“Both my paternal grandparents were locally born but we hearsay our ancestry line moved from Indonesia to Terrenganu to Singapore.
My dad married my mom, who is a true blue teochew! So, I am only a half-bred nonya.”
What is your earliest memory of your heritage?
“I think the most memorable moments learning about my heritage was visiting my paternal relatives during the Chinese New Year. It helped that I was always rooted at my seat and trying to figure out the language, so unlike the younger generation today. It is likely that I picked up my knowledge of basic Malay and a fair bit of ‘peranakan language’ from them. (Peranakans converse in a mixture of English, Malay and Hokkien).
My parents were already rather modernized when they wedded in the 60s. There was, unfortunately, no specific tradition that has been carried forward except for the food. My mum leant peranakan-style cooking from my paternal grandma who taught her the recipes.”
“My grandma was the only nonya whom I knew who faithfully wore her Kebayas at home, as she lived with us till she passed on when I turned 16 years old. It was a pity that we were not very close and there wasn’t any keepsake from her that was handed down, as it was only distributed amongst her daughters.
However, my 2nd brother elder brother, Alvin, who is very much into preserving the peranakan heritage, helped formed and helms ‘The Main Wayang Company’. Which actively promotes the unique Peranakan culture locally and overseas. Do check out some of the music that he has composed and produced.”
“…I do have a few memorabilia presented to me by my brother; a Kam Cheng and some porcelain spoon ornaments which I proudly display in my home. These are things that remind me of my heritage. ”
Of all the things you have learnt from your parents (in terms of tradition and culture), what do you feel was the most valuable?
“I think I like the way I have been shown what is true love and stay humble in life. My mom came from a very well-to-do family before she met my dad, who was working in a factory prior to becoming a teacher. In those days, money was very hard to come by. She chose love and trust (my dad) versus an arranged marriage to a rich businessman’s son. She stood by my dad in good times and in bad. She never once wavered even though she could have had a luxurious life, I honor and respect her for that. ”
So, who is this Singapore Mom Blogger?
It’s Adeline, from The Accidental Mom Blogger. A mom of 2, a jewelry crafter of unique and intricate creations and an extremely competent home-cook.
With Adeline’s winsome girlish charms and lovely dimpled smile, it was not so hard for this inexperienced-amateur-photographer-yours-truly to capture these portrait shots of her.
She may come across as quiet and reserved at first impression. But as I got to know her better this past one year, I have discovered that Adeline has a playful side, yet she can be the dependable big sister of SMB, who has earned herself the nick AOAC – ‘Adeline Oon Ah Che’.
Adeline also has a matriarchal side to her, (matriarchal doesn’t mean wanting to crush people like cockroaches), that is demonstrated by how efficient and capable she is in running her household and single-handedly tending to the needs of her two children.
Want to find out more about the real AOAC? Then do visit her blog at The Accidental Mom Blogger.
So who will be featured next on my next installment of Portraits of a Singapore Mom Blogger? Stay tuned for the continuation of this series in the next few weeks.