Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Peranakan

Who is a Peranakan or what is the definition of a Peranakan? Chew Joo Chiat was born in China and came to Singapore to seek his fortune. He became wealthy and married a Peranakan lady. I read a number of websites which stated that Chew was a wealthy Peranakan land owner. I am a first generation local born and married a nonya's daughter. Does it make me a baba? I am proud to be associated with the Peranakan and its culture. In fact, the Peranakan adhered more to the Chinese tradition than the Chinese. I love Peranakan cuisine and on pre Chinese New Year's eve, we had 'toh panjang'.

More Singaporeans came to know the Peranakan culture through the TV series of "Little Nonya". Sarong Kebaya business has also improved. I managed to get one suit for my grand daughter to put on Chinese New Year day. Below are family photos showing my connection with the nonyas and babas.


Chew Joo Chiat's daughter, my grand aunt


My wife when she was a teenager


My wife's uncle and aunt in Melaka


My mother-in-law sitting in the centre with relatives around her


My wife and I are on the right


My grand daughter, the little nonya


Trophy won by wife for the best dressed nonya

1 comment:

unk Dicko said...

Hi Philip,
So glad you are doing your best to chronicle this Joo Chiat history. I am sure you will uncover more "gems and treasure" in time.
Joo Chiat Road and the entire surrounding is a place that will always have much nostalgia and fond memories for me and my wife.
I worked there for 17 years, roamed, shopped and ate there for more than 30 years.
Now I know who he really was!
Thanks and keep up the posts.