Monday, August 23, 2010

The Peranakan Town

In the recent issue of the Peranakan magazine I was surprised to learn that there was so much talk about making Joo Chiat a Peranakan Town. It is most appropriate to give Joo Chiat this honour for the Peranakan culture is very much alive here. Joo Chiat district has rich heritage of Peranakan buildings with mixed motifs of different cultures. There are Peranakan antique shops, tailors making sarong kebaya, many Nonya food restuarants and the Peranakan community. Now there is a forging of ties between the Peranakan Association and the Joo Chiat community club to take the Peranakan culture to a wider community and eventually making Joo Chiat a Singapore Peranakan hub.

There are organisations in Singapore that keep Peranakan culture and traditions alive. The most outstanding are the Peranakan Association and Gunong Sayang. Less known is a small group of Peranakan senior citizens in Marine Parade formed in 2009 to actively promote their culture and traditions. They are members of Good Life, an organisation sponsored by the Catholic Welfare Association for senior citizens in Marine Parade. The group consists of Peranakan women age from 70 to 80 plus. They dressed in sarong kebaya to sing and dance at functions such Christmas, Lunar New Year and recently Singapore National Day. All the 3 events were graced by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. During the Christmas party at Block 34, SM Goh went up the stage to dance rongeng with the elderly bibiks.

The group is now looking for volunteer musicians to accompany their singing and dance performance. Can anyone help?

Pictures and video of Lunar New Year 2010

Pictures and video of Christmas 2009