PHA recognised for community work

THE Penang Hindu Association (PHA) has bagged the ‘Hindu Cultural and Heritage’ award for its pioneering mission and vision of creating awareness and bringing communities together.


The title earned is part of the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI)’s annual Heritage Recognition and Award for 2022.


GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee praised the association for their dedicated service and commitment all these years, describing the award as a fitting acknowledgement of PHA’s community initiatives.


Two cowmen getting the healthy looking bulls ready during the Ponggal celebration.


“It is worth noting that all these years, the association has shown nothing less than an entity that is willing to go the extra mile to safeguard the cultural heritage, particularly of festivals widely celebrated by the Indian community.


“While they had won the ‘Hindu Cultural and Heritage’ award, let us not forget that they also went on to receive a special mention by the jury in the category of Cultural Heritage Events and Activities,” Ang said when she presented the award to the association in a brief Ponggal celebration at the Sri Saiva Muneeswarar Alayam temple in Island Glades on Dec 16.


Island Glades local area boys, N. Sakthikumaran (left) and M. Deveraj (right) posing for a photo with the bulls.


She added that PHA has been very warm and expressive towards other races and religions by making sure the festivals or activities carried out by the Indian community are shared with all.


“That is why they are very special to us at GTWHI, and will continue to be so as their act of humility and desire to get everyone to participate wins at the end of the day.


“The Ponggal festival is an act of showing our gratitude to nature, but I am here today to also show gratitude to the many wonderful people,” she added.


Syerleena (in turquoise and blue) was seen feeding the bull during the Ponggal celebration.


She was also particularly moved after seeing the participation of many young people during the ceremony, who are the likely future bearers of the state’s various cultural heritage titles.


“I am happy to see a lot of young people here today. It is important for them to understand that we can carry this with them, so that our identity will continue,” Ang added during her speech.


The association received a plaque, a certificate and a canvas photo, among others.


Many women seen in colourful sarees’ doing the ‘Kummi’ dance surrounding the Ponggal pot.


Meanwhile, the association president, P. Murugiah, thanked all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have tremendously played their roles in the association gaining the recognition.


“This award is for all the hard work by the members and NGOs alike, as well as a special mention for the state government for showing great support in all the activities we have carried out all these years,” he said during his speech.


Temple devotees, from young to adults, were seen arranging the flowers here.


Also present during the celebration was Seri Delima assemblyman Syerleena Abdul Rashid.


The GTWHI Heritage Recognition and Award is an initiative launched by GTWHI to mark the GTWHI’s anniversary celebrations and the 12th anniversary of George Town as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2020.


Story by Kevin Vimal

Courtesy by Kevin Vimal and The Star