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Friday, December 2, 2011

Kampung Chitty

Gateway to the kampung

0. Last Minuet in Melacca
1. Melacca Temples on Harmony Street
2. Kampung Chitti

Kampung Chitty is an enclave on the outskirts of Old Melacca where there is an Indian community and a ri Mariamman temple. The houses are colourful and original little cottages that originally may have been built autonomously as an informal 'ghetto' outside local regulations.

The Chittys are a distinctive group of Tamil people found mainly in Malacca and Singapore , who are also known as the Indian Peranakans. As of today, their population stands at 2,000. Like the Peranakans, the Chitty speak a Malay patois, which is mixed with many Tamil loan words. Many of the Chitty are unable to communicate in Tamil fluently.

Historical records stated that the Tamil traders from Panai in Tamil Nadu settled down in Malacca during the sovereignty of the Sultanate of Malacca. Like the Peranakans, they later settled down and freely intermingled with the local Malays and Chinese settlers. However, with the fall of the Malacca Sultanate after 1511, the Chitty eventually lost touch with their native land. Under the administration of the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonizers, the Chitty eventually began simplifying their culture and customs by adopting local customs.

Chinese cultural influence among the Chitty people is evident, especially in the case of ancestral worship. Religious objects used for conducting rituals aren similar to those used by the Chinese. Hints of Taoist and Islamic influences are also evident in their religious rituals.

Sri Mariamman temple

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