Who are the Peranakans?
For centuries, Singapore's strategic location on the maritime trading route has attracted foreign traders to her shores. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Chinese traders and immigrants settled down in Singapore where they embraced local customs and influences. From this fusion sprung a fascinating Peranakan culture that is a unique part of Singapore's living heritage.
The term Peranakan means ‘locally born’ in Malay, and refers to the descendants of Chinese traders who married local women. Also known as the Straits Chinese, this hybrid culture can still be experienced today through the Peranakan precincts, lifestyle and food.
In the early 20th century, affluent Peranakan families led lavish lifestyles that fused the best of Chinese, local and Western influences. Among the upper echelon of Singapore society, the Peranakans were renowned for their extravagant weddings and ancestral rituals. These occasions were important events for them to impress and socialise within the business community.
With its ornate architectural styles, elaborate jewellery and intricate embroidery of its costumes, the Peranakan culture was grand, colourful and richly ornamental.
The Peranakan Museum is the perfect showcase of this culture and love for opulence and ornamentation. Priceless Chinese porcelain, richly embroidered ceremonial costumes and lavish mother-of-pearl furniture are just some of the Peranakan treasures to witness here. Rooms are available for events of up to 60 guests, with catering available through the museum – perfect for meetings or private group tours.
Peranakan food is a blend of Eastern and Western influences using local ingredients. Arrange your next business lunch at Blue Ginger or Simply Peranakan at the Esplanade, where your guests can experience the rich and flavourful aromas of Peranakan cuisine in spectacular surroundings.
Sample traditional dishes such as otak-otak, a paste made of fish, coconut milk, chilli paste, galangal and herbs wrapped in banana leaf, and ayam buah keluak, a savoury chicken dish cooked with an earthy Indonesian black nut. Nyonya desserts are rich and satisfying ends to a meal.
Immerse yourself in Peranakan culture at the Joo Chiat neighbourhood, a historical residential area filled with unique pre-war architecture. Dotted with heritage shophouses, quaint stores and eateries, this charming area was named after Chew Joo Chiat, a wealthy Chinese landowner in the early 20th century.
For an intimate Peranakan experience, visit The Intan, an award-winning Peranakan private home museum. This charming museum, filled with art and rare antiques, is a unique venue available for corporate networking, cocktails and customised dinners. Personal tours of the private museum can be arranged, along with customised Peranakan corporate gifts.
For a unique curated experience, please contact:
Mr. Alvin Yapp, Owner
Tel : +65 6440 1148