Last Saturdayâ€™s Book Talk on the 9th July 2011 was an exciting time for both Kampung Buku and Cheng Ho Cultural Museum. As this was a public event, we had no idea how many people would turn up. Prior to the date of the event which was the 9th July, we had sent out invitations via mail and email, placed advertisements in the local papers and placed buntings around strategic places in tourist spots in town. We also made use of Facebook and the internet.
In the end, 40 people turned up which was quite a relief considering the fact that it was the same date as the Bersih rally (which caused massive traffic jams and therefore our Kuala Lumpur invitees had to take a rain check). There was also the problem of parking as the museum is located in the core heritage zone where parking is quite challenging. There were residents of Melaka, tourists from Japan, Singapore, Spain, India, USA and members of the press.
The opening address was by Mdm. Irene Huang, Director of the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum and without further ado, the first speaker Mr. Dennis De Witt was introduced to the audience by the moderator, Mr. Colin Goh. Mr. De Witt gave a very interesting talk which was essentially highlights of his 2 books, â€œHistory of the Dutch in Malaysiaâ€ and â€œMelaka from the Topâ€. He had the audience captivated with his personal anecdotes and the accompanying slide show. The audience responded by asking many questions and it certainly was a lively session.
After a short break, Mr. Serge Jardin was introduced and began his talk about his book â€œRever Malaccaâ€. As the book is written in French, it was interesting to listen to Mr. Jardin speak about his book in his heavily accented English. This was also followed by a question and answer session.
We finished in good time around 12.30pm and this was followed by light refreshments served downstairs in the lobby of the museum. With free flowing coffee and tea and authentic Nyonya kuih, it was an animated session among the members of the audience, the speakers and the organisers.
Kampung Buku Malaysia Melaka wishes to thank Mdm. Irene Huang, Mr. Kok Kee Boon and Mara of the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, the speakers Mr. Dennis De Witt and Mr. Serge Jardin, Nutmeg Publishing and everyone who attended our first Book Talk. We are very grateful for your support and with that, we hope to organize similar events in the future.
Our next Book Talk is scheduled for the 23rd July 2011 and this time Dr. Tan Ta Sen will be presenting his book â€œCheng Ho and Islam in South East Asiaâ€. The talk starts at 12 noon but before that at 10am, there will be an official launch of the book AND an exhibition titled Ming Shipwreck Treasures brought to you by Tradewind Treasures. Entrance to the Book Talk is FREE. The venue is the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum at No. 51, Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka which is just next to the famous Jonker Street.
Thank you and Happy Reading!