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National Chinese New Year Open House celebration brings cheer to Sungai Petani, Kedah

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:24
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The public were able to sample various traditional cuisines, see craft demonstrations, and watch Chinese cultural performances by Istana Budaya.

PUTRAJAYA - As a multi-ethnic country, Malaysia is filled with celebrations of various races. One of the important celebrations of the Chinese people is the Chinese New Year, which marks the beginning of their lunar-based calendar.

In Malaysia, the “Open House” culture is a unique practice among Malaysians to celebrate cultural holidays together with family, friends and neighbours. For generations, this practice has forged closer relations within multi-cultural Malaysia, establishing the peace and harmony everyone enjoys today. It is common to see Malaysians of different faiths gather under one roof to commemorate each other’s cultural and religious celebrations.

This year, the national-level Chinese New Year Open House celebration was successfully held at Dataran Amanjaya Mall in Sungai Petani, Kedah, spreading cultural love, tolerance and national unity among Malaysians of all races and walks of life.

The three-day celebration saw all levels of Malaysian society enjoying a variety of activities held from 1 to 3 March. The public were able to sample various traditional cuisines, see craft demonstrations, and watch Chinese cultural performances by Istana Budaya. There were also performances by popular Malaysian artistes such as Sheng Kuang, Corn Ling, Baggio Damasutra, Ezad Lazim, Dato’ Awie, and Aris Ariwatan.

Meanwhile, the Kun Shen Keng Lion Dance Troupe from Muar and St. Theresa Lion Dance Troupe from Sungai Petani entertained guests with energetic lion dance performances and nail-biting acrobatic stunts.

A total of 3,000 people also took part in the making of kuih kapit or love letters, a traditional Chinese wafer, in an attempt to create a Malaysia Book of Records for such an effort.

The Open House was officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Kedah Menteri Besar YAB Dato’ Seri DiRaja Ahmad Bashah bin Md Hanipah on 3 March.

Other VIPs in attendance were Transport Minister YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai; Women, Family and Community Development Minister YB Datuk Hajjah Rohani Abdul Karim; Education Minister YB Dato’ Seri Mahdzir Khalid; Tourism and Culture Minister YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz; and his deputy YB Datuk Wira Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

It is estimated that some 20,000 people attended the event, among them were 16 international travel agents and media from Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines. They were part of the Mega Familiarisation group brought in by Tourism Malaysia to give them a first-hand experience of Malaysia’s cultural festivals.

This year’s Chinese New Year Open House in Sungai Petani was organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Kedah State Government. Other government agencies involved included the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development; Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities; Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Transport and other government agencies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.