Friday, July 15, 2016

Vanishing Trades in Penang 槟城消失中的行业


As we walked around Georgetown, we were delighted to see several traditional craftsmen at work. Most of them are elderly men, their shops are old and messy.

We were walking back to our guesthouse when I noticed some bullock cart wheels at the entrance of a blacksmith shop. I took a peep inside the shop and an elderly man beckoned me to enter.


He was hitting a red hot rod with a worker assisting him. Mr Ku (in his 70s) has been a blacksmith for almost 60 years. He still uses charcoal to fuel his furnace. He has 3 children but they do not want to take over his business. There are only 3 blacksmiths left in Penang.

孤老先生(70多岁)是槟城最老的打铁匠, 现在槟城只剩下3家打铁店。


After leaving Mr Ku's shop, we saw this beautiful heritage house which is in the process of renovation. Was shocked to see a man tiling the roof without a safety harness. What a risk he is taking!


Over the next 2 days, we met a rattan furniture maker who was weaving a chair seat. I quietly watched by the side as he worked, not once did he lift his head to look at me. I didn't want to interrupt him so I left quietly.



This sewing machine repair man was also absorbed in his work. I noted the different types of sewing machine in his shop. It seems that there are still many people using sewing machines in Penang.


I see these traditional craftsmen working hard whenever I passed by their shop on the way to my guesthouse.

They are making paper effigies for the dead. The Chinese believe that the dead should be provided for in the afterlife, paper effigies imitating the appearance of objects used by the living are burnt as offerings to their ancestors.



Although I was given permission to take photos of the paper effigies, I dare not venture further as the paper servants look eerie in the cool, dark room. hehe...

发现槟城还有一些即将消失的行业如 : 打铁匠、修理缝纫机匠、制作传统纸扎祭品师傅、手工编织藤家具师傅等等。老师傅们最大的遗憾,也许就是没能让他们的手艺传承下去。。。。


  1. is a vanishing trade. now notmany know how to fix those chairs anymore.

    as for the effigies....not many wanna do as not auspicious.