Singaporean Peranakans are Baba-Nonyas, and the galleries focus on their possessions (theirs was largely a material culture) and customs, in particular the traditional twelve-day wedding. Early on you reach one of the most memorable displays, showing the classic entrance into a Peranakan home, overhung with lanterns and with a pair of pintu pagar – tall swing doors; you’ll see something similar if you visit the Baba House. Elsewhere, look out for artefacts such as the ornate, tiered “pagoda trays” used in the wedding ceremony, furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and beautiful repoussé silverware, including betel-nut sets and “pillow ends”, coaster-like objects which for some reason were used as end-caps for bolsters. It’s also worth attending to the video interviews with members of the community, who speak eloquently about matters such as being a hidden minority, whether or not to “marry out” and the prognosis for the Baba-Nonya identity.
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