WALKING INTO A PERANAKAN MANSION

If you happen to visit Georgetown and you are into history and architechture, you shouldn’t miss this.

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When in the 15th century, Chinese immigrants reached British Malaysia, they settled down mainly in Penang and Melaka. Members of this community address themselves as “Nyonya Baba”. Nyonya is the term for the women and Baba for the men.

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The mix of those two cultures created an amazing and unique style.

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Most have lived for generations along the straits of Malacca and most have a lineage where intermarriage with the local Indonesians and Malays have taken place. They were usually traders, the middleman of the British and the Chinese, or the Chinese and Malays, or vice versa because they were mostly English educated.

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Here’s a big camera for professional portraits: they really loved having pictures taken.

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Peranakan culture has started to disappear in Malaysia and Singapore. 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.

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The furniture and decorations are influenced by the travels abroad they could afford.

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