Nonyaware

One of my favorite “small” museums in Singapore is the Peranakan Museum.

A bit of background for my non-Singapore-based readers: Peranakan, literally locally born, generally refers to “Straits Chinese Peranakan” in Singapore, a distinct hybrid culture that fuses Chinese heritage with Malay influences.

The museum’s 10 galleries exhibit Peranakan artifacts such as jewellery, textiles, and porcelain. I have returned again and again to Gallery 9: Food and Feasting which features a grand banquet setting with the world’s best collection of Peranakan porcelain. Also known as Nonyaware, this domestic pottery is characterized by its vivid colors and floral and bird motifs.

My understanding is that authentic Nonyaware is scarce; I doubt I can buy it in Singapore. I did see Nonyaware-inspired plastic ladles in Mustafa Centre, but those just didn’t do it for me. Will I have better luck in Malacca or Penang, Malaysia? I just want one teacup!

(Additional credits: Photograph via Beezy’s Flickr stream. Licensed via Getty Images.)

5 responses

  1. You can buy them in Katong, at either Kim Choo or the Peranakan House. Also, some Peranakan stores in Katong Shopping Center sell this stuff, too!

  2. Yeah I think you might have fun exploring in Malacca :). Probably cheaper too.

    There was a very popular show in Singapore called ‘Little Nonya’…I missed it though as I hardly watch TV. It brought about a renewed interest for all things Peranakan, and soon after we got the museum which I still need to explore one day.

    I love seeing Singapore from your perspective. I am learning so much.

  3. I agree with bookjunkie too – you will certainly love malacca! in fact, it’s one of my fav towns in malaysia! :) great place. by the way, i love that you invite your readers to contribute to your blog. I already have a piece in mind and will be emailing you shortly! :)