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Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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Many cultures and traditions have shaped the development of Penang, but one of the most remarkable is that of the Peranakan, whose affluent and opulent lifestyles are celebrated at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.

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In the early days of the settlement it became widespread practice for Chinese merchants to reinforce business connections by marrying into local Malay families. The men adopted some of their Malay wive’s indigenous customs, fusing these with those of their Chinese homeland to create a culture that became unique to the Straits settlements of Penang, Melaka and Singapore.

Penang’s Mint Green House. Photo taken in or around Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Penang’s Mint Green House. Photo: Sally Arnold

The descendants of this hybrid culture are known as Peranakan (meaning “mixed race” in Malay), Straits Chinese or Baba-Nyonya as men are addressed with the honorific “Baba”, and women “Nyonya”. The legacy of this initial amalgamation of traditions is the superbly spicy Nyonya cuisine, as well as the colourful embroidered kebaya dresses of the women, and even a creole Malay-Hokkien language, Baba Malay, which is still heard very occasionally among older ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)


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