Sunday, November 7, 2010

Penang Cultural and Heritage One Day Tour for the Visually Impaired (Part 2)

After the Hainanese Temple tour, we walked down the lane to two rows of pre-war shop houses near the temple. You might wonder, what on earth were we doing at the shop houses, going to any fancy cafe perhaps?

Answer is of cause not. There are not even one cafe around that area only an old Chinese style coffee shop far down the other side of the shop houses. Actually Mr Paul bought us there to show us the uniqueness of the architecture of old Chinese shop houses.

How is he going to explain or describe the uniqueness of old Chinese architecture to a bunch of visually impaired that comes from different parts of the world? Just imagine, how do you explain this...

to a visually impaired person plus not to bore them or make them feel out of place? Well Mr. Paul sure got his own creative idea and I really appreciate his effort in doing that.

Well he actually cut out the shape of the shop houses (2 dimension) from a cardboard and let each of the 'tourists' feel the replica while he explains it to them. I can tell you he is really knowledgeable like he has been living here in Penang for all his life and I was again feel like disappearing under the floor of the shop houses while listening to his brief but very informative explanations. He is sure a very knowledgeable person. ( That shows that westerners do lots of reading compare to us the Asians)

Mr Paul was showing and explaining to the participants how the houses look like. He explains to them about the windows, the doors, to the roof and so on.

Mr. Paul is explaining to Sisi about the house.

Delgerbayar is feeling the tiles of one of the old shop houses. Beside him Mr. Wong is feeling the carvings of the wooden door.

After making their hands dirty by touching the dust from the windows grill, wooden door and tiles of old pre war shop houses, we proceeded to our next destination, Little India.

Well, what is so interesting about Little India? For the sighted, Little India is a place which is full of many interesting fancy and colourful shops selling many things, from beautiful sarees and Punjabi suits, cosmetics, jeweleries, mystifying drawings and carvings to irresistible Indian delicacies. So what can a visually impaired possibly enjoy there since they cannot see the things around them?
Well, to a visually impaired person, Little India is a place full of wonderful sounds of traditional drums and musical instruments, the harmony sounds of Hindu chanting followed by the ringing of bells, the loud but energetic Tamil and Hindi songs, fragrance of fresh flowers and incense and the mouth watering aroma of various types Indian curries and briyani rice.

We marched down the Little India arm in arm with many curious eyes observing us and wondering what planet did we come from.

Stalls selling many types of Indian food along the street.

A stall selling lots of Indian sweets, candies and cakes.

The famous Hindu Temple

After the tiring marching under the hot sun around Little India, we proceed to another Heritage site, The Kapitan Kling Mosque. The oldest Indian Mosque in Penang.

The side part of the majestic mosque

Listening to the flowing water in the well where the Muslims wash their hands and feet before going into the mosque for prayers.

beautiful and clean compound of the mosque

Mr. Amir is explaining to the participants about how the Muslims pray in the mosque

To be continue in part 3....

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