A Christmas Carol at Kai Joo Lane
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
In this part of the world, December is known to be one of the wettest month of the year with rain pouring heavy almost everyday.
However, not even a little drizzle of rain could dampen the Christmas spirit as in conjunction with celebrating Christmas, about 10 children participated in singing Christmas carols at the Kai Joo Lane Night Market on December 10th.
“The children are from the area vicinity of Kai Joo Lane and India Street, and we thought that it would bring in a nice touch to lift up the Christmas spirit by inviting them to showcase their talents instead of bringing in professional singers to perform,” said India Street Merchant Association chairman, Datuk Wee Hong Seng.
Dressed in Christmas theme colours red and white complete with Santa hats, the children brought in Christmas cheer to Kai Joo Lane and its visitors as they merrily performed some classic Christmas songs such as ‘Feliz Navidad’ and ‘Jingle Bells’.
Since September this year, Kai Joo Lane night market has been held every Friday and Saturday, and it never fails to attract food lovers around to feast upon food such as fried mushroom, oyster pancake, char kueh tiaw and satay.
“What the committee has done here is selecting the best kiosk operator and at the moment we have 30 kiosk operators here and you can actually see that there are new businesses coming up with some of the old shop houses here,” said Wee noting that the quality of the food is vital to maintain the success of the night market.
Built by a Teochew businessman, Teo Kai Joo in 1923, the area was officially named Kai Joo Lane by Charles Brooke. With so much rich history within the area, Wee noted that it was important to create excitement in the area.
“The reason why we started with this weekend market was because the old city centres were a bit quiet at night and this is the first step we are trying to do to make the area more lively,” said Wee.
Following the success of Kai Joo Lane night market, Wee also said that they are planning on holding its first Chinese New Year (CNY) bazaar at India Street from January 12th until 26th next year.
Upon the completion of facelit project at India Street, Wee said that they should make use of the facilities that has been created so that not only the community can conduct their business during the day but they may continue to the night.
“So after the CNY carnival, we might be starting a weekend market too, but it depends on the response as well,” said Wee.
Aside from that, in their effort to inject more life and soul to the area, the committee will be collaborating with Plaza Merdeka and Waterfront Hotel by printing out brochures to highlights the events within the area and have it distributed in the hotel and shopping mall.
“Through this, it will make people more aware of what what is happening at the old heritage areas within the town areas where you can visit just by walking distance,” said Wee.
“As you can see, they are still maintaining the old heritage facade, such as the old wooden window pane, but most important thing that maintain the success of the weekend market is the teamwork of the local community,” he said noting that teamwork among the community is important in maintaining the success of the weekend bazaar to keep bringing in more people to the area.
“So to keep the heritage area alive, this is one step they should be taking into consideration. Besides holding this weekend bazaar, another important thing is to also maintain the hygiene and the cleanliness of the place,” added Wee.
For more update on Kai Joo Lane, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kaijoolane/