15 Oct Take a glimpse into Straits Born Chinese – Peranakan Culture in Melaka
Peranakans are Chinese descendants who arrived in Melaka and married the local Malays. The term Baba is an honorific manner of addressing a Straits-born gentleman, while the term Nyonya is used to address a Straits-born lady. They retain many Chinese customs but also have adopted the Malay-style of dressing and traditions, resulting in a unique fusion culture on their traditional costumes, architectural designs and delicious cuisines. Let’s experience the unique Peranakan culture in Melaka.
Heeren Street and Jonker Street
The Heeren Street (also known as ‘Gentlemen Street’) and Jonker Street offer visitors the charms and feel of by-gone era where Baba-Chinese millionaires once lived in rows and huge Chinese lanterns hang bright into the nights and the fragrance of jasmine-scented burning joss sticks filling in the air.
Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
The building of Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is a combination of three terrace lots that were acquired by the Chan family and also the place where four generations lived since 1861. Opened as a museum in March 1985, the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum provides visitors a glimpse into the richness of many pre- World War II Melaka’s Peranakan homes. It also exhibits unique heirlooms such as traditional costumes, antique furniture and wood-work art, making everyone feel as though they once lived in this amazing era. Today, the museum is still well managed and aims to continue to preserve the spirit of Peranakan for many generations to come.
It is a type of shoe that are made of beads and dates back to early twentieth century. The intricacy and fine workmanship of a pair of beaded shoe is also a hallmark of highly accomplished Nyonyas, whose skills in embroidery and beadwork are highly valued. The shoe can be designed in four ways such as peep-toe, criss-cross, closed-toe and modern single strap and every piece of beaded shoe can takes three days to three weeks to finish, depending on the complexity of the design.
Made in a similar manner as a typical southern Chinese dumpling, but the filling is typically minced pork with candied winter melon, ground roasted peanuts and a spice mix. The blue butterfly pea flower is used to colour the rice with a shade of blue.