Image from WikiCommons. Nyonya Baba or Peranakan people are descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Archipelago back in the 15th century. Nyona stands for the Peranakan women while Baba refers to the Peranakan men. Over time, it is generally used to define the Straits-born Chinese to differentiate Chinese people who are born in China or in the Malay Archipelago. Most Peranakan or Nyonya Baba people are also of a mixed race.
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This blog is to tell about Malacca history including its places,foods,races and event occur at the state. It is worn with a batik sarong batik wrap-around skirt and 3 kerosang brooches.
Beaded slippers called Kasot Manek were a hand-made with much skill and patience: strung, beaded and sewn onto canvas with tiny faceted glass beads from Bohemia present-day Czech Republic. In modern times, glass beads from Japan are preferred. Traditional kasot manek design often have European floral subjects, with colors influenced by Peranakan porcelain and batik sarongs. They were made onto flats or bedroom slippers.
But from the s, modern shapes became popular and heels were added. In Indonesia, the Peranakans develop their own kebaya, most notably kebaya encim, derived from the name encim or enci to refer to a married Chinese woman.
Kebaya encim was commonly wore by Chinese ladies in Javan coastal cities with significant Chinese settlements, such as Semarang, Lasem, Tuban, Surabaya, Pekalongan and Cirebon.
It marked differently from Javanese kebaya with its smaller and finer embroidery, lighter fabrics and more vibrant colors. They also developed their own batik patterns, which incorporate symbols from China. The kebaya enicm fit well with vibrant-colored kain batik pesisiran Javan coastal batik , which incorporated symbols and motives from China; such as dragon, phoenix, peony and lotus. For the Baba they will wear baju lokchuan which is the Chinese men full costume but the younger generation they will wear just the top of it which is the long sleeved silk jacket with Chinese collar or the batik shirt.
Religion Baba Nyonya subscribed to Chinese beliefs: Taoism, Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism, celebrated the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival, while adopting the customs of the land they settled in, as well as those of their colonial rulers. However in this modern society, lots of young Peranakan community have been embracing Christianity. Most notably in Indonesia, Country with the most significant Peranakan where most of the Chinese are Christians. Food Ayam buah keluak, a traditional Peranakan dish From the Malay influence a unique "Nyonya" cuisine has developed using typical Malay spices.
Examples are Chicken Kapitan, a dry chicken curry, and Inchi Kabin, a Nyonya version of fried chicken. Pindang bandeng is a common fish soup served in Indonesia during the Chinese new year and so is a white round mooncake from Tangerang which is normally used during the Autumn Festival.
Swikee Purwodadi is a peranakan dish from Purwodadi, it is a frog soup dish. Nyonya Laksa is a very popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia, as is Kueh Lapis, a type of multi layered cake, most often eaten at Chinese New Year to symbolize a ladder of prosperity.
Written records from the 19th and early 20th centuries show that Peranakan men usually took brides from within the local Peranakan community. Peranakan families occasionally imported brides from China and sent their daughters to China to find husbands. Marriages within the community and of similar stature were the norm. Most Peranakans are not Muslim, and have retained the traditions of ancestor worship of the Chinese, though some converted to Christianity.
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. 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 lead to the charm of this performance. Furniture, food, and even traditional clothes of the Baba and Nyonya are exhibited. Free weekly street shows featuring Baba performances, and traditional and pop Chinese cultural performances are found in Jonker Street in Malacca Melaka.
The shows are part of the night market pasar malam scene, and are usually crowded with shoppers, both local and foreign. Political affinity Baba Nyonya were financially better off than China-born Chinese. Their family wealth and connections enabled them to form a Straits-Chinese elite, whose loyalty was strictly to Britain or the Netherlands.
Due to their strict loyalty, they did not support Malaysian nor Indonesian Independence. By the middle of the twentieth century, most Peranakan were English or Dutch-educated, as a result of the Western colonization of Malaya and Indonesia, Peranakans readily embraced English culture and education as a means to advance economically thus administrative and civil service posts were often filled by prominent Straits Chinese.
Many in the community chose to convert to Christianity due to its perceived prestige and proximity to the preferred company of British and Dutch. Because of their interaction with different cultures and languages, most Peranakans were and still are trilingual, being able to converse in Chinese, Malay, and English.
Common vocations were as merchants, traders, and general intermediaries between China, Malaya and the West; the latter were especially valued by the British and Dutch. Things started to change in the first half of the 20th century, with some Peranakans starting to support Malaysian and Indonesian independence.
In Indonesia three Chinese communities started to merge and become active in the political scene. They were also among the pioneers of Indonesian newspapers. In their fledgling publishing companies, they published their own political ideas along with contributions from other Indonesian writers.
On occasion, those involved in such activities ran a concrete risk of imprisonment or even of their lives, as the Dutch colonial authorities banned nationalistic publications and activities.
Current status Peranakan culture has started to disappear in Malaysia and Singapore. Without colonial British support for their perceived racial neutrality, government policies in both countries following independence from the British have resulted in the assimilation of Peranakans back into mainstream Chinese culture.
Singapore classifies the Peranakans as ethnically Chinese, so they receive formal instruction in Mandarin Chinese as a second language in accordance with the "Mother Tongue Policy" instead of Malay. In Malaysia, the standardization of Malay as Bahasa Melayu, required for all ethnic groups and has led to a disappearance of the unique characteristics of Baba Malay.
In Indonesia, the Peranakan culture is losing popularity to modern Western culture, but to some degree Peranakans try to retain their language, cuisines and customs. Young Peranakans still speak their creole language, although many young women do not wear the kebaya. Marriages normally follow the western culture because the traditional Peranakan customs are losing popularity.
Only three communities of Peranakan still uphold the traditional Peranakan wedding customs, Tangerang by the Cina Benteng people , Makassar and Padang. Of the three communities the Cina Benteng people are the most adherent to the Peranakan culture, but their number are dwindling.
Cina Benteng people are normally poor people, and many of them sought opportunities in other areas. Some organizations do try to ease their burden of living.
As of May , around Cina Benteng families are facing eviction from their traditional homes. Reason being from the Tangerang government, the area is actually meant as a green area for the city.
Several eviction attempts at and which ended in violence, have caused trauma for them. The migration of some Peranakan families, particularly the well-to-do, has led to a small Peranakan diaspora to neighbouring countries, from Vietnam to Australia. However, these communities are very small, and with the increasing use of the various languages in their respective countries, the use of Peranakan Malay or Baba Malay has been diluted.
The Peranakan Association has about 1, members, and the Gunung Sayang has about members. Although the Peranakan Association consists of a mix of young and old, the Gunung Sayang Association has primarily elderly or retired members. This is a tightly knit community of Saivite Hindus. Chitty Peranakans display considerable similarity to Chinese Peranakans in terms of dressing, songs and folk dances.
Who Were the Nyonya Baba (Peranakan) People?
Terminology[ edit ] The word Peranakan is a grammatical inflection of the Malay and Indonesian word anak, meaning child or offspring. With the addition of the prefix per- and the suffix -an to the root anak, the modified word peranakan has a variety of meanings. Among other things, it can mean womb, or it can be used as a designator of genealogical descent, connoting ancestry or lineage, including great-grandparents or more-distant ancestors. The semantic shift is presumed to have arisen from the thorough hybridization or assimilation of the earliest Chinese or other non-indigenous settlers in the Malay Archipelago such that their ethnic heritage needed to be specified whenever referring to them, either to avoid confusion or to emphasise difference. The designator peranakan — in its original sense simply connoting "descendant of X ethnicity", or "the wombs of X" — emerged as the name for entire ethnic groups that were "locally born but non-indigenous" or perceived to be "hybrid" and "crossbred", and, in time, the latter meaning has come to predominate. It should also be noted that the broadness of the semantic range of peranakan means that it can have significantly different connotations in different parts of the Nusantara region and across different dialects or variants of the Malay and Indonesian languages. For some Peranakans of Chinese descent, calling oneself "Peranakan" without the qualifier "Chinese" can be a way of asserting an ethnic identity distinct from and independent of Chineseness though such a use of "Peranakan" as a single-word ethnonym may clash with the desire of other groups of non-Chinese descent to equally call themselves "Peranakan".
The Baba Nyonya culture
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