The Chetti Melaka Community of Malaysia
Date: 20th March, 2015, Friday
Time: 6:00 ~7:30 pm
Venue: Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Lebuh Gereja, 10200 George Town
Free admission. Please call or email to reserve seats.
The Chetti Melaka trace their roots to traders from South India who came to Malacca 600 years ago during the Malacca Sultanate, intermarried with local Malays and Chinese and produced a peranakan community that speaks Malay, follows Malay adat, but practices a Saivite brand of Hinduism. There are 50 families left in Malacca where they still retain nine temples and some of their ancestral land, Kampung Chetti in Gajah Berang, Malacca. There are another 50 families in Singapore and 50 in the rest of West Malaysia.
The talk will focus on the challenges facing the kampong in Malacca and the challenges facing the diaspora in West Malaysia, Singapore and the world as they face issues of culture and identity.
Devastry Parasurama Bok aka David Bok is a Chetti Melaka, born in Kuantan but living in Singapore for over 20 years. He is the secretary of the Association of Chetti Melaka (Peranakan Indian) of Singapore. Last year he chaired their first symposium entitled The Lost Tribe of Chetti Melaka – Who are We? He is also a professional storyteller with the Storytelling Association of Singapore and tells dramatic, humorous, religious and personal stories.