Hundreds of years ago, merchants and labourers sailed from faraway lands and laid anchor off Penang, to make their fortunes. They brought with them their own languages, customs and traditions. Over time, the state evolved into a melting pot of cultures with a blend of eastern and western influences, evident by the different places of worship, diverse heritage food, vibrant celebrations and more. Certainly, our culture’s diverse richness is one of many things that are central to Penang’s multicultural, multiethnic and multifaith identity.
Today, this vibrant state in Malaysia exudes a fascinating personality of its own, straddling the new and the old. Hoping to preserve Penang’s unique diversity, George Town Festival is releasing Penang at a Glance, a photobook that showcases both the familiar and the never-before-seen scenes of Penang captured by Govindarajoo Selvathurai, Oh Chin Eng, Sherwynd Rylan Kessler and Thum Chia Chieh. These talented photographers from different backgrounds have beautifully recorded the state’s fantastic landscapes, time-honoured traditions and friendly people. They have also documented Penang’s year-long events and festivals, from religious and cultural to homegrown arts.