Peranakan



Peranakans are referring to Straits Chinese who were born in the Malayan regions at Penang, Malacca and Singapore.

Around the 16t century, Chinese men from Southern China Provinces such as Fujian and Canton moved to South East Asia.

These men left their families in China, started businesses and became successful.

Next, they intermingled with the locals such as Bataks, they married their women and the children of these interracial marriage are called Babas (for male) and Nonyas (for female).

In the 19th century, they were mostly rich because they are so successful in establishing their businesses.

They consider themselves more superior than the Chinese who migrated to the region and became servants or hard labors.

They received English education and they are particular in grooming for both Babas and Nonyas.

They created a hybrid culture of fusion Chinese-Malay as well as with other cultural influences of British, Portuguese and Dutch.

The distinct difference of them and Eurasians is that they embrace the Asian cultural influence and values.

As time goes by, the they have mostly been absorbed to the majority Chinese Community. The new generation may simply consider themselves as Chinese and they do not speak the Baba Malay like generations before.

Thanks to the Urban preservation project of Singapore, houses such as those at Emerald Hill are preserved and used as office spaces and restaurants.

Their cuisines, Sarong Kebaya, Kasut Manek (beaded shoes) ,5- foot- way houses are distinctive features of this hybrid culture.

 


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