Saturday, March 14, 2009

Peranakans – Going the way of the Dodo?

This article by Soh Tiang Keng sadly concludes that modernisation, urbanisation and social change will lead to the Peranakan culture dying out. Alas, this is probably true, at least in Singapore.

I personally think that the so-called "Mother Tongue" policy has also led to the demise of the Baba Malay patois. Not that my family has any particular affiliation for it, of course. Being Penang Babas/Nonyas, the common language was Penang Hokkien. Of course, ironically this may also die out in the longer term, to be replaced by... ...Malay.

Most Singaporeans however do not know the difference between Penang and Singaporean peranakans. My uncle recently had his 60th Birthday Party. It was a fairly big do, with a large group of about 10 tables or so. There was a programme for the evening complete with games, powerpoint slideshows and speeches. The theme for the evening was "Peranakan". So the tables were labelled "Ayam Buah Keluak" and "Bakwang Kepeting". The MCs for the evening even started off by saying a few stumbling words in Malay, in my uncle's honour. They might have had an easier time speaking in Hokkien!

Hopefully blogs like this will continue to keep interest in Peranakan culture and history alive - at least this is part of my motivation for persevering on with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...