Get to know Singapore’s vibrant Peranakan community and history at this top-notch museum, filled with fine artefacts and fun exhibits.
Ever wanted to step into a restored, bona fide Peranakan home? At Katong Antique House, you can.
This wonderfully-preserved two-storey shophouse, carefully restored by curator and owner Peter Wee, takes you back in time to a long-forgotten era. Think of 'babas' and 'bibiks' – male and female Peranakans – in their smart 'batik' shirts and elegant 'sarong kebaya' (traditional blouse and skirt ensemble).
Since inheriting the once-bare house from his maternal grandfather in the 1970s, Wee has filled it with traditional Peranakan furniture and other antiques and heirlooms from crockery to clothing.
If you do pop by, don’t be afraid to ask him for tales of yesteryear. This fourth-generation Baba Peranakan, who is also president of the Peranakan Association, is happy to regale visitors with his colourful stories of Nonya heritage and culture.
He still shows visitors around, ever since he opened his home to the public 15 years ago. Tours can be conducted, for a fee.
Hints of history
The top floor houses a small gallery, where you can admire intricately woven 'kasut manek' or beaded slippers, as well as wedding costumes.
But what is most inspiring is Wee’s dedication to preserving the Peranakan community’s heritage for tourists and Singaporeans alike. His collection of memories that you can touch and see for yourself is something you won’t forget.