Little Ghost or Demon lane or in 鬼仔巷 Chinese Kwai Chai Hong given life
Not to worry guys, it has nothing to do with any Toyol (little demon) but at first, I myself was shocked why this name but after getting to know the catchy title and the people who lived here, we will know better shortly. 鬼仔巷 Kwai Chai Hong is located in Lorong Panggung or Treater/cinema lane, there was a famous haunted Cinema nearby and was burned down a long time ago. This lane led to that Cinema.
Kuala Lumpur has 165 years of history if you would like to know more, book a tour with JohnsonMalaysia.com. Kwai Chai Hong is the latest tourist spot in Kuala Lumpur China town. Petaling street / Tapioca Street, own by the Hakka, Mr. Kuala Lumpur’s Yap Ah Loy. This is well known to many tourists coming to Kuala Lumpur China town, but the last part of China Town was neglected until now. Thanks to the organizers for doing such a wonderful and hard work to bring the pass to alive.
Why called little Ghost / Demons
That, I have not answered, why Little demons / little ghost? You see, in those days (maybe now also) if children are naughty, rebellious, uncontrollable and stubborn what they are called? Demons / Ghost referring to their character. There you go, Kwai Chai Hong.
Any decent parents will not want to call this way, but in olden days, many Chinese in Kuala Lumpur were Cantonese, poor and illiterate. This poverty forced Mom and dad to work in tin mines, leaving behind their children to be cared by the communal elders, like the elderly man playing 2 string Chinese violin ERHU. The elders also unable to discipline the young hyperactive children, but called them little Kwai!
It is also believed Secret society, Gang members have made this place a meeting point. Who themselves also sometimes called little ghost / demons. When these gang members come all vices tailed. Boost and sex worker etc. Gambling is un-separable since China Kapitan time.
But don’t get me wrong, there were normal people who lived. These are shown in a wonderful mural painting by a pretty talented artist. Thank you to artists: Chan Kok Sing, Khek Shin Nam, Chok Fook Yong, Chew Weng Yeow and Wong Leck Min,
The lane was shabby looking, but now four of the shophouses given a handsome, Yellow wash. A bright look which was it’s original first cote color. Great place for photos though, and six of the Shophouse facing Petaling street. What happens to the shop at the entrance gateway to Kwai Chai Hong? There was a Hainan Coffee shop at the very gateway since 1956, about a year ago he moved to a nearby location. Thank you to this Gentleman.
Like in many cultures, Chinese culture takes calligraphy super seriously, hence you can see as written in the Bible; Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death. What is written must be in blessings or auspicious words. When a couple gets married it is double happiness. Chinese New Year is about good fortune and blessings. Many Cantonese and Hakka people in the early days in Kuala Lumpur were illiterate. They seek the service of a scribe or professional writer to write good news to hometown in China and also bad news. The person who wants to send news may tell many stories, but the calligrapher will filter and rearrange in such a wonderful way for the reader to have the news accurate without confusion or long grandfather stories.
The lady with napkin which she will drop when seeing potential customer is an old technique used at 5 lamp post street (about 500 meters away) some are sad story which I will not say here, but thanks to St John Church organizations who have cared for this vice industry victims by saving many of them from further damage in the 1930s.
Toward the end is like mezzanine floors with an old barber chair and Barber mural JohnsonMalaysia.com wants to have a hair crop, but the Barber is too busy with his scissors, maybe next time. The basket with pulley I have seen in my childhood days, especially buying bread or vegetable whereby they will put money in the basket lowering down to get the goods in return to be hoisted up. Thanks to the local artist they are masterpieces.
I personally remember this area, as the main street had a well-known art supplier call Nanyang Art and nearby, Venus art. I studied art in my younger days, it was my passion then. Only an artist’s knows how to appreciate an artist, so thank you to the artist who drew these murals.
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