Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Peranakan Mansion Book Launch

Received an invitation to the book launch on 24 November 2011. It was a totally nyonya affair.

 The CM Lim Guan Eng receiving a copy of the book. 
Fr L to R: The author of the book Chan Suan Choo, the Director of 
the NUS Centre for the Arts Ms Christine Khor, Soon Jr., Mrs Soon, Mr Soon, 
the CM, a descendant of the original owner of the Peranakan Mansion, 
the Museum Director Lillian Tong and Baba Peter Wee from Singapore

The CM also launched the newly formed Persatuan Peranakan Baba Nyonya Pulau Pinang.

 The CM unveiled the logo for the society and it's the very appropriate nyonya kerosang!

Baby Sis and I with Ms Tan Siok Choo

At first I was a a bit overawed to find myself seated beside Ms Tan. After all her grandfather was Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who together with Tunku Abdul Rahman was instrumental in Malaya's fight for independence. Her father was the late Tun Tan Siew Sin, the country's longest-serving Finanace Minister (1959-1974).

Beyond her illustrious heritage, I later found out that Siok Choo herself is also a very accomplished lady. She had been trained as a lawyer and then became a journalist. She is now director of United Malacca Berhad and OCBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.

My first impression of her was that she is a regal and refined lady but as the evening went on I was even more impressed by her friendly and unpretentious manner. She is so humble and unassuming.

How appropriate the Malay proverb that says: Seperti buah padi, makin berisi makin rendah; jangan seperti lalang, makin lama makin tinggi. (Translation: Be like the padi that bends down as ripens, don't be like the lalang that grows tall but is useless.)

 Me with Dr Lee Soo Kim, author of Kebaya Tales

I also had a fun time showing Dr Lee around Little India while we waited for the event to start. We dropped by a Bubur Kacang stall for tea and mooted the idea of taking the Peranakan Convention back to China!

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