Among the cultures that have seamlessly amalgamated into Singapore’s cultural melting pot, Peranakan culture is one of the most fascinating to explore. A Peranakan high tea experience at The Intan Peranakan Home Museum will prove that.
The tasteful home-turned-museum of collector Alvin Yapp will make you feel like you’ve slipped into the world of the crazy rich Asians. It’s not only the opulent lifestyle of the Peranakans that you will learn here but also how their unique ancestry and culture have integrated into society. Check out the things that we look forward to the most on this tour below!
The host’s contagious passion and hospitality
The passion of owner and host Alvin Yapp, who himself is a Peranakan, is a very welcome contagion in these times. His house is a showcase of three decades’ worth of effort to curate Peranakan items, and Yapp leads visitors with pride. You just can’t help but emulate the same level of passion to learn about Peranakan culture. And since The Intan is also his own residence, it feels more like visiting a friend’s house rather than a formal museum.
Learning about the lavish Peranakan wedding traditions
The wedding tradition is perhaps one of the aspects of Peranakan culture that really scream Crazy Rich Asian. The ceremonies are as intricate and colorful as the bride and groom’s wedding robes. You would be astonished to learn about the different practices leading to marriage over Peranakan afternoon tea.
Handmade Peranakan beadwork and embroidery
The Peranakan craft of embroidery and beadwork is a significant cultural heritage of Singapore. It is known for its intricate and colorful patterns, revealing an eclectic taste in fashion that effectively makes Peranakans stand out. At The Intan, you get to admire beaded and embroidered fabrics up close and even gain some inspiration for your own wardrobe or home decor.
World’s largest collection of Peranakan slippers
At The Intan, shoeaholics will get a huge kick out of the vast collection of colorful beaded slippers. This footwear, also called kasut manet, is the most iconic product of Peranakan beadwork and embroidery. Distinctive of Peranakan craft, the slippers are also colorful and ornate, each with its own unique patterns.
Ornate porcelain vases and heirloom furniture
Another thing to love about The Intan is that it’s homier than your regular museum. It is, after all, Yapp’s home. More than reveling in the massive displays of artifacts from a distance, The Intan also lets you get closer and even experience objects such as furniture. During your Peranakan afternoon tea, you may sit on one of the vintage rosewood chairs or get a feel of the porcelain vases and tiffin carriers surrounding the living room.
Peranakan high tea with Nyonya desserts
After touring The Intan, there is a time to settle like fine Peranakans around a table and be served with home-brewed tea and home-made Nyonya kueh. You will love the servings of colorful sticky rice cakes (kueh). It is said that the rich presentation of food shows how valuable the guests are. It’s also the perfect time to get more deeply acquainted with the host and ask questions about Yapp’s home and Peranakan heritage.
Curious about Peranakan cuisine? You can also enjoy a full meal at Bib Gourmand restaurant The Blue Ginger.
Be sure you’re not missing out on all the cultural activities you can do in Singapore! Stay inspired and browse activities on KKday.
Words by Rei Leano
Featured image from KKday Supplier