The Penang Hokkien Rhymes and Songs on this page are some of the most popular for the Penang Hokkien-speaking people. I will be adding to this page from time to time. View also the companion page of Penang Hokkien Nursery Rhymes in video format.
Between 1860 and the Second World War, the Chinese people of Penang experienced a period of unprecedented prosperity. Although there has been a small minority of affluent people before then, the British trading port of George Town was very much struggling to survive. Experiments by Captain Francis Light on various commodity crops only yielded limited commercial success.
It was only in the second half of the 19th century that the British settlement of Penang experience true prosperity, fueled largely by the discovery of rich tin deposits in the Larut Valley. This coincided with the soaring demand for tin to feed the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, while on the other side of the world, political turmoil such as the Taiping Rebellion in China caused much hardship that resulted in an influx of penniless coolies that provided cheap labour.
In a span of one generation, the early Chinese community of Penang began to taste unprecedented wealth. The availability of disposable income and recreational time enabled a flourishing of local culture. It is during this period that a number of nursery rhymes and ditties were created. These rhymes have the purpose of educating, of teasing as well as of admonishing against specific evils in their society. It also reflects the often stereotype views of the local Penang Chinese community and their perception of other races in Penang.
On this page, I present the Hokkien Rhymes as they are, from the time I first learned them, without any censorship for political correctness. Rather than attempting to explain any racial bias that may exist in these rhymes, we should simply take them at face value, as an important part of the intangible heritage of the Penang Chinese community.
The Penang Travel Tips website is a huge website that documents everything in Penang. On top of the hundreds of streets and tourist attractions, I also add in hundreds of shops and businesses.
If you operate a shop business in Penang, or anywhere in Malaysia or Singapore, contact me to add your business/shop into my website. It only a one-time fee, and your shop/business will be listed by location and category, helping your would-be customers find you. To find out more, CONTACT ME
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Local Guided Tours of Penang
If you are coming to Penang and need someone to show you around, I can arrange for you a licensed tour guide to take you around. Guides charge a fixed fee of RM360 for taking a small group of up to 10 people on 4-hour walking tours. Walking tours exceeding 4 hours is charged an additional RM90 per hour. Tours are tailored to guest requirement. For more details, contact tour coordinator. Other types of tours also available. For details, click here.
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What's the best way to see Penang on a budget? Take the bus! In Penang, there are at least 12 absolutely FREE bus routes which cover almost every major neighbourhood on Penang Island and Penang Mainland. All you need to do is hop aboard!
Thank you for visiting my website. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages of information. My name is Timothy Tye. I would be very pleased if you enjoy the information I have put together.
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