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Baba and Nyonya describe the children who were Straits-born—the Melaka Straits—that include Sumatra

Baba and Nyonya describe the children who were Straits-born—the Melaka Straits—that include Sumatra, the Riau Archipelago, Singapore, North Coastal Java (Cheah, 2009), Malaysia, Phuket, and the Philippines (Tantiwit, 2006). The male is called Baba, while the female is called Nyonya (Chai, 2011; Kim, 2009). Baba and Nyonya also have the same meaning as “Peranakan”—a person born in the country, but of a foreign race (Tantiwit, 2006). Peranakan is used for people of mixed birth, not merely the immigrating Chinese people and the locals, but also the people immigrating from India, Indonesia, and European countries (Chai, 2011). Therefore, the Peranakan can be divided into many mixed races between the locals and the foreigners, such as Indian-Hindu Peranakan, Eurasian Peranakan, Jawi Peranakan, and Chinese Peranakan (Kim, 2009). Chinese Peranakan is the most direct word and has the same meaning as Baba and Nyonya in this article. This is in accordance with Tantiwit (2006, quoted from Khoo Yoo Ee, n.d.) stating that “Baba is Peranakan, but not all Peranakans are Babas”.

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