Penang Gerakan launches campaign to highlight traditional kopitiams

Penang Gerakan launches a campaign to encourage people to appreciate the traditional kopitiams in the heritage zone, December 9, 2016. — Pix by KE Ooi
Penang Gerakan launches a campaign to encourage people to appreciate the traditional kopitiams in the heritage zone, December 9, 2016. — Pix by KE Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, Dec 8 — Penang Gerakan launched today a campaign focused on traditional coffee shops in the inner city in a move it believes will highlight and preserve the traditional trades of George Town.

Penang Gerakan acting Youth Chief Loo Jieh Sheng said they started the campaign, titled “Hop Hop Kopitiam”, under their “Young Master Movement”.

“It is our effort to promote George Town as a city with real lives and stories and to encourage everyone to cherish, preserve and appreciate the tangible and intangible heritage here,” he said in a press conference at a coffee shop in Chulia Street this morning.

Penang Gerakan has launched the ‘Hop Hop Kopitiam’ campaign to encourage people, especially the younger generation, to rediscover old coffee shops.
Penang Gerakan has launched the ‘Hop Hop Kopitiam’ campaign to encourage people, especially the younger generation, to rediscover old coffee shops.

Loo said in the past month, they had visited 20 traditional and old coffee shops within the George Town area.

“Out of the 20, two have already disappeared where the Kong Thai Lai Coffee Shop at Hutton Lane had moved out and the Tong Kong coffee shop at Lorong Chulia has been modernised and turned into a cafe,” he said.

He said they decided to launch the “Hop Hop Kopitiam” campaign to encourage people, especially the younger generation, to rediscover these old coffee shops.

“This is so that they will start kopitiam hopping instead of cafe hopping,” he said.

In the campaign, Loo said they will be posting photos and stories of traditional coffee shops on their Young Master Movement Facebook page twice a week.

After the kopitiams, Loo said they will also promote other traditional trades in George Town using the same method.

“There are a lot of unknown living heritage and cultural history within the heritage site that should be highlighted,” he said.

He invited the public to also share their stories of traditional coffee shops within and outside the heritage zone.

Loo also demanded to know what the heritage zone manager, George Town World Inc (GTWHI), is doing to protect and preserve the living heritage of George Town.

“They come out with a Directory of Traditional Trades and Occupations in George Town World Heritage site in 2012 but they do not actually educate the public on the preservation of these trades,”

“So, are they going to only do all these simple history write up and keep it in the library when the living heritage are disappearing?” he asked.

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