Friday, December 17, 2004

Peranakan???

Who are the Peranakans?

The term Peranakan in Malay simply means born locally.

The origin of the community can be trace to the arrival of Ming princess Hang Li Poh to Malacca (a state in present day Malaysia) who married Sultan Mansur Shah (1446 -59) as recorded in The Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals). The princess brought along with her 500 youths who settled in the city. This formed the first Chinese community whose graves can be still seen at Bukit Cheena (China Hill).

By the 15 Century, Chinese male migrants started arriving from Fukien province to Malacca which in those days was a thriving cosmopolitan trading centre. On arriving they found a small thriving community. The migrants set up trading posts. They would leave China following the Northeast monsoon winds at the end of the year and only sailed back in the middle of the year following the Southwest monsoon.
After a while some of them took to setting up second homes in Malacca, marrying the local woman. The male offsprings were sent back to China for education while the daughters remain in Malacca.

In trying to trace the ancestry records of prominent Peranakans families we find that the search end up cold in Malacca to the 17 to 18 Century. Records show that the first migrant patriach of the family married a local born Chinese woman. Can this be a link to the small thriving community?






8 comments:

Mik said...

Congratulation on the blog..looking forward to read and learn more about the Peranakan culture/cuisines...

Anonymous said...

It seems that Peranakans trace their patriarchal lineage to their Hokkien forefathers. Are there Teochew Peranakans and Indian Peranakans whereby their forefathers settled and married native women and adopted chinese traditions?

lmdt said...

Yes there are two Chinese dialect (Hokkien and Teochew) groups of Peranakans. Base on my observations not to sure if this is correct. The Hokkiens Peranakans assimilate a great deal of the Malay culture especially in the use of the Baba Patois and Dongdang Sayang while the Teochew Peranakans are more similar to the Hokkien Peranakan in Penang retaining more of the Chinese characteristics in the language they speak.

The Indian Peranakans are called Chetty Malacca. They adopetd Malay customs and some surprisingly some Chinese customs like the prayers to ancestors.

Anonymous said...

The Dongdang Sayang festival in Malacca - a lively performance of 'pantun' or quatrain lyrics, involving the melodic, often haunting strains of male and female vocalists. Do these festivals still continue to today amongst the modern Straits peranakans?

Also, were there Peranakans from Indonesia, Kalimantan (Dutch East Indies)?

lmdt said...

Not sure if the Dongdang Sayang Festival in Malacca is still held. In Singapore there is the Gunung Sayang Association they stage Peranakan plays and sing Dongdang Sayang.

You can view and listen to a Dongdang Sayang performance from members of Gunung Sayang which was recorded for a Malay program.

http://www.srimahligai.com/video.htm?Jam.wmv

On you next question..Yes there are Peranakans in Indonesia.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm looking for the Gunung Sayang Association's Website but I don't seem to be able to find it. Any help?

lmdt said...

Hi Anonymous

The website for Gunong Sayang is http://gunongsayang.org/

Happy Surfing....

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks a lot. I'm looking for their new plays. Thanks.