If you are into all things Peranakan, the month-long Peranakan Festival from 27 May to 17 June, running daily over four weekends (27 – 28 May, 3 – 4 June, 10 – 11 June & 17 June) from 11am to 6pm will sweep you into an enriching immersion experience of the fascinating Straits Chinese community. Get ready to be entertained by performances, art and craft workshops, exhibitions, cooking classes, tastings and savour a sumptuous high tea at Claymore Connect and The Peranakan Restaurant like a true blue Nyonya or Baba!
These Joget Joget weekends highlight the Peranakan love for dancing. At the festival, you will get to enjoy Dondang Sayang, a traditional love ballad performance which Baba and Nonya singers engage in a witty, humorous exchange of Malay pantun (poetry).
Foodies will be delighted with the showcase and free sampling of traditional desserts, cookies as well as sireh or betel nut. Cooking workshops are available at $50 and come with a personalised certificate and a recipe card. These workshops reveal the secrets behind the hard-to-find Nasi Ulam, a delectable rice salad of raw herbs and vegetables, fried fish and salted fish, that have to be finely julienned and minced and takes hours to prepare.
A likely sell out event is the weekend Peranakan Joget Joget High Tea at The Peranakan Restaurant, where favourites like mee siam, kueh pi tee and nasi ulam accompanied by Malacca kopi-o and Malacca milk tea will be served.
Kids can get into the Peranakan art and craft workshops like stamp carving, silk screen printing and book cover art, where they will be guided to create a Peranakan-inspired composition. There will also be a demonstration on how to make Bunga Rampai, a potpourri of fresh pandan leaves and flowers, traditionally used on special occasions.
Exhibitions on Peranakan culture and art highlight the community’s heritage, such as a showcase on the game of cherki, played by Nyonyas in the past. This popular card game, which originated from Malacca, was usually accompanied by gossip around the table, swapping recipes and chewing betel nut.
With show reels of Peranakans of yesteryear forming a visual backdrop, you can have fun dressing up in Nonya or Baba traditional costume (rental at just $30) and have your photos taken in front of different backdrops. There is also a set of spectacular traditional wedding garments for folks who are into themed selfies or photography. For folks who would like to own a piece of intricate Peranakan costume, specially designed kebayas, sarongs, kerosang (brooches) and kasut manek (beaded slippers) are available for sale during the festival.
Take home some Peranakan flavour by picking up nonya kueh chang, traditional cookies, furniture, porcelain and batik tablecloths. You may also purchase crystal glassware, sarong kebayas and antique furniture originally used in Peranakan households in the 1920s.
The festival is committed to including those who are less privileged. On Saturday, 3 June, the second weekend of the festival, 100 elderly folks and 35 children from Redhill neighbourhood Lengkong Bahru will be invited to visit the festival and enjoy high tea at The Peranakan Restaurant. This effort is in conjunction with volunteer group [email protected] . On Sunday, 4 June, 100 beneficiaries from Prison Fellowship Singapore will also be hosted for high tea. The festival’s organisers strongly believe that these activities will help provide the platform for the less privileged to connect with society.
The Peranakan Festival:
Date: 27 May to 17 June Daily | Time: 11am to 6pm | Venue: Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 | Admission: Free admission to exhibitions. (Workshops, high tea and Peranakan costume rental are chargeable) | Workshop Tickets: tpfestival.peatix.com | Website: www.theperanakanfestival.com | Facebook: The Peranakan Festival |Tel: +65 6262 4728
Please see the programme higlights below:
Make a date to experience the authentic Peranakan culture in Singapore!