Tourism Malaysia

Kebaya Tales : Stories from The Nyonya

October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The Baba-Nyonya community refers to a group of people who are descendants of late 15th and 16th century Chinese immigrants who came to the islands of Nusantara during the Colonial era. These are people who have assimilated to the Malay Peninsula’s culture and have adopted the Malay language as a first or second language over the years. Their culture is a rich and vibrant one, as seen through their spoken language, their dressing and their cuisine.


The Kebaya is a favourite outfit for Nyonyas and is usually worn during official ceremonies

For those who are fascinated and would like to know more about the Peranakans, do make a date with the National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur this coming 15th October 2011 as the museum will be organising a talk on the Babas and Nyonyas. The guest speaker this time is none other than Lee Su Kim, the founder member and the first woman President of the Peranakan Baba Nyonya Association of Kuala Lumpur Selangor. She is also the author of nine books, including two bestsellers; Malaysian Flavours: Insights Into Things Malaysian and Manglish: Malaysian English at its Wackiest. Su Kim will be sharing her experiences of writing about the Baba and Nyonya communities of Malacca, Penang and Singapore. Some of the stories that she will be sharing are stories that have been passed down from her Nyonya mother, grandmother and bibiks (aunts).

The talk will be held at Level 1, Gallery Saindera at the National Textile Museum and will start at 3.00 pm. There is an admission charge of RM 20 for students, museum volunteers as well as members of Persatuan Peranakan Baba Nyonya Kuala Lumpur Selangor (PPBNKLS). For non-members who are interested in participating, there is an admission charge of RM 25. The charge includes a tea reception. Participants are required to register by replying to this email address – or Alternatively, one can also contact Syahrul or Nor Asmah at 03 2694 3457.

Photo (c) daecon

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