Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is Baba And Nyonya?

This is my first entry of the year 2008 and i was a new noob beginner blogger.(please don't screw me with my bad English) I will start blogging from now cause i was too boring in the office. (No assignment or any project for me!! Waiting vendor to do system for us! Haiz!! I am waiting them to toss me away la)

I am Choosing this title for my blog because i was Peranakan descendant which is baba and nyonya. Babas and nyonyas Melaka are terms used for the descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the tanah melayu which is now call Malaysia, who have partially adopted Malay customs in an effort (chronological adaptation) to be assimilated into the local communities. (Am i wearing sarong without underwear like a malay guy??? Of course not la! ZZZZZz!)

'Peranakan' means 'descendants'. Babas refer to the male descendants and the Nyonyas the female. Most Peranakan are of Hoklo (Hokkien) ancestry, although a fair denomination of them are of the Teochew or Cantonese descent. (But what i know from my dad is i was hakka ancestry but i cant even speak any word in hakka! Suck man)

The language of the Peranakans, Baba Malay (Bahasa Melayu Baba) , is a dialect of the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu), which contains many Hokkien words. It is a dying language and contemporary use is mainly limited to members of the older generation; this is indicative also of the Peranakan culture at large. (..like in my house, i talk this language within my family members... Wa(i).... Lu(you)....Bak(pig meat).....Yeah!!..Since my parents giving chinese education to all of my sibling, we all also can talk mandarin la...)


In the 15th century, the city states of the Malay Peninsula often paid tribute to various kingdoms such as the kingdoms of China and Siam. Close relations with China were established in the early 15th century, during the reign of Parameswara, when Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho), a Muslim Chinese, visited Malacca. In return for such tribute, a princess of China, Hang Li Po was presented as a gift to Sultan Mansur Shah, the Sultan of Malacca, at that time. The royalty and servants who accompanied the princess initially settled in Bukit Cina and eventually grew into a class of straits-born Chinese known as the Peranakan. The Peranakan retained most of their ethnic and religious origins (ancestor worship), but assimilated the language and culture of the Malays. They developed a unique culture and distinct foods. A lot of sources claim that the early Peranakan inter-married with the local Malay population. However, the lack of physical resemblances have also led many experts to believe that the Peranakan Chinese ethnicity has hardly diluted. Some Peranakan distinguish between Peranakan-Baba (those Peranakan with part Malay ancestry) from Peranakan (those without any Malay ancestry). The Peranakan often sent their sons and daughters to China to look for spouses. Also, the religion of the local Malay population was Islam which forbids inter-marriage with other religions without conversion first. In the early 1800s, new Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlements bolstered the Peranakan population.

Over the centuries, the Peranakans have evolved a unique culture that maintains many Chinese traditions, such as celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival, while adopting the customs of the land they settled in, as well as those of their successive colonial rulers. There are traces of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences in Baba culture. (Wa am i keturunan HANG LI POH???)


The Peranakans were partially assimilated into the Malay culture (especially in food, dress, and language), while retaining some Chinese traditions (religion, name, and ethnic identity), thereby creating a fusion culture of their own. For instance, from their Malay influence, a unique "Nyonya" cuisine has developed using the spices of Malay cuisine (examples are Chicken Kapitan, a dry chicken curry, and Inchi Kabin, a Nyonya version of fried chicken). The women (Nyonyas) have taken to wearing the baju kebaya (a Malay dress, seen most notably as the uniform of Malaysia and Singapore Airlines' female flight attendants). Proposals of marriage were made by a gift of a "pinangan", a 2-tiered lacquered basket to the intended bride's parents brought by a go-between person who will speak on behalf of the suitor. However, most of the Peranakans are not Muslim, and have retained the traditions of ancestor worship of the Chinese; though some converted to Christianity. The wedding ceremony of the Peranakan is largely based on Chinese tradition, and is one of the most colorful and fascinating wedding ceremonies in Malaysia and Singapore. At weddings, the Dondang Sayang, a form of extempore rhyming song in Malay, sung and danced by guests at the wedding party was a highlight. Someone would start on a romantic theme which will be carried on by others, each taking the floor in turn slowly dancing in slow gyrations as they sang, It required quick wit and repartee and often gave rise to laughter and applause when a particularly clever phrase was sung. The melodic accents of the Baba-Nonya and their quaint turns of phrase lend to the charm of this performance.
(ALl campur-campur la, chinese, malay, portugis, and so on la...)

My Hope.......

Peranakan culture is disappearing. Without colonial British support for their perceived racial neutrality, government policies in both countries following independence from the British have resulted in the assimilation of Peranakans back into mainstream Chinese culture. In Singapore, the Peranakans are classified as ethnically Chinese, so they receive formal instruction in Mandarin Chinese as a second language (in accordance with the "Mother Tongue Policy") instead of Malay. In Malaysia, the standardization of Malay as Bahasa Melayu — required for all ethnic groups — has led to a disappearance of the unique characteristics of Baba Malay.

(Thats the unique who i am.....So my friend don't keep asking me what is my descendant and dont because of i can talk bahasa melayu fluently and i have dark skin make you all people thinking that i am malay guy! From all the experience i have gone through, first expression when a stranger meet me was thought that i was malay! :S (hate about that man!, even though some time i got benefit for it)


JiNG said...

Waliu~!!! . MCB man.. your english improved so much!!.. and you write like you are doing assignment~!.. wuhahahaha...

i guess you using COPY and PASTE technology rite?? wiuakakakakakakka

write some chinese lar.. we are from china.. wauahhaha

ismeweiwei said...

hohoho.. since you can get benefits for your skin.. don't complaint again la. :)