Timeless Penang

Special thanks to Timeless Penang for extending this event invitation.

21 May 2016 is the debut of Timeless Penang at Fort Cornwallis (Kota Cornwallis). Open to the public, this cultural event is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.
Timeless Penang is a collaborative effort between Penang Tourism and Areca Traveller. The latter is part of a larger corporation which also manages Kota Dine & Coffee and Farquhar Mansion. The event serves to promote Penang's rich history and cultural heritage to locals and foreigners alike.
Fort Cornwallis is the oldest and largest British fort built on Malaysian soil. It was constructed by Captain Francis Light (1740-1794) when he took possession of Prince of Wales Island (today's Penang Island) in 1786. Although intended to serve as a military installation, Fort Cornwallis never saw combat and only served as an administrative center.
On the evenings when Timeless Penang take place, the dull appearance of the historical fort is transformed to a vibrant cultural fiesta. A colorfully lit stage greets visitors as they make their way to the amphitheater at the center of the fort.
While waiting for stage performance to start, visitors have no shortage of activities to keep themselves occupied. The flea market surrounding the amphitheater provides dozens of individual vendors - each representing a different facet of Penang's multi-ethnic cultural diversity.
Visitors have the opportunity to witness how wayang kulit (shadow puppets) are crafted. Before the advent of movie theatres, wayang kulit shows are widely performed by the Malay community and represent the pinnacle of indigenous Malay art. Also exhibited is the intricate process of crafting wau bulan, a crescent-shaped kite which is known internationally as the corporate logo for Malaysia Airlines.
Another interesting depiction of Penang's cultural heritage is the appearance of Tua Pek Kong (大伯公). This mythical character is believed to be based on Zhang Li, a Chinese adventurer whose arrival in Penang predates that of Francis Light. Deeply rooted in Chinese folklore, the deity is worshipped by a sizeable portion of Penang's Chinese community.
Visitors can also get some hands-on experience on several types of handicraft, such as Hakka fan painting (客家扇画). Such activities are also a great way to educate children on the virtues of patience and meticulosity.
Many street vendors also make their appearance at Timeless Penang, showcasing various fine wares ranging from batik to crochets. Many of these vendors also have online presence, so be sure to collect their business cards if you are interested.
Penang is known far and wide for its diverse range of food, a fact well resonated in Timeless Penang. Over a dozen stalls vend different types of street food such as satay, kuih kapit (love letters), rice cakes (米揲糕), dragon beard candy (龙须糖) and murukku (முறுக்கு).
Ultimately, the success of Timeless Penang hinges upon the shoulders of dancers on stage. Starting at 8:30pm, the live performance is usually presented by Spring Production & Art Studio. The exception is on Fridays; the show is replaced with traditional culture dance performed by state government employees.
The dance performance is divided into several segments with short interludes in between. Each segment depicts an important chapter in Penang's past, such as the founding of Penang by Francis Light, the arrival of Chinese laborers, role of Malay paddy rice farmers, rise of the Baba-Nyonya (Peranakan) community, and multi-ethnic harmony in modern Penang.
Condensing 300 years of happenings into a 45-minute performance, the concert provides the audience with a sketchy picture of the state's rich history, of which tourists can explore further by visiting numerous historical sites across George Town. Interweaved with moments of awe and laughter, this family-oriented show is meant to appeal to people from all walks of life.
Admission to Timeless Penang is priced at RM50.00 per adult and RM40.00 per child between 6 and 12 years old. Admission is free for children below 6 years of age, but no seat is allocated. Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance of Fort Cornwallis. For a limited time, visitors receive a free ticket for each paid ticket.

Name: Timeless Penang
Address: Fort Cornwallis, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-263-9855
Business hours: 5:00pm-10:00pm (Friday-Sunday)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/timelesspenang
Coordinates: 5.42043 N, 100.34386 E
Directions: Fort Cornwallis (Kota Cornwallis) is located opposite the Penang State Assembly Building (Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri) on Light Street (Lebuh Light). There are two entrances to the fort: at the east and west walls. Street parking is available around the esplanade at Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and Jalan Padang Kota Lama.

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