Baba House was officially opened in September 2008 and is a heritage house which facilitates appreciation, reflection and research into the Straits Chinese history and culture.
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I enjoyed my trip to the Baba house very much, it was part of a school project that I was working on about the history of the area.
As a part of my family is Peranakan, the visit gave me a deeper understanding of my own culture and heritage, many of which has been lost due to modernisation. For those who are of a different cultural background, the Baba house would serve to broaden your horizon as you learn more about a different culture and at the very least, you will gain a new conversation topic! The guide in the Baba house was very knowledgeable and informative and could answer many questions regarding the culture.
Reliving Peranakan culture in its early days
I had never known or heard much about the Baba House till a friend of mine was recently initiated as a docent there. Curious over what this relatively new museum had to offer, I decided to pay the place a visit.
Nestled amidst a row of traditional shophouses along Neil Road, the restored house certainly didn’t strike one as a typical museum. Nonetheless, this was precisely what gave the place its authenticity and appeal – with its elaborate furniture and delicately restored adornments and artefacts, the house was indeed a refreshing cultural space where one could breathe in the rich flavours of Peranakan heritage and relive the days of a well-to-do Peranakan family in the early 20th century. We were left intrigued as our enthusiastic and personable guide for the day took us through story after story behind each corner of the house, and being a girl, it was hard to hold back my fascination for the peepholes that were still left behind, through which young Peranakan girls could get a glimpse of the outside world from.
While the short 1.5 hour tour of the place was certainly not enough to give one a full understanding of the intricacies of the Peranakan culture, it definitely left each of us on the tour with an unforgettable first taste of its richness. A stroll down Neil Road and the enchanting Emerald Hill just a stone’s throw away also makes for an eye-opening complement to the visit. Though admission is free, do note that visits are by appointment only, so do remember to pre-book your visits before going down!