Official Launch: 2015 Terengganu Peranakan Festival
Launched by the Terengganu State Executive Councillor for Tourism and Culture Dato’ Mohd Jidin Shafee, the second Terengganu Peranakan Festival kicked off to a colourful start in Kampung Cina or Chinatown in Kuala Terengganu.
Riding on the success and popularity of the festival gained from the inaugural event last year, this edition is bigger and better with three times the number of street stalls, increasing from thirty to ninety.
This five-day event which will run until June 10, will be a Peranakan cultural extravaganza where visitors can get to see and experience for themselves the rich heritage of this particular community in Terengganu.
It is believed that the Peranakan settlement in Terengganu is the first in then Malaya, beginning from the 9th century with the arrival of the earliest Chinese people, even earlier than those of Penang and Malacca. It is based on history that Admiral Cheng Ho was in transit here before heading to Malacca.
While many know that the Peranakan in Malacca is addressed as Baba for men and Nyonya for women, the equivalent in Terengganu is Awang and Mek respectively.
However, unlike those communities in Penang and Malacca, Awangs and Meks do not necessarily mean that they have married locals. It could just mean that they have adopted the local lifestyle, including language and food, although they have retained their Chinese culture and religion.
Those who are familiar with the kebaya traditional costume would notice the difference between those worn by Meks and Nyonyas. Costumes of Meks are known as “baju kebaya potong kot”. Meanwhile, the men also wear batik traditionally.
This Terengganu Peranakan Festival has been included in the state’s Calendar of Events due to its high potential as a tourist attraction. As you can see, it is fully supported by the state government.
I attended this official launch as part of the delegation for the Terengganu International Squid Jigging Festival 2015, at the invitation of Gaya Travel Magazine and Tourism Terengganu.
Event: Official Launch of 2015 Terengganu Peranakan Festival
Venue: Kampung Cina (Chinatown), Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
Date: 5th June, 2015
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