Recently, we are addicted to a 34-episode Singapore drama, “A Little Nyonya” which is showed on Astro Shuang Xin (Ch 324), every Monday to Friday, from 8.30pm – 9.15pm.
Produced in celebration of MediaCorp TV Channel 8’s 45 years anniversary, the story line of A Little Nyonya span over 5 generations of a Nyonya family, from 1930s till present. I am not going to story further on the synopsis, but if you want to know more, do visit http://littlenyonya.mediacorptv.sg/.
Despite the touching love story, I believe that the Nyonya or Peranakan background of this drama is the one that make it achieved the highest viewerships rating ever since 1994. Unlike any other drama series which focus on an ethnic group, A Little Nyonya really goes into the single details of a true Nyonya family. For instance, the costume, food, culture, belief, decoration, house and even tableware, which we might not know that much before.
According to one of the articles in China Press, results of this drama, Nyonya shops in Melaka’s Jonker Street are doing very well, as both local and foreigners are here to shop for the tableware, beading shoes, kebaya and etc. The pricing of these items also increase over a night.
A traditional Nyonya family is very particular with their food. During that time, a girl must know how to cook good nyonya food and sew beading shoes in order for them to get a good husband. They even have to take part in cooking and sewing test during the interview by the other family. Yes folks, if the girl want to get married to a well establish family, she must go through a series of interviews. Even now some certain parents interview their would be daughter / son-in-law to see if they “LAYAK” or qualified to be part of the family. Because of this, some couples cannot get together because the family always think that he/she isn’t the right person for their child or the decision maker should be the elders.
In this drama, the lead actress, Yue Niang is one of the very hard to get good cook in mid-19th century. So we can always see Yue Niang showcase her expertise and even share tips on how to cook certain dishes. Even though we are seeing it through the tv screen only, but those authentic Nyonya dishes really make us craving for it. Not only that, it also inspires my gf to take out all her recipe books and start making Nyonya food.
I also enjoy other dishes like Babi Masak Asam and Ayam Pongteh that my gf prepared. Thanks to this fantastic drama series, or else we will never discover that many good recipes.
I must salute the script writer also for such a good story line that let the whole world know more about this minority ethnic group, even though I don’t like the ending where by Yue Niang is separated from Chen Xi. Sorry for the spoilers.
But this make my gf thought of having a destination wedding in Pinang Nyonya Mansion where part of this drama is filmed, yet none of us is from Peranakan family. Now you know how much the story influence the viewers such as me.
If you want to watch the little nyonya but have miss the show on Astro, just go to youtube, type little nyonya and download it. All the video clips there have English subtitle too.