Nyonya Kebaya

Topics: Malacca, Peranakan, Overseas Chinese Pages: 5 (1904 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Chapter 1- Introduction
A Kebaya is a traditional blouse dress combination that originates from Indonesia and worn by the women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore and southern Thailand. In Malacca, Malaysia, the nyonya kebaya is worn by the Baba and Nyonya culture. The nyonya kabaya is a beautiful, translucent, figure-hugging embroidered blouse. It is a work of art, a labour of love, a heritage and a traditional costume that is timeless. For an attire to any occasions, it is elegant, feminine, alluring, sensual, glamorous, and fasionable for all ages. The word Nyonya is defined from Portuguese language, Dona means woman. However the word Kebaya is defined from Arab language, Abaya, means clothing. The origins, history of the Nyonya Kebaya and comparison between the types of Nyonya Kebaya are stated in Chapter 2 in details. However in Chapter 3, there is a few analysis of acknowledgement of younger generations towards Nyonya Kebaya. Chapter 2- Background Information

2.1 Origins of Nyonya Kebaya
The true origins of the Kebaya is not clearly known with some speculating that is brought over by the Portuguese and others claiming that it is from Chinese origins which spread and evolved. The earliest form of Kebaya, at least in this region, emerged from the Indonesian islands and was exclusive, at the time to the Javanese monarchy. Through time, in each country the kebaya has evolved and developed differently, and has absorbed different influences and has rightfully acquired a unique identity of its own. In Malacca, Malaysia, the kebaya nyonya is mainly worn by the Baba and Nyonya culture. The Baba and Nyonya is the marriage between Chinese and Malay religion during the past time. 2.2 History of Nyonya Kebaya

Southeast Asia is made up of colossal number of ethnic cultures, including the Nyonya. Nyonya is a name used for the culture of the early Chinese immigrants in Malacca on the Malaysian Peninsula, they later increased with the British straights settlements in Singapore and Penang after intermarriages with the Malay population. The Nyonya kebaya first appeared in Baba Nyonya culture only at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Nyonya kebaya was first formed by the Peranakan people of Malacca. Subsequently, the kebaya was worn at a time when the world around was changing, as the world changed so did the way the kebaya was made and worn, the progression of its manner is remarkable. The kebaya has generally been around for over a century, however, its traditional, cultural value and historical claim is never changing. 2.3 About the Nyonya Kebaya

The Nyonya Kebaya is made from very fine “see through” material and is worn together with batik, sarung and songket, all of which are also traditional garments. The Nyonya Kebaya is embroidered with skillfully knitted floral motifs although these days, they may come in a variety of other motifs. Nyonya kebayas from different places vary slightly in influence and mild nuances. In Penang, due to the largely Chinese population, the kebayas there sometimes come with a phoenix embroidered into the sleeves and hems. The Nyonya usually wear the Nyonya Kebaya with the kerongsang, sarung and completed with beaded shoes. Some say, the best of the kebayas are made from Swiss Voile, a very fine but strong material and can last a long time. Cleaning the kebayas calls for a hand wash and the use of starch and some antique pieces that have been maintained with starch have survived through the ages. The kebaya is truly elegant and beautiful piece and reserved these days, only for special occasions. There is a story behind every Nyonya kebaya: when it was made, where it was made, who it was made by, what it was made for and the occasion for which it was made. In terms of creativity, some kebayas stand out more than others. It is a promise that the more lavish the kebaya the more prolific the story for tales are embroidered upon the material. Working on the creation a kebaya is...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Kebaya Essay
  • Baba nyonya tradisional clothes Essay
  • Essay about Baba and Nyonya Culture in Penang
  • Essay about Nyonya history
  • Baba and Nyonya
  • Origins of Baba Nyonya Essay
  • Baba and Nyonya Culture Essay
  • Essay on Taboos in Baba Nyonya Marriages

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free