OWL Magazine Korea

The Fusion Culture of Singapore: Peranakan Culture

Singapore is a nation composed of diverse ethnicities, where various cultures flourish side by side in its compact space. Additionally, this diversity often comes together to create new forms of culture.

The Peranakan culture is a unique fusion culture that can be found in Singapore. It refers to a blend of Malay culture with other cultural elements.

“The Fusion Culture of Singapore: Peranakan Culture”

The term “Peranakan” is derived from the Malay word “anak,” which means “child.” It refers to descendants of mixed heritage born between immigrant men and local Malay women. The unique fusion culture created by these descendants is known as “Peranakan culture.”

In Southeast Asia, which had a history of vibrant maritime trade, diverse communities of mixed Arab, Indian, and European heritage formed. Among these, communities with a significant population of Chinese Peranakans stand out. In Peranakan culture, men are referred to as “Baba,” while women are called “Nyonya.”

“Exploring Peranakan Culture at the Peranakan Museum”

In Singapore, there is a museum dedicated to showcasing the history of this fusion culture, known as the “Peranakan Museum.” It exhibits the heritage and culture of the Peranakans.

Located near Bugis, the Peranakan Museum is not far from Fort Canning Park.

“Viewing Peranakan-style Buildings at Emerald Hill”

There are places where you can see buildings in the Peranakan architectural style. You can find them in Orchard Road, Singapore’s busiest shopping district and commercial hub.

If you venture a bit off the bustling Orchard Road, you’ll come across “Emerald Hill,” a street where you can find Peranakan-style buildings.

It’s reminiscent of walking through Seoul’s traditional Bukchon Hanok Village. Emerald Hill is a residential area but also a commercial zone. Therefore, you can observe how the locals live in this area.

Peranakan culture is a distinctive and unique culture that can only be experienced in Singapore. By paying attention to these aspects during your trip to Singapore, you can make your journey even more diverse and enriching.