08 June 2013, Saturday, George Town, Penang. There could never be more appropriate way to make a grand celebration soar to the heaven but to take it literally to the skies! The idea of having drums and kite making and kite flying in an incredibly massive open field, in front of Penang’s Town Hall and City Hall called, Esplanade or Padang Kota Lama, was too perfect to call people across the lifespan to gather and celebrate the official opening ceremony of George Town Festival 2013. After all, everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity and economic status surely enjoys kites and kite flying!
Right after spending almost half day from lunch at Queensbay Mall, my family and I trooped to Esplanade to witness the GTF 2013 official opening, aptly called, Taking Off!
The night before the event, I was invited to watch I Musici Di Roma (Blog post HERE!) and before I went to the musical concert held at Diwan Sri Penang, I saw, for the first time, the larger than life art installation called, Theatre of Ships made for Penang by Indonesian artist, Joko Avianto. I was happy to bring Tina and Gabby there the following day.
The use of bamboos, in my opinion is a genius! This tallest of the grass species is known for being resilient at any weather, it can sway even with strongest winds and typhoons; bamboos are actually that symbolic! And to create a giant masterpiece out of it made everything even better!
I also liked the idea of involving kites as I think kites are symbolic too! Kites represent flights of many things! My family and I love kites and kite flying! My son and I flew a 5-ringgit-plastic-kite that we bought from Tesco supermarket in Penang and brought and flew it in Cenang Beach, Langkawi (Blog post HERE!). We even spent a Labor Day holiday back in 2011 in Kota Bahru, Kelantan, just to witness how moon kites, or Malaysia’s Wau Bulan are intricately made (Blog post HERE!)
It goes without saying we loved how GTF2013 opening ceremony was done.
Surprisingly, we saw a kite being flown from our country, the Philippines! Despite its simplicity and lack of striking and vibrant colors, it was one of the kites that soared highest against the wind that Saturday. ASEAN nations were invited to particpate in GTF 2013 opening ceremony 🙂
Best of all, families of various races and ages came together one afternoon under the sun and blue sky! It was a sight to behold!
There were many tents around Padang Kota Lama that were put up for hawker food stalls that offer affordable local and Western food. From Penang’s famous Assam Laksa, to other noodle dishes like my favorite, Char Koay Teow and Hokien Mee and others, Indian-Malaysian sweet barquillo-like Apom Manis, to Japanese sushi, Thailand’s coconut jelly inside coconut shells and Western’s pizza and ice cream. We sampled apom manis for the very first time and liked it (not on photos). While Gabby enjoyed a small pizza we bought for him, Tina and I savored bowls of warm and satisfyingly thick and rish Shark’s Fin Soup at 3 ringgit each. Delicious!
Shark fin’s soup from a hawker stall in Padang Kota Lama during the Taking Off event for GTF2013.
We went home with smiles on our faces and happy tummies! 🙂
For schedules of events in this month-long celebration of GTF2013 : www.georgetownfestival.com
*This is NOT a sponsored or commissioned post. Special thanks to Ms. Wanida of GTF2013. Stay tuned for features about GTF2013 on this blog!
Previous GTF on this blog includes :