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For May, 2010

31
May

Shangri-La commissioned us to design an exclusive collection of items for their most loyal guests.  We came up with a collection of gift items including candle holders, photo albums and chopstick sets.

Shangri-La's Guest Recognition Programme Gift Items

Shangri-La's Guest Recognition Programme Gift Items

Attending a wedding dinner of a Peranakan couple with a Peranakan-theme marriage? Stressing out on what kind of wedding gifts would be most appropriate? Well, this happened to me as I was stressing over what kind of gifts to get for my girlfriend who happens to be a Peranakan.

Well, fret not as Qua is here to your rescue! We offer a variety of beautiful Peranakan products that are suitable and elegant for a wedding gift.

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Above: Tiffin Box

Click here to view the rest of the Peranakan collection

Before attending your friend’s wedding, I suggest you have some understanding about the culture of Peranakan wedding!

The wedding ceremony of the Peranakan is largely based on Chinese tradition and you can say that it is one of the most colorful wedding ceremonies in Malaysia and Singapore. At the weddings, the song “Dondang Sayang” is well known by all and it will normally be played during the ceremony. It is a Malay song with a beautiful rhythm and they are danced by guests at the wedding party. Someone would first begin the dance with a romantic theme which would be carried on by others, each taking the floor in turn, dancing in slow motions as they sang. It requires quick wit and often creates laughter and applause when a particularly clever or witty phrase is sung by the guests.

So be spontaneous and do not be afraid to dance along if Dondang Sayang were to be played during the wedding ceremony!

PSA has commissioned paintings which depicted old and current scenes our vast and busy Singapore port.  These images were imposed onto gift & trinket boxes – perfect gift mementoes for PSA’s business associates.

Customised Lacquered Gift / Trinket BoxPSA Gift / Trinket Box

Now that you have a better understanding of the history of Peranakans in the previous blog post, I believe it’s time for you to know about their unique food cuisine they have as well!

Peranakan, otherwise, also known as Nonya cuisine combines Chinese and Malay into a unique blend. Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients and wok cooking techniques with spices used by the Malay/Indonesian community. The food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and has a tinge of herbal in them. Key ingredients include coconut milk, galangal, candlenuts as both a flavoring and thickening agent, llaksa leaf, pandan leaves, belachan, tamarind juice, lemongrass, torch ginger bud, jicama, fragrant kaffir leaf, rice or egg noodles and cincaluk which is a powerfully flavored, sour and salty shrimp-based condiment that is typically mixed with lime juice, chillies and shallots and eaten with rice, fried fish and other side dishes.), Inchi Kabin (a Nyonya version of fried chicken) and Pindang bandeng (a fish soup served commonly during Chinese New Year).

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Chicken Kapitan

Some of the well know Peranakan dishes are Chicken Kapitan (a dry chicken curry

Having said that, what beats having matching dining ware served with Peranakan cuisine! These are some of the items that can be found from the Peranakan collection, be one of them to own a piece of these beautifully lacquered products.

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Above: Tray with Peony painting

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Click here to view the rest of the Peranakan collection

I believe the term, Peranakan rings a bell as recently, there was a popular local drama series about the lifestyle of Peranakans which has just been broadcasted on television and has received many positive responses. Well, here’s some information for all you readers to have a deeper understanding of the history of Peranakans.

Peranakans are the descendants of late 15th and 16th century Chinese immigrants to the Nusantra region during the Colonial era. According to a legend back then, the Emperor of China sent a princess to the Sultan of Malacca as a token of appreciation for his tribute to them. Those that followed along with the princess were a group of royalty and servants, who first settled down in Bukit Cina and eventually grew into a class of Straits-born Chinese which is now known as the Peranakans.

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Due to economic hardships suffered by them in China, many Peranakans mainly immigrated to 3 different countries: Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Those that embraced the local customs, while still retaining some parts of their culture are known as the Peranakans. Peranakans normally have a certain degree of royal blood as during the period of imperial China, most immigrants were men who married local women. Peranakans at Indonesia, held a higher degree of royal blood as they are almost physically different from the local population. For example, Peranakans are very fair as compared to local Indonesians who have a copper tan.

After reading the above, I hope you get a deeper understanding of the origin of Peranakans and for those who are looking for products that are related to this culture, fret not! At Qua, we have lacquerware products with unique Peranakan paintings painted beautifully on it.

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Click here to view the rest of the Peranakan collection