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Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang, Malaysia

This is definitely a place not to be missed for all photographers, especially fellow Lomographers who've come to Penang. This mansion was designed and built accordingly to the Peranakan culture, incorporating Chinese carved-wood panels, English floor tiles and European artworks.

Peranakan (Baba and Nyonya) is a Straits Settlements derived culture in the 15th century in Nanyang (Peninsular Malaysia known by the Chinese in the past). Peranakan culture is said to begin when Zheng He from China escorted the Chinese princess Hang Li Po to marry with the Malacca Sultan, when the Chinese businessmen who came along to Nanyang married with the local Malays. Therefore, their descendants are known as the Straits Chinese or Peranakan, who retained some degree of ancestral culture, and also adopted selected ways of local Malays.

In the British colonial era, they were mostly wealthy businessmen, and were highly regarded by the British, so they were also integrated into the British lifestyle. In a variety of cultural exchange, the Peranakan had created a very unique lifestyle, with a rich cultural heritage, antiques, food and language. However, there are very little Peranakan left in the present, we could only illustrate their past glory through the Straits Settlements buildings and museums.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion was built in the 19th century, it was the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. The mansion was known as the ‘Hai Kee Chan’ or Sea Remembrance Store. Though not a Baba himself, his Chinese courtyard house was much like a typical large Baba home, incorporating Chinese carved-wood panels and English floor tiles and European artworks. Many years later, this mansion was bought by a developer, he was aware of the importance of culture and history conservations, so he did not develop it for commercial purposes, but was committed to restore it after many years of neglect and decay. In addition, he also went around Malaysia and all over the world to collect related cultural relics to be exhibited here. The museum is open everyday with friendly guides, the RM10 admission fee is a good value for money! In addition, its location in the Penang Old Town district makes us convenient to explore everywhere!

Address:
29, Church Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

written by ash3r and translated by lihooi

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The original version of this article is written in: 中文(繁體版).