05 November 2006

Melaka - Naming An Empire After A Tree

Portuguese " Porta De Santiago"

"Replica of Melaka's Sultanate Palace"

Hello again. Melaka was founded in 1396 by an exiled Sumatran prince named Parameswara. It was once a port-of-call for ships from the Middle East, China, India, Arab and South America. According to the legend, Pawameswara was out hunting one day and while resting under a tree, one of his dogs cornered a mouse-deer and in defence, the mouse-deer kicked the dog smartly on its nose. Parameswara was so impressed by the mouse-deer courage and also believing what he saw as a good omen, he decided to build his empire on that sacred land and named it after the tree he was sitting under, which was the Melaka tree. Incidently, he was the first Malay prince to become a Muslim and inevitably, Islam became the official religion.
By the end of the 15th century, Melaka had become a great trading empire as well as a rendezvous for every seafaring nation - Arabs, Indians, South Americans, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English.Here, gold, silk, tea, opium, tobacco, spices, perfumes and countless other items and natural resources were traded or exchanged.
The Portuguese were the first to rule in 1511, followed by the dutch in 1641 and British in 1824. Each rule left its mark behind to be forged and blended into a new and unique mix.The day came in August 31st 1957, when Melaka, together with the other states of Malaysia, achieved independence. The historical melting pot of cultures and races has very much influenced the architectural designs of homes and buildings in Melaka city today.
As history evolved, Melaka became the city that boasts a wonderful melange of cultures - Malays, Chinese, Indians, the Chittys, the Babas & Nyonyas and the Potuguese. And here, in Old Melaka is where it all happened.
Best Regards
Saiful Anuar

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