What do we know about Penang?
Penang was formerly under Kedah territory before becoming a British-ruled state, and it has been separate ever since. It was developed as a trading port and became especially diverse. It was for a time the only Malaysian state with a Chinese majority population.
Aside from the three major ethnic groups of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, it also brought in migrants from other Southeast Asian countries like Siam and Burma. Some families and communities have maintained their traditional trades and crafts to the present day in Georgetown, like the Indian-Muslim songkok makers and the Chinese puppeteers.
The Eurasian community are the descendants of locals who married European colonists. They had their own village of Kampung Serani. The word Serani is from the Arabic Nasrani, originally meaning Nazarene. In Malay it was used for Christians, and Eurasians in particular
My favourite 3 delicacies in Bukit Mertajam are Curry Mee, BM Yam Rice, and Beef Noodles from Sentosa.
The curry noodles are slightly spicy, genuine Chinese-style curry with pork blood and cockle.
BM Yam Rice is a mixed pig organ soup with meatballs and bits of almost every part of a pig.
Beef Noodles (specifically Koay Teow Soup)
There’s an ongoing argument saying that Mainland Penang isn’t really Penang.
It’s a joke! Without the mainland, the island wouldn’t have enough water (from Sg. Muda and Mengkuang Dams)
Penang retains a lot of the colonial-era British architecture, especially in the Georgetown area, to the point where it’s taken for granted by residents. Many of the old buildings have been repurposed, sometimes losing their character in the process. More local architecture is mostly visible in the places of worship, and the Chinese clanhouses. Penang has an abundance of mosques, churches, temples, and shrines, sometimes within walking distance of each other.
Cross-cultural influence is apparent in the Chinese reverence for the datuk keramat, originally a Malay animist practice. The older mosques in Penang are mostly built in the Indian-Muslim style, which blends Persianate and Central Asian mosque architecture.
Portion of article including the background of Penang provided by @uglyluhan (X)