INTRODUCTION Born in Alor Setar, Kedah in 1927 Son of a fourth-generation Straits-Chinese
father and a mother, whose culture was a mixture of Siamese, Chinese and Malay influences His paternal grandfather was Chinese secretary of the Kedah Sultanate His maternal grandfather a Chinese Kapitan to the Malay Sultanate
Lee received education in the Chinese,
Japanese, English and Malay education systems in 1930s and 1940s Graduated with his first degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia Continued to study law in United Kingdom Became a lawyer after graduating in 1954 Lee was also a politician and an activist was a one-time Labour member of the Tanjung State Assembly
Lees Short stories:( some can be found in Twenty-Two Malaysian Stories: An Anthology of Writing in English. )
Return to Malaya Its All in a Dream When the Saints Go Marching Just a Girl Birthday
The Glittering Game Ibrahim Something
From A Selection of Malaysian Short Stories: Spirit of the Keris
Death is a Ceremony Ronggeng-Ronggeng
Lee Kok Liangs Unpublished Work: Novel London Does Not Belong To Me (set in the 1950s)
Let us now look at some Baba Nyonya Culture
Baba and NyonyaThe origins of Baba Nyonya can be
traced back to centuries ago when the Chinese emigrated from China to the British Straits Settlement of Melaka, Singapore, Penang and also Java of Indonesia.
The Chinese then married the local females and their distinct
background, cultures and customs blended together harmoniously and became baba nyonya in Peranakan culture.
Peranakan means descendents inMalay. another local term for them -Baba refers to the male while nyonya is female. Beside, they are also known as Straits-born Chinese. a very unique culture in Melaka where the Chinese culture is assimilated into Malay customs
During the ancient times, they retained some practices of Chinese cultures but at the same time
adapted local Malay traditions in order to minimize the culture shock.
Assimilated into Malay culture -have several
similarities with that culture in terms of dress, food and language. Nyonya usually wears a sarung or baju kebaya similar to Malay. However, most of them are not Muslims even though they practise Malay traditions. They retained some Chinese customs especially in festival celebrations, marriage, names and ancestral worship.
Mentioning about nyonya food, one will be
salivating and food like Kapitan chicken, buah keluak, duck sup, laksa and various mouth-watering sweet delicacies will come to the mind. Adapted both cultures in cooking; nyonya food is made up of pungent and strongflavored spices from Malay and Chinese style in food preparing. Thus, you might probably find some cuisines similar to Malay food.
Speak in a form of assimilated
language consisting of Baba Malay, Malay Patoi and Hokkien dialect. Thus, you might be surprised by the
way they speak in a mixture of Malay language, Hokkien dialect and probably some unfamiliar terms to you.
It is said that their language is a blend of
Chinese, Malay and Eurasian culture because Europeans, like the Dutch, were influential when they dominated Melaka. Their languages itself is amazing enough in
telling you how one culture can be assimilated into another and create another novel and unique culture.
The Nyonya wedding, in particular, is
an event worth witnessing. Both the bride and groom are dressed to kill in their fashionable and colorful attires. Though there are many differences
between a Nyonya and a Western wedding, one difference worth noting is the Nyonya bride head gear with tassels hanging over her face.
Nyonya, being a dying breed and unknown
to many, had their unique traditional sets of marital rites and rituals. One such is the unveiling of the bride. Both had to be rehearsed to ensure this act was well done. The rehearsal was preformed as if it is the
meeting for the bride and groom the first time. The bride has to be fully dressed with head gear and veil.
A proper Nyonya wedding would have been
challenging to do during present times. 6 months preparation affair during the Straits Settlement period is no joke. Highly elaborated with rituals and ceremonies like face threading, hair combing, making of beaded shoes and sewing sequins on the heavy embroidery wedding gowns.
In the early 20th century, Nyonya wedding and marriages are match made. Daughters from rich families are married off as young as 12 or 13 years of age. So this 13 -year old bride being match made to a rich family must be fully prepared with traditional bridal suit, crown with tassel laid head gear and jewelry.
And Chneoh Tau (a rite of purification and initiation into adulthood is carried out.
More symbolic is the face threadingceremony. It has to be performed 3 or 7 days before the wedding. After that it is quarantine till the wedding day. For the bride, she has to be in ceremonial RED from head to toe. For the groom, his task is a little heavy as he has to learn how to clasp his hand together and greet the bride before unveiling her.
Baba Nyonya Food
Baba Nyonya Houses
Baba Nyonya Furniture
Baba Nyonya Wedding
Baba Nyonya Footwear
Baba Nyonya Accessories
Thank you, folks !!! Hope you enjoyed that!!!