THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF PENANG BON ODORI FESTIVAL
SPEECH BY THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG TUAN CHOW KON YEOW FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF PENANG BON ODORI FESTIVAL
30 July 2022
Padang Kota Lama
Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Dato' Seri Utama Ahmad Fuzi bin Haji Abdul Razak
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang
Yang Berhormat Tuan Yeoh Soon Hin
EXCO Pelancongan dan Ekonomi Kreatif
His Excellency Mr. TAKAHADHI Katsuhiko
Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia
Mr. ORIKASA HIROYUKI
Consul- General of Japan in Penang
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Dato' Seri-Dato' Seri
Yang Berhormat Ahli-Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri dan Ahli-Ahli Parlimen
Dif - dif jemputan, Rakan-rakan Media
Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan yang dihormati sekalian
Good evening and welcome to the Penang Bon Odori Festival 2022! It definitely feels surreal to share this evening of merriment and celebration in the presence of so many beloved visitors and friends. It has been two long years since we last had this annual commemoration due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, the Penang State Government is proud and happy to mark another year of fruitful collaboration with the Consulate-General of Japan, in which our mutual concerted efforts have contributed to the success of today’s event. Together, we have managed to put together a medley of fun, educational and exciting activities to expose Penangites and our tourists to Japanese culture and traditions.
To all friends who are here this evening,
Bon Odori is a traditional Japanese festival that is celebrated with dance and lively drums performance to welcome the homecoming of ancestral spirits.
This widely commemorated and most anticipated Japanese cultural festival is held annually here at the Esplanade with a variety of local and Japanese food, fireworks display, Japanese souvenirs, lively performances and games. More importantly, it is also an opportunity for visitors and locals alike to catch a glimpse into the way of life of our Japanese friends.
Looking beyond the festivity, the Bon Odori Festival is a testament of the long-standing friendship shared between Penang and Japan. It is an occasion worthy of celebration as we foster a deeper and stronger relationship with our Japanese counterpart, building more bridges for mutual understanding in this era of globalization.
As the state government continues to pursue our Penang2030 Vision in making Penang “A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation”, we must also appreciate the diversity and peaceful co-existence that is unique to the state of Penang.
It is our shared responsibility to preserve and conserve this priceless living heritage, such as the Bon Odori Festival, to ensure that our future generation can enjoy the uniqueness of many cultural events and the joy of multiculturalism and peaceful co-existence here in Penang.
Ladies & gentlemen,
Penang is indeed lucky to be a haven for the international community and as a result, we have lively programmes throughout the year organised by the close-knit expatriate residents who introduced their cultural celebrations to the locals.
And they are all an asset to our tourism industry and cultural development here. All of these give us the impetus to LovePenang even more. We are blessed to live and work in a state with so much potential and to LovePenang is for us to return her shine despite the past two years of Covid-19 hardship.
Together with our friends from the expatriate community, we can all LovePenang and we start today with our Japanese friends’ Bon Odori Festival!
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for coming and may all of you open your hearts and minds to soak in all the excitement lined-up in the array of programmes for this evening’s Penang Bon Odori 2022!