07 November 2006

Melakan Culture Part 1

Hi. Yesterday was a terrible day for me. My internet connections breaking down. Now, i'm at office and blogging to the web about ethnic groups in Melaka.
Melakan culture is tapestry woven over six centuries of diverse ethnic customs, folklore and traditions. The harmonious co-existence of people of different cultures and religions inherited from centuries of multi racial living has produced the fluid intermiling of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Babas and Nnyonyas, Portuguese and Chittys. Each ethnic group adds to the pluralistic and ever changing society of the people of Melaka that is itself a group of diverse, friendly and hospitable people. Each of these races holds steadfastly to its respective traditions and heritage which are infused in the different areas including food, religious customs and festivals, culture, dances, architecture, dressing, jewellery and handicraft. Today, Melaka has alot offer its tourist in terms of its rich, varied cultures, ethnic customs, historical sites, religious festivals and traditional celebrations within the city itself and in the outlying districts of Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin.
The Malays Group
The Malays social organization in Melaka is divided between the practice of the Adat Temenggong, which is patrilineal and more pervasive in several districts, and the Adat Pepatih, which is matrilineal. The Malays constitute the largest group of Melaka's population. I'm a malay too. Islam pervades their whole way of life, including their customs or adat.
Malay women wear loose, long-sleeved tunics called baju kurung worn over a sarong or a tight fitting kebaya. Malay men wear collarless shirts called baju melayu worn over loose trousers with colourful cloth known as kain samping ( made of songket or other cloth ) tied around their waist. Other indigenous traditions and characteristics are portrayed in the songs such as Dondang Sayang Melayu and the arts of self-defence such as silat.
The Chinese Group
The Chinese community forms the second largest ethnic group in Melaka and most of them are involved in business and trading activities. During the early of mass immigration, the Chinese, fleeing from despotic Manchus, the floods and families, have flocked to Melaka in seek of better lives. They took on back-breaking jobs no one else wanted - building railroad, mining tin and establishing new settlements, indulged in intense pursuits like gambling and opium and carried with them the cherished dream of returning home rich.
The various clans of Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew and Hainanese still adhere to their individual customs, traditions, foods, language and cultural characteristic with each clan usually specializing in its particular trade.
Traditional Chinese festival are celebrated, and close-knit family values and religions are upheld. The rich culture and tradition of the chinese can be seen everywhere in Melaka. The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first moon of the Chinese lunar calendar. On New Year's Eve, Chinese families gather for "reunion dinner" while on New Year Day, it is tradition for relatives to visit each other and "ang pows" or red packets which contain money, will given to the younger single family members.The Chinese also give me a "ang pows".He..he..he...
Best Regards
Saiful Anuar

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