Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Penang Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi


Khoo Kongsi is one of Georgetown’s most interesting attractions. Built some 650 years ago, it is part of the goh tai seh (five big clans) that formed the backbone of the Hokkien community in olden-days Penang. One of Penang’s most lavishly decorated kongsis, it is located on Jalan Acheh, off Lebuh Pitt.



A kongsi (clan house) is a building in which Chinese families of the same surname gather to worship their ancestors. Representing a family’s social and spiritual commitments between extended relations, ancestors and the outside community, the kongsi also acts as an important means of solidarity. These days the primary functions of kongsis are supportive roles: they help with the educations of members’ children, settle disputes and advance loans.

Penang Khoo History

At the height of the Khoo family’s prominence, craftsmen from China were commissioned to build this architectural masterpiece. Also known as Dragon Mountain Hall, Khoo Kongsi is an ornate structure standing on a square of granite with stone carvings that adorn the entrance hall.

Additionally, there are pavilions, murals portraying birthdays, weddings and 36 divine guardian-statues sprinkled throughout its interior. Meanwhile, massive overhead paper lamps bathe the interior in an orange glow and stunning ceramic sculptures of immortals, carp fish and dragons line the roof ridges.

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