My group of six from Petaling Jaya recently attended the third annual Eurasian Fiesta in Penang. The event this time around was held in the spacious ballroom of the grand Moral Uplifting Society building in Macalister Street, Penang. This fiesta was held in conjunction with the annual month long George Town Festival… a not to be missed festival!
The Eurasian Fiesta kicked off with a Forum on the contributions of the Eurasians to society and the country. It was held on a Saturday evening and at the premises of a Eurasian run bistro, Nazarani in Malay Street, Penang. There were eight speakers and each was given 15 minutes to give a brief presentation on a particular topic of interest to the Eurasian community. A few of these speakers really excelled.
Among the speakers who excelled were the following: Dato Dr Anthony Sibert; Mr Eustace Nonis and Ms Michele Richards-Andrews. James Rozells and Kathy Rodrigues, the brains behind the EF, chose to speak through their music and that was simply enjoyable. Kathy reminded me of the legendary singer Connie Francis in her one of a kind voice and superb delivery. Unfortunately, my party did not stay long enough to hear all the speakers because we had another commitment that same evening.
The Eurasian Fiesta proper was held on a Sunday from 6 to 11 pm. It featured a wide and interesting variety of Eurasian talent, food and music. Some of the dishes that were on sale to the attendees included the following: chicken devil curry, semur (beef stew), salt fish pickle, pork vindaloo, roast pork rendang, sugee cake – unmistakably Eurasian, and pineapple jam tarts.
As for the music… the main attraction as far as I am concerned, there was much talent on display. Some of those who performed included the following: Tres Cambrados, Finian Lowe, Don Beins and Papia Kristang from Melaka; Brian Duorado from Ipoh; John Silva from Singapore. James and Kathy Rodrigues led the cast of performers from Penang and they included Michele Baum, The Rozells, Darin Rozells and the E’voca – Acapella.
The crowd of about 3000 plus had a most enjoyable time travelling down memory lane as they listened to the music. Joe Sidek, director of the George Town Festival remarked in his message in the souvenir magazine: We are blessed with a truly diverse community in Penang, and the tapestry of our shared culture is woven by the threads of each group’s stories.
The Eurasian Fiesta is going global next year and is also slated to be held once again in August 2015 in Penang.