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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Persatuan Peranakan Baba dan Nyonya Kuala Lumpur [16-4-2011]

The definition of 'Peranakan' according to numerous sources is effectively 'Straits-Born Chinese'. A less-vague explanation of the term would be that in the late 15th-century to 16th -century, Chinese immigrants travelled from the Motherland to what is known today as Malaysia and the surrounding geographical area (what is known today as South-East-Asia), for trade and such, subsequently decided to get randy with the local beauties and decided to settle here. The result: A unique blend of mainland Chinese and local Malay culture which has spawned generations of a beautiful, culturally-rich and fiercely proud people known as the Peranakan, or Baba (for men) and Nyonya (for women). 
Welcome to the Third (3rd) Annual Dinner & Dance 2011 organized by the Persatuan Peranakan Baba Nyonya Kuala Lumpur (PPBNKL). Phew, what a mouthful. I hope I got it right! This time round this lovely event was held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Resort and Country Club. I did not have the opportunity to attend the inaugural Annual Dinner but I did have the honor of joining these lovely people last year in Melaka for the 2nd Annual Dinner and Dance. I did not shoot as many pictures last year but this time around, I wanted to document this annual event.

Once again the event was graced by the talented, charismatic and evergreen Melodians, a veteran live band who specialises in old-skool cha-cha and rhumba, among others. In between speeches by the lovely Dr. Lee Su Kim, there were performances by an ethusiastic youth arm of the Association (who sang a rendition of one of my all-time favourite songs by John Denver) as well as a incredibly beautiful young girl (I did not quite catch her name when she was introduced by Cedric) with a voice as lovely as her appearance. The Mystery Beauty did a country number and although the sight of her was enough to stun me, her voice completely finished the job! An unrelated point is that while singing a country number, Mystery Beauty was wearing a plaid kebaya. I regarded this coincidence with a silent chuckle. Or perhaps it was intentional. I may never find out.

Also, there was a skit by several acclaimed men, how do I put this, dressed in women's kebaya outfits. Historically, the patriarchal Peranakan society forbade women to participate in numerous activities, one of them being stage plays and shows. As a result, the men had to take on roles of women in such productions. This practice later on became a popular reminder of the society and culture of the Peranakan. In fact, this was even immortalised in a popular local TV show in the 80's named Baba dan Nyonya as well as the Singaporean Little Nyonya.

Ooh, by the way, a Kebaya is a traditional outfit of the Peranakan women (or Nyonya). I think many of the women in the following photos are wearing the kebaya, so I don't have to describe it, but suffice to say, it is an elaborate, beautiful and feminine outfit.

For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for April: 5 posts 188 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 64 posts 2,621 pics

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