Party like it’s 1899

loading (Left to right) Chek Puteh Hashim, Zakaria Hashim, Yusof Mat Hashim, Ustaz Haji Rodalle, Rokiah Othman, Ismail bin Nayan, Haryany Mohamad and Omar Hashim.

With its Persian origins and exotic tunes, Ghazal Party is an art form unique to Penang’s mainland. But will it survive?

Ghazal Party’s tunes are easy to dance to, and once captured hearts in Seberang Perai.

Ghazal, which originates from the Arabic word ghaz meaning “songs addressed to a woman”, entertains almost exclusively on mainland Penang, leaving boria (a form of Malay theatre) to the island where a high concentration of tourists allowed it to flourish. Soon, boria became synonymous to Penang while Ghazal Party’s fan base steadily plummeted.

Ghazal has Persian origins and was introduced a century ago to Malay villages in Kepala Batas by local students returning from their religious studies in Iran. Its popularity spawned Ghazal Party groups along the northern stretch of the peninsula. Today though, it is a dying art in desperate need of revival.


To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.



Related Articles

FEATURE
Dec 2012

Make walking our way of life again, Please!

A need to turn Penang into a walking, running and cycling state.

FEATURE
Aug 2014

It begins with the narrative...

Founder and president of the Cordoba Foundation Dr Anas Al-Tikriti explains how yesterday’s conjured narratives have become the reality of today.

FEATURE
Mar 2014

Asean’s response to Typhoon Haiyan

How did Asean's humanitarian response and disaster relief efforts measure up to the rest of the world's?

FEATURE
May 2013

Surely not another Cold War!

Will Asean have to take sides if tensions between the US and China reach breaking point?