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Baba Nyonya convention aims to uphold precious heritage


Peranakan items on display during the opening of the 30th International Baba Nyonya Convention at Komtar, Penang.

Peranakan items on display during the opening of the 30th International Baba Nyonya Convention at Komtar, Penang.

DRESSED in traditional Peranakan wedding costumes, the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ were introduced to each other before they proceeded to the customary tea ceremony.

Earlier, the ‘groom’ and his entourage accompanied his ‘bride’ who was in a sedan chair to the Grand Ballroom at Level 5, Komtar.

This charming wedding reenactment was part of the welcoming performance by the State Chinese (Penang) Association during the opening of the 30th International Baba Nyonya Convention on Saturday.

Peranakan culture was celebrated in other ways too.

Many delegates were in colourful Peranakan attire and footwear. They enhanced their outfits with pretty Peranakan jewellery.

In his speech, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Penang was an ideal place to showcase the contributions of the Peranakan communities of Malaysia.

“By creating connections, the Babas and Nyonyas of this century have passed down their heritage and culture that are imbued with traditional Chinese values to shape the new generation of Babas and Nyonyas.

“It is good to see such a big group of delegates from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and other states in Malaysia here at this convention.

“We need to preserve and enhance the Peranakan culture by engaging interactively with eminent speakers,” he added.

The opening ceremony of the convention was followed by the convention forum, lunch and a sightseeing tour.

One of the speakers of the forum was Khoo Salma Nasution, who spoke on the ‘Evolution of the Penang Baba Nyonya Community’.

The theme for the three-day convention was ‘Creating Connections and Celebrating Communities of Peranakan’.

On the final day of the convention, delegates were brought to the convention hall in style for the closing ceremony.

Women in colourful Peranakan attire were taken there on a Hop-On Hop-Off bus and brightly decorated trishaws.

Many of them were in jubilant mood, singing local favourite ‘Rasa Sayang Eh’.

A 20-member chingay group from the North Malaya Chingay Association and a group from the Wu Shu Lion and Dragon Dance Association performed for the delegates at the hall.

Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah closed the convention.

   

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