Penang Hindu Association: Heritage Recognition and Award for 2022


Attended by YB Puan Syerleena Abdul Rashid representing our Chief Minister of Penang, ADUN Seri Delima, YB Tuan Ram Karpal Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor represented by PA Mrs Rachel, MBPP Councilor Mr. R.Kaliyappan all the Dato-Dato, Dr Ang Ming Chee General Manager, George Town World Heritage Incorporated and staff, Penang Hindu Association (PHA) advisors & committee members, Persatuan Penganut Deva Sri Saiva Muneeswarar trustees & committee members and local community (estimated about 150 people).

Pongalo! Pongal! It’s a great pleasure to be with all the beloved people and community of Island Glades to celebrate this auspicious Pongal festival. Additionally, to arrange for an important ceremony where a recognition and award entitled ‘Hindu Cultural and Heritage’ by GTWHI Heritage Recognition and Awards. This event was specially mentioned by the jury for the category of cultural heritage events and activities. PHA take this opportunity to thank
Dr.S. Balasubramaniam and Mrs. K. Poomami for having collected data for the Heritage Board.

YB Puan Syerleena Abdul Rashid presented the award to the Penang Hindu Association (PHA) in a brief Ponggal celebration at the Sri Saiva Muneeswarar Alayam temple in Island Glades on Dec 16.
I would like to thank all the people who prepared this special event especially PHA members and the temple committee.  It is a customary for all the Tamil community to celebrate the four days event. Not forgetting Bhogi festival or Bogi is the first day of Pongal and is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, “the God of Clouds and Rains”. Lord Indra is worshiped for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land.

On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from every nook and corners, and collect all unwanted goods to be disposed. This day is meant for domestic activities and of being together with the family members. In most of the homes, this day is celebrated by girls burning their old clothes and wearing the new ones after an oil massage and bath. Then follows Pongal pot, a ritual in which new earthenware pots are painted and decorated with turmeric, flowers and mango leaves.

As matter of fact, the reason for the celebration is to pay homage to farmers and the nature (sun, living things: cow, plants, insect etc). With the value of respect and appreciation for farmers and nature, Indian community also pray for their wealth and prosperity of all beings.

One of the event which is conducted yearly is the program by GTWHI. Basically this program enables all the communities to appreciate their culture and heritage. Penang Hindu Association have been active participant of the event for the past 10 years based on the theme decided every year. To recall PHA have participated and supported in all the cultural and heritage events such as ‘Mother’s Love’, Pongal celebration, Kolam drawing, display of traditional items (antique), demonstrating the cooking of traditional food, actitivies related to Tamil Language, traditional games and pottery making, both handmade and wheel-made.

With the respect and appreciation for the culture, the community able to advance and improve themselves by not forgetting their past. I would also like to thank all those who are involved in preparing the activities and the site for this special event.

Penang is able to move to a greater pace especially in the development although hindered by pandemic the Covid-19 Omicron variant. One of the best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and we need to know how the virus spreads. You need to protect yourself and others from infection by staying at least 1 metre apart from others, wearing a properly fitted mask, and washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn and follow local guidance.

I would once again like to thank all those who made this event especially the celebration of Pongal and heritage award and recognition for the year 2022. The warmest congratulations to all the recipients and commended them for their exceptional contributions to the maintenance of the outstanding universal value of George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nandri ! Thank you.