Brunei Darussalam

THE OPULENT PINANG PERANAKAN MANSION: A GLIMPSE OF THE BABA-NYONYA CUSTOMS AND TRADITION

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The Peranakans, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, was a prominent community of acculturated Chinese unique to this part of the world, especially in the Straits Settlements (Penang, Malacca and Singapore) hence its other name, the Straits Chinese. Adopting selected ways of the local Malays and later, the colonial British, the Peranakans had created a unique lifestyle and customs which had not only left behind a rich legacy of antiques but its cultural influences like cuisine and language are still evident in Penang today | Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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Visit my Facebook Page for more photos of the opulent Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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At the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. With over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture.

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The mansion belongs to Chung Keng Quee (Kapitan) from China who made his fortunes over here. Although he was an immigrant from China, he was greatly influence by the Straits Chinese (called the “Peranakan”) culture. He commissioned his stately mansion to be built incorporating the strong Peranakan architectural design. It was lavishly furbished with elegant ceramic floor tiles from England, beautiful iron casted art work from Scotland for the balconies and railings and elegant carved-wood panels and screen for the doors and walls from China.

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In the western style formal dining hall is the grand long dining table (called “tok panjang”) where lavish feast are held for their guests. It is complemented with European designed side tables, hubs and wooden casing mirrors running the parameter of the hall. All the wooden furniture here made of teak wood.
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Zatty carries on a conversation with our Penang guide sharing a marble table with a visitor who's perusing the Penang Traveller's Map for other hotspots.
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The game room where popular card game Cherki is played using decks of 60 cards.

For more information on the Cherki card game, visit Peranakan Life

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Architectures that feature an open air atrium with large skylight is far and few these days but something noticeably common in the early days where presumably there was no electricity or air conditioning. Today everybody prefers to A/C up their homes, darken their windows in favour of modern comforts.
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A group of young visitors posing for a photo opportunity against the first floor railing. Smart use of natural light but I suspect the intensity may have exceeded the exposure control limits of their compact digital.
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Brunei Times journalist Zatty (in red) is taking things easy. I recall it was a very hot afternoon and we may have just finished a hotel inspection prior to this stop.

Visit my Facebook Page for more photos of the opulent PINANG PERANAKAN MANSION

The upper floor showcase the family living hall, bedrooms, traditional bridal room with typical Nyonya matrimonial bed and sewing room. Here is where all the antiques are displayed including artistic brooches (“keronsang”), hair pins (“cuck sanggal”), metal belts, bracelets and other women accessories. Other interesting artefacts displayed are the huge vintage standing camera, an antique barber chair, Nyonya long blouses, embroideries and beaded shoes. | Penang State Tourism

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The floors are connected by a grand and lovely stairs case with each step as wide as three feet in width. The balustrades guarding the stairs are decorative cast iron with the distinctive elegant European designed which came from the Macfarlanes foundry in Glasgow, Scotland.

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I was brought to a secluded part of the Mansion and shown this intricate one-piece craftmanship.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion is truly built with a strong affluent of the Straits Chinese culture and symbolises the colourful legacy of the few rich Peranakan families in the past. It is now fully refurbished and restored to its former glory and is a showcase of the bygone days of this community lifestyle and their many customs and traditions. The beautiful mansion was one of the locations for the filming of the Little Nyonya, a 34 episode drama series by Singapore MediaCrop TV Channel 8. | Penang State Tourism

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One thought on “THE OPULENT PINANG PERANAKAN MANSION: A GLIMPSE OF THE BABA-NYONYA CUSTOMS AND TRADITION

  1. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

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