated to him.

That completes our Day 2 Penang Heritage Trail, we headed to Andrea's apartment as she will join us in tomorrow's outing together with Rad where we will take you to visit the colourful kongsi (clan halls).

And you will know how I injured & tore my ligament that left me limping for months later. Hehehehhee.... naughty naughty me!





Hyperlink & Pic Credits : Wikipedia, iGeorgetown Penang, Tourism Penang, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Visit Penang, Malaysia Vacation Guide



22 comments:

manglish said...

tat sink very nice hor...:)

Miles Of Style said...

penang is on my must visit list now thanks to these pics and beautiful post! that wash basin looks so lovely!

persis.

Liudmila said...

So colorful, so nice, so eternal... and the persons come and go. I'm too sad or too tired these days to think this way about such beauties.

What seems shoking for me, are those snakes. I read about an other monk that lives with the snakes but I do not understand it in any case.

fufu said...

yeah i love the peranakan museum :) and oh penang! i miss penang...wish i would have more time to explore penang once i am back home next year :)

Lily Riani said...

manglish,

i so agree... not selling in malaysia though i hope some smart guy does it. i will be the first on queue.

persis,

yes you must. i will take you around. i love the sink too :) VINTAGE

liudmila,

gosh! i hope you are well & fine with your present health and life.

yes, there are a lot of stories of monks and snakes/animal in asia. supposedly sacred.

fufu,

i bet you miss the food.... hehehe the chinese food there is fantastic i heard! next year isnt that far away, you must come to fulfill you stomach needs. hahahhaaha...

Lei said...

thanks for stopping by! what an adventure, love the pcitures!

Wynne Prasetyo said...

these places are beautiful, they have their own charm that make us tourists wanna see more and more of them.

Punctuation Mark said...

love your images... but i have to be honest the snakes always give me a little bit of the creeps... love all the decorative details in the buildings and railings

Lily Riani said...

lei,

thanks to you too.

Wynne Prasetyo,

thank you, you should come here for a visit/holiday :D

Punctuation Mark,

thank you and i have to agree... i was against putting the snakke pics as well, but then it defeat the purpose of blogging about it, people might think it's not true :p
hope you enjoyed it.

Tina said...

that all looks really interesting.i love stuff like that. really nice pics too

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Wow! those are some fantastic pictures ( i especially love the one of the shoes!). Hope you have a great weekend and I am now a follower!

Lily Riani said...

tina,

thanks, in the future i add more shopping stuff to balance the traveling and shopping.

kitchen belleicious,

thanks for following me! glad you likes it. i too agree with you on the shoes... you should see it close up.

Pop Champagne said...

oh cool the pics are awesome, and those snakes are scary. haha I'm terrified of snakes

Miles Of Style said...

looking fwd to a new globetrotting post from you sweetie!

happy weekend and return back to the blogosphere soonzzzz


xo, persis.

Sympathy for the Devil said...

you are such a sweet thing, yes i did all the drawings on my blog, thank you very much if you liked them :))

ive never been outside Indonesia (that sound sucks, i know, lol) so thank you for sharing things on your blog, i enjoy it!!!

very nice to meet you,

~mita :))

Sympathy for the Devil said...

oh btw, i like your name "Lily", it's pretty :))

Beach Vintage said...

Do you think anyone would notice if I stole those shoes?

Lily Riani said...

Pop Champagn,

thanks... me too, hate snakes.

persis,

i will update more. you too, love you pic selections.

mita,

i absolutely love your art pieces, dont stop yah... love to see more. you are very talented.

beach vintage,

yes. they will. those are vintage beaded shoes. if you go to another of the straits settlement state here in malaysia, they also pratice the same heritage. you can custom made these beaded shoes.

i will go there and take a close up pics for you guys.

its simple love said...

Awesome photographs. Interesting about the shoes and nicknacks! What a fun adventure!

Rachael

Rafael Lam said...

I don't know why I can't detect your blog update from my links...
Btw, nice trip and photos!

Lily Riani said...

rachael,

thanks, i try to find close up of these for u guys to see.

rafael,

oo... am not sure on that... strange. thanks, not as good as you though :p still learning.

Emm said...

How beautiful! You are really making Penang come alive for me! I love the photos in this post especialy when you reach Pinang Peranakan Mansion. What a stunning place! Those shoes look amazing and I just love the idea of the Peranakan people and culture.







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