Once upon a Peranakan Time.

Joo Chiat a heritage town! since?
Joo Chiat a heritage town! since?

To retain its rich architecture and heritage, over 800 buildings in the area have been conserved. In February 2011, the National Heritage Board designated Joo Chiat as Singapore’s first Heritage Town in recognition of the community efforts in heritage conservation.

Joo Chiat black and white houses
Joo Chiat black and white houses

In the 1920s and 1930s, many made Katong/Joo Chiat their home. This resulted in bungalows, shophouses and places of worship being built,a reflection of the multicultural and varied Katong/Joo Chiat community.

what was it like in the 50s?
what was it like in the 50s?

Up to the 1950s, the area was an idyllic seaside retreat for the wealthy. There were coconut plantations stretching and humble attap-roofed kampung (villages) Joo Chiat Road was a simple dirt track running through the plantations from Geylang Serai to the sea in the 1920s. Named after Chew Joo Chiat, a wealthy land-owner, known as the “King of Katong”.

The Peranakan- What's in a Name?
The Peranakan- What's in a Name?

A Peranakan, a word derived from the Malay root word anak which means child, is a descendant of early Chinese migrants who settled historically in the Straits Settlements of colonial Malaya. The Straits Settlements consisted of the territories of Malacca, Penang and Singapore.

What are they wearing?
What are they wearing?

A typical Nyonya bridal gown has an elaborate cape collar, with three to four overlapping layers of materials resting on the shoulders, complete with a pleated skirt. The groom‘s costume consists of a loose tunic and an ankle-length flowing robe, which is richly embroidered with auspicious wedding symbols in gold thread couching.

What is a Bakul Siah?
What is a Bakul Siah?

Bakul Siah are used to transport valuable gifts for to exchange gifts before the wedding day. So the bridegroom's family sent this to me for the gift exchange ceremony called 'Lap Chai'.

what is a tng sah beh kua?
what is a tng sah beh kua?

The groom dresses up like a noble from the Qing court, he dons the tng-sah beh-kua. He wears a scholar’s cap with a brooch, a three-quarter length embroidered tunic with motifs in gold thread couching over an ankle-length gown. It is also part of the Peranakan wedding custom to wear an ornate silver belt or gold buckle under his gown.

What's in the wedding headdress?
What's in the wedding headdress?

Her headdress consists of a crown of hairpins and a headband bearing figurines of the legendary 8 immortals. Brides may opt to wear the Peranakan traditional wedding attire i.e. the formal koon or the informal hock chew with the groom donning the tng-sah beh-kua.

Dressed like a phoenix
Dressed like a phoenix

The traditional Nyonya bridal gown called the koon has an elaborate phoenix cape collar, with three to four overlapping layers of materials resting on the shoulders, complete with a pleated skirt. And kasuk manek slippers

what is Tuang Teh ?
what is Tuang Teh ?

A significant ritual is the tea ceremony whereby the bridal couple pays respect to their parents and elders. The Peranakans do not use Chinese tea for this ceremony. The ‘tea’ is actually a concoction of boiled ang choe (red dates), dried longans and rock sugar.

Are they a mixed race?
Are they a mixed race?

the term “Peranakan” originally means local born. Over time, it is generally used to define the Straits-born Chinese to differentiate Chinese people who are born in China or in the Malay Archipelago. The Malay Archipelago consists of Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia (excluding Western New Guinea), the Philippines and East Timor.

what is a shophouse?
what is a shophouse?

The typical home of the Peranakan, from the early 1800s until the middle part of the 20th century was the shophouse – a design of residence dictated by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles himself. A similar style of residence was the terraced townhouse. It was similar to the shophouse in basic design, but had a couple of key differences. One was that while the shophouse had the ground floor dedicated to business, and the upper floors dedicated to living-space –