Glimpse Into the Unique Lifestyle and Culture of the Penang People

The culture and lifestyle in Penang is a rich blend of different the religions and people that have established themselves in this Malaysian breaking news  state. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of news about Penang, mainly because its capital city, Georgetown has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Georgetown has become a popular tourist destination due to the multicultural heritage it has gained over the centuries from different colonial powers and people. Regardless of this, the culture and lifestyle in Penang is like that most metropolitans, but unique in its own ways.

Penang Culture

The culture of Penang has mostly developed from that of the Straits born Baba-Nyonya or Chinese who descended from the early Chinese immigrants of Penang. Most of the Penang population speak a kind of Chinese-Malay creole and have partly adopted Malay customs. Although Buddhism is the foremost religion in Penang, Islam is the state’s official religion. One of the most interesting aspects of culture in Penang is the festivals. As it is a multicultural state, Penang celebrates a number of festivals like the Chinese’s Dragon Boat Festival, the Muslim celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Thaipusam- a religious event of Hindus and the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Penang Lifestyle

A lot of news about Penang relates to the lifestyle of its people. The lifestyle of these people has a distinct identity in regard of crafts, culture, rites, costumes and food. In fact, food is probably the most important part of the Penang lifestyle. The island has a unique cuisine which is a mixture of Chinese, Thai, Malay, Nyonya and Indian. Most coffee shops and restaurants are open 24 hours in the state. Penang has also been recognized for having the Best Street Food in Asia in an edition of Time Magazine in 2004. A large part of the lifestyle also revolves around shopping. There are many large shopping malls on the island and the mainland of Penang. The state also has a buzzing nightlife with numerous discos, bars, pubs, cafes and bistros.

What do you consider a healthy diet, or a healthy lifestyle? Is it taking those pills and vitamins every morning? Eating an apple a day (…to keep the doctor away)? A morning jog? Only three cups of coffee? Getting a full nights sleep at least twice a week? Not feasting on pastries every two days? If it is, or anything remotely similar, it will keep you alive. This is considered the “normal” lifestyle, the normal diet. It gives you what is considered “normal” or “average” health. But is that what you want? Do you want to be just at the average level of health, becoming a slob at thirty, getting weaker and slower as you grow old, cavities, cancer, disease, sickness, fatigue? Or do you want to be above the “average”? Beyond the “normal”?

If you answered yes (which I assume is why you’re reading this), I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, it is completely possible to have health that is considered unnatural in these “modern” times! This unreal health means an eighty year old man can be as strong as an eighteen year old boy of “normal” health. A thousand years ago, it was this way. It means that women can have quick, uncomplicated, childbirth (rest of family read=no more waiting for 12 hours). It means better senses, stronger body, faster mind. It means no more doctors, dentists, surgeries (unless you do something really bad), sick days. It means no longer being sick ever in some cases!

But this is where the bad news comes in. If you want to live differently than everyone else, you must live differently than everyone else. What I mean is, if you want to have Unreal health, you must live a Radically different life. And by Radically different, I mean a lifestyle that is often directly against what everybody else does and what those big companies tell you. If you live and act different, you will be different (for good or bad). For an example (this would be for bad), if you were to eat ten pounds of sugar a day, you would be living incredibly different than everyone else, and you would therefore be incredibly different. In this case, you would grow fat in a week and die not long after. But hey, you’d be different!

Now, if you want to be different in a good way, you’ll have to act the same. You’ll only get results if you work for them. The more you work, the more results you’ll get. The better you work, the higher quality results you’ll get. This means if you try to cheat on your workout and your diet, guess what, you’ll get horrible results. If any.

So, if you don’t want that, you’ve got to work better. This would mean not slipping in that extra snack, doing proper form and full reps and those exercises, going to bed on time. These are small things, and from them you’ll get small results. If you want better results, you can’t see these things as rules. You’re not supposed to see it as eating only so many calories a day, or running at least one hour a day. If you look at these as rules, you’ll break them just like rules (don’t deny, wasn’t it once said that rules were made for breaking?).

Now what? If you don’t follow these good rules like exercise one hour a day, eat your vegetables, don’t eat sugar, and others, how are you supposed to be healthy? It’s simple, most things really are. You don’t follow the rules other people made. You must adopt the lifestyle, the philosophy, behind them. You assimilate them, make them part of you. You don’t see it as something you have to do, you see it as something you want to do.

Think about this. You don’t do what other people tell you (it’s true). You do what you tell you to do. You don’t listen to others words, you listen to yours. You must decide to do something, no one can make you do something. You don’t, can’t, won’t follow the rules others give you. Human beings can’t follow rules. We follow what is in us. I’m not trying to getting all “touchy feelly”, or anything like that. What I’m saying is, if you believe something, if it is part of you, you do it. If you believe that smoking is bad for you, you won’t smoke. If someone tells you it’s bad, or tells you to stop, you’ll just know it’s bad you won’t believe it. Once something becomes part of you, you act upon it.

If you want vibrant, unreal, extreme health, you can’t just follow rules. You must live a lifestyle, adopt a philosophy that is so radically different from everyone else, that you can’t hide it. If you want to be healthier than everyone else, you can’t be like everyone else. You must break away from everyone, break away from everything that is average. Don’t become some animal, but don’t be normal! Don’t separate yourself from your family and friends, but make them know you are different.

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