Friday, December 17, 2010

Books on Peranakan Culture and Society

This is a selection from our large collection of books on Peranakan culture, which includes books on Peranakan society, history, heritage, furniture, porcelain and more.

A Peranakan Legacy: The Heritage of the Straits Chinese by Peter Wee. Exquisite pieces, embroidered clothing, stunning gold and silver jewellery, pretty porcelain artefacts and unusual items of daily living chronicle the rich heritage of the Peranakans or Straits Chinese - a people whose unique culture is an amalgamation of Eastern and Western influences: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Indonesian, Portuguese, Dutch and British. This book captures through lavish, full-colour photographs the Peranakan's strong sense of customs and etiquette and introduces readers to their way of life.

Peranakan Chinese in a Globalizing Southeast Asia edited by Leo Suryadinata. These 12 papers are from the 2009 Singapore conference. They address varied issues as they relate to Peranakan Chinese in Indonesia, Malaysia and/or Singapore. These include: usages of the term "peranakan"; intermarriage and Chinese peranakan; socio-politico dimensions; impacts of the Colonial State; political leadership in Malaysia; the State in Indonesia; education in Singapore; Anglophone Straits Chinese and their literature; identity in Colonial society; curating Singapore's Baba House; and curating the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base. Index.

Phoenix Rising: Narratives in Nonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements by Cheah Hwei-Fe'n. Over 200 illustrations in full colour complement this fine and comprehensive multi-disciplinary study of the distinctive beadwork done - and still being done - by nonya women of the Straits Settlements. The development and pattern of Peranakan society, the social roles and education of girls and women and the significance of nonya needlework and beadwork are the themes of Part One. Part Two looks at the history, traditions, designs and tensions of the beadwork craft and its practice. Part Three explores the place of nonya beadwork in contemporary culture, including in the ongoing revival of interest in all things Peranakan. With glossary, chronology, bibliography and index.

Peranakan Chinese Politics In Indonesia by Mary Somers. 2009 reissue of the 1964 Cornell study of Peranakan Chinese politics in Indonesia since the end of the Colonial government. After a background summary which identifies the totok ("pure") and peranakan (local-born or with "mixed" background), factors in the Chinese population, the post-1954 policies regarding citizenship issues are explored. The 1957 China-Indonesia Citizenship treaty and the implications of the ban against aliens trading are discussed. The influence of Baperki, the Consultative Body for Indonesian Citizenship, the 1960s exodus to China of "aliens" from many areas, and the background of the 1963, anti-Chinese riots are described. Ongoing (1964) tensions regarding assimilation and Indonesian views of the Chinese are discussed in the final section. Indexed on Google.

Classic Peranakan Cooking: Recipes from the Straits Chinese Kitchen. The Peranakans, or Straits Chinese, are a people whose culture is characterised by a blend of Chinese and Malay beliefs, customs and practices. Beginning with the same foundation several centuries ago, their cuisine grew and became refined with Indonesian, Thai, Indian and even colonial influences. This treasury of Peranakan recipes is compiled from MediaCorp TV12's popular cooking show, The Ways of the Matriarch. It includes quotes from the TV series, and handy cooking tips, offering an invaluable insight into the rich culinary heritage of the Peranakan community.

Peranakan Chinese Porcelain: Vibrant Festive Ware of the Straits Chinese by Kee Ming-Yuet. This extensively illustrated volume presents and discusses the colourful porcelain China export ware characteristic of Peranakan domestic culture. After an account of the 19th-century trade patterns, Peranakan history and culture are overviewed. Porcelain types and origins and the motifs, colours and symbols used are described followed by detailed accounts of the diverse products and their purposes in kitchens, bedrooms, religious rituals and social life. Changes in Peranakan culture and the regard in which the porcelain has been held are discussed. Other export wares used are also noted. With bibliography, index and many colourful photographs.

Straits Chinese Furniture: A Collector's Guide by Ho Wing Meng. One hundred colour photographs enrich this account of the fusion of Chinese Qing dynasty furniture with that of early 19th century British styles which together formed the ornate and highly usable furniture of the Straits Chinese, also known as the Peranakans. Includes pointers to dating, glossary and bibliography.

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