The Straits Chinese, also also known as "Babas and Nyonyas", were originally Chinese of noble descent who have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. This has assimilation with over 400 years history since the great Chinese explorer Admiral Zhang He first brought Chinese settlers to Melaka. Over the centuries, the intermarriages between the Chinese and local Malays gave birth to the Baba Nyonya that have taken to populate a portion of the Malaysian west coast.
Established in 1896, the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum illustrates the adoption of the lives and tradition of the Baba Nyonya in Melaka. The privately-owned museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of the town is beautifully designed from inside out. The museum displays valuable century old Baba Nyonya traditional costume, wood-work art, antique furniture and kitchen utensils such as the ancient ice-cream maker and stone grinder that makes the delicious sambal (fermented chilli shrimp paste).
The Heritage Museum offers guided tours (by appointment), research facilities and audio-visuals.
For more information, visit www.babanyonyamuseum.com