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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chinese Temples in Penang

Kuan Yin Teng

0. Pleasures of Penang the central blog of our stay with the pictures of Georgetown.
1. Penang Chinese Temples and Clan Temples including the Kuan Yin Teng Goddess of Mercy Temple
2. Penang Indian Temples including the Sri Mariamman Temple
3. Penang Environs including Batu Ferrenghi, Air Itam, The reclining Buddha, Penang Hill Cableway, the Botanical Gardens and the Snake Temple.
4. Old Penang 1974

You can see and view a list of these and other Chinese temples in Penang here. There are several other reference sites linked to by the individual temple and clan temple titles.

Kuan Yin Teng

The earliest of the Chinese temples is Kong Hock Keong, better known as Kuan Yin Teng, or in English, the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy. Initially built by early immigrants to venerate Ma Chor Po, also called Matsu, the patron deity of seafarers, over time the temple became better associated with the Kuan Yin, or Goddess of Mercy. Its formal name of Kong Hock Keong came about because it is the temple built by those the Hokkien and the Cantonese dialect groups in Penang.

A tree shrine outside Kuan Yin Teng

Nin Yong Temple

Nin Yong Temple at 36 & 38 King Street, is a clan temple of the Toi San Association, a Cantonese district association of the Sing Ling dialect group from Toi San District, Guangdong Province, in southern China. It was constructed some time in the mid 19th century, and was renovated into its present form in 1912-1913. A component of the Toi San Association is the Wu Ti Meow or War Emperor's Temple, which is incorporated into Nin Yong Temple, at No 38 Lebuh King, next door to the left. The patron deity of this temple is Kwan Kong, literally Lord Kwan. His name in is Guan Yu; he is the war general usually portrayed with a red face and holding a guandao, the huge crescent blade.

Another nearby clan temple

Yap Temple

Yap or written in Chinese as 叶 is a Chinese clan name or surname. The forefathers of Yap families in Penang mostly originated from Fujian Province of Southern China . Among the most famous Yap clansman in Penang is Yeap (Yap) Chor Ee. He arrived in Penang in late 1800s and started his as a barber. Then, he ventured into trading the local products like sugar, rubber, tapioca and all kinds of farm production. Eventually, he diversified into banking and built Ban Hin Lee Empire. A man of kind heart, he had made enormous contribution in education; of one instance whereby a huge land was donated to build Wawasan Open University in Penang. Yap Kongsi or Yap Clan house stands today at the junction of Cannon Street and Armenian Street in the heart of George Town was also donated by this well-known philanthropist. It was built in 1924.

Han Jiang Teochew Temple

A Chinese temple located along Lebuh Chulia in George Town. It is the community temple of the Penang Teochew Association. The association was form in 1855 by six Teochew migrants. At first they started a lodging house for newly arrived Teochews. In 1867, they purchased the land along Chulia Street to construct the community temple. The Hanjiang Ancestral Temple was completed in 1870. At the time of completion, it was known as the Teochew Kongsi.

Cheah Si Sek Tek Tong

Being the first of great five Hokkien clan association in Penang, Cheah association was founded in 1820 by Cheah Yam. Cheah or Xie (谢) is one of the popular Chinese surname among Penangites and their history had started as early as 19th century. The Cheahs were originated from Sek Tong village of South China and hence a clan house was built and named after Cheah Si Sek Tek Tong or fondly known as Cheah Kongsi. Completed in 1873, it was established to take care of the Cheahs' welfare in Penang. Located at No 8, Armenien Street, Cheah Kongsi's entrance is less than 100 m away from Khoo Kongsi of the Armenian Street entrance.

another nearby clan temple being restored ...

Kuan Yin See

Kuan Yin See, or Temple of the Goddess of Mercy, is a Taoist temple along Jalan Burma. This is a different temple from the Kuan Yin Teng, also translated as the Goddess of Mercy Temple, of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. The Kuan Yin See was founded in 1922 by Ben Zhong, the second abbot of Kek Lok Si Temple who was also the one who built the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. At the entrance to the temple is a name plaque and on either sides are pillar couplets, with calligraphy written by Chen Baochen, an official in the former Qing imperial court.

Hainan Temple

The Hainan Temple also known as Thean Hock Keong or Temple of the Heavenly Queen is a Hainanese temple dedicated to the patron deity of seafarers, Ma Chor Po also known as Mazu, similar to Thian Hock Keng Temple in Singapore. The temple was founded in 1866. The building that we see today was completed in 1895, in the Hainanese style, ornately embellished with stone carvings executed in the Sung dynasty style. The stonework that we see today is the work of craftsmen from China who were employed to remodel the temple in 1995, in conjunction with the centenary of its completion. Arriving from the island of Hainan in southern China, the Hainanese pay homage to their patron deity Ma Chor Po with this temple. The majority of them became cooks and are famous Hainanese chicken rice. Some of the famous Chinese restaurants of the early 20th century were opened by the Hainanese, including the Loke Thye Kee and Wing Loke.

Khoo Kongsi

Khoo or written as 邱 in Mandarin is one of the prominent surname of Han Chinese family in Malaysia originated from Sin Kang clan village in Fujian, China. If you happen to reach a house of Khoo family in Penang, usually there is a plaque hung above the main entrance that reads 'Sin Kang' indicating their ancestral village. Khoo Kongsi or Khoo clan house is the finest Chinese clan association house in Penang and Malaysia. In early 17th century, many Chinese emigrated from South China to Penang for greener pasture and Khoo clan house was founded in 1851 by the their forefathers to take care of Khoo family members. Located at Cannon Square, Khoo Kongsi entails three entrances connecting to Beach Street(rear entrance), Armenian Street (side entrance) and Cannon Street (main entrance). One can easily miss the main entrance at Cannon Street as it does not look attractive at all except bearing gold wordings read 'Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi' which literally means 'Dragon Mountain Hall Khoo Clan House'.

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