7/25/2015

Celebrating the peranakans and early pioneers



I spent this morning at the Peranakan Museum to look at the latest exhibits on show. The theme is about the earlier pioneers and community leaders of Singapore from the 19th Century to present. The emphasis of the exhibits is the peranakans, our equivalent of local borns from the Chinese community. The exhibits are quite interesting as they put a face to all the names that we are seeing on the streets and put in perspective the roles of these peranakans and their contributions to society in kind, building schools, parks, hospitals and generous donations to the people. 

The exhibition features 50 peranakans to coincide with SG50 though there must be more than 50 of these pioneers out there. The  origins of Whampo, Yishun, Boon Lay, Chong Pang, Keong Saik, Hong Lim, Boon Tat, Joo Chiat etc etc were all carefully recorded by the curators. This is a part of our history of the old rich that were alike to the American's Kennedys, Rockefellers, Fords, Carnegies, Mellons, Morgans etc.

Here are some of the pics I took today.
The top pic is the Peranakan Museum. Photos of the early pioneers include Tan Chay Yan, Seah Eu Chin, Tan Jiak Kim. The most prominent Malaysian peranakan Tan Cheng Lock was also featured. Others featured but not shown here include Tan Tock Seng, Lim Nee Soon, Lim Boon Keng, Tan Keong Siak, Gan Eng Seng, Cheang Hong Lim, Ong Boon Tat, all 50 carefully selected movers and shakers of Singapore.

18 comments:

agongkia said...

One thing that i observed is that all the above mention peranakan pioneers , though peranakan living in colonial days,proudly have their original Chinese names and not name themselves Dony or Mary Tan etc.
They deserve to be remembered and
I am proud of these nyonya ,bibi n baba.






denk said...

lky on tv
*nobody can just walk in and take over what we created*

hehehehe

patriot said...

Amongst the Names mentioned, few are Peranakans.

Peranakans are those Chinese who have adopted some or much Malay Cultures in their livings. They created unique fashion and food incorporating Malay Traditions but almost completely remain unconverted in their Religious Beliefs. However, most are proficient in the Malay Language rather than in their own Indigenous Mother Tongues( Dialects).
In short, Peranakans were, are OCBCs;
Orang Chiba bukan China in Language, Fashion and Food.

The Names Listed were, are mostly NOT PERANAKANS IB THE STRICT SENSE

patriot

Anonymous said...

Who are all these people?

" Photos of the early pioneers include Tan Chay Yan, Seah Eu Chin, Tan Jiak Kim. ...
Tan Cheng Lock ... Tan Tock Seng, Lim Nee Soon, Lim Boon Keng, Tan Keong Siak, Gan Eng Seng, Cheang Hong Lim, Ong Boon Tat .... carefully selected movers and shakers of Singapore. "

Why redbean never say Lee Kuan Yew arrive first in Singapore before all these people?
LKY arrive first when Singapore was just a fishing village.
After he single handedly turn Singapore into a thriving city, then all these other Johnny-Come-Lately arrive and got rich building upon foundations built by LKY.

Anonymous said...

"The Names Listed were, are mostly NOT PERANAKANS IB THE STRICT SENSE"
patriot
July 26, 2015 8:51 a.m.

Why don't we just ask our Peranakan friends to identify themselves and tell us who they are?
Chinese, Malays, neither, or a unique community unto themselves?
As for me.
I've never met a Peranakan who would ever acknowledge their Chinese history when they are overseas.
Just like I have never heard of a Chinese emperor who ever did anything "for the greater good" without harming more Chinese people.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

denk said...

lky on tv
*nobody can just walk in and take over what we created*

I heard that too. And I was thinking to myself, he meant what he said. But he never dream of foreigners being invited to take over our country, our jobs, our homes and our women with consent and our soldiers did not know what is going on, and cannot do anything about it.

See how passionate they are to bring in foreigners to take over the good jobs and keep encourageing Singaporeans to go overseas to earn rupees, rupiahs, pesos and renminbi? We build a paradise here for foreigners and our people have to be chased out to hostile 3rd World countries to make a living, leaving their homes and families to the foreigners.

What kind of silly wisdom is that?

patriot said...

The Prime Builders and Movers of the Pioneers in the Names mentioned in this Thread. Maybe, they did not qualified as Peranakans. However, Tan Kah Kee, Tan Lark Sye, Lee Kwang Chian, Aljunied, Alsagoff were truly the Pioneer Builders of Singapore.

Must say that despite contributing much to the Local People, most of them were fiercely loyal to their Countries Of Origin aka Motherlands. They were First Class Patriots

patriot

patriot said...

The Prime Builders and Movers of the Pioneer Generation are NOT mentioned in this Thread for correction to the Comment I made earlier

My apology

patriot

Anonymous said...

All these "Prime Builders and Movers of the Pioneer Generation".
Were they all PAP Ministers?
Must be right?
Since it was PAP that built up Singapore from a fishing village.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot,

This museum is about Peranakans, the local born Chinese that were westernised and wanted to be the subjects of the British Empire. There is a big statue of Queen Victoria in the museum to show where their loyalty laid.

For the men, they were western educated, adopted western lifestyle, but somehow still stuck to some Chinese culture and customs especially in wedding, rites, etc. The women or nyonas wore a modified sarong kebaya, cooked differently and spoke differently from the Chinese. But they read the Chinese classics translated to peranakan Malay.

It is a unique group of people that had morphed from a combination of Chinese, Western and Malay cultures.

The more traditional Chinese like Tan Kah Kee, Lee Kong Chian, Tan Lark Sye etc etc were not included as they were not peranakans. They have their own museum in Ee Hoe Hean Club.

Perhaps there could have a museum for all the pioneers of the various races in a section at the National Museum.

Oh the founding father of Singapore is featured quite extensively, including the wife, though it was speculated that the founding father did not want to be called a peranakan.

agongkia said...

Disagree with uncle Patriot using OCBC on peranakan.I would prefer to call myself CB...
Not the C...B... that Martilah use the mention here but it's Cina Baba., though some call me Cina Boyan.

But I am not westernise or fancy anything angmo.
I am a quarter CB Penang peranakan and is proud to be call one.,CB or Ah Ba .Fine with me.

I love sambal belachan cooked with petai, chinchalok....priority to be married with nyonias ..any nyonias with peranakan origin cannot escape my little eye.

denk said...

rb,

lky was right tho,
they dont walk in , they jet in by the plane load, often all expenses paid hehehe.

why are there so many tv series on the lives of pioneer citizens, how sg was built up brick by brick, tiles by tiles with the blood and sweat by these pioneers ?
why this lky msg on tv at this moment ?

kinda like rubbing salt into wound ?

Anonymous said...

You ask a woodbridge patient if he is mad, his answer will be no.
We are having people that should be locked up in IMH instead of running the country.

denk said...

anon July 26, 2015 1:13 p.m.

think unitedsnake.

patriot said...

Chin Leng;

Thank You much for the Information.

Me has a tendency to call Chinese who do NOT speak their Indigenous Languages(Dialects and Mandarin) in the Malay Archipelago as Peranakans.
Chinese outside the Malay Archipelago are not included, especially those who NEVER adopted any Malay Culture.

My Comments were intended to HIGHLIGHT that the REAL SHAKERS AND MOVERS OF THE OVERALL PROGRESSES IN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS WERE RACES THAT FIERCELY PROTECTED THEIR CULTURES OF ORIGINS. THAT IS: THEY WERE NEVER BEHOLDEN TO FOREIGN MASTERS.

THE CHINESE PHILANTROPHISTS BUILT CHINESE SCHOOLS TO UPHOLD AND STRENGHTEN THE CHINESE CULTIRE FROM THE ONSLAUGHT OF THE EUROPEANS.
THE ARABS HOWEVER, COMPLETELY CONVERTED THE SOUTH EAST ASIAN MALAYS TO THE ISLAMIC FAITH AND THE WRITTEN LANGUAGE WAS AT ONE POINT WIDELY ADOPTED. NEVERTHELESS, THE MALAYS ARE ABLE TO RETAIN THEIR LANGUAGE WRITTEN IN THE ENGLISH ALPHETBETS AND IS NOT OVERWHELMED BY SPOKEN ARAB LANGUAGES.

THOSE ATTEMPTS BY THE EARLY CHINESE IMMIGRANTS TO PREVENT EROSIONS OF NATIVE CULTURES WAS SADLY WRETCHED BY THE LOCAL RULERS, WHO WERE IRONICALLY MADE UP OF MOSTLY CHINESE RACE.

LEE KUAN YEW, THE CLAIMED FOUNDING FATHER OF SIN HAD A SICKENING HABIT OF TELLING THE ASIANS TO ADOPT THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
THOUGH HE WAS A CHINESE DESCENDANT,
HE WORKED FOR THE JAPANESE WHICH MASS MURDERED CHINESE WHEREVER THEY WERE IN WORKD WAR II.
LEE KUAN YEW NEEDED CHINESE INTERPRETER WHEN HE DEALT WITH
LEADERS IN CHINA AND TAIWAN, EVEN WITH LOCAL CHINESE WHO DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH OR MALAY. LOL.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot,

Just to add to my comments. There are exceptions. Dr Lim Boon Keng, the first Queens scholar, returned from UK a changed man. He must have met with some rude awakening experience when studying there. He furiously indulged in learning the Chinese Language and culture and was the Chancellor of Xiamen University for 16 years. A peranakan turned Chinaman. He was even ousted by the peranakan society that he founded for being too Chinese to their likings.

In the case of LKY, he refused to admit that he is a peranakan. They would not dare to put his pictures in the Peranakan Museum if he is still alive today. This is another peranakan that turned into a China man.

People changed as their experience and thinking changed over time. A whole person cannot be judged by a single act but through this life time, and the final chapters of his life are more definitive.

The loyalty of the early Chinese was towards China for many reasons. They were citizens of China. The British were reluctant to give them citizenship. At best, like the peranakans, they were British subjects. There was no state of Malaya or Singapore to talk about. Both were British colonies. For those who are not familiar with history, please do not jump the gun to dismiss them for not being loyal to Singapore. No Singapore as an independent country then, ok.

patriot said...

Chin Leng;

Much thank again.

When I saw the Man putting on 'Fu Man Chu' Attire, I was lost for words.
One question naturally popped up;
Why do it?
The Man was not shallow,
but why so superficial?

Next thing tgat I have a tendency
to ponder is why pray for forgiveness
after knowingly did wrongs?
Humans are funny.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

When we were young, we made stupid mistakes due to our ignorance and immaturity. As we get older, we get wiser, hopefully, and see things from a more mature perspective.

This is only natural. We are not genius and would learn thru our own mistakes.