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9 March 2018: Sutan Puasa, The Founder of Kuala Lumpur March 29, 2018 – Posted in: Newsletters

“…this is history as seen from the perspectives of ethnically and culturally diverse groups of people who are actively engaged in making history at the local level.” — Terry McGee, Prof Emeritus of Asian Research and Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Closer examination reveals that the founding myths of Kuala Lumpur have omitted the earliest chapter of the city’s history, which included the story of Sutan Puasa, a mining entrepreneur, tin trader and agricultural…

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3 Feb 2018: Aesthetics in architecture February 5, 2018 – Posted in: Newsletters

Among the scientists, the architect is regarded as an artist; among the artists, the architect is seen as a scientist; in a cultureless surrounding, the architect is sought out as a culturalist – the person of reason in an irrational, and often unfair world. — Malaysian Institute of Architects It’s a pity most people tend to take architecture and buildings for granted — or overlook then completely — as they go about their fast-paced lives…

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20 Jan 2018: Penang Nyonya Colouring Book – Posted in: Newsletters

This book delightfully depicts the items typically found in a Penang Nyonya’s life and household in the early twentieth century. Colour these beautiful designs as you please, while learning about a unique culture. Grown-ups never truly grow out of the things which interested them as children, do they? Take colouring books for example. These days, such books are no longer regarded as belonging only to the realm of young readers. Though not exactly a recent…

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8 Dec 2017: Penang and Its Networks of Knowledge December 14, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

The essays testify to the rich cultural life of Penang’s cosmopolitan populace, who were engaging simultaneously with tradition and modernity, with indigeneity and foreignness, and producing new types of hybridities in thought, expression, the printed word and the urban cultural landscape. — Khoo Salma Nasution It would have been just another rainy Thursday evening (and a significant holiday in the US) but for many book and history lovers, it was the day a long awaited…

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20 Oct 2017: Let the Aisles Proclaim October 26, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

Come 21st October, the oldest school in Southeast Asia will celebrate its 201st birthday. Widely recognised as a renowned educational establishment, the Penang Free School’s august hallways still resound with the footsteps of its most famous students, who went on to become some of the country’s most memorable figures. Running the gamut from doctors to politicians to musicians, the PFS alumni include the founding father of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman, noted physician Wu Lien-Teh, multi-talented…

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30 Sept 2017: Kingdom’s Edge – Posted in: Newsletters

Anyone who has travelled to Thailand’s southern border would have a hard time conflating this troubled zone with the country’s touristy image as an exotic, tropical getaway and the ‘Land of Smiles’. A long-running and seemingly endless conflict at the Thai kingdom’s edge, in the Malay-Muslim majority southern provinces of Patani, Yala and Narathiwat, has exposed a deep sense of discontent within many segments of Thai society. After more than 12 years of conflict, and…

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9 Sept 2017: A quartet of Terengganu stories September 14, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

Terengganu is a treasure trove of Malay culture, crafts and architecture. With the earliest written reports going back to the beginning of the 6th century, the state is a cornucopia of heritage ― its distinct Malay dialect and array of delectable culinary delights are unique in the country and deserve wider attention.  In an effort to stimulate interest and to preserve the heritage of Terengganu, the Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) foundation was set up…

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21 Aug 2017: The Resilience of Tradition: Malay Allusions in Contemporary Architecture August 24, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

This book is entitled ‘The Resilience of Tradition‘ because it seeks to identify contemporary architectural ideas, intentions and actions, be they simple or complex, which inherently try to embody, express, or articulate the Malay identity or local cultural identities. Hello reader, Immortality through architecture is a leitmotif which runs throughout The Resilience of Tradition: Malay Allusions in Contemporary Architecture, our featured book of the week. Within its fifteen chapters, beginning with features of the vernacular…

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5 Aug 2017: Penang at the Climate Crossroads – Posted in: Newsletters

Areca Books is happy to invite you to the Penang at the Climate Crossroads forum, co-hosted by the Penang Institute, exploring Penang’s place in the climate change timeline and the transformation required at the local level for a sustainable future. In conjunction with this forum, the Penang launch of Memoirs of a Malaysian Eco-Activist by Gurmit Singh, published by Areca Books, will be officiated by Dato’ Dr Anwar Fazal, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award. Please…

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7 July 2017: ‘Malay Magic & Divination’ talk by Dr Farouk Yahya June 15, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

Areca Books is happy to invite you to a talk by Dr Farouk Yahya on a subject that is sure to hold many spellbound — ‘Malay Magic and Divination’. The talk will be followed by the launch of a recent imprint from Areca Books, The Arts of Southeast Asia from the SOAS Collections, which also happens to be edited by Farouk. Traditional magic (not the silap mata variety!) is a subject that never fails to…

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