I had a truly enjoyable day today. First, I went to the Peranakan Museum to catch the Baba Bling! exhibition, and after that went for the Peranakan Festival with the Biggest and Best Babazaar ever (more details in forthcoming post)!
I find that I am becoming a repeat visitor to the Peranakan Museum. That's the thing about a community museum, it generates repeat visitors from members of the community.
The Baba Bling exhibition was a revelation, mostly because I found out that a number of my great-grandmother's and grandaunt's pieces were on display, without my even knowing! My aunt (one of my dad's many cousins) had loaned them to the museum for the exhibition. I went home and asked my father about it. He asked my mother whether she remembered him mentioning (months ago) something about a reception at the Peranakan Museum for people who had contributed to the exhibition. Well, now. Guess who was definitely not told about that. And I wasn't even allowed to take any photos of my own great-grandmother's utterly gorgeous hairpins, belts, earrings and most of all, her truly stunning kerosang. Talk about family treasures.
I have written about my great-grandmother in a previous post. But I don't remember her well - I was only 6 years old when she died, after all. And I certainly don't remember her gorgeous jewellery. But my mother told me that at Chinese New Year, she would put my bracelet of little gold beads (tied together with a red string) on my little wrist together with the bangles my granny gave me. The beads, were apparently handed down from generation to generation. When I went to wish my great grandmother "Kong Hee Fatt Choy" on First Day, she would feel the beads on my wrists before giving me my lovely fat red packet. (My great-grandmother was partially blind.) My very own baby bling.
I had to pass on my bracelets to my younger brother when his turn came. But can anyone tell me the significance, if any, of these bracelets?
P.S. Just found some of the jewellery from the exhibition featured on this site. Take a look at these beauties (my family pieces amongst them)!