Meet the woman who is not only helping conserve Penang’s history, heritage and people, but also putting the spotlight on women in the process.
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Descended from the first wave of Chinese men who arrived on the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian archipelagos centuries ago, the Peranakans created a unique lifestyle and customs which left behind a rich legacy of antiques and cultural influences still evident in Penang today - where they are known as Straits Chinese Baba Nyonya. Lillian Tong is Penang’s iconic Nyonya impresario and Museum Director of Pinang Peranakan Mansion, as well as an accomplished author and authority on Penang’s quintessential Straits Chinese community. She is a fifth-generation Nyonya whose passion and portfolio has seen fruition in promoting and conserving Penang’s history, heritage, people and places, and in particular, the Straits Chinese as Penang’s quintessential community. Make a date and let Lillian regale you with a vibrant kaleidoscope of stories; perhaps pick up the art of beading a kasot manek over Nyonya kueh – or even stage a Baba Nyonya wedding complete with antiquated ceremonies, dancing Nyonyas and Keroncong band.