Little India’s Oldest Flower Stall Pitt Street, Penang

Little India’s Oldest Flower Stall Pitt Street, Penang

At Penang’s Little India, the oldest flower stall (1800s) is heavy with fragrance that perfumes Pitt Street when you walkabout.

Bright kaleidoscope coloured posies jostle for breathing space with Indian flower garlands made from fragrant jasmine, champaka, roses and chrysanthemum with religiously-significant leaves used for worship.

OLDEST FLOWER STALL

Penangites make a bee line for the Indian florists here for the freshest flowers for temple prayer or their home altars.

Flowers with a riot of unbelievable colours are displayed in large blue and white pails standing two to three tiers high with hanging garlands at the Pitt Street Indian Florists in a row of kiosks along Jalan Kapitan Keling, George Town.

Workers making flower garlands at the corner florist shop at Jalan Kapitan Keling, Penang
Workers making flower garlands at the corner florist shop at Jalan Kapitan Keling, Penang
GEORGE TOWN FLORIST

Ameer Sultan, 65 is the second generation traditional florist who took over the business set up by his father the late S.P. Abdul Razak of George Town Florist in 1956. Ameer was 6 at that time and would help out at their original stall which was across the road where the Broadway Budget Hotel now stands. They used to live on Market Lane, just a few doors away from the old Tuak (Toddy) Shop.

TODDY SHOP

Historically Little India was densely populated by Indians labourers who favoured the cloudy sweetish toddy also known as kallu (in South India). This coconut palm wine is made from the sap of coconut flowers.

Today after the closure of the Tuak Shop, Market Lane is overlooked by tourists of its’ cultural significance.

Florist Noor Mohamed with Ameer Sultan
A smiling Ameer Sultan with a photo of his beloved father, the late S.P. Abdul Razak
Florist Noor Mohamed with Ameer Sultan
Florist Noor Mohamed with Ameer Sultan

 

The riot of colours of pretty flower garlands.
The riot of colours of pretty flower garlands.
OLD PENANG

Ameer remembers fondly the Penang electric tram cruising along Pitt Street coming down from Weld Quay at the F.M.S Railway Station (Federated Malay States Railway now known as Wisma Kastams) where passengers would purchase their train ticket on the island before crossing over by ferry to board the trains on the mainland!

He laments that business is slow these days and only pick up during temple festivals and deity feast days.

MODERN FLORIST

Nowadays Ameer also takes orders for weddings, floral baskets and wreaths. You could even order a hand bouquet right at the stall. The Indian florists specialise in creating garlands for religious and ceremonial purposes. Some florists even give flower arrangement classes.

S.P. Abdul Razak’s grandson, Basheer Ahmad 37 is set to continue as the third generation florist!

Loose fresh flowers
Loose fresh flowers
Colourful Garlands and Loose Flower
Colourful Garlands and Loose Flower
FLOWER GARLANDS

Flower garlands have special significance. The group of youngsters are all are wearing Poo Malai Flower Garland. This garland is made with fragrant flowers as a sign to welcome a respected guest.

 

Super Loooonnnnnggggg! Ram Rengasamy Pillai, Sree Balrum Ganeshan, Vijay Ramalingam Pillai, Thamarai Ramalingam Pillai, Roshinni Sarah Soloman  at Tirupathur, India.
Super Loooonnnnnggggg! Ram Rengasamy Pillai, Sree Balrum Ganeshan, Vijay Ramalingam Pillai, Thamarai Ramalingam Pillai, Roshinni Sarah Soloman  at Tirupathur, India.

SP Florist
No. 1 & 2 , Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling,
10200 Penang

Soak Up On Culture For Your Vacation to Penang, Malaysia!
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