Penang Oldest Florist In Pitt Street George Town
Penang’s oldest florist (since the 1800s) is heavy with the fragrance that perfumes Pitt Street when one visits or passes by the row of florist shops.
SP Florist is believed to be one of the longest surviving florist shops in Penang.
Bright kaleidoscope coloured posies jostle for breathing space with Indian flower garlands made from fragrant jasmine, champaka, multicoloured roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, baby’s breath with religiously significant leaves used for worship.
Penang Oldest Florist in George Town
Penangites make a beeline for the Indian florists here for the freshest flowers for temple prayer or their home altars.
Flowers with a riot of unbelievable colours displayed in large blue and white pails.
These pails stand two to three tiers high with hanging garlands.
At the Pitt Street Indian Florists, you can see a row of kiosks along Jalan Kapitan Keling, George Town.
George Town Florist (1956) The Penang Oldest 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 and would help at their original stall was across the road where the Broadway Budget Hotel now stands.
They lived on Market Lane, just a few doors away from the old Tuak (Toddy) Shop.
Historically Little India was densely populated by Indians labourers who favoured the cloudy sweetish toddy, also known as kallu (in South India).
They make this coconut palm wine from the sap of coconut flowers.
Today, after the Tuak Shop’s closure, Market Lane is overlooked by tourists for its cultural significance.
Traditional Flower Garlands Made By Penang Oldest Florist
The Indian florists along Pitt Street make beautifully crafted traditional garlands for religious and ceremonial purposes.
They provide flowers for both Chinese and Hindu devotees to the two oldest temples in Penang.
Tourist love taking photos here in the morning and evening.
- Goddess of Mercy Temple Penang (1728)
- Sri Mahamariamman Temple (1833)
Memories of Old Penang
Ameer remembers fondly the Penang electric tram cruising along Pitt Street.
The tram would start from Weld Quay at the F.M.S Railway Station (Federated Malay States Railway, now known as Wisma Kastams).
Passengers would purchase their train tickets on the island. Later they will cross 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.
Penang Oldest Florist is a Modern Florist
Ameer takes orders for weddings, floral baskets, and wreaths.
You could even order a hand bouquet right at the stall.
The Indian florists specialize in.
- creating garlands for religious and ceremonial purposes
- flower arrangement class in Penang
S.P. Abdul Razak’s grandson, Basheer Ahmad 37, is set to continue as the third generation florist!
The flowers sold at his shop were sourced from Cameron Highlands.
Besides selling fresh flowers, the florist also make garlands and bouquets for weddings, housewarming and other occasions.
Most people buy garlands to offer to deities for prayers and sometimes during weddings as headbands or hand bouquets.
Flower Garlands – Poo Malai Flower Garland
Garlands and fresh flowers are normally offered at temple shrines and household altars.
Traditional garland making is a skill brought to Penang by Indian immigrants.
“It takes about 15 minutes to make a pom-pom garland depending on its size.
“As for the small jasmine ring, it usually takes less than a minute to complete, ” Basheer said.
Flower garlands have special significance.
The group of youngsters is all are wearing Poo Malai Flower Garland.
This garland is a sign to welcome a respected guest.
No. 1 & 2, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang