GEORGE TOWN, Dec 19 — Penang is famed for its assam laksa so it will be the perfect platform to showcase over 20 different types of laksa from the region in a Laksa of the Region (LOTR) event in the 2017 George Town Festival (GTF).
Festival director Joe Sidek, who announced this, said Malaysia has eight to nine different types of laksa and there are probably more than 20 different types of laksa in the Asean region.
“Food is the one thing to bring the whole region together and we decided to bring different types of laksa from all over the region in the showcase,” he said during a press conference with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to announce the programmes for GTF 2017.
The LOTR showcase will see laksa from all over the region available at one location, possibly at the Penang State Museum premises along Macalister Road, for the public to taste and try.
“The public can vote for the best laksa after testing the different laksa available,” Joe said.
Joe said Asean celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017 so GTF is working with both the Asean secretariat and Asean Foundation to organise Asean programmes during GTF.
The LOTR is one of the programmes that could showcase all of the Asean countries through food.
Next year, GTF 2017 will celebrate its eighth year and this time, it will span six weekends that will start on July 28 and ends on September 3.
Joe said they will also specifically focus on more Malay programmes and children's programmes for GTF 2017.
“To present a strong Malay programming next year, we will have a showcase of tradition and some near-vanishing Malay music from all over Malaysia over five weekends,” he said.
He also appealed to local artists and organisers to come forward and share their ideas for talks, performances and other events to be held under the showcase of Malay programmes.
“Next year will also be the year we feature strong children's programmes and youth involvement,” he said.
GTF will be launching its Youth Ambassadors campaign to select 12 youth ambassadors between 13 and 25 years old from schools in Penang.
“We hope to help further nurture their interests in arts and culture,” he said.
Find out more about GTF here.