Friday, January 30, 2009

Road to Dawn!!!


Road to Dawn, a remarkable film on the late Dr. Sun Yat Sen!

The movie was filmed in Penang
An insight into the lifestyle of Penangnites during the 1900 to 1912 period
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I am ashamed to admit that despite being born in Penang, and having stayed for 23 years on the lovely island, I have yet to visit the historical places like Little India, etc.

Hence, it was a blessing in disguise that I brought my tenant, Jasmin to visit Penang during the Chinese New Year break. It was because of wanting to show Jasmin Little India that I ventured into this historical part of Penang for the very first time! Someone at an art gallery gave us the map featuring places of interest in the vicinity. This was how we found the House of Sun Yat Sen, the abode where Dr. Sun had meetings with rich businessmen who helped to support the Revolution to overthrow the Qing Dynasty.

We were fascinated with the antique stove that was displayed in the kitchen and the whole paraphernalia of cooking pots and utensils. Gosh! The antique iron was so heavy. I made me think of my neighbour, who washed and ironed clothes for a living. We were shown a brief video of the movie, Road to Dawn, and one of the three directors, a talented lady by the name of Goh Mai Loon was at the museum to personally show us around! Ms. Goh is also the one who authored the script. Jasmin bought a video and book on Road to Dawn at MR40. If anyone is interested to purchase, you can write to Areca BOOKS, 120 Armenian Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia or log in or email to Ms. Goh at You will enjoy the movie and the book as much as we did. Ms. Goh also autographed the book in both Chinese and English and even drew a lovely picture of a lady holding a book with the words, "I love Penang". What a versatile lady!

Interestingly we learnt from Ms. Goh that the Nonya outfits in Penang differ from the ones in Malacaa to some extent. Most prominent is the hairstyle. Penang Nonyas prefer to put the bun on top of the head, adorned with flowers or crowns with either semi-precious or real diamonds, rubies, sapphire and jade. The Nonyas in Malacca prefer to have their buns at the back of the head.

I am so thrilled to visit Armenian Street. It is a place that tourists must visit because of many historical buildings around. It was also overwhelming to learn that the late Dr. Sun Yat Sen had sought refuge in Penang during his darkest years between 1905 to 1910. Yet he persevered for five years and saw victory on 10th October 1911 when the Republic of China was created after the successful overthrow of the Qing Dynasty! I learn I must always be resilient in the face of troubles and problems like the late Dr. Sun Yat Sen.

Gan Chau

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