Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Peranakan Museum: July 11th

On Monday, July 11th, B had to go to work (sad), so little R and I were on our own after breakfast (which we eat at the hotel since it's included in our room rate). In the morning, R and I hung out in the hotel so that she could get her naps in (and so I could make calls to rental agents). After nap #2 (so around 2 pm), little R and I ventured out to the MRT and visited the Raffles City mall.

Most stores here are in very large shopping malls, which sounded terrible when I heard it but is actually very convenient (and comfortable, since they are all air-conditioned). The stores vary from the high end (Prada, Shanghai Tang, etc) to hawker stalls selling $10 clothes, and they have pretty much every brand, American and otherwise, that you might desire (Gap Kids, Banana Republic, Toys R Us, Ikea, etc.).

I ate lunch there (a really good veggie burger: there are many vegetarian options here since so many people are vegetarians, much more so than in the US) and bought little R a new onesie. Then we left the mall and traveled for a few minutes to the Peranakan Museum.

This museum highlights Peranakan culture, which is a mixed-race and -ethnicity group consisting of (mostly) Chinese traders marrying local Malay and Indian women, and the resulting offspring. The people of Singapore are largely a product of these people. They lived under British rule, and adopted many Western customs as well (including female education, the use of English, Western clothes, etc.), so the Peranakans are really a hybrid of many different cultures.

The museum was extremely well-done physically (good lighting, climate control, facilities in a converted Peranakan mansion) and in its displays (gave a thorough overview in a succinct and professional manner). It was one of the better cultural museums I've seen, actually.

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