The Chulia in Penang: A Lecture by Khoo Salma & Jasmin Abdul Wahab

Date: 30th January 2016 (Saturday)

Venue: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Time: 10 am – 1.30 pm

In conjunction with The Chulia in Penang Photography Exhibition (28th January – 28th March 2016), IAMM is proud to present a lecture followed by a tour by Khoo Salma and Jasmin Abdul Wahab.

Penang, a northern state of Peninsular Malaysia was a part of the British Straits Settlement before achieving independence on 31st August 1957 with the formation of Malaysia. Tamil Muslim once known as Chulias, originally from southern of India prospered as traders of Pelikat cloth, pepper and local products in the Straits of Malacca. The Kapitan Kling Mosque was built by the leader of Chulias, Kapitan Keling Cauder Mohudden. The Chulias have influenced the unique history of Penang with their leading role in the development of the port town of Penang with endowments for mosques, Sufi shrines, burial grounds, a water tank, as well as holding religious feasts and processions. This lecture highlights the major role of the Kapitan Kling Mosque as the socio-cultural hub for the Muslims in Penang and also the diaspora of Chulia community that has transformed Penang into a melting pot for hybrid communities.

Biography of Khoo Salma

Khoo Salma Nasution, nee Khoo Su Nin (B.A. Duke University), is a writer, publisher and heritage advocate and an Asian Public Intellectual Fellow. She has been involved in heritage conservation since 1989, first as Honorary Secretary then as President of the Penang Heritage Trust, and through her stewardship of the Sun Yat Sen Museum Penang. She is a co-founder of Areca Books. She is the author or co-author of about a dozen books, and co-founder of Areca Books. Her book, The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957 (2014), won the ICAS Book Prize 2015 Colleagues’ Choice Award.

She has given talks on the social history of the Tamil Muslims and waqf at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, the International Convention for Asia Studies (ICAS) 2015 in Adelaide, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Indian Heritage Centre in Singapore, a symposium on the Comparative Study of Waqf at Toyo Bunko in Tokyo, and at an Indian diaspora studies conference in Kanyakumari, India.

Biography of Jasmin Abdul Wahab

Jasmin Abdul Wahab is the director Asa’ad Entertainment Network, who has directed two public service messages for Deepavalli (2011) and Ponggal (2012). Under the heading Nambikkai, these  messages in both English & Tamil for the Prime Minister’s Department, was telecasted over all the local channels and was well received and talked about. She also directed a historic documentary, Masjid Kapitan Keling (funded by Finas). The music for this documentary was by Academy Award, Grammy Award, Bafta Award, Golden Globe & Oscar Award Winner A. R. Rahman, a first time in Malaysian media.

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