Little Penang Street Market
Little Penang is fairly a new place for shopping and watching Malaysian cultural shows.
It is the brain child of Ms Khoo Salma Nasution, Joe Sidek and a few of their friends. The idea is a showcase of Malaysian culture and bazaar style merchandise and food under one roof, especially for the expatriates and tourists from abroad.
At the last Sunday of every month, the Upper Penang Road is reserved for pedestrians to enjoy themselves at this street market. You can join in the fun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The committee members always line up interesting events for your pleasure.
White bell tents are set up to give shelters to peddlers who bring their goods.
From home baked cakes, local delicacies, t-shirts and antiques, every month is never the same.
The emphasis is always on the local products, together with eco-friendly, non-commercialized goods. Expect to find home made soap bars, organic products, quirky trinkets, paintings and various NGOs promoting their causes.
Where is it located? If you come from Penang Road, it is at the very end, cross the Sultan Ahmad Shah Road (Northam Road) and you cannot miss the banners.
If you are staying at the E&O Hotel, it is even better.
Just cross the Farquhar Street from the hotel lobby, and you are there.
It is held next to the building known as the Garage, which houses several up-market restaurants and bars.
Normally, the hotel that you are staying would tell you when it is held, so if you happen to be in George Town on the last Sunday of the month, make sure to spend some time here.
Local bands, dancers or singers perform at specific times at the open air stage there. Visitors usually come prepared with cameras and video equipment to catch the action.
Sometimes, performers from out of Penang are invited to put up the show. In such special events, the expectant crowd flock in to watch the free show in delight. Where else can you get kuda kepang and pencak silat shows or the instruction of how to arrange traditional betel leaves and flower arrangement for wedding gifts? Where else can you watch Nyonyas in their traditional costumes dancing in front of a live audience?
Local artists too like Shamsul Bahari makes time to do impromptu sketches as well as teaching children the basic techniques of making paintings or collages. Other artists also put up their work on display for sale. For these artists, this place is a good platform to showcase their work to the world.
For me, a visit to Little Penang is always a pleasant one. The atmosphere is laid-back and cordial. Everyone is happy and friendly. It is a problem if I go there with my children, because they want to buy everything in sight. Well, this is something that I hope they would grow out of. Ahem, to tell you the truth, yours truly also finds it hard not to empty her wallet when visiting this street market!
One thing that I think that the street market committee can do is to organize some local cooking classes too. Now, the sight and delicious smell would surely bring many people from afar to Little Penang.
I wrote about this idea of a cooking class a few months back, I am happy to say that starting from 28th June 09, I organized my own booth which showcases traditional cooking demonstration at Little Penang. So, do not miss out! You may also sign up for scheduled cooking classes at Tropical Spice Garden with me.
Johny Chee presevers the Nyonya tradition. He is often guest at the Little Penang market and wrote an excellent book about the Nyonya culture of Penang.
More photos of Little Penang
I have plenty of other photos which give you an impression what to expect at Little Penang Street Market.
Nyonya Kebaya Materials for SALE here!
Click on these thumbnails to view the intricate patterns (kerawang).