Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sketches done from Dr. OOi's "Little India" B&W Photos.

The "Little India" is a hrd cover photography book put together from the photos of Dr. Ooi, a medical doctor whose hobby was taking picture. Most of the pictures were of Inidans and Indian Muslims who had migrated to Malaysia and settled down on the Island of Penang. Thes migrant workers who mostly were plantation workers  and ordinary labors working on road building and rubber plantations.

The lifestyle of the Indian migrants became a part of the Penang,or more accurately Georgetown Heritage scene  coexisting alongside those of the Malays and the Chinese settlers. They made up part of  the heritage fabric of the Island's mixed mixed ethnic group of people.  

The Chetiars were money lenders, junk yard operators,  were among the most common sight of  the are in Goergetown called Little India -h hence the Title of Dr. Ooi's photography book. It is a historical recollection of the sixties and the seventies of the Island's life.

Dr. Ooi Chen Gee; physician/ photographer.

Growing up Penang every Indian we see we call them Mamak. Mamak Bubur, the Bubur seller, Mamak nasi kandak, mamak roti, mamak apom . Mamak's shop, kedai mamak, mamak's Dr. Ooi was great at captuirng the conmtrast of light and dark.

The cauldron that is in the picture was commonly used for large amount of food like for weddings and other functions . Today they are being replaced by aluminium pots which are lighter and easier to wash.

Makamk bubur is the guy who sells a kind of sweet desert in the form of a broth. Like green peas or oats or barley. This  vendor was very popular around the Penang Road, what used to be know as Simpang enam Round about. which is now the KOMTAR area.

Both are Chetiars. they like to dress in white and carries an umbrella almost like a symbol. Today they some of the most wealthiest men in Penang and their presence acts as a balance in the economic structure between the Chinese and the rest of the community. 

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