*Featured image credit: DoublePHOTO studio / Shutterstock.com
The sister museum of Singapore’s Asian Civilizations Museum, the Peranakan Museum is the first museum in the world to be dedicated solely to Peranakan culture. From a depiction of a traditional 12-day Peranakan wedding to displays that illustrate authentic Peranakan cuisine, this is a museum that is well worth visiting if you are looking to learn more about the history and culture of the region.
There are nine main galleries within the Peranakan Museum, each one focusing on a different aspect of Peranakan life and culture. The very first gallery depicts the origins of Peranakan people, explaining how the term is used to refer to people of mixed ethnic origins. After this comes the Wedding Galleries, which explores the many rituals of traditional Peranakan weddings, from the coming of age ceremonies to gifts that are given. The Language and Fashion Gallery is next, where you will see how the traditional clothing worn has changed over the years, followed by the Religion Gallery, which showcases how Peranakans have embraced a wide mixture of religious beliefs, from Buddhism to Daoism to folk beliefs. Next up is the gallery on Public Life, which shows the influence that Peranakans have had in Southeast Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries, in everything from commerce to politics. The final gallery is called Food and Feasting and features everything from cookware to food, the latter of which merges influences from China, Malaysia, India, Thailand and Europe.
In addition to the nine permanent galleries, the Peranakan Museum also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Currently, there is an exhibition called Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World on display, and this celebrates the art of Nyonya needlework, which has long since been a significant part of Peranakan Chinese heritage.
Straits Family Sunday
For those who want to explore the Peranakan Museum with their family, the second Sunday of each month is when you should pay the museum a visit. Every second Sunday, the museum hosts their Straits Family Sunday event, with each month featuring a different theme. From Selamat Hari Raya to Once Upon a Rangoli, special gallery tours based on each theme are put together for families to enjoy, along with arts and craft activities that are based on the museum’s collection.
Special Events and Festivals
The Peranakan Museum is always a vibrant place to visit, and this is partly due to the fact that they host so many different special events and festivals. The next ones are being held in August, with the first being Chameleon: A Light Showcase by the NAFA, which depicts the technicolor world of a chameleon. The Singapore Night Festival at the Peranakan Museum is also being held at the end of August and gives visitors the chance to explore the museum after dark, alongside the innovations and inventions that are featured at the Singapore Night Festival.
The Singapore Peranakan Museum boasts the most comprehensive collection of Peranakan artifacts in the world and welcomes over 112,000 visitors each year. Since the museum has experienced so much success, there are several plans in place to expand it in the future, as this will provide visitors with an even more well-rounded insight into Peranakan culture.