Har Yang Sit Teik Tong Yeoh KongsiPosted on Oct 22 in Malaysia Exploration, Penang Islandby ShelynPrint
Visiting Penang is like treasure hunting. You will find surprises at all times and at all places. We were hunting for Khoo Kongsi and out of the blue this temple came into sight. For the sake of my blog, took the picture first, before even knowing what building it is. The gates were actually closed, I took the picture through the hole of the wall. I didn’t even know whether it was a private place, since there was a guard and a dog. A woman, who is also a Singh, passed by and asked if I want to visit the building. For the sake of my blog, I said yes without knowing what building it is.
The woman was very friendly, she said the place closed because of Deepavali. But since we were already there, she made an exception for us to visit. Apparently both of them are caretakers and also husband and wife. The man showed us around and I threw a stupid question “Actually what place it is?”.
“This is Yeoh Kongsi.”
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… what is Kongsi?”
The man looked puzzled now. “Kongsi is the place to pray the ancestors.”
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh…………….” sound so kampung.
<Source from Wikipedia>
Kongsi (Chinese: 公司; pinyin: gōngsī) or “clan halls”, are benevolent organizations of popular origin found among overseas Chinese communities for individuals with the same surname. This type of social practice arose, it is held, several centuries ago in China. The Chinese word Kongsi is used in modern Chinese to mean a commercial “company“.
The system of kongsi was utilized by Chinese throughout the diaspora to overcome economic difficulty, social ostracism, and oppression. In today’s overseas Chinese communities throughout the world, this approach has been adapted to the modern environment, including political and legal factors. The kongsi is similar to modern business partnerships, but also draws on a deeper spirit of cooperation and consideration of mutual welfare.
So it’s not just a place to pray the ancestors, it means more than that.
In a literal sense, Chien Nien means “cut and paste”. It is a craft popular with the Southern Chinese. Chien Nien involves gluing colourful porcelain shards to create decorative – often three dimensional – motifs. Interesting huh?
Close up of Chien Nien The ornamentation depicts dragons and scenes from the Chinese classic, “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms“.
On the upper floor are altar chambers for the worship of Yeoh ancestors, the patron deities, and the god of prosperity.
The ancestral hall, called the Hall of Four Knows, commemorates an illustrious Yeoh, who was promoted to be a mandarin (a Chinese Official) in the imperial court.
Beautifully crafted doors.
Remember to look up and be amazed. It’s so elaborate that I don’t know what to see and what not to see. I was dazzled by the complicated decorations of the ceiling.
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