Baba Nyonya and Peranakan Chinese is a term used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to Malaysia and Indonesia

Baba Nyonya and Peranakan Chinese is a term used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to Malaysia and Indonesia. In Malaysia, members of this community in Malacca address themselves as “Baba Nyonya”. Baba is a term for the men and Nyonya for the women. According to Tan (1988), the Babas may be one of the most talked about communities in Malaysia, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. The culture practices of Baba language or Baba Malay is the mixture of Malay language with certain words borrowed from the Chinese, especially Hokkien, Portuguese, Dutch, Tamil and English. He argues that the characteristic of the Baba Nyonya culture can be identified through their language, customs, dress and cuisine. In relation to the cuisine, the Peranakan food is a delightful fusion food of Malay and Chinese with little influence of Indonesian, Siamese, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and English (Tan, 1993). Through the adaptation of Malay and Chinese cuisines, the Peranakan food or cuisine can be differentiated through their type of food (Ayam Pongteh, Itik Tim, Masak Lemak Udang Nenas), methods of cooking (dry or moist heat), the ingredients used (Buah Keluak, Tau Cheow, Belacan), and eating decorum (use their fingers as the Malay do).