Sunday, 11 February 2018

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi (邱公司)

 The grandest clan temple in the country. 

The Khoo Kongsi is a clan association of the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall) clan, whose forefathers came from Sin Kang clan village (now known as Xiangcheng) in Hokkien province. The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century Malacca and early Penang.

The idea of a temple was first mooted in 1836 and was completed 8 years later. The Leong San Tong of the Khoo Kongsi on the Cannon Square is the most picturesque clan-temple in Malaysia.

Ironically, Mom has never visited the famous Khoo Kongsi clanhouse while we lived in the Lebuh Pantai police barracks where my Dad was a police officer many years ago. Located at a distance at only 1.5 km from Khoo Kongsi.

We had some difficulty finding this place, where is this place located? Compared to other clan house where they can be seen visibly on the streets.

We found it! No, it's a false alarm. This belongs to Yap Clan House.

Is This the One? Wrong Again...This one is Cheah Kongsi. Where Could It Be Khoo Kongsi? How many Clan Temples are there?

Within Penang, five Hokkien clan associations (Goh Tai Seh) are regarded as the pillars of the Penang Hokkien clan associations. They are the Khoo, the Tan, the Lim, the Cheah and the Yeoh, and they each has a clan temple somewhere in George Town.

A kongsi (clan house) is a building in which Chinese people of the same surname or family clan gather at their ancestral temples to worship their ancestors in age order.

 Illustrating commitments between extended relations, ancestors and the outside community, the kongsi also function as an important means of solidarity. These days the primary functions of kongsis are supportive roles: they provide financial assistance for the educations of members’ children, settle conflicts and offer advance cash loan.

Hey if we stick together, we can take care of our own. The principle of "ghee" or brotherhood is highly revered within the clan.
Penang clan temples are built by the different clan associations in Penang during the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries.

GPS voice tells you, "You have reached your destination" but after few fruitless attempt we were about to give up. Alas, as though my mother's ancestors spirits were guiding us to the place, it's on your left side dumb dumb.

Yeah! we have found it and as if an emptied parking lot reservation for us too right in front of the main gate.
The Penang trishaw is an almost extinct means of transport in Penang but thanks for the tourist support for saving it.

"So Near and yet So Far" . We can see the signboard but we still couldn't find the location. 

Sounds a bit odd and pedantic but having drive around the block many times before we found it I would suggest that they improve their signage with an arrow or two! I believe many visitor have mentioned this but till this day no action.

The signboard is too low, hidden from view. A driver who miss it will just passing through.

It is common that one often overlooked the main entrance owing to its dull appearance apart from an alley crowning with a black plaque and gold wordings that read 'Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi' which literally means 'Dragon Mountain Hall Khoo Clan House'

Find it is like looking for a needle in a haystack, well actually what you see here now are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Khoo Kongsi is a large Chinese clanhouse with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture, a mark of the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang, Malaysia. The famous Khoo Kongsi is the grandest clan temple in the country located within the compound of Canon Square.

Hidden in a maze of alleys and pre-war houses is the breathtakingly beautiful Khoo Kongsi – clanhouse built by the early Khoo clanmen more than 100 years ago. 

Three tucked away entrances at Cannon Street, Beach Street and Armenian Street will lead you the magnificent structure built on a beautiful courtyard..

Now only a single entrance into and out of Khoo Kongsi, and that is, the main passageway from Cannon Square.Two other entrances are a side one leading to Acheh Street, and a back one to Beach Street.

All these other entrances are off limit to the public

In the 19th century, the clan complex resembled a miniature clan village, with its own self-government as well as educational, financial, welfare and social organisations.

The Khoo Kongsi complex consists of the clan house, Leong San Tong (which literally means “Dragon Mountain Hall”), an administrative building with a meeting hall and offices, an opera stage and 62 units of terrace houses and shop houses.

 There are three entrances to the complex: the main entrance is at Cannon Street: the rear entrance, with a decorative archway, faces Beach Street; and the side entrance leads to Armenian Street. The closely-knit building complex is a reflection of the strong centripetalism and solidarity of the Khoos in the past. It also reflects the defensive instinct of the local Hokkien community to safeguard against the inadequate public security during the British rule in the 19th century.

A plaque on the wall from Ministry of Communication, Information & Culture. 
Endangered heritage buildings can be given legal protection by listing or gazetting them, or for the local and Federal Government to enact heritage zones.

Khoo Kongsi information plaque -  The piooner Khoos establish a clanhouse to unite and look after the welfare of the clansmen as well as to worship their ancestors.  'All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.'

You must be wondering why the name "CANON SQUARE" appear here? It should rightfully remain close at Fort Cornwallis right? Well there is story...

At Cannon Square where Khoo Kongsi is, the large hole supposedly made by a cannonball fired during the Penang Riots by the colonial government to suppress the riots at the territory of the Tua Pek Kong Hoey.

The men are primarily European. A selection of men hold weapons, like guns or sabres. There are two grouping of rifles, placed together to form a tripod. There is a cannon at the centre of the barricade.
Please don't bother trying to find it, as the hole was levelled up and renamed Cannon Street (Tua Cheng Hang).

My first impression of the photo is the army from  American Civil War, the Confederate Army.

Chinese immigrants to Penang brought their traditions with them, including secret societies, which provided mutual aid and protection for the Chinese community.

Just like the American Civil War, the Penang Riots are always fought between two brothers,  in which two white brothers fought to see who would control the colored world, either together or separate. In the Penang Riot of 1867 the alliance of Tua Pek Kong Hoey (Kean Teik Tong) and the Red Flag Gang fought against the alliance of the Ghee Hin Kongsi and the White Flag Gang for ten days in George Town.

The Tua Pek Kong Hoey, led by Khoo Thean Teik consisted mainly of the Hokkien; the Ghee Hin Kongsi was Cantonese-based; while the Red Flag and the White Flag Gangs comprised of the Malays and the Indians.

The riots were the result of a tussle for monopoly over lucrative opium and arak farms, smuggling activities and territorial control.

A walk down the lane to the ticket office at the end of the lane on the right
Visitors will need to walk through an alley between two rows of 19th-century terrace houses and pass by the opera stage, before they can see the majestic clan house on the granite square. Before World War II, this complex was actually a “clan village” occupied by the Khoo families.

 Here visitors can purchase the entrance ticket (RM10-00). With the entrance ticket is a sticker which one has to wear for the duration of the visit.

I went inside to purchase tickets at ticket window. Asking the ticket counter cashier whether my mom as a senior citizen will she is entitled to concession?

“No,” she replied quickly. Not even she is a descendant of the Khoo Clan? Really? She need to see my mom Identification Card  as required proof of identity.

I'm feeling a bit greedy and asked how about the family members? Who are they? As I explained.. my sister, my brother-in-law and her daughter. OK, it's free, we get complimentary admission sticker.

Lessons Learned In Life. "If you don't ask, you don't get." . I've saved Rm50. These is just example of how I've saved by asking for a discount.

You need to wear this sticker as entrance ticket for the duration of the visit.

O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, chor kong chor mah, help and guide us, to move obstacles out of our way, to protect us and watch ...

May the ancestors watch over you. Taken from Star Wars, the blessing 'May the Force be with you' comforting their decendants : ‘And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’

The veneration of the dead, including one's ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living.

These clan temples are constructed for the motive of worshipping the patron deities of the clans as well as to venerate ancestors. Within these clan temples are generally ancestral tablets of those who have departed.
C'est magnifique ! 
Built some 650 years ago. Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi is supposedly the finest clanhouse outside of China.

Khoo Khongsi at night, photo taken from the museum's wall.  
Massive overhead paper lamps bathe the interior in an orange glow and there is an aura of peace and calm around the place.

Splendid, spectacular, impressive, striking, glorious but these scene is unavailable to the visitor as the Khoo Kongsi opens daytime only from 9am - 5pm. It is usually not open at night unless some special ocassion. Sad isn't it?

Chinese operas are still staged at the theatre during the seventh lunar month (hungry ghost festival).
Right opposite Leong San Tong, there is a permanent majestic opera stage which holding opera stage show during 7th Chinese Lunar month.(The Chinese Ghost Month)

Performances are also held around Chinese New Year and other important holidays. The stage is also available for special events.

A pair of giant green stone lions guarding the courtyard of Leong San Tong.  

Thinking mmm... Why do they put up the sign "Visitors are strictly not allowed to rolls the granite ball in the lion..?" This is a male stone lion for sure..

They are generally known in Chinese as 'stone lions' (石狮 shíshī or 石狮子 shí-shīzi). The lions come in pairs, one male and one female. Viewed from the outside, the female is usually on the left and the male on the right. It's difference when comes to the traditional Chinese culture specific the man on the left and woman on the right.

Green stone joss-stick urn in front of the Cheng Soon Keong

In the old days these wooden plaques will be lifted and used during procession ceremonies.  

Hold your horses! Why the "rock on" hand gesture doing here? I reckon one of  descendant must be big fan of rock music.Singing, I love rock and roll. So put another dime ...

 I'm just curious..why are they here? The green stone turbaned watchman holding a gun at the entrance of the Prayer Pavilion."Halt, who goes there? "

 It's a strange place for that sort of statue, but I bet if you walk past it you can't help but smile.These men with their burly and bearded appearance create a formidable presence.

Maybe there is a little bit of history around here?

The Sikh community first arrived were political prisoners from Punjab, captured by the British after the second Punjab war of 1848. A  small detachment of Sikhs was stationed in Penang as policemen and guards.

By the 1890s, Sikhs were recruit as police personnel in all Malay states and also British North Borneo and Sarawak.

Foreign trading houses and Chinese businesses hired Sikhs as ‘jaga’ (watchmen) at their premises, godowns/warehouse and residences until the early 70s, when uniformed security personnel started being employed.

Unique feature. 

Prayer pavilion with a grand staircase is unusual in traditional Fujian architecture. Bet you won't find that anywhere else in the world!

At the end of the grand stairs handrails there is a monk on each side. 
One depiciting one laughing monk and the other side a crying monk.  

Indicating to speak about life and what people are going through in their every day ups and downs, the good times and the bad times. Life is not a bed of roses, all the time, you know.

Floor Plan. On the upper floor of the central hall is the Cheng Soon Keong. On its left is the Hock Teik Soo, and on  its right the Ee Kok Tong. The central hall at the lower floor (basement) was used for wedding tea receptions in the early days. To its right is a corridor leading to the kitchen. Now, it is a museum.
Transformation of Khoo Kongsi Clan Temple.  A mixture of architectural styles; Southern Fujian architecture fused eastern and western architectural styles and local.

 The existing bungalow in which Leong San Tong was first established is an Anglo-Malay bungalow. The clan temple was built around the Malay stilt houses during the colonial era. It has a symmetrical structure with a protruding posted front porch, under which is a traditional grand Malay semi-open staircase that leads to the verandah.

Khoo Kongsi bought this premise in 1850 and convert it into a clanhouse in 1851.  The bungalow remain in existence for 43 years till the clanhouse undergo a major refurbishment based predominantly on the Southern Fujian architecture in 1894.

 Once inside the clan compound, you'll be easily overwhelm with the beauty and impressive view of Leong San Tong house.

The cheerful “walking dragon” at the corner ridge of the Prayer Pavilion. Spectacular ridge decorations. Mesmerize your visitors before they even enter the clan temple.

A close up of the roof reveal the fine detailing of the composition ornament of all elements of the roof -  from the end-ridge, roof eave tiles, the colorful roof decorations to the timber-work at the roof joists. All have been finely crafted. A masterpiece of work.

The famous Khoo Kongsi clan-house is stunning and also worth visiting. So old and so exquisite. You'll be blown away, like you entered another world. 
In Chinese society, operas and puppet plays have long been performed both to amuse gods and people, and to thank the gods for renewing the life forces of the community.
In traditional China, temple fairs always held opera performances, with the stage facing the temple for deities to enjoy.
A mock up Opera House at it's Museum showing  pre-recorded videos to visitor audience 

Traditional Chinese theatre often called Chinese Opera or Xiqu 戲曲, is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China.(As early as Yuan Dynasty 1271 -1368 )

The second panel depicit 6 of the 24 stories of filial piety.

On the wall of Khoo Kongsi temple there are a set of carved granite panels decorating the front wall of the temple. The panels capture the moment from Confucian moral stories on filial piety. Since the stories are renowned among the older generation, each panel sought to create a hint message to the worshiper.

Western tiger. On the right, the exquisite folklyric engraving features two tigers, one tiger is bigger than the other, roaming in the woods. What does it mean? 

Decorative roof rafter at the entrance to the Khoo Kongsi Clan House
Still standing at the Prayer Pavilion, I look up at the ceiling to admire the roof rafter at the bottom of the roof.
The roof joists are supported by carved golden timber corbels and the round timber rafters has intricate paintings.

Most of the bracket in the shape of animals represent something. This i can't find in their official website?

The swirling dragon on the monolithic stone column is a wonderful piece of sculptural work. The column also features other sculptural motifs, including figures, flowers, birds and marine life.
Richly ornamented pillars which are said to have been crafted by master craftsmen from China
The hanging paper lanterns with the Chinese characters Khoo's Residence written on them. 

The Culture of Chinese Doorsill
Why So Serious, Mom? Generally, the stone statue of lion is made in pairs.  the male resting his paw upon the embroidered ball and the female restraining a playful cub that is on its back.

Why Chinese architecture had such a high threshold?

As you enter, you must step over a high threshold board. This serves a triple function. First, it forces devotees to look downward, as they should when entering the temple.  Unknowingly they have just bow their head paying respect to God.

Second, it keeps out wandering ghosts who tend to shuffle their feet, so if they try to enter, the threshold board will trip them.

Third, In the past, door threshold was mainly used for protecting the house from rising water and flooding when torrential rain overflowed. Door threshold is particularly common in Southern China, because the average rainfall in this area is more than Northern China.

I also found that it is considered inauspicious and disrespectful to step on the threshold board. In most temples, the common courtesy when you enter is with the right foot first as well.

Cheng Soon Keong, the central hall of Leong San Tong is the largest hall and the most elaborately decorated, enshrines Ong Soon Yah (the Great Duke) and Tua Sai Yah (the Noble) who are the patron saints of the Khoos.

As the story goes that Tua Sai Yah the great Duke and Ong Soon Yah the great Noble were generals in the army during the 4th century Jin Dynasty and they overcome a much larger enemy.

Psychological warfare were used against the enemy which  they were greatly outnumbered.  The idea was using their own unique tactics of trapping them in the trees and grasses near the River Fei.

Owing to the bravery and wit in protecting the people and the territory,  General Cheah Aun and Cheah Hean were deified in later year.
Images of the 36 celestial guardians that almost totally cover both panels of the wall.  18 on each side of the wall. Altar at the main prayer hall with gold wooden carved backdrop panels.

They sit on different animals such as the dragon, the lion and other mythical creatures, and each of them is armed with a unique weapon. They are rich, interesting pictorial representations of folklores and art.
Mural Painting of Chinese gods riding on mystical creature

Door stones – Dragon Stone drums (椒图抱鼓石)

Drums were originally placed outside of the magistrate’s court house. Over time, it became incorporated into the design of stone to provide supports for the timber entrance door. The spiraling pattern on Khoo kongsi Hall of Hock Teik Soo’s door stone drum represents Jiaotu (椒图) in form of bao gu shi (bearing stones).

One of the Chinese dragon’s nine sons which has a snail-like features and are believed to be good guardians.

Hall of Hock Teik Soo

This hall is found in the annexe to the left of the central hall. The deity worshipped in this hall is the God of Prosperity. Locally known as Tua Pek Kong. Heng ah Huat ah Ong ah !

 This Tua Pek Kong Wealth God For Prosperity features the figurine of Tua Pek Kong (Chinese: 大伯公, Hokkien: Tuā-peh-kong), literally means "Grand Uncle", who is one of the pantheon of Malaysian Chinese Gods. He is portray sitting on a dragon chair and carrying a Ru Yi, a symbol of authority luck and good fortune, on his left hand and a large Gold Ingot on his right, symbol of wealth and success.

Yeah. I reckon if he's in today's world he would be seen like wearing gold attire, expensive watch and driving a luxury car.

  One of the name of the the wall reminds me of my late uncle name, 'Khoo Soo Teik".

The trapezium ceiling in the Hock Teik Soo and the Ee Kok Tong halls is actually not the standard issue of the Southern Fujian architecture. The Western influence can also be identified in the louvered windows and balusters at the rear verandah. They all have Western decorations.  'Little Bit Country/little Bit Rock And Roll' the first thing that came to/into my mind.

 Hanging on the walls of these temples are the picture of clan members who have sucessfully achieved academic or financial success. These are usually the benefactors of the clan associations

Rear Corridor

The Murals in the Cheng Soon Keong. There are seven murals at the rear corridor, three of them huge and four of them small. They have survived the test of time for almost a century, since the completion of Leong San Tong.

Due to tight spaces, low angle photography can be a challenge include shots simply looking up at high wall murals.

The mural of the “Three Visits to the Cottage”

Illustrate Liu Bei, Guan Gong and Zhang Fei’s three visits to the cottage of Zhu Ge Kong Ming to persuade him to be their military adviser to the Kingdom of Shu. Moved by their sincerity, Kong Ming in the end accepted their request.

The Nine Old Men- I am old but I am forever young at heart. We are always the same age inside. Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, you can only.

The story originated in the Tang Dynasty. During the summer of the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Wu Zong, the famous poet Bai Ju Yi and eight other old men assemble in Luo Yang. They wrote and recited poems and had the event jot down in a painting named the “Nine Old Men”. The painting promote cheerfulness as a means for good health and longevity.

You need to involve yourself in a positive living program for the promotion of a healthy mind. ... The mind plays a key role in stimulate good health. ... Music, drawing, painting and creating sculpture provide a means of communication and self-expression--and a way to relieve stress.

Attaining balance and harmony for emotions have become incorporated into the Chinese culture rooted in Yin–Yang balance.

 Farmer and Scholar

 Fisherman and a Woodcutter 

The Fisherman, Woodsman, Farmer and Scholar Mural

The two paintings flanking the “Hundred Sons and Thousand Grandsons” are seemingly a pair. The one on the right attribute a fisherman and a woodsman, while the one on the left features a farmer and a child reading and riding on the back of an ox, thus the entitle the “Fisherman. Woodsman. Farmer and Scholar” (Yu Qiao Geng Du).

The portrayal reflects the values revered in a traditional agricultural society, in which people are motivate to work hard to be self-sufficient on the one hand, and to ensure adopt good morality and try for an government official career through studying on the other.

Hundred Sons and Thousand Grandsons
 At the bottom of the wall, on the left is the signature of the artist's work of Yeoh Boon Ngah the Hermit. Apparently, Yeoh Boon Ngah was a renowned painter, his talent had won him the appointment for the paintings of the “36 Celestial Guardians” in the Cheng Soon Keong and the “Hundred Sons and Thousand Grandsons,” the “Nine Old Men,” the “Three Visits to the Cottage” and the “Heaven-touching Filial Piety” at the rear corridor.

The photo is taken from another angle.

Hundred Sons and Thousand Grandsons epitomizes the Chinese wish for big families with plenty of children. A house pack with children is considered a blessing of joy.

 It is also a wish for the Khoo clan to thrive since the number of offspring illustrates the power of the clan.

In the olden days,  family situations usually were different. Families were larger. Facing high infant mortality rates and poorer healthcare, few children were expected to be able to survive to adulthood.

Drought, famine, conflict and disease also killed off many children. Raising a large families were necessary to ensure that someone would care for them in their old age.

However, none of these reasons for having a large family are relevant today. Surviving to adulthood and reproducing occurs with greater certainty than ever, thanks to manmade technologies.

In the old days, an average of 7 to 8 children was the accepted family size. My mom grew up in an even bigger family. My mother has 11 siblings that consists of six brothers and five sisters.

Mom sisters and brothers. And that's not even all a complete sibling photo, one more sister yet to come. There are enough members to form a soccer team. Still enough room to adopt a girl to make it even 6 boys and 6 girls.

As parents, might have a moral obligation to provide children with good education, good nutrition, stability and love.

Remember, parenting is about quality, not necessarily quantity!

Pilgrimage Parades ─Grand Sedan Chair

As the deity’s private carrier is also called the “The sedan chair”. The grand wooden carved sedan chair is the main event of the entire parade.  Five flags representing heavenly armies are placed at the back of the sedan chair.

The urn is where the spirits of the gods are carried and  put on one of the sedan chairs. As soon as the chairs leave the temple, they begin violently swaying from side to side. Nothing else could explain why but the manifestations of the powers of these deities who, through their extraordinary capabilities, had possessed the sedan chairs and their carriers as a sign the divine presence.

The parade consists of lion and dragon dance troupes and devotees following behind sedan chairs carrying statues of escorting gods and the sacred urn.

Believers of all ages bend down on their knees in rows, preparing for crawling under the sedan chair to pray for peace and evict demons from people.

The grand sedan chair we see most commonly is like a mini temple. It is carried by four or more people - depend on its size to present the dignity and solemnity of the deity.

Once the procession has arrived at the temple has arrived at the host temple, the image of deity or urn and its inherent effigy(ling) is passed into the iner altar (tan)  where it stay for the whole duration of celebration until the troupe returns it to the originating temple.

Khoo clan museum

The upstairs section is the main part of the temple and downstairs is a museum which talks about the history of the Khoo family and the temple.

Downstairs of Leong San Tong building is a mini museum or Khoo family whereby genealogical poem or chart was shared.

Khoo Family Roots

Founded by Hokkien immigrant workers who came to Penang to seek greater fortune, the clanhouse was set up promote clan solidarity and to foster Confucian core values such as filial piety and respect for the elders.

The Genealogy of the Khoo Clan. Inside, keeping track of the clan’s development as a mark of ancestors appreciation. Secondly, it focus on achievements of the clan. Finally, it serves as a database for the educational purpose of the descendants, so that they will be aware of their origin and continue to do as their ancestors did.

The pioneer of Sin Kang emigrant was Khoo Se Phai.In early 17th century, many Chinese emigrated from South China to Penang for greener pasture.

Times were hard, but we kept struggling by. 

In the 17th and 18th centuries, many clansmen migrated to Taiwan, Dutch Batavia (now Jakarta) and Malacca with the repeal of the ban on maritime trade by the Manchu government. Since the rise of British power in the Far East, Siam, Burma (Myanmar), Singapore, Malacca, Kedah and Penang had been their  preferred destinations. Among these places, Penang attract the most Khoo immigrants in the 19th century.

The genealogical poem or chart, which was passed down serves as a naming guide to the clansmen. It consists of characters representing the middle name of each generation, from which the generation hierarchy can be identified. 

Some scenes from the movie Anna and The King were shot here.

Banned from production in Thailand, the Oscar-winning historical film was mostly filmed in Malaysia, particularly in Penang, Ipoh and Langkawi.Several scenes were also filmed in various locations in Penang, such as the Armenian Street, Penang Town Hall's Grand Ballroom, Khoo Kongsi, and Swettenham Pier.

The level of detail on the building is amazing. One could spend hours studying all the decorations. We really enjoyed the museum with the history of the building in the basement.

Looking Back In Time. 

What was life like before electricity, indoor plumbing and natural gas? Khoo Kongsi has turned back the clock to put together a replica exhibit displaying common household items used before modern conveniences drastically changed life as we know it.

The kitchen is only a mock-up one, but it does re-create the scene closely.

The good old days. Do you see anything

My mother is an amazing cook, and so I always loved to eat. As sure as night follows day, old age will catch up with everyone. Nowadays its always eating out or take away. No longer prepared elaborate home-cooked meals.

This old kitchen is no stranger to Mom. Aiya, the not so good old takes a lot of time in food preparation. Without the advances in technology that help us store, preserve, and prepare food, men and women would spend much of their time getting meals ready to eat.

 How might your family cook without electricity or gas? See what some kitchens of people from long ago looked like.
Regular housework and food preparation required much more manual labor than it does today and is reflected in the tools used to achieve these tasks. Even preparing for a simple meal was a time and energy consuming chore.

Mom had to know how to prepare unprocessed foods for consumption, as there were not many factory-prepared foods. She raise her own backyard chickens. While it was still alive and then had to kill and pluck the birds and cook. Homemaker need to complete disregard for their actions: no remorse, no capacity for shame, and no guilt.  I myself just don't have the courage to kill a chicken.

It takes someone really brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone more than herself.

Before the indoor plumbing became common, chores that involved the use of water were particularly  burdensome. The majority of families got their water from a hydrant, pump, well or stream located some distance from their house.
The mere job of bringing water into the house could be extremely exhausting.

Back in the old days. ... Life is hard. For instance, we take our water for granted.

As a kid, mom had to carry in two buckets of water attached to a long pole held across her shoulder.

Homes without running water also lacked the convenient way to dispose of garbage: sinks with drains. This meant that homemakers had to carry stained dishwater, kitchen slop and, worst of all, the contents of chamberpots from their house manually.

 A common old kitchen utensils of the old days.Notably here is the Asian Granite Stone mill grinder.

In the past, people used milling machines stone grinders or pestle and mortar to finely process flour. These days, shops use grinders and mills that use grinding surfaces made of metal. Old-fashioned grinders make a contrast. When you make any kind of bread, it will taste better.

Hokkien wide range of pastries and "sweets" as well as "desserts" are known in Hokkien as in Malay as kuih, especially those Nyonya kuih made of rice or glutinous rice. Most homemakers have granite milstone grinder turn glutinous rice into batter. Family members took turns grinding the pre-soaked glutinous rice. One person turned the grindstone with a T-shaped wooden handle bar in a clock-wise motion, and another person fed soaked, glutinous rice into a hole in it with a ladle.

A replica of an old red bricks Chinese kitchen with open wood stoves. With modern stoves, there's not often a reason that you have to cook over a wood fire.

Prior to the twentieth century, cooking was accomplish on a coal or wood burning stove. Unlike an electric induction cooker or a gas cooker, which can be turned on with the flick of a single switch, wood burning  stove were exceptionally difficult to use. Ashes from an old fireplace had to be removed. Then, paper and kindling had to be set inside the stove, dampers and flues had to be carefully alter, and a fire lit.

Since there were no thermostats to regulate the stove's temperature, a woman/man had to keep an eye on the apparatus nearly all the time. Any time the fire less intense, she had to adjust a flue or add more energy.

Wood-fired food tastes better than food cooked with other sources. Wood fuel is part of what makes food from a wood-burning uniquely delicious. I can vouch for that. Next time try to look char koay teow hawkers still using charcoal to fire up the wok for a better intensity of heat/ wok hei in Cantonese to give the best flavour.

Well I do try to search for the Siam Road Char Koay Teow” was recently ranked 14th in the top 50 list at the World Street Food Congress 2017 in Manila. Well I was disappointed.... no not because of the taste but for his "dissapearance".

My niece went to one of those folks there and was informed that the line for the Char Koay Teow would get extremely long especially on weekends and public holidays. The queue would stretch 20m from the stall into the adjacent Anson Road.

 Please stop photograph and write about me, he pleaded the customers. Another celebrity who just can't handle fame. With all the great publicity he's getting, business is booming. Apparently can't cope with demand.

In hokkien, ciak pui. Eat rice, common courtesy saying before eating. My grandma like sitting on a chair with one leg up.  

When eating a meal in China, people are expected to behave in a civilized manner (according to Chinese customs) , pay attention to table manners and practice good dining habits.

Let older people eat first, or if you hear an elder say "let's eat", you can start to eat. You should not steal a march on the elders.

 Life was better in the past because now we have technology that makes everything more complicated between people and the world. Nobody knows how to communicate in this world anymore because everyone is too busy on their phones. ... And that's include me.

Preserve the whole old-time charm of the Khoo Kongsi

The local have kept alive their dialects, religions celebration, culture and festivals which makes Penang an extensive heritage enclave. A perfect blend of East and West, embracing modern life whilst still retaining its traditions and old world charm.

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi is one of the must visit attraction in Penang. Trust Me.

Don't forget your roots my friend yeah
Don't forget your family yeah
Don't forget your roots my friend
The ones who gave you
The ones who brought you here.

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18 Cannon Square, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604-261 4609         Fax: +604-262 2591
E-mail :

Opening Hours
Daily, including Sundays and Public Holidays: 9 am to 5 pm.

Entry fees

Adults: RM 10/pax
Children (under 12yrs old): RM 1/pax
Children (under 5yrs old): FREE
* Prices include GST.