With UNESCO World Heritage Site Inscription in 2008 and the growing awareness about cultural heritage issues, this new chapter of the Penang Story not only continues “celebrating cultural diversity” but expands to include a “re-discovery” of Penang’s place in local, regional and global history. There will be a special emphasis on Penang as a place of “conjunctures, confluences and contestations”; highlighting the cosmopolitan society that contributed to the making of Penang’s “spirit of place”; and all this by concentrating on Penang’s multi-ethnic community and their contribution to local, regional and global histories.
The Penang Story is an open platform for all those with an interest in Penang from different parts of the world to contribute towards “deepening” the story. The project’s focus is not only on events & people but also other intangible heritage involving foodways, economic activities, values and beliefs, education and all other aspects related to George Town’s ‘Outstanding Universal Values’.
The Penang Story will build a greater sense of solidarity amongst locals particularly stakeholders in George Town. It will also deepen the public’s understanding of Penang’s role as a place attractive to talent and a home where ideas germinate and return to influence world affairs. This will boost the sense of possibility so important to Penang’s civil society movement. Lastly, as in the project’s original objective, communities will become proud of their own heritage whilst having great respect for the traditions and history of other communities. Ultimately, all communities will become aware of having contributed to Penang’s development and progress.