Monday September 24, 2012
Impressive display of local delights
UPPER Penang Road took on a carnival atmosphere as some 100 dignitaries from the 5th Tourism Promotion Organisation (TPO) were there to experience various local cultural performances.
From a rousing warrior drum welcome by the Chio Tian Folk Dance and Art troupe to boria and chingay, it was truly a sensational showcase of cultural potpourri for the international delegates.
Also featured were local handicraft, traditional games like congkak and gasing as well as cooking demonstrations.
Ten paragliders were also seen hovering around the area yesterday.
The Gangam fever proved its infectious reign once again as students from SEGi College Penang performed the dance for the dignitaries.
“It is a very exciting song and it seems like the whole world knows about it.
“We can’t say that the song boosted our tourism industry significantly but it has definitely placed South Korea on the map, making it known to many others in the world,” said Kim Yong-kyu, one of the South Korean delegates.
Seen having a whale of a time was Australian tourist Tony McCallum who was trying out chingay for the first time.
The 44-year-old electrician under the guidance of the Penang Chingay Association members, managed to balance the giant flagpole on his forehead.
“It’s not as hard as it looks!” he remarked. He then tried the balancing act again, this time using his teeth, lasting for a good five seconds.
“Events like this are awesome and I’m definitely coming back to Penang again,” McCallum said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was present at the TPO Friendship Park in front of the Bayview George Town Hotel to unveil a 2.7m-tall sculpture.
Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail said the globe-shaped creation symbolises the understanding, cooperation and networking among the member cities for a common goal, which is development of tourism in Asia Pacific.
The member cities are Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Qingdoa, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenyang, Urumqi, Weihai and Xian in China; Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kitakyushu, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Naha, Oita, Osaka, Saga, Sasebo and Shimmonoseki in Japan; and Andong, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju, Gyeongju, Jeonju, Ulsan in South Korea.
The four cities from Malaysia are Ipoh, George Town, Kota Kinabalu and Malacca while others are Brisbane (Australia), Jakarta (Indonesia), Auckland (New Zealand), Manila (Philippines), Vladivostok (Russia), Bangkok (Thailand), Honolulu (United States) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
The delegates later enjoyed a ride on 60 trishaws through the inner city of George Town.
The forum ended with the TPO Best Awards presentation at the Bayview Beach Resort in Batu Ferringhi on Sept 19.