In idyllic weather on the banks of the Avon, participants quickly settled into exploring the cultural identity of the Peranakans from Malaysia and Singapore. The cross cultural interaction between the Chinese and the Malay and Indonesian locals has had a fascinating influence from clothing through to architecture, religion and rites of passage customs and of course the development of Nyonya cooking using Malay and Chinese techniques with local Malay produce.
Pamela Stewart from Asia Literacy (our partner in this PL Opportunity) drove up to check out the weekend and shared a half hour with us on accessing online resources via sites such as Scoop.IT.
Greg Harper, our wonderful cook, catered with sublime Nyonya recipes – his arms were aching from all the pounding and grinding!
As always, when a group of Primary teachers come together, there was as much sharing between participants as there was info and activities provided by the presenter. Even in the dark, folk kept on working on the verandah or around the table. 12.30 Friday night and 10.30 Saturday night, these girls well and truly put in the 20 hours of PD over the three days before we finally headed home at 3.30 on Sunday.
See below and you will see that many themes were worked on, among them the change in shophouse architecture over the years, the impact of Art Nouveau on ceramic tile designs, traditional wedding crowns in the most ornate of the Peranakan customs and beautiful hairpins to hold up their buns – except most of us were short haired, so we modified them into hat pins and coat lapel brooches. Learning to pull a handle for different shaped spoons, playing with collage and collograph block printing and even devising our own version of Peranakan beaded shoes using materials sourced from ReMIDA, no challenge was too large!