Malaysians pet goats in Penang for good luck over Chinese New Year

PENANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians who have never seen or touched a goat got the chance to do so over Chinese New Year.

Goat petting was the highlight of an event held over the weekend at the arts centre Hin Bus Art Depot, in conjunction with celebrations to usher in the Year of the Goat.

Ms Stella Neoh, 30, was there with her 7-year-old daughter Alana Ng, whom she said was very excited and brought along carrots to feed the goats.

"Living in the city, the younger generations never get the chance to see goats at close quarters," said Ms Neoh. "It's a good experience for my daughter and me."

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

"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.

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

Hin Bus Art Depot event manager Khing Chuah said the non-profit arts centre wanted to add some elements of nature to their Chinese New Year celebrations.

"Since it's the Year of the Goat, we decided to bring some goats so visitors could touch them and take photographs with them," she said. "Looking at the response from the visitors, I think our plan is a success."

As part of the festivities, artist Chuah Shu Ruei would be making a live art installation with fruits brought by visitors to the arts centre. There is also a cooking demonstration for kuih kapit (love letters) and games for visitors to enjoy.