Honouring the cultural richness and diversity of the Malaysian Chinese community, Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia presents John Walker & Sons XR21 The Legacy Collection to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the Malaysian Chinese community.
Created to honour Alexander Walker II’s knighthood from King George V, John Walker & Sons XR21 was inspired by Sir Alexander’s own handwritten notes. It was this inspiration that led Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia to introduce The Legacy Collection with the same spirit of celebrating the rich legacy of the Malaysian Chinese.
The history of Chinese in Malaysia dates far back to the 15th century where the Chinese community toiled the soils to become an integral part of the current Malaysia. Regardless of the hardships faced, the Malaysian Chinese were committed in ensuring that their dialects and culture were passed down and inherited by the new generation in shaping their unique identity over the centuries. This unique identity, impacted by the local Malaysian culture, allowed the Malaysian Chinese to create for themselves a kaleidoscope of values and beliefs, expressed and practised through their continuation of traditions, dialect, arts, craft and cuisine — in hope of sustaining their ancestry for future generations for legacy continuation.
Specially designed in partnership with local creative duo, Loka Made, The Legacy Collection features unique attributes of Malaysian Chinese clans, namely Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien on each respective bottle design and its packaging sleeve. Through Loka Made’s compelling design interpretation and expression, the three bottles feature an extensive range of elements that are unique to each of the three clans in Malaysia.
“John Walker & Sons XR21 is created using an extremely rare 3-step blending process reserved for our most precious whiskies. It celebrates not only our rich legacy but also the old blending craft of making exceptional whiskies. The Legacy Collection showcases the same endearing spirit to celebrate and honour the rich Malaysian Chinese culture, craft and traditions.” said Rajesh Joshi,Marketing Director of Diageo Malaysia.
The final of the trio, The Legacy Collection Cantonese is influenced by the traditions and practices of the Cantonese in Malaysia, such as their history of being one of the earliest groups of Chinese to operate business trades overseas and their wide use of the abacus and traditional chinese steelyardin business. Other prominent illustrations on the bottle and packaging are the famous Guang Dong Lion Dance, a traditional folk art combing dance, music, and martial arts often performed at festivals; Dim Sum and tea, showcasing the favourite pastime of ‘yum cha’; and the Carp, which implies “a leap to a dragon gate, worth a hundredfold” — the expectation of the diligent business of Guang Dong businessmen.
The Legacy Collection Hakka design features the hardworking values of the Malaysian Hakka people in tin mining, a main contributor to their livelihood in the 18th century; Hakka food culture such as Lei Cha, showcasing the Hakka’s innovation by making use of local Malaysian ingredients and converting them into unique yet healthy dishes; as well as the traditional practices of the Hakka people in Malaysia, like the Pi Xiu dance which is performed on ‘Tian-Chuan Day’ — the biggest and most important celebration for the Hakka people.
The design of the second in the collection — The Legacy Collection Hokkien, is derived from theHokkien clan’s survival from persecution back in the Ming Dynasty by seeking refuge in a sugarcaneplantation, which then became a form of offering to the Jade Emperor known as ‘Tian Gong’, as a token of gratitude and worship. The design also draws inspiration from Hokkien Opera — a popular traditional performance practiced in Malaysia that is well-loved by the older generation, as well as one of the most distinctive Chinese clan houses in Malaysia, Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi with elaborate and highly ornamented architecture — a distinctive symbol of the Malaysian Chinese presence in Penang.