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How shall we organize a traditional Nyonya wedding?  As we love to combine old traditions to present day society and culture, we share some thoughts of some points we consider while preparing the mixed cultural wedding.

You have probably heard the popular wedding tradition saying before, but not every bride to be knows exactly where it originated from or what the meaning behind the saying is. It is a darling saying and is one of the only wedding traditions in today’s society which makes some sense. It is a cute tradition – one which is performed to bring good luck to the newlywed couple.

The traditional saying is: Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue. And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

So following the tradition of having something old, my daughter choose to wear a hundred years old Nyonya red gown for her mixed cultural wedding, kind of like a link to the mother who she loves.  There are many things you can use as theme to rekindle “something old for your wedding.

And for something new, which means optimism and hope for the future. It sends the message that both the newly weds are creating a new union that will endure the test of time. Many brides choose to use a red wedding sari or bridal gown, flowers or rings to symbolize the “something new” in this tradition.

Something Borrowed, for that if you borrow an item from your happily married grandmother or mother, you can fulfill both of these meanings. Uvaraani chooses an hundred’s years old Sapu tangan Nyonya (Nyonya handkerchief) to wrap around the coconut she took to her new house on her wedding day. Doing this lets your parents (or grandparents) know that you admire their marriage and the respect they have for each other and that you hope to have an equally happy marriage.

Something Blue: The color blue has been connected to weddings for centuries as a symbol of love, modesty, fidelity, good luck, purity and loyalty. Many brides incorporate this color into their clothing, by either wearing a blue stoned jewelry item or wearing a blue garter. However for a modern spin, you could use blue toe nail polish, blue eye shadow, a blue ribbon tied into your flowers, blue underwear, even wear light blue shoes! The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination.

A Lucky Sixpence: A sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be worn in the left shoe. What I did as her mother, without her knowing was places an old coin in her coconut she carries. An old wives tale mention that both couple wont hide their wealth from each other.

As for Jivan and Uvaraani, honoring the something old, new borrowed, blue tradition by having a Muhibbah Nyonya and Indian Wedding seems an unforgettable day. Although some items are supposed to bring good luck to the bride, they are

following this tradition to honor people close to them on their wedding day.

Penang Biggest breaking news

PGCC – Penang Global City Centre or Penang Greedy City Centre?

PGCC is a super hot topic. Most definitely, changes are inevitable. Looks as if the Penang people are still not aware that a mega project is going to happen.

Hearing that there will be another 37 tower blocks coming up in our lovely Penang Island in the next 20 years. I wonder can it take the weight, my tiny little island Penang?

For few months now, talks, public local outcry can be heard. Wonders of amazement how such a mega structure project can get approval without the people’s knowledge. Questions were thrown to all authorities, NGOs working very hard thus the awareness of our beloved Penang island can be keep intact.

Penang Global Citiy Centre

As an insider, I ponder, listen to what my fellow Penangites have to say. I am not being partial to their opinions but after listening to what have been discussed I too felt these question they asked need to be answered.

PGCC

To the outsider who knows nothing about our rich heritage, most are excited that some great is happening. Penang need this but do we really?

Penang Turf Club will be relocated to Batu Kawan, in the mainland 30 mins away from Penang. And then Penang Global City Centre mega structure will be built in the Penang Turf Club, 1930’s recreation plot of land.

Many many questions were raised and not answered. At least, listen and incorporate what the Penang locals feels they would like to maintain is what they are asking.

Penang Global City Center

Quotes from Penang Heritage Trust

It appears we have been misled. Each statement made so far has carefully avoided letting Penang people know that in addition to the TWO TOWERS and the ‘green forest’, what is actually being proposed is a ‘forest’ of 37 (Yes, THIRTY SEVEN) HIGH RISE TOWER BLOCKS, each more than 40 STORIES HIGH, planned for the site. Also being planned are 6,93313,000,000 sq feet of commercial space. (look at the attached images to get an idea of the REAL PGCC – that’s right – 37 slightly shorter KOMTAR’s )

Penang Global City Center Road proposal

Some of the Question posed:

1. How did Open Recreational Space become Development land in the Structure Plan?

2. How did land granted by the State for recreation, at virtually no cost in the 1930’s now be the source of a RM25 billion project for a private developer?

3. Should the State not be given the first right of refusal if the Turf Club wishes to move?

4. How does the developer get a density of nearly 30 units to an acre when surrounding land in the Jesselton area is zoned for 6 units to an acre?

5. How can a project be launched by the PM when it has not yet been approved by the local authorities?

Penang Global City Center

6. How can we Penang people be told that our traffic problems will be solved when we will be stuck in jams, for YEARS, while the flyovers and tunnel are being built at Scotland Road and Batu Gantong?

7. How can this project be launched BEFORE PORR is completed when their own traffic consultants have said that, only with the PORR, can the traffic dispersal system work.

8. Where is the detailed EIA required for a project of this gigantic size? And how did the preliminary EIA get approved so quickly?

9. Does Penang NEED a project like this when we currently already have more than 1,000,000 sq ft of empty commercial space?

10. Can’t low-rise residential homes & much needed green parks be an alternative?

11. Do Penang people WANT a colossal K.L. planned project like this which will change our island beyond anything that we know and love?

Almost 20 years ago, Penang people said an emphatic NO to our hills being destroyed by massive re-development. We claimed our rights as the ordinary man-on-the-street, as citizens, as voters and most of all, as PENANGITES. Is this project actually being foisted on Penang by MONEY, by POWER and by CONNECTIONS? Already many of us lament what Penang has become with the traffic, the pollution and the over-development seemingly approved for the above reasons.

To all of us who love Penang and who have contributed to her well-being, the PCGG is the ultimate assault on her very sanity and that of her citizens.

SPEAK UP to voice your concerns. Well this is some of the lastest breaking news on what is happening on PGCC. Postcards and letters to the Chief Minister were handed out during the Sunday forum in Dewan Sri Pinang.

So I will be off to take some photos of the Penang Turf Club before it is gone.

Revive the tramways, maybe even the trolleys buses!

Won’t that be a great idea? Is that the reason for all the digging in Penang Road. Or any spanish galleon, platinum found was discovered? Most motorist passing simply have no idea what this is about.

Digging in Penang Road

Several days now as I drove passed Penang Road, the massive traffic jams caused me to investigate what is up in Penang this time.

Someone did comment what is going to happen to the tramways along the route they were digging. Or could be plans to revive the tramways?

So many questions, opinions are on our mind. Then I read about the talk to revive the Tramways that was built back in the 1880’s. The author Ric Francis or Lion Reg, an Australian was here at the invitation of Penang Heritage Trust.

In his power point presentation, he shared some aspects on reviving the tramways .

Routes for tramways

The tramways has to be built in stages and 4 stages were proposed. The first stage could use the 50 m of old tram lines unearthed recently in 2004.

The Presentation

Firstly, I enjoyed some slides on other progressing countries like Paris and Toronto introducing trams or trains back in this modern age. China made trains were shown to us which could be use as we are on friendly terms with China.

Environment Friendly

Lion Reg pointed out how we could actually conserve our fuel and helps to reduce pollution. It seems one tram could keep 55 cars off the road, he says.

the grout and rail lines of electrical trams

Some positive advantages were shared like how it would complement the new public bus service, RapidPenang. And in the next few years how with the introduction of monorail, Penang would really offer its locals and tourist various ways to travel.

The New Trams
The power of the trams is centrally generated and conveyed to the vehicles via overhead wires and the metal rails. The electricity used is DC-which gives smooth operations.

Then I remembered if trams have to run, the wires hanging above us would be so unsightly as our age old colonial and straits buildings need to be conserved too. It was pointed out the the wiring system and pipes used to run the rail will not block or caused more hindrance to our present views.Maintenance and operation is extremely low as the designs showed they are light weight. It is thus profitable for the operators, so we hope the fares are affordable for the older groups of people.

With new technology, the tram are people friendly especially the physically challenged will have opportunities to use these facilities. From the designs I saw and imagined, it can passed through small and narrow streets.

And the trishaws will still have business to do, ferrying the visitors to heritage sites.

mmm, I thought to myself I have to be patient as allow all this facilities to start building, bear with the inconveniences for the next few years and hoo ray…a modern Penang.

Ric Francis

Moreover, trams that blend with the old-world architecture of George Town will surely enhance the heritage value of the inner city, which has the largest collection of pre-war shophouses in South-East Asia.

Some history facts
1880 A light railway operated from Georgetown to the Botanic Gardens.

1925 Trolley buses first operated a tramway in Penang.

1959 Last trolley bus service in Penang

Lion Reg, also an Australian tram engineer, was commissioned by the state government to conduct a study on the proposal.

Of course, Ric will go back to Oz to prepare his report based on three quotations on cost, materials and hopefully he will submit it by 2 weeks.

Penang’s first recorded tram system was run on steam between the jetty at Weld Quay and Air Itam with a branch to the Penang Botanic Gardens in the 1880s.

Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways

Lion Reg’s book is available at RM50.00 each.

Penang Heritage Trust at 26, Church Street.

Call the Penang Heritage Trust 04-2642631.

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