A touching start to Year of the Goat

Getting up close: Neoh (right) accompanying her daughter Alana as she tries to touch a goat at the Hin Bus Art Depot’s Chinese New Year celebration.

GEORGE TOWN - It may sound strange to some but many young people living in the city have never seen, much less touched, a goat.

On the third day of the Chinese New Year, they got the chance. Goat petting was the highlight of an event at the Hin Bus Art Depot in Jalan Gurdwara in conjunction with celebrations to usher in the lunar Year of the Goat.

Stella Neoh, 30, brought her seven-year-old daughter to see a live goat.

"Living in the city, the younger generations never get the chance to see goats at close quarters. When I heard about this programme, I told my daughter about it and she became very excited. She has never seen a goat up close," she said.

Neoh added that her daughter Alana Ng also brought a carrot with her to feed the goats.

"It's a good experience for my daughter and me," she said.

Another visitor Dr Ng Sieu Ming, 26, came to pet the goats for some good luck for the year 2015.

"My friend insisted that I come along since I am back in Penang for the Chinese New Year after eight years," said the surgeon who is currently working in Britain.

"This is also my first time visiting the arts centre and I find it very interesting.

"We just dropped by to pet the goats as we believe it may bring us some good luck," she said smiling.

Hin Bus Art Depot event manager Khing Chuah said the non-profit urban arts centre wanted to bring in some element of nature to their Chinese New Year celebration.

"Since it's the Year of the Goat, we decided to bring some goats so visitors could touch them and take photographs with them.

"Looking at the response from the visitors, I think our plan is a success," she quipped.

She explained that an artist Chuah Shu Ruei was also making a live art installation with fruits brought by the visitors.

At the end of the celebration, the fruits would be donated to the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign.

"There is also a kuih kapit making demonstration and some games for the visitors to enjoy," she said.