Malacca's 'hidden treasure'
By KELLY KOH LING MIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR LOCAL TOURISTS: Walking tour celebrates city’s cultural diversity
MALACCA: NESTLED in the heart of this historical city's Jonker Street area is Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Besi), which is a reflection of Malaysia's cultural and religious diversity.
This hidden treasure is home to some of the country's oldest places of worship for the Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus. These are the Kampung Keling Mosque, the Cheng Hoon Teng temple and the Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple. To help today's young people, aged between 18 and 28 years, get to know these hidden treasures, a tour on foot dubbed Suci-suci Melaka is being organised.
The tour covers a total of eight places of worship, beginning with the ones at Harmony Street. Suci-suci Melaka project assistant, Lew Pik Svonn, said the project aimed to provide greater insight on such places of worship and enrich the participants with more knowledge of these different religions.
"A friend once told me that you can trace the history of cultures through places of worship. "If that is true, then Malacca town was and still is one of the most culturally diverse towns in Malaysia because there are churches, mosques, as well as Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist temples, all having co-existed for the past 200 years," she said.
"As Malaysians, we are proud to live in a multicultural society but even after centuries of co-existence, we still know so little about each other."
Lew hoped the walking tour can strengthen community relationships and understanding, as well as promote respect between people of different faiths in Malaysia through the perspective of young Malaccans. The two-and-a-half hour tour of the eight places of worship covers the history, beliefs and practices associated with these places.
Designed mainly for local tourists, Lew said the free walking tour included food, community performances and photography.
"Along the way, participants can sample free local delicacies such as Nyonya kuih and community performances by the Malacca Teo Chew Association's Chinese orchestra and a youth band from the Tamil Methodist Church," he said. "There will also be an exhibition of 200 photographs showcasing life in Harmony Street, along with a T-shirt and bag-printing station and free postcards to be given out."
The organising committee, divided into 11 youth volunteer teams, spent two months conducting research with local folks on the different places of worship.
The walking tour is on this Sunday, from 8am to 2pm. It starts from Jalan Tukang Besi behind Hard Rock Cafe in Jonker Street.
For more information, visit www.rumahibadatkita.com or http://www.facebook.com/events/450741081672823/.
Volunteers who helped organise the Suci-Suci Melaka walking tour are also members of the Projek Rumah Ibadat Kita group.
- See more at: http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/malacca-s-hidden-treasure-1.249178#sthash.GItEkaWU.dpuf