A Peranakan Legacy
By Peter Wee
A Peranakan Legacy captures the rich heritage of a fast disappearing way of life and put on record many traditions and practices which were previously handed only down from generation to generation.
The term ‘Baba’ is used to refer to the Straits-born Chinese or Peranakans. The Babas boast a unique culture and way of life that is an amalgamation of Chinese and Malay customs and etiquette. Their culture is perhaps best captured in the beautiful clothing, stunning jewellery, pretty porcelain and other artefacts used in daily living. Girls were taught, from a young age, how to cook a variety of elaborate meals as well as crafts such as beading and embroidery. The result is a rich legacy of splendid kebayas (embroidered blouses), beadwork and various other items.
Through lavish, full-colour photographs of Peranakan artefacts and clothing, this book explains the origins of the various customs and traditions. While some customs are still practiced today, other more complicated ones have disappeared as modern babas adapted to contemporary lifestyles which are deemed more convenient and practical.