Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Malaysia, Penang (Clan Jetty)
The Clan Jetty of Penang is a walking distance to the Heritage Area of Georgetown. As it falls on a Sunday that day, the jetty was extremely crowded with tourists and local holiday-makers. The residents, on the other hand, could be seen making full use of this opportunity to set up stalls, mostly selling souvenirs, in front of their homes.
The Clan Jetties have been around in Penang since the late 19th century. There are presently 6 jetties in total and each belonged to a particular clan. This means that the residents living in the jetty all have the same surnames.
In the past, the clans living in the nearby jetties could be antagonistic towards one another as rivalries over work consignments often occurred.
Walking along the planks, I came across a nicely kempt 'corridor', with potted plants on the side. I was amazed at the level of cleanliness here because the water below did not look like it was clean enough for anyone to take a dip. Notice the fire extinguisher? It's really important to have this because fire is quite prone in the area.
To someone who doesn't live near the sea, this was definitely a rare sight for me. Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out of the window and watching the sunrise... pure bliss...
All the houses here are on wooden stilts. I also noticed that some houses have air-conditioners. It's really amazing how modernity and economic progress has positively affected the lives of the people here.
If you read the history of the clan jetties, these areas could be referred to as slums in the past because these are actual settlements of the poor immigrants who came to Malaya. The immigrants ended up building houses over the sea and lived in very unhealthy and dense conditions because they had no money to buy lands.
Many boats can be seen along the jetties. I guess many who live here continue to make a living as fishermen.
Look at these nets and cages! They are in various shapes and sizes, for they have different purposes. Well, that's all for now.