C I K G U ..B A H R O O D I N 

           

 
Press & Reviews

The Star, Tuesday July 18, 2006

A glimpse into Peranakan past

In her baju panjang (long blouse) and the inevitable pinned hanky, Bibik Hitam was the epitome of a 19th century Nyonya matriarch.

Never mind that ‘she’ was really 62-year-old Mohd Bah-roodin Ahmad, better known as Cikgu Bahroodin or Cikgu Baha, who won a Living Heritage Treasures of Penang Award 2005.

Bibik Hitam – An Intimate Tour of a Nyonya House is the latest inception in the Le- buh Acheh – Lebuh Armenian (LALA) heritage area.

It offers visitors a ‘live’ glimpse into the everyday life of the Peranakan people through the tales of the sprightly Bibik.

Sauntering in where visitors were sitting expectantly around a tok panjang (banquet table) in her Straits Chinese ‘home’ at 120, Armenian Street, Bibik was heralded by the rhythmic beat of a kompang, transporting everyone back a hundred years.


CENTRE OF ATTENTION:Bibik performing some dance steps
at her Straits Chinese 'home'.

COFFEE BREAK:Visitors were served refreshments from old-fashioned ceramic cups and saucers.

As her husband’s concubine, Bibik’s secret to marital bliss was to jaga badan and jaga sua-mi (take care of her body and her husband),

Speaking in English, Malay and Baba Hokkien, Bibik told tales of her childhood. She spoke of the girls in her house who sat making beaded shoes and of her maidenly blush at a Chap Goh Meh orange throwing.

Weaved into her tales were bits and pieces of factual history, such as Chinese nationalist Dr Sun Yat-Sen (her ‘son’) useing that very house to hold his revolution meetings.

Bibik also showed a step or two of the ‘laughing conga’, ‘samba’ and ‘ronggeng’, authentic dance moves as Cikgu Bahroodin has over 25 years of experience in the Malay performing arts.

After the half-hour show, limited to 20 people each time, Bibik reappeared out of character to mingle with the guests and serve them nutmeg juice, coffee and Nyonya kuih.

The show will be held every Saturday at 9.30am and 11.00am until October. Admission of RM20 includes refreshments and bookings can be made through Adeline (012-3175 498/04-2620123).
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