Gerakan wants youths to visit kopitiams instead of western cafes

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 13 — Most Malaysian youths spend too much time in trendy cafes instead of visiting old-style kopitiams and traditional shops, Penang Gerakan said today.

Penang Gerakan Acting Youth Chief Jason Loo said something must be done to encourage local youths to appreciate local culture and traditions.

"I see most Malaysian youths are more focused on following the latest trends such as going to modern, western-style cafes instead of spending time at kopitiams that have been around since our grandparents' time," he said in a press conference at Bee Hwa Cafe, a coffee shop along Dickens Street here.

He said traditional kopitiams, or coffee shops, and other traditional shops represent the collective memories of Penangites.

"These are the soul of George Town and these are the places that tell the stories of George Town," he said.

Loo founded the Young Master Movement late last year and one of the first projects the movement launched was "Hop hop kopitiam campaign" to encourage youngsters to go "kopitiam hopping" instead of cafe hopping.

"We launched the campaign in November last year and we have visited and highlighted 22 George Town coffee shops in our Young Master Movement Facebook page since then," he said.

Today, Loo will be visiting coffee shops around George Town and handing out roses to show appreciation for their efforts in keeping George Town's traditions alive.

He visited the Kong Thai Lai Coffee shop that has relocated to Leith Street from Hutton Lane this morning before visiting Bee Hwa Cafe.

"Bee Haw Cafe is a traditional coffee shop that is now managed by the third generation, this type of tradition should be preserved and promoted so that they never die out," he said.

Loo visited eight coffee shops all around the inner city yesterday to give out roses to coffee shop owners and hawkers.





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