The losing its own). Two characteristics of

The Baba and Nyonya community is a different from the Chinese community, although they consider themselves as
Chinese. However, the Baba identity is the result of the acculturation process (acceptance of foreign culture without losing
its own). Two characteristics of the Baba culture which is similar to the Malay culture are clothing and food. Many of the
Nyonya wore Kebayas, brooches and Sarungs. This is in the same manner as that of the female Malays. Apart from using
chopsticks like the Chinese community, they also practiced the use of hands, which is the practiced of the Malay
community. However, the use of hands when eating by the Baba-Nyonya community is only practiced at home as taking
of food using hands in the Chinese and Baba Nyonya community is considered to be rude especially during a function.
Generally, the Baba Nyonya cooking is similar to the Malay cooking, which is using the basics of Chinese cooking. This
is the product of long standing ethnic and cultural links. As such the Baba Nyonya dishes contain new terms in line with
the combination of Malay and Chinese cooking. Among the famous dishes are “embuk-embuk” – Nyonya dish, “bubur
caca”, grilled fish, tamarind drink, “nasi kerabu”, “sambal” and others.
Whereas the Baba-Malay dialect of today differs in fondology as compared to the other Malay dialect and has several
International Journal of Social Science Studies Vol. 3, No. 2; 2015
borrowings from the Indonesian and English languages. The Baba dialect has absorbed many Chinese words: “Lai” is not
understood by the Malay community. Many Baba and Nyonya do not understand the Malay Language dialect: an example,
I – “Goa”, You – “Lu”. The Baba is similar to the Chinese except for the use of several Malay terms in their daily routine


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