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


EDDYLEBS said...

Greeting from Miri Sarawak, I wonder do Peranakans in Singapore still look like the Peranakans in Malacca? I mean do they still speak the same language? Thanks and nice infos here.....

unk Dicko said...

Lovely bibiks rongenging away..Wooh!
Alas, my closest true blue-Peranakan friend, Vincent Yap Thiam Swee has left the earth years ago. My Mrs and I learnt much about their special culture from him and his family.
His picture appears on my blog on London at my blogsite.
The musicians you are looking for accompanying "Peranakan" music and songs...not easy to find.
Today's generation of guitar players and others have not been exposed to such music genre.

john said...

nothing abt the peranakans but was it you who posted a blog re a Bible Camp in Malacca some yrs ago?

Philip said...

John, yes. Were you there or you know someone in the camp?

Liza Rusdi said...

very nice


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Tan Seow Wei said...

I am Seow Wei from Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore), School of Humanities & Social Sciences and am currently teaching the subject Places & Spaces: A Singapore Context.

I have found your photo blog interesting and apt for the subject. As such, may I request for permission to an image ( for teaching purposes? The information will be presented in Powerpoint slides and it will be used solely for educational purposes within the context of the subject being taught. It will not be disseminated for any profit making venture and it will be duly acknowledged on the teaching resource.

Do feel free to contact me should you have any further query with regard to this.

Thank you for your time and kind consideration. Hope to hear from you soon.