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Meet our Communities: The Peranakans of Joo Chiat

The Peranakans are undoubtedly one of SE Asia's most colourful and distinctive communities, which in Singapore consists mainly of a mix of the two rich cultures emanating from the marriage of early Chinese traders with Malay women.

Their love of colour, patterns and sheer drama is evidenced in their material culture, whether it be their architecture, clothing or even every day cooking items (Peranakan cuisine is a delicious blend of Malay & Chinese and a very important part of their lives).

Join us for a walk through one of the most distinctive Peranakan enclaves in Singapore, Katong & Joo Chiat which are like an exciting dish, with delightful cultures, delicious flavours and rich architectural heritage. 

Here we will meet some of their characters and explore their legacy, including the unique pre-war architecture, colourful two-storey shophouses and terrace houses with their ornate facades, intricate motifs and ceramic tiles.

Religion has always played a central role in the Peranakan culture; in earlier days, this was in the shape of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism - & often a blend of all 3! We will visit one of these 3-in-1 places of worship as well as an establishment where handcrafted, decorated paper objects are commissioned for the departed to enjoy in the spirit world - as part of the rituals surrounding ancestor worship with its emphasis on filial piety. We will discover the parish church of Peranakan community as well as Singapore’s oldest Indian temple – a reminder of the neighbourhood multi-ethnic blend. 

We will not only check out the architectural but also mesmerise our tastebuds. The numerous eateries, including the famous Red House Bakery have so much to offer!