December 28, 2012

The Baba House in Singapore

Please enjoy this encore blog posting!

As I’ve stated, Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures and on day two, we learned about Peranakan.  Between the 16th and 18th centuries, many Chinese traders settled in the Malay Peninsula and married women from the Malay Archipelago.  Those combined customs were also influenced by values of the English and Dutch colonists, resulting in the very colorful Peranakan culture.  An excellent way to learn about this way of life is by visiting the Baba House, an architectural icon that showcases Peranakan Chinese history, architecture, and heritage.  Peter Lee, the honorary curator of the house, gave us a very detailed tour depicting what Peranakan life was like when the house was in its golden years.  Following the tour, Edmond Wong gave me a lesson in making a traditional Nonya dumpling.  Edmond’s grandmother, Kim Choo, founded her dumpling company in 1945, and the business is still in the family today.  Please enjoy the Baba house and what we did afterwards.