Press Statement for George Town Heritage Celebrations 2016 (e/c)

Press Conference for George Town Heritage Celebrations 2016 16 June 2016, Level 28, Chief Minister’s Office, KOMTAR

A very good afternoon to everyone. Thank you for your presence, and welcome to the press conference for George Town Heritage Celebrations 2016.

Organised by George Town World Heritage Incorporated with the support and participation of City Council of Penang Island, Penang Global Tourism, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, George Town Festival and 20 various local communities, this annual affair in the month of July is no stranger to all of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to particularly thank the 11 existing and 9 new partners from the local communities for their commitment of time and resources in this event.

George Town is blessed with eclectic architectural marvels and vibrant multicultural communities which define the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the site. What is most significant is the living heritage and the ability of different faiths and cultures to live in harmony and mutual respect. In other words the celebration of diversity. This unique Outstanding Universal Values of George Town World Heritage Site have been duly acknowledged by UNESCO, which led to our inscription as a World Heritage Site in 2008.

The theme for this year’s George Town Heritage Celebrations is “MAI MAIN”, a colloquial term used as an invitation to play a game. In the heritage context, it aims to promote the traditional sports and games of various communities both played as leisure and competition. UNESCO recognises the significance of traditional sports and games as an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its interpretation of life and the world, and that they are a priceless part of humanity’s cultural heritage. It serves as a constant reminder to us that our practices, whether modern or contemporary, remain rooted in our valuable traditions – and that is what George Town Heritage Celebrations intends to communicate to both locals and visitors.

Do more by doing less is the common theme of heritage; similarly we have more fun by playing simple games. Remember that we need to understand our past so that we can be better connected to the present so as to face the challenges of the future successfully together.

The episode this year will take place on various venues around George Town World Heritage Site from the 7th to the 9th of July. The showpiece for this year is the StreetFest on the 9th of July. As 8th of July is a replacement holiday for Heritage Day on 7th of July which also falls on the 2nd day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We have a long weekend holiday.

7th of July 2016 marks the 8th year since George Town’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let us protect, preserve and promote George Town World Heritage Site by directing our efforts to make it the best in Malaysia in accordance with the status as not just part of Penang or Malaysia but also part of all humanity.

Thank you.

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槟首席部长林冠英于2016年6月16日在光大首长办公室召开的欢庆2016年乔治市世界遗产日记者会:

2016年欢庆乔治市世界遗产日是由乔治市世界文化遗产机构主办,并由槟岛市政厅、槟城环球旅游机构、联合国教科文组织马来西亚国家委员会、乔治市节庆办公室及其他20个本地社区协办与参与这项如今大家已经不陌生的年度盛事。

我在此要感谢来自本地社区的原有11个参与伙伴及新加入的9个参与伙伴,感谢他们拨冗时间与资源参与这项盛事。

乔治市具有别具一格的建筑惊喜及活力十足,包含物质文化遗产与非物质文化遗产的多元文化社区。最重要的是当中的活古迹及不同宗教信仰与文化能够和谐尊重一起生活。换言之,欢庆乔治市世界遗产日就是欢庆我们的多姿彩。就是因为乔治市世界遗产这项富有杰出普世价值的特点,联合国教科文组织才会在2008年将其列入世界文化遗产。

今年欢庆乔治市世界遗产日的主题是“来玩吧”(MAI MAIN)。在文化古迹的氛围内在不同社区内以休闲玩乐及竞技的方式介绍传统的运动及游戏。联合国教科文组织承认传统运动及游戏的重要性,因为传统运动及游戏是社区表达其生活及世界观的活动。它提醒我们今天我们现代的一些习俗乃根植于我们的传统价值之上,今年的欢庆乔治市世界遗产日就是要通过这些传统运动与游戏让本地社区与参访者沟通。

古迹的共识就是做的少才能做得好,尽量保留原汁原味。同样的简单的游戏,乐趣更无穷。我们记得要理解我们的过去,联系我们的现在,以便能成功的面对未来的挑战。

今年的欢庆活动将于7月7至9日分别在乔治市世界遗产城数个地点进行。压轴好戏将是7月9日的街头欢庆。在此需注意的是今年7月8日将会是7月7日世界遗产日的补假,因为7月7日刚好是开斋节的第二天也属于公假。因此,这会是一个漫长的周末假期。

2016年7月7日将是乔治市列为世界遗产8周年,让我们一起保护、维护及推广我们的乔治市世界遗产城,不只要让他成为大马或槟城最杰出的古迹,也是作为人类其中一个珍贵的遗产。

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