I am Prakash R. Jakathesan and I am truly grateful and honored to have been selected for two prestigious awards by ASIA Awards
powered by World Research Congress - The Asia's Best Research Analyst Award in Tiffin Collection and Asia's
Outstanding Contribution to the Preservation of Heritage and Culture Award.
life journey began on December 2nd, 1979, in the quaint town of Parit Buntar,
nestled in Perak, Malaysia. My early education unfolded against the backdrop of Parit Buntar,
setting the stage for my academic pursuits. Venturing
into the world of hospitality, I pursued a Diploma in Hotel Management at KDU College in Penang, where my passion for
the rich tapestry of cultures and histories began to take root.
my educational odyssey, I undertook a Bachelor's Degree (Hons) in Hospitality Studies at the University of Lancashire in
the UK. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, I delved deeper into the nuances of food and beverage by completing a
second diploma, alongside acquiring a
Wine and Spirit Certification. My academic journey reached its zenith with the attainment of a Master of Sciences (MSc)
in Hospitality Management, coupled with the prestigious title of a Certified Hospitality Trainer bestowed by The American
Hotel and Lodging
Educational Institute (AHLEI). Presently, I take pride in serving as the
curator at the Penang Indian Heritage
journey as a collector commenced in my childhood, initially with metal toy
cars, eventually expanding to
encompass telephone cards and coins. The relocation to Penang marked a pivotal moment, as I witnessed the concerted
efforts of both the people and the state government in preserving the cultural and heritage fabric of this UNESCO
heritage site. The vibrant cultural events
and festivals in Penang fueled my passion, steering my collection towards
banknotes, toys, and ultimately, tiffin carriers.
2001, my collection of tiffin carriers has burgeoned to nearly 200, earning me
prestigious accolades in both the
Malaysia Book of Records and Asia Book of Records for the Largest Tiffin Carrier Collection. This remarkable
journey culminated in extensive research, resulting in the self-publication of my book, "Tiffin:
An Untold Story." Through this literary endeavor, I aimed not only to document the history of tiffin
carriers but also to elevate them from mundane
objects to revered cultural icons. My inclusion in Britishpedia's 1st
Edition of "Successful People in
Malaysia" further underscores the cultural impact of this work. The Asia's
Best Research Analyst Award in Tiffin
Collection is a testament to my dedication to preserving the cultural significance of tiffins.
the realm of tiffin carriers, my commitment to heritage preservation led to the establishment of the Penang Indian
Heritage Museum. The journey from a small home
collection to the founding of the museum has been an extraordinary one.
Beginning modestly with antiques
and artifacts at home, I took a significant step in extending an open invitation to students and
schools to come and visit. However, it wasn’t until the collaboration with the Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB) that
propelled the museum into existence. In 2018,
the museum opened its doors to the public. The Asia's Outstanding
Contribution to the Preservation of
Heritage and Culture Award recognizes my role in founding the Penang Indian Heritage Museum, a hub for preserving the
rich heritage and culture of Malaysian Indians. It must be mentioned that the unwavering support and encouragement
of my wife have been invaluable as she was constantly by my side throughout this journey.
these awards is not merely a personal achievement but a recognition of the
collective efforts dedicated to
cultural preservation. My gratitude extends to the World Research Congress and ASIA Awards, as well as the
United Research Council for this honorable acknowledgment.
These awards evoke feelings of immense joy, honor, and humility, serving as both validation for past endeavors and
inspiration for continued commitment to the preservation
of cultural heritage. As I reflect on the significance of these accolades, I am
fueled with a renewed passion to
contribute even more profoundly to the noble cause of heritage and culture preservation.
the field of collecting, one's birth, occupation, and the color of their skin
should never be used to judge their
character. Unfortunately, this form of discrimination remains pervasive, and I have personally experienced it in the
world of collections. I firmly believe that a person's pride in their
roots is commendable, but true honor is earned through hard work and perseverance. In my own experience, recognition in the
collection world came only after achieving significant milestones, and even then, some societal biases persisted.
Determined to bring about change, I realized
that living a simple life was insufficient. To challenge those who stood
against me, I decided to ascend to
the highest pinnacle and, once there, proclaim to the world, "This is my label, my brand. This is who I am." I
continue to work tirelessly to showcase this brand and inspire others to achieve greatness. Preserving culture and
heritage is a collective responsibility, ensuring
that communities do not fade into obscurity. Many have supported me in this endeavor and I am deeply grateful to them.
However, there were detractors who looked down
on me, claiming that I was wasting time and money. To them, I assert
that there are more important things in life than monetary
of background, achieving greatness does not require waiting for the right time.
It necessitates hard work, thorough
research, and a proactive approach. Every human being is born to achieve great things and for those passionate about
their cause, the ASIA Awards serves as
a wonderful platform to showcase achievements and encourage the younger
generation to aspire to greatness. Heartfelt
thanks are extended
once again to the
Penang Hindu Endowments Board (PHEB) because the establishment of the Penang
Indian Heritage Museum would not be
possible without their support. The impact of the museum on the younger generation is immeasurable, and their
benefits are a testament to the success of this collaborative effort. In the spirit of preserving culture and
heritage, I stress the importance of cooperative
action, acknowledging that every contribution plays a vital role in preventing
the disappearance of civilizations.
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