KUALA TERENGGANU – Creative, unique and able to promote the identity of each of the seven districts in Terengganu – is the general view of visitors to the Terengganu Cultural Village in Losong here, the venue of the Pelita Raya Beautiful Terengganu 2021, held since last Thursday.
One of the visitors, Muhammad Nizam Awang, 37, who is a private sector employee, said the brightly-lit oil lamps of various shapes, which are designed by the staff of the participating district offices, are symbols that are synonymous with the districts concerned.
For him, the scenario at the village evoked the joy and merriment of the Aidilfitri celebration.
“The flickering light of the lamps, arranged in the shape of an airplane at the traditional house decorated by the Kuala Nerus District Office, for example, symbolises the Sultan Mahmud Airport in the district, while the Marang District Office has its oil lamps in the shape of a squid as it is the host district to the annual squid jigging festival, which is held in the waters of Pulau Kapas.
“The Dungun district has its oil lamps arranged in the shape of a turtle, while the bridge shape is by Kuala Terengganu, cannon (Hulu Terengganu), the fisherman’s house (Kemaman) and mosque (Setiu). They are all beautifully decorated and become the focus of visitors,” he said when met by Bernama here last night.
The Pelita Raya Beautiful Terengganu 2021 programme, to be held until May 11, is an initiative by the Terengganu government, through the State Tourism Department, to revive the tradition of lighting oil lamps during Ramadan.
Visitors are seen excited and in awe with the brightly-lit lamps as they take selfies and in groups and then uploaded the photo on Facebook and Instagram to participate in a competition held in conjunction with the event.
A civil servant, Nabila Hishamuddin, 40 said although this year’s Aidilfitri celebration would not be as lively like in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but her visit to the cultural village brought back the nostalgic moments of her childhood when celebrating Hari Raya with her family members in their hometown.
“The traditional houses are all decorated by highlighting the identity of each district. The place looks classic, it is like being in a Malay village in the olden days.
“This programme provides the best opportunity to expose the young generation to tradition, the way of life of our forefathers,” she said, adding that the programme could be a special attraction for tourists in the state.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Tourism, Culture and Digital Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said in previous years, the programme involved the participation of villagers who would decorate their housing compound for the purpose.
“However, this year, we have to change the format by involving the participation of district offices in complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the number of visitors to the village is limited to only 300 people at one time,” he said after visiting the village last night.
The programme involved the participation of all districts in Terengganu, except Besut, as the district is under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from May 7 to 20.