After spending my time in the mainland, I went to Penang Island. In the morning we went to the Jelutong Morning market. This is a typical morning market where there are stalls selling food, like vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and everyday essentials. There are also shops selling all sorts of goods and coffee shops selling breakfast as well. Penang is well known for its hawker food. Anywhere that you go , you will come across many hawkers. These are independently run businesses. Usually a pop and mom sort of set up.
Since it was still the Chinese New Year period, the market was full of new year’s things like fruits for the new year and for the Hokkien Chinese new year which falls on Sunday. This day is the day offerings are made to the Heavenly God. This God is the supreme god of all the gods ( which I think are deities. See, this is complicated). So in the morning we left for the market very early. I can confidently say that this is a typical market in Penang or anywhere else in Malaysia, except that some markets might have a different goods due to the different consumer tastes and demand. Further, the 3 different races influence the type of goods sold in the market.
Here are some of the foods you can find in any market in Penang.
Pineapples, or ‘Ong Lai’ in the Hokkien dialect means Prosperity comes my way. So it is very auspicious to offer this as a prayer item. People also put the pineapples on the altar after their prayers. So the pineapples that you see above is specially for offerings.
The papers are offerings of gold to the gods and deities . These are pre-folded. When I was young I remember we had to fold a lot of these. Sometimes, if there was a festival, we took a few days to do it at our free time.
16th May 2017 – Correction
My Apologies, the above is called Ban Chien Koay, not Ham Chim Peng, with is another type of snack. Thanks to my sister who pointed it out.
After all the food, we managed to squeeze in a trip to SGM, Soka Gakkai Malaysia Penang Cultural centre.
In the evening, we went to Sungai Pinang Food Paradise which is a hawker centre where one can get all sorts of food. Chinese food, Malay food, Indian food, Japanese, Korean, Philippines, Taiwanese, etc, etc.
Well, if you are in Penang, don’ forget to try them out. If you are a Penangite living overseas, just drool.. or cook your own. Alternatively, fly home.
I will share with you more food from Penang. Until the next post….,
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