Baba is the term used to refer to a Strait-born gentleman, while Nyonya is used to address a Strait-born lady. The Baba-Nyonya Museum in Malacca showcases the lives of the gentlemen and ladies of the affluent families of the past. Built by restoring 3 townhouses and combining them together, the museum shows the rich culture and extravagant lifestyle of the Peranakan homes before the start of the world war.
Located on Millionaires street in Malacca, the Baba-Nyonya Museum is maintained and restored by the later generations of the original family that lived in it. As you walk in, you can spot the red lanterns on either sides of the elaborate columns, one bears the household name while the other is to invite good luck into the house. The house is extensively covered in hand painted tiles that tell tales of the beliefs and traditions of the past. Large intricately carved teakwood doors lead you inside where you can see the lifestyle of the rich immigrants of the past.
The Victorian lamps and chandeliers show the extent to which the families went to flaunt their wealth. You can’t help but notice the detailed dark wood furniture inlaid with mother of pearl detailing and the floral designed wrought iron castings outside the windows. The whole house is filled with stories and tales of the past and the antiques show how well the traditions of multiple cultures were adopted by the immigrants.
This heritage museum takes you back in time and is one of the best attractions to visit in Malacca. If you want to visit this on your trip to Malacca, consider creating a customised itinerary with Locaguide and get a guided tour of the museum. As you walk around, awed by the grandeur of the whole place, feel free to ask your local travel guide from Locaguide for tales of the past generations of the family that lived there and the extravagant traditions of the pre-world war days. He may also help you interact with the family that lives there, and give you the chance to hear stories from them about their ancestors.0