KUCHING: With just over a week to go to usher in the year of the Tiger, the Chinese New Year mood is well and truly in the air.
And the best place to experience this festive ambience is the Kenyalang Park Commercial Centre.
This was made possible with the resumption of the annual CNY Bazaar, which had to be cancelled the past two years due to the Covid-19 situation.
At the bazaar, the public can find almost anything they need for the upcoming celebration, from assorted cookies, candies, pork and beef jerky, red packets, decorations, and many more.
The bazaar, which kicked off on Jan 21 and will go on until new year’s eve, begins at 5pm, is playing host to a voracious public snapping up all sorts of items as they get ready to welcome the new year.
The authorities will also be happy to know that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being complied with strictly with people including vendors donning face masks and stalls put up at least two meters apart.
The bazaar, which is also participated by other communities, features156 stalls this year due to the need to comply with SOPs.
Kuching City South Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng went on a walkabout on the first night of the bazaar to ensure it runs smoothly.
“Finally, after two years we are able to organise this CNY Bazaar in Kenyalang. But there are SOPs to be followed and we had to reduce the number of stalls,” he said.
He said that of the total 156 stalls, 63 consisted of shop owners putting up their stalls outside their premises while the rest were those who applied to participate in the bazaar.
“The response is very good and we hope that everyone will comply with the SOPs,” he said.
During the walkabout, Wee and MBKS officers also presented the ‘fai chun’ (traditional decorations that are put on doorways to create a festive atmosphere) with words such as ‘good luck’ and ‘prosperity’.
Meanwhile, a vendor, Pamela Jee, 40, told New Sarawak Tribune that she was excited to participate in the bazaar.
“This is my first time selling at the bazaar in Kenyalang and I’m happy to see that so far the response is quite good,” she said.
The homemaker from Asajaya said she knew of the CNY bazaar from Facebook and friends as well.
“Here, I’m selling pork jerky and the prices vary from RM40 to RM60 depending on the quantity and flavour,” she said.
A Muslim vendor, Anis Haslina, 22, from Kampung Bintawa Ulu, who sells kuih sepit and other traditional snacks such as peyek (deep fried savoury cracker), muruku (Indian snack) and others, said she and her family had been participating in the bazaar for many years.
“It is always nice to be able to participate in this bazaar and we are happy to sell our snacks to the customers,” she said.
An Iban shopper who only wished to be known as Michael said he to visiting the CNY bazaar.
“Although I’m not Chinese, I love to come to the bazaar to look at the things being sold and at the same time I’m also able to learn more about Chinese culture,” he said.
Michael, who is from Tabuan Jaya added that visiting Kenyalang also brought back fond memories of his parents often taking him there to buy goods.