SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT PENANG BON ODORI 2018
21 JULY 2018
YB Yeoh Soon Hin
EXCO for Tourism Development and Heritage, Culture and Arts / Committee Chairman,
Mr. Shinichiro KanoyaConsul
General of Japan
YB Phee Boon Poh
EXCO for Welfare, Caring Society and Environment
YB Soon Lip Chee
EXCO for Youth and Sports
YB Mustafa Kamal bin Ahmad
State Assemblyman for Telok Ayer Tawar
YB H'ng Mooi Lye
State Assemblyman for Jawi
YB Daniel Gooi Zi Sen
State Assemblyman for Pengkalan Kota
YB Ong Ah Teong
State Assemblyman for Batu Lanchang
YB Joseph Ng Soon Siang
State Assemblyman for Air Itam
YB Tuan Zolkifly bin Md Lazim
State Assemblyman for Telok Bahang,
Ms. Zhang Li
The Honorable Acting Consul General Of China To Penang
Bapak Iwanshah Wibisono
Consulat Jeneral Republik Indonesia
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
Good afternoon and welcome to Penang Bon Odori Festival 2018!
I am delighted to be here tonight to celebrate Penang’s most anticipated Japanese cultural festival, Penang Bon Odori Festival 2018! We welcome you, local and visitors from overseas to come and join the most exciting festival that comes with savory Japanese and local delicacies, exotic performances, exciting games, and more.
Penang is proud to collaborate with the Consulate-General of Japan every year to organize the Penang Bon Odori Festival which indirectly educates Penangites and tourists alike on Japanese culture and traditions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bon Odori is a traditional and merry Japanese festival that is celebrated with dance and lively drums performance to welcome the homecoming of ancestral spirits. This festival is a Japanese observance that honours the spirit of ancestors, who return once a year to visit their families. The carnival-like atmosphere at Esplanade is made ever merrier with stalls selling a variety of local and Japanese food, firework displays, Japanese souvenirs, lively performances and games.
I was informed that this year, we have a total of 65 stalls. On top of that, we also have special performances imported from Japan. Amongst them are Japan’s top stand up comedian- Mr Zenjiro, DDM Company Dance Group from Handa City and Minami Cheerleading Club from Osaka. I would like to personally welcome all of them to Penang.
George Town’s rich living heritage, culture and history was recognized when it was inscribed the UNESCO World Heritage Site on 7th July, 2008. This recognition has since created awareness at all levels.
Today, the state is proud to receive more tourists than ever from both local and abroad. The preservation or conservation of a living heritage is the responsibility of the current generation to ensure the next generation is able to enjoy the uniqueness of many cultural events and living heritage in Penang.
The Penang State Government also understands the importance of developing relationships and building a bridge of understanding between nations in this era of globalization.
Till today there are many Japanese who are working and living in Penang. Penang is also quite famous amongst Japanese tourist as a top destination. Japanese visitors lands the Top 10 foreign tourist arrivals to Penang although there is no direct flights from Japan to Penang. Our friendship with Japan goes back a long way and we hope this strong relationship will continue throughout the years to come.
Again, I would like to thank everyone here today for coming and do enjoy yourself in Penang Bon Odori 2018!