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Hikayat - My Indie World




Eat & Shop • Penang • Owner: Bettina Chuah

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Hikaya @Gerakbudaya
A space for books, arts and letters Book Now


Made with Love

Born in Malaysia, Bettina spent her childhood in Australia before returning to her home country  in 1990. Her love for art and literature led her to her active involvement in the Malaysian arts and literary scene, working with various organizations and cultural institutions such as Gerakbudaya Bookshop and the George Town Literary Festival.

One of her personal dreams was to create a space for the arts and letters community, so with co-founder Gareth Richards, she  founded Hikayat as an experiment to grow a small arts and letters ecology that enables and encourages creative, thinking, and discerning minds. This passion for nurturing a community of learners and artists is reflected in every aspect of the Hikayat space, which is located in the same building as Gerakbudaya Bookshop.

Photo Credit: Nicky Almasy

At the book launch event held at Hikayat @ Gerakbudaya, authors Manju Saigal and Bettina shared insights into their beautifully crafted food memoir, “To Nourish with Love”. The book is a celebration of their personal philosophies of feeding, sharing, and nurturing, and is sure to inspire readers to explore the deeper meanings behind food and its ability to bring people together. Don’t miss out on this heartwarming read that will make you fall in love with food all over again!

Fuelled with Passion

Bettina’s lifelong passion for learning and creative expression is the driving force behind Hikayat. She believes that at Hikayat, people can learn something about their world, about another world, and about themselves. Hikayat is an ecology that fosters learning and expression through various mediums, including books, images, spoken words, dance, theatre, music, and more. The passion for learning and creative expression is evident in the various activities and events hosted  by  Hikayat. 

Telltale Food: Writings from the Fay Khoo Award 2017- 2019″ is an anthology published by Hikayat that contains carefully crafted and evocative food tales inspired by memories. The book is edited by Bettina, and it is a compilation of submissions received by her team since the Fay Khoo Award was launched.

Driven By Purpose

Hikayat is driven by the purpose to create a space where people can come together and engage in meaningful conversations, learn from each other, and grow together. The name Hikayat, which means “story” or “narrative” in Arab-Malay, reflects the purpose of the space. The story can take many forms, but what matters is that at Hikayat, people learn something that helps them understand the world, other cultures, and themselves. The purpose of Hikayat is to create a space that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and learning.

Kaki Kino is a weekly film club that takes place in the heart of Georgetown, hosted by Hikayat Lebuh Pantai and Gerakbudaya. Curated by the community, it inspires conversations around unconventional movies while also bringing back some classic films, providing a space for creatives to come together, engage in dialogue and share their passion for films.