Bibik Be

The Peranakan culture is one that stands out in Malacca’s heritage. Known locally as Baba or Nyonya according to gender, they embrace an unique fusion of traditions between early Chinese migrants and local Malays. An icon of authority in this culture popularised by TV dramas around the region would be the matron figure known as the Bibik, who runs each Peranakan household like a headmistress. Characterised by a strict persona and her traditional Sarong Kebaya outfit, the Bibik is the one who leaves the deepest impression on me regarding this beautiful culture. Here, the tour guide of the Malacca Peranakan Museum in her symbolic attire broke a smile after completing her tour of bringing us around. She was otherwise stone cold in her expression during the tour. Whom did she remind me of? A Bibik for sure. 


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