The Penang Indian Heritage Museum was opened by the Chief Minister of Penang, Tuan Lim Guan Eng, on 1 May, 2018. This is the first museum of its kind in Malaysia. The articles on display range from household items and kitchen utensils to furniture, interior deco, children's games, office equipment and even tickets for buses and ocean liners. Collectively they offer a glimpse into what would constitute the characteristics of the Indian community.
I arranged for a private tour of the Penang Indian Heritage Museum ahead of its official opening, in order to prepare the information for dissemination when it opens. As a result of my visit, Mr Jakathesan had to rush in getting the items in place. It was a most impressive collection, though still without any interpretive boards and labels - these, I was assured, would come later.
I requested that the museum assemble the exhibits in a way that provides a coherent interpretation of the history of the Indian community in Malaysia, so that visitors would come away better informed. I was pleased to learn that plans were already afoot to expand the museum, so that other items such as Mr Jakathesan's collection of tiffin carriers and Indian musical instruments could also find a place.
The Hindu Endowments Board has graciously decided to offer free admission to the Penang Indian Heritage Museum, in order that all Malaysians may better under and appreciate the community, and that members of the community may also be proud to enjoy a showcase of their heritage.
Penang Indian Heritage Museum
225 & 221, Jalan Macalister,
10450 George Town, Penang.
The Penang Indian Heritage Museum is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (10:00am - 4:00pm)
Come on in - Mr Prakash Jakathesan and I bid you to visit the Penang Indian Heritage Museum. (25 April, 2018)
A Passage to India: ship ticket on board the M.V. Chidambaram from Penang to Nagapattinam. (25 April, 2018)
A collection of brass and enamelware, as used by the Indian community, from Mr Prakash Jakathesan's collection. (25 April, 2018)
Public announcement for the local community to pay their last respects over the passing of Indian statesman Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. (25 April, 2018)
Indian beadwork, often homemade and given away to special friends. (25 April, 2018)
Brass water vessel used by the Indian community. (25 April, 2018)
Boilers. (25 April, 2018)
Furniture commonly used by Chettiar money lenders. (25 April, 2018)
Metal cashbox used by the Chettiar money lenders. (25 April, 2018)
A toddler's walker, pieced together without nails. (25 April, 2018)
Brass steamers for making idili. (25 April, 2018)
To prevent theft or ownership challenge, most Indians inscribe their names to their possessions. (25 April, 2018)
Penang Indian Heritage Museum signage. (25 April, 2018)
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