Portrait of a young Straits Chinese girl

The collective term, “Straits Chinese”, refers to the Peranakan Chinese in the former British Straits Settlement – Singapore, Penang and Malacca. The term “Peranakan Chinese” refers to the descendents of Chinese immigrants who began settling in the Malay Archipelago in the 15th century and assimilated themselves in the local culture which eventually led to the creation of a hybrid community unique to this part of the world. The distinctive and rich Peranakan Chinese identity and culture are a result of the amalgamation of Malay, Chinese and other influences.