Immerse yourself in the rich Peranakan Cultural and Heritage. Besides Baba Convention, Babazaar, Bedrooms, Baba Art, Peranakan Trails, Food Extravaganza, Heirloom sale, there is PeRun!akan, a part online/offline games for the public to learn more about the Peranakan Heritage and Big Baba Blogout by bloggers to explore the Peranakan culture and share their experience.
The Peranakan Museum was housed at 39 Armenian street in the early 20th century Peranakan funded Tao Nan school and located at the museum district in Singapore.
Uniquely Singapore, the Peranakan Museum presents a Southeast Asian-wide view of Peranakan culture featuring 10 gallery displaying the the world’s most comprehensive and the largest grouping of Peranakan cultural and heritage collection .
Peranakan artifacts – jewelry, silver, clothing, beadwork, furniture, textiles and crockery galore comes to live by interactive and multi-media stations and coupled with educational interactive for the young (sponsored by JP Morgan), painting a vivid picture of the rich Peranakan heritage culture and lifestyle.
It is a museum featuring an enriching living culture ! Absolutely brilliant and unique.
Although my grandparents and my father are Peranakan from Jakarta and Malacca, i wasn't brought up the traditional Peranakan way as my grandparents passed away at an early stage . The only traditional Peranakan traces were the little touches like carved teak furniture, some beautiful trinkets, kerosang, embroidery handkerchiefs left by my grandma, tingkat carriers and delicious Peranakan food like ayam buah keluak , ayam Kapitan , beef rendang, itek tim and Nyonya deserts like burbur terigu, gula melaka and kueh tea and my dad’s specialty, Nyonya Kaya. My father is a good cook but being a Professor, he didn't have time to cook the Peranakan food that often. As a child, i would look forward to school holidays so that i could have yummy Peranakan food.
My first visit to the Peranakan Museum was in July this year to attend The Art of Peranakan Dining Seminar High Tea. It was very interesting to learn more about the Peranakan Culture and Peranakan Food from the true blue Peranakans like Mr. Peter Wee, First Vice President of the Peranakan Association, Ms Violet Oon, the renowned Nyonya celebrity cook and Mr. Randell Ee, curator of the Peranakan Museum.
It was a great Peranakan evening during my second visit to the Peranakan Museum as I first attended BeBe Seet’s Peranakan Beadwork My Heritage Book Launch then Big BaBa Blog-out . The Peranakan Beadwork My Heritage is a 228 page volume on Peranakan Beadwork and it was interesting to see view live demonstration of Peranakan Beadworks. I like G.T. Lye kerosang very much, its such an amazing piece of art.
- The Malay term 'Peranakan' which means 'locally born' is used to refer not only to the Peranakan Chinese but also other Peranakan communities that developed in Southeast Asia like the Chitty Melaka and Jawi Peranakans.
- Commonly known as Baba (Gentlemen) an Nyonyas (Ladies) are the descendants of late 15th and 16th century Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlement and most are of Hokkien ancestry who shared heritage of hybrid Chinese and Malay culture.
- These Straits Chinese were generally traders and were wealthy and were a comprador class under the British colonialists.
- The Peranakan held Chinese customs, but were influenced by the Malay culture most notably in language and cuisine. It is this shared heritage and common ethnicity that bound the Straits Chinese together as a social group who continued to flourish.
I love the rich colours and embroidery works sewn beautifully on silk and cotton.
The Nyonya were trained from young for marriage life and Peranakan beadworks and embroidery are a must and know how and are passed through mother to daughters in general. An interesting fact is that Kasut Manek are displayed in glass cupboards by brides for their mother-in-law to see. Brides have to make at least 12 pairs of kasut manek for the showcase !
Beadwork decorative table clothes with birds and flowers sewn which symbolized fertility are traditionally used for Peranakan Wedding
- The wedding ceremony of the Peranakan is largely based on Chinese tradition, and is one of the most colorful wedding ceremonies in Malaysia and Singapore.
Significant ceremonies like lap chai (exchange of gifts) and chiu thau (coming of age) are presented and rituals takes place.
At weddings, the Dondang Sayang, a form of extempore rhyming song in Malay sung and danced by guests at the wedding party, was a highlight. Someone would begin a romantic theme which was carried on by others, each taking the floor in turn, dancing in slow gyrations as they sang. It required quick wit and repartee and often gave rise to laughter and applause when a particularly clever phrase was sung. The melodic accents of the Baba-Nonya and their particular turns of phrase lend to the charm of this performance
The interactive Wedding Portrait for children to explore and understand Peranakan Wedding better.
The Peranakan Wedding Setting
The Pagoda Tray was commissioned by the Lee family of Magenta Cottage for the Peranakan Wedding and is used to hold expensive gift like precious jewellery. Very wealthy family likes to custom make items and send it to their in laws for gift exchange in a very grand possession.
The lap chai ceremony is still being practiced by Peranakan families today but rarely on the scale of the very wealthy Peranakan in the past.
More items for the lap chai ceremony . Gosh its so elaborate ! These are the gifts prepared by the bride for the bridegroom.
Setting for the wedding.
An elaborate design for the wedding bed with carved dragons, phoenixs, flowers and other auspicious motifs to signify prosperity . A few days before the actual wedding, a young boy who comes from a family of many sons, would roll three times across the wedding bed for good luck and early male offspring for the newly wed couple.
Enjpy the video that shows the preparation and procession of a Peranakan wedding by the The Peranakan Association
Peranakan Influence on architectural buildings