Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Report of Baba and Nyonya


      In the modern society of today, many Peranakans have become detached from their roots, especially the younger generation. They show little interest in their culture and do not have the faintest idea of their own heritage. Some of the younger Peranakans feel that the Baba culture is chaotic and confusing. They are completely out of touch with their roots. What has caused this?
       We will give some insight into the heritage of the Peranakans and hopefully provide an opportunity for both young and old to get in touch with their roots. The subtitles 'Those Born Here'  gives us an introduction to the Peranakans.

Those born here’

The term Peranakan simply means "those born here". The Peranakans are the descendants of cross marriages between the Chinese and Malays. In the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), it was recorded that a   Ming Dynasty princess, Hang Liu, arrived in Malacca to be wed to the Malacca Sultan Mansur Shah (1446 - 1459). Part of the princess's entourage included five hundred youths of noble birth who settled in the city. These youths in the early fifteenth century might have intermarried within the Malay community, therefore starting the first generation of Peranakans. The term 'Baba', is another name people widely used for Peranakans. However, 'Baba' can also refer to male Peranakans while the women are known as Nyonyas or if they are older, Bibiks.
          Often, people refer to the Peranakans as Straits Chinese and the terms, Peranakans and Straits Chinese, have been used interchangeably. There is actually a slight difference between these two terms. Straits Chinese refers to the Chinese born in the former Straits Settlements, comprising of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. A Straits Chinese is not necessarily a Baba.

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