Learn all things Peranakan through the variety of theatre productions, exhibitions, workshops, seminars and a ba-bazaar during the Peranakan Arts Festival from 4 to 8 November 2015!

Pernakan Arts Festival DecalThe word “Peranakan” inevitably brings dishes like ayam buah keluak, chap chye and udang masak nanas to my mind. (In case you’re wondering what makes up these three delectable Peranakan dishes, they are chicken pieces cooked with keluak nuts, mixed vegetable stew, and prawns and pineapple cooked with a chili gravy respectively.) If the only thing you know about the Peranakan culture is through the food they serve too, learn more about this unique culture through the variety of theatre productions, exhibitions, workshops, seminars and a ba-bazaar during the Peranakan Arts Festival from 4 to 8 November 2015.

The Peranakan Association Singapore was designated to host this year’s 28th Baba Nyonya Convention, which rotates among various host countries. Since GenerAsia also had plans to stage a sequel to the popular Peranakan play Bibiks Behind Bars!, Peranakan Association Singapore and GererAsia decided to create an entire festival to celebrate the culture in celebration of the nation’s golden jubilee too. What makes the Peranakan Arts Festival 2015 impressive is that its lineup of events and programmes were conceptualized and launched into motion just six months ago!

Theatre productions

BBBKA Insignia

Bibik Behind Bars
5 to 8 November 2015 (Thursday to Sunday)
Various timings and ticket prices
Victoria Theatre
Tickets available at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/bibik1115


If you had watched Bibik Behind Bars when it was first staged in 2002 and loved it, be sure to grab tickets to the sequel Bibik Behind Bars…Kena Again! Written and directed by Baba Richard Tan, this hilarious musical comedy revolves around how the gambling Bibiks of Katong challenge old traditions and try to beat the system at new gambling avenues (read: casinos). Bibik Behind Bars, performed in English and Baba Malay, will feature some of the original actors, such as Francis Hogan and Shirley Tay, alongside new additions to the cast. Watch out for a special guest appearance by Koh Chieng Mun too!

PP InsigniaPintu Pagar
4 to 8 November 2015 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Various timings and ticket prices
Victoria Concert Hall
Tickets available at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/pintu1115


Pintu Pagar

Pintu Pagar showcases a very different storyline from Bibik Behind Bars…Kena Again! This new theatre production follows a 14-year-old Nyonya from a wealthy family who falls in love with her Chinese immigrant neighbours’ 17-year-old son, and their 40-year journey of just-missed opportunities. Written and directed by award winning playwright Desmond Sim specially for Peranakan Arts Festival, Pintu Pagar features veteran actors Henry Heng and Nora Samosir, with two newcomers Nicholas Bloodworth and Kimberly Chan.

4 to 8 November 2015 (Thursday to Sunday)
Various timings
Victoria Theatre
For more information and updates, visit www.peranakanfest.com

Admire original paintings by three local visual artists – Adeline Yeo, Desmond Sim and Carolyn Law – as they present their interpretation of everything Peranakan through their art pieces. This exhibition will also showcase historical collection of vintage photographs from The Intan celebrating fashions of yesteryears!

Kingdom of Eternity 2015

Adeline Yeo “Ardour”



Desmond Sim “Neo-Nyas!”

Peranakan Couple

Carolyn Law “My Heritage”

6 to 8 November 2015 (Friday to Sunday)
Various timings
Peranakan Museum
Registration fees applicable
To register, visit www.peranakanfest.com

If you prefer more hands on activities, look out for a range of fun workshops that include Sulam Embroidery Workshop, Mari Masak! Cooking with Singapore’s Best Baba Chefs, and Know Your Peranakan Tunes!

7 November 2015 (Saturday)
9am – Baba Malay: Today and Tomorrow
10:15am – The Business of Being Peranankan: Authenticity and Sustainability
11:45am – Adulation, Subjugation or Misplaced Identities: The Essence of Being Peranankan 50 Years Forward
Victoria Theatre
$45 per seminar or $80 for all 3 seminars, including light refreshments
Tickets available at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/conven1115

There are three seminars scheduled to be held during the Peranankan Arts Festival on 7 November. They promise to explore Peranankans’ identity amid rapid changes in society, especially for younger Babas and Nyonyas. If you feel passionate about the Peranankan culture, why not contribute your two cents’ worth to the discussions?