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Becoming Nonya: A Memoir

Publisher: Landmark Books
  • Description
  • About the Author
  • What is Peranakan? Who is a Nonya? The author Katherine’s Peranakan roots can be traced back five or more generations on both sides of her family. Yet her grandmother called her chelup, as though only her toes were dipped into the hybrid culture’s soup – a skin-deep Peranakan only.

    Later in life, when training as a docent at the Peranakan Museum, the author uncovers and unearths forgotten memories. Words and conversations that had floated in and out of her childhood connect. She then understands what makes a Baba Nonya distinctive and realises she is becoming Nonya.

  • Katherine Seow grew up in a Peranakan home in Singapore. Her interest in the Baba Nonya culture developed while conducting research on her family history. The result was Seven Generations and Counting – the story of Pang Siew Peck, a book encompassing the years 1907 to 2006 that she gifted her grandmother for her 99th birthday. This book formed the blueprint for the Write to Remember workshops she conducted in 2012 for the National Book Council and the National Heritage Board (NHB) during Heritage Week.

    In 2016, during docent training at the Peranakan Museum, the latent Nonya in Kate emerged. This prompted the writing of Becoming Nonya, published in 2023 with a National Heritage Board Grant.

ISBN: 9789811883262
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 144
Year Published: 2023
Size: 130mm x 195mm