Postcard from Penang

I just wanted to share this post because it shows such a beautiful side of Malaysian Heritage. I think it captures the rich traditions and culture in an actual sculpture. It is a wordless speech about how they used to live, a speech ‘seen’ by many generations after the creator has long since past. As humans we conform our surroundings to suit us, but we forget that our environments shapes us too. For example, the asian culture of having meals at a round table with dishes in the center and then individual rice bowls, making us predisposed to share our food. The artistry of the buildings interior can also depict cultural motifs like batik that comes from symbols that went along with legends and folktales; extending generational memory through the use of architecture.

We should appreciate the beauty we grew up in. Like Dorothy said after she took a long trip down a yellow brick road. There’s no place like home.


When my husband and I were working on post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia in 2006-2007, we traveled to the nearby island of Penang, Malaysia for a little getaway and stayed in the picturesque Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion – originally built as a private residence in the late 1800’s by a Chinese merchant, it now serves as a home-stay for tourists. It is also a museum of sorts with on-going restoration work that has earned it many awards including a UNESCO Heritage Conservation Award. Among it’s many gorgeous architectural features, the rich indigo blue lime-wash that is used throughout the house makes it very distinctive and beautiful to photograph. Unfortunately, I was using a mediocre digital camera at the time and I’ve lost the original files since then so all I have left are smaller, less clear images that I’ve retrieved from my previous blog. Regardless, they are still timeless and…

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