Peranakan Culture On The Uptrend

Peranakans discussion

As expected, the chatter was lively as the Peranakans in the virtual discussion contributed their views on what it meant to be part of this richly diverse community.

There was a parallel stream of discussions taking place among the 200-strong audience at the STORM Discussion — Peranakans In Singapore: What Makes Them Special? 

The discussion broached a variety of topics, from growing up as Peranakans and being confused by one’s standing in society while enduring tags like OCBC — Orang China, Bukan China (looks Chinese, but not Chinese) — because many Peranakans spoke English and Malay at home. 

Panellists include Dr Marc Rerceretnam, who has just published his book A History Of Immigrant Roman Catholics And Converts In Early Singapore 1832-1945, which formed the basis of this discussion.

With him are Monica Alsagoff, a true-blue Peranakan and champion of the community, Alvin Yapp, the founder of home-museum, The Intan and Norman Cho, a collector of vintage Peranakan jewellery. The session is moderated by publisher of Kannan Chandran.

The origins of the Peranakan culture dates back to the 1700s and possibly before that. From Indians and Chinese to Arabs, Indonesians and Thais, the Peranakan influence is wider than most think.

From the cuisine to the jewellery, customs and traditions, the discussion   addressed the past and future of the Peranakans in a rapidly changing world.

Here are some excerpts from the discussion. You can watch the full discussion at the end of the article.

In this video, why is The Queen of England drawn into the Peranakan discussion?

Will future Peranakans value the heritage?

Below you can watch the full discussion What Makes The Peranakans Special?.

Watch our previous wedwebchats:

If you have a topic that is of interest, or have someone who would make a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject, please email with your details and a short summary.

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