A Visit To Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen


Understanding Hopo Culture, Traditions, Food and Community in Malaysia


Do we have Hopo Hakka readers, followers or fans here? If yes then you will be very proud of this museum. Few weeks ago, we visited Malaysia HOPO Cultural Museum hosted by Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen and his team. It was an eye-opener for me to discover that there is actually museum specially dedicated for the Hopo Hakka community in Malaysia right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, off Jalan Pudu. Have you heard or visit to this museum before? Let me take you to a quick tour around this museum and also get to know more about Hopo traditions, culture, heritage and food.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen

In the nutshell, Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum was launched in June 2016. It is an effort by the generous members of the Hopo Cultural Foundation headed by Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen to preserve the Hopo Hakka heritage, cultures and traditions alive.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen at Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum

Hopo Heritage
The Hopo came to Malaysia 200 years ago from Jie Xi, Guang Dong Province, China; because life is tough, poverty and bad the living condition there. The painting above shows the journey made by the first Hopo Hakkas to Borneo and the Malay Peninsula.
Back then the Hopo worked as rubber tapper, carpenter, tin mining in Johor, the largest community is found in Kulai where else in the central region, it is in Kuala Kuang, about 16km away from Ipoh.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
 Hopo Heritage @ Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum

In Sarawak, Hopo people mostly worked in pepper farms. In fact, most of them were involved in agricultural industry. The Hopo presence in Sarawak is so large that the dialect is a lingua franca, and spoken by the other clans.

Through their perseverance and hard work, the Hopo community became more successful and they are very united at the same time proud of the Hopo cultures, traditions and beliefs.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
 Hopo Occupation and Population in Malaysia 

Hopo Population

According to Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen, in Malaysia, there are about half million of Hopo in Malaysia. In Indonesia, the Hopo community is in Pontianak; even the governor there is also aHopo. In China, is about 1 million plus and in the whole world there are around 3 million Hopo.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Hopo Traditional Food

Hopo Food

When people mentioned about Hopo Hakka, the first impression that pop up in my mind is Lui Cha or Lei Cha. Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen also shared with us there are many more delicious Hopo signature dishes beside Lui Cha, for example Choi Pan and Yong Tau Foo. Anyway, we hope to discover more Hopo dishes and cuisine during the upcoming World Hope Cultural Festival.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Lui Cha

Lui Cha

Lui Cha or Lei Cha is Hopo signature dish that has been pretty well known especially among health conscious people. I personally like this dish very much because it has lots of varieties of vegetable with rice and comes with a bowl of green pounded tea soup.

The mixture of herbs, vegetables, tea leaves, roasted nuts, roasted grains, and seeds are pounded into paste using pestle and mortar. The add hot water to make it into soup. We can either pour the soup into the rice together with other vegetable or drink the soup separately. There are lots of fiber and nutrition in this dish.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Hopo Hakka Yong Tau Fu

Hopo Hakka Yong Tau Fu

The Yong Tau Fu is another Hopo signature dish that we love. It’s the minced meat with vegetables stuffed into tofu then fried it.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Hopo Choi Pan

Hopo Choi Pan

This is a special Hopo Choi Pan, the smooth and thin skin is made of rice flour and filled with meat, leek, shrimp and vegetable.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Hopo Lion 

World Hopo Cultural Festival 2017

We are also looking forward to the World Hopo Cultural Festival that will be held in Malaysia on 1st December, 2017. It’s a whole day event where the Hopo community from all over the world come together to celebrate and share their cultures, traditions, performances and food. This festival will be held every 2 years.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Hopo Cultural Museum at Changkat Thambi Dollah 

Hopo Cultural Foundation will launched the 3 books everything about Hope Culture, Beliefs and History during the World Hope Cultural Festival celebration. And these books will be donated to the Chinese faculty in all the universities in the world.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen

Alright, that’s about Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum and Community. I hope that you will make time to visit the museum when you are around the vicinity. Thanks to Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen for hosting us and sharing so many interesting stories about Hopo cultures and community here in Malaysia.

A Visit to Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum with Dato' Sri Chong Ket Pen
Malaysia Hopo Cultural Museum was launched in June 2016

Hopo Cultural Museum

Location: 65 & 67, 1st Floor, Wisma Hopo, Changkat Thambi Dollah, Off Jalan Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

Telephone: 03-2148 6567

Fax: 03-21426567

Operating Hour: The Hopo Cultural Museum is open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays. Weekend visits can be arranged by appointment.

7 comments:

  1. Im HAKKA! Miss hakka food so much! Wish can visit here one day too!

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  2. Haven't heard of HOPO culture before and certainly didn't know Lui Cha is one of its elements!

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  3. It's my first to hear about Hopo. Their food looks delicious and the exhibits are interesting. I'd like to visit it too.

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  4. This is so interesting. I am not Hakka myself but my neighbour is a Hopo. Seriously! Will let him know about this museum.

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  5. This museum seems interesting with Hakka knowledge as I'm a Hakka that don't know much about the culture. ^.^''' Really should check this place out to understand more and have food dates here maybe? xD

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  6. Such an interesting bit of history - I've never heard about the Hopo so this was really intriguing! Love your photos too :)

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  7. 1st time heard about Hopo. Its looks interesting

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