October in Penang means it is time for Oktoberfest! For more than 40 years the Malaysian German Society (MGS) in Penang has held a true Munich-style Oktoberfest, and it is now a cultural highlight of the Penang calendar. Year after year it has become so popular that it is now held on two consecutive nights in October. In 2019, the dates are Friday 25th October and Saturday 26th October.

MGS will fly a well-known Bavarian band Frankenräuber over to Penang to entertain the thousands of guests that attend with classic “oompah” music as well as pop and rock songs to entice people onto the dance floor. As the evening wears on, the atmosphere of the singing and dancing crowd becomes truly intoxicating. The Germans of Penang sport their lederhosen and dirndls (traditional Bavarian dress), but the majority of the crowd is made up of wildly enthusiastic local Penangites, many of whom also dress up in German attire for the occasion. The band regularly leads the crowd in the song “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” to encourage everyone to raise their glasses and drink together. By the end of the night, even non-German speakers know the words off by heart!

Authentic German food including sausages, sauerkraut and pretzels, and of course, beer is made available by a number of vendors in a true Oktoberfest atmosphere, under a decorated marquee in the grounds of MGS’s headquarters, a bungalow on Jalan Air Itam, sitting on benches at long traditional beer garden tables. This year we are promised pig on a spit, and local food too. Non-alcoholic drinks are also available.

Traditional German games and entertainment for both adults and children that are fun to participate in and hilarious to watch, punctuate the evening, and everyone gets into the spirit. By the end of the evening, the large dance floor is usually packed.

Oktoberfest takes place this year on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October, from 7pm until late. Tickets are on sale at the MGS office, at 250 B, Jalan Air Itam: call 04-229 6853 or email office@mgs.org.my. Tickets for non-MGS members cost RM 30 per person if bought in advance, and RM 40 on the night itself, from 6pm onwards.