Thursday, September 6, 2012

museum fun

Here we go!

Yeah, we actually have a Philatelic Museum -- an entire building dedicated to stamps.

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Posing in front of the talking Penny Black. Yeah, it actually moves and talks -- pretty neat eh. Did you know that the Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp? Yeah, cool stamp-y history!

A dragon stamp from Poland. I'd love to make him into a softie.

Getting into the spirit of a 19th-century trading junk. This was part of an exhibition about the spice trade and colonisation.

The Heritage Room is done up like a 19th-century shophouse. We call these red wooden clogs cha kiak; they were commonly used way back when, and there still are people who use them today (like my kids!!), but the making of them is a dying art. The clogs are designed to keep the feet dry and are surprisingly non-slip; they make this distinctive clackety sound when you walk in them, which immediately brings you back to the 1950s.

B posing in front of some traditional Peranakan nyonya kebaya. Peranakan is a Malay word meaning "those born here". From about the 15th century, intermarriages between Chinese traders and local Malays created the Chinese Peranakan culture, which is a unique integration of the Chinese and Malay/Indonesian cultures. A large part of my family is Peranakan, and everyone busts out their kebayas at important dos like weddings. You can read more about kebayas here.

An old photograph of a Peranakan family. From the 1930s, I think. This was at the Peranakan Museum, which was just down the road from the philatelic one. The kids themselves were keen to go, and I thought, "Great!". I love old photographs; I imagine the sitters getting up after having their picture taken, and what they did next.

A Peranakan wedding. Children in old photographs always tend to look so mature I feel. That little girl next to the bride was a sweetie though.

Peranakans of the Straits Chinese Society Association, circa 1930. I think they all went to a tea party after this.

A New Testament Bible in Baba Malay, from 1950. Baba Malay is spoken by the Peranakan community.

A Peranakan bridal chamber.

The museum mascot. I love the way the sculptor captured the cat's natural form and grace. The plaque above him reads, "In memory of the cat that adopted this building and became the museum's mascot, 1998-1999". Well, one thing's for sure, never underestimate the enjoyment you -- and the kids! -- can get out of visiting a local museum. See more pictures here.


The Cranky said...

It looks like a very enjoyable time, (and the girls are delightful!)the Peranakan museum in particular.

I agree that the Polish dragon would make a great softie!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Wonderful outing! That dragon is cute and would make a lovely softie. And your girls are both beautiful.

I love old photographs. I wonder about the people in the images, and what their lives were like. It’s hard to believe that they are no longer in the land of the living when they look so alive in the photos.

Kay G. said...

Thanks for sharing these photos of your visit to the museum.
Love that first shot of the girls holding hands with the little girl statue, perfect!

Miss Val's Creations said...

What a fun collection of photos! A stamp museum? That is unique. The dragon would be super cute as a softie. I remember when self adhesive stamps came out. They were so cool compared to the old fashioned lick ones!

The Peranakan museum photos are wonderful to scroll through. The clothing is beautiful. The bridal chamber is a stunner with all those rich colors!

Libby said...

You've visited some very cool museums. It must be nice to live near museums such as these. I have several pictures of myself taken with bronze statues from past museum visits. That is so much fun! And thank you for introducing me to the Peranakans. You made me do research...on a Friday! :-)

AntiquityTravelers said...

What a fun tour through the museum! My girls love stamps - they collect them with their grandmother. I'm sure they'd love to see this museum.

I really enjoyed hearing cultural history of where and how you grew up. Thanks for sharing!

Dana S. Whitney said...

There's nothing better than a perfectly sized adventure. Can't wait to see the Polish Softie Dragon! I could not believe how many stamps the British Library had in a small space when we went there. I don't care about much else but the pictures on the stamps. I loved the knitting ones a few years back!

Contemplating Beauty said...

what rich history you have, i adore other cultures---Seems like a successful trip to the museum, and what darling girls!

Beth said...

Your daughters are so pretty, Janice. I love the photo of them holding hands with the statue.

And what wonderful museums! I don't collect stamps, but I do love them and always look for interesting ones when I buy them. And those kebayas are beautiful!

Unknown said...

I love old photographs too! They sure tell a story and it's in us to figure it out!! Thanks for sharing your trip to the museum.

PiaRom said...

you make my day with your sweet kidies photos :)


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