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Malaysia as Portrayed by Mural Art’s Lane Ipoh
November 22, 2017 Perak

Mural Art’s Lane Ipoh is one of the most artsy areas in the quaint town of Ipoh. We chanced upon the street on the way back to the city centre from breakfast at New Hollywood Cafe. The culture of mural art began when Ernest Zacharevic painted major cities in Malaysia with his art. Some of the murals are related to the locals but the others are abstract beyond logic. As everything on the wall can be re-painted over and over again, I wish to blog about Mural Art’s Lane as seen on 16th September 2017, the Malaysia Day. I will only share those that represent Malaysia. 

Zero Point

Zero Point is a traditional game where one has to cross over the interconnected rubber bands without any part of their body touching the rope except for the foot. Once succeed in the cross jump, the rubber ropes will be raised to a higher level from the ankles, knees, waist, shoulder, ears and over the head. 

Wayang Kulit @ Shadow Play

The mural brings us to the backstage of Wayang Kulit performance. It is a traditional form of storytelling or open-air theatre famous in the East Coast of Malaysia. The master puppeteer is known as Tok Dalang, who is responsible to tell the story by changing his voice and controlling the puppet movement to suit every character. The gamelan music accompanies the show. The stories of the wayang kulit are normally based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabhrata.

Chinese Dance

For the life of me, I could not recognize the type of this Chinese dance. It could be the opera show or the lotus dance. Help me out if you know what it is.

Thaipusam

The Tamil festivity celebrated during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). During the festivity, ceremonial sacrifice and offering performed by the devotees can be seen. The most iconic one is the carrying of kavadi, which is the burden through which the devotees implore for the help from God Muruga.

Check out my Thaipusam post: Thaipusam Celebration

Mother’s Day Celebration

I love how the frame captures the love of mothers from major race ethnics in Malaysia – the Malay, Chinese and Indian.

Lotus Dance – Dancing in the Moonlight

Inspired by a wall painting in the Don Huang Province in China, the dance depicts the graceful beauty of the lotus flower.

Joget

Joget is a popular traditional Malay dance with an upbeat tempo. It is performed at cultural festivals, wedding celebrations and other social functions. The origin of Joget can be traced back to Portuguese folk dance known as Branjo and Farapiera. The Portuguese introduced the dance to the Malays in Melaka during the early 16th century. The dance is known as Chakunchak in Melaka due to 1-2 rhythms of the feet movements. 

Chinese Lion Dance

Chinese Lion Dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year festival. It is energetic and entertaining. It requires perfect co-ordination to move body parts of the lion during the dance. The dance is always performed to the beat of drum, gong and the clashing of cymbals. Normally, there would be an angpow placed high enough for the lion to jump and earn. The Chinese believes that the performance of the lion dance is essential to keep the negative spirits at bay. 

Eid Mubarak

The Eid Mubarak is fondly known to the locals as Hari Raya Puasa. It is celebrated after fasting for a month in the Islamic month of Ramadan. At the eve of the festivity, family members will gather to prepare the traditional cuisines. The long green thingy over the fire place is lemang, a traditional food made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick wrapped with banana leaves. Believe me the preparation took the whole day. It requires certain skill only the elderly knows how.

Childhood Games @ Mural Art’s Lane Ipoh

What is childhood if you don’t play hide and seek and pukul berapa datuk harimau. That is not ‘galah panjang’, right?

Rest in Peace MH17

Like it or not, MH17, the flight that was shot down on 17th July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine would always be remembered by all Malaysians. We also remember the still missing MH370. They are our dark past.

I really enjoyed walking down the Mural Art’s Lane for it reminds me what it feels to be a Malaysian. A melting pot culture who share common love for the country that we call home. If you wish to avoid the Penang crowd, please consider the laid back Ipoh. My friends and I were the only persons there on 16th September 2017. To me, they are just as good as the Penang ones. I hope the Ipoh City Council will do their best to preserve the mural art.

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