Sunday, 1 April 2012

Baba And Nonya

The Baba House and Peranakan Museum showcase our island's Straits Chinese rich
heritage culture. The Peranakans are decendents of the early Chinese settlers
who married women living in the Malay Archipelago dating back to the 17th century.
The culture is a amalgamation of Chinese and Malay culture with influences from
colonial days of the Portuguese, Dutch, British and India. Their traditions, customs
and lifestyle encompass clothes, jewelry, beaded slippers, cuisine, porcelain wares,
furniture and poetry. It is a unique blend of culture. A hybrid and melting pot of
practices adapted from their forefathers and assimilated into the indigenous lifestyle.

To view these cultural artefacts and sarong kebayas worn by the Nonyas, Peranakan
Museum is located at 39 Armenian Street. This museum was formerly a Chinese school
built in 1912. After the school moved out to a bigger premises, the building was restored
 and converted to museum to document the history of the Straits Chinese culture in
general. The male descendents are called the Babas and the women, Nonyas while the
elderly females are addressed as Bibiks. 
Baba House
The Baba house is situated at 157 Neil Road, built in the 1860s. It is now run
by the National University of Singapore's Centre for the Arts. The townhouse
was donated by Agnes Tan, daughter of the late Straits Chinese leader
Tun Tan Cheng Lock. Over here the visitors step into a typical Peranakan
home and see for themself the living spaces of yore. Be enthralled by the
intricate carvings of the partition screen and bedrooms on the second floor.
It also has a gallery on the third floor that host temporary exhibitions.
Martha Stewart was actually here at the Baba House. If you have missed this
segment in her show. You can take a tour of the house with her. If you are
interested in old stuff like me, would be glad to hear from you.

Martha Stewart In Singapore


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