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Inspired by Batik

January 5, 2009

During our recent trip to Melaka in Malaysia, we checked out a shop selling Nyonya clothing.  Due to the Nyonya craze going on in Singapore right now because of this local drama which tells of the story of Peranakan people back in the post war era. Peranakan people are the offspring and descendents of Chinese men getting married to local Malay women. So their culture is quite varied consisting of elements from both races. Melaka has a strong Peranakan culture which reflects in their local food, architecture, clothing, art, etc. I think most people in Singapore don’t really know much about Peranakan culture, but through a tv drama, i think it really made people curious and interested to know more about it.

So we were at the shop selling Nyonya clothing. Nyonya refers to females of Peranakan descent. The tops they have were very exquisite and are all hand made so there is only one piece of each! Then they also sold the batik pieces which are used for the bottoms. These batik cloths have very nice designs and we took time to choose some for ourselves. Batik cloths are made from traditional kind of dyeing method and is popular in the Malay Archipelago (Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia). However this is first time that i’m actually knowing more about it. I read that different regions have their own specialised designs and symbolic meaning.  There are many batik artists who have learnt and memorised the patterns and designs that they draw onto the cloth. So by buying traditional and handmade things we can actually support the livelihoods of such artists and keep traditional arts alive.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Joy Fang permalink
    January 14, 2009 11:39 am

    hi there, i’m a journalist with mypaper and i’m writing a story on how people are going to malacca to try nyonya food and buy their costumes after the Little Nyonya tv show. Really hope you can help me with some of my questions! Do contact me at or 6319-5257. Thank you!

    Joy Fang
    Singapore Press Holdings
    My Paper Journalist

  2. Irene permalink
    January 28, 2009 10:03 pm

    I’m planning my trip to Malacca and will like to purchase some nyonya clothings. Could you tell me which shops selling nyonya clothings? And where are the places where I can find good nyonya food?

  3. January 30, 2009 10:07 pm

    hi there irene, so sorry for the late reply, was bit busy these days. If you go to Jonker walk, there is one really nice shop selling the nyonya clothing. don’t rem the name of the shop though but me and my frens bought stuff from there. i think shouldn’t be hard to find. as for food, there r quite a number of places selling nyonya food, came across many while walking around malacca. I think it will be gd to ask the local people there as to which is the best.

  4. Irene permalink
    February 1, 2009 10:23 pm

    Ic… Thanks for the info 🙂

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