Local traditions and culture in Melaka

  • Lanterns.
    Lanterns.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Lanterns.
    Lanterns.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Tiles.
    Tiles.
    by IreneMcKay

Most Viewed Local Customs in Melaka

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    Gula Melaka (palm sugar blocks)

    by machomikemd Written Jun 25, 2014

    one of the key ingredients of sweets in Malaysia in general and Melaka in Particular, is that they use Palm Sugar as a sweetener in various desserts, shaved ice desserts, local malaysian drinks and even in some Malaysian and Peranakan cooking is the Palm Sugar, which locals call Gula Melaka. Gula melaka is made by climbing a coconut tree and making several slits into the bud of the coconut tree and collecting the sap. Then, the sap is boiled until it thickens after which, in the traditional way, it is poured into bamboo tubes between 3-5 inches in length, and left to solidify to form cylindrical cake blocks. Alternatively it can be poured into glass jars or plastic bags.

    you can buy gula melaka solid blocks at medan samudera and even at local supermarkets and food stalls at RM 3 for a small plastic pack.

    gula melaka blocks for sale buying at medan samudera used in chendol used in ais kacang
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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Belacan (Dried Shrimp Paste Block)

    by machomikemd Written Jun 25, 2014

    the secret ingredient of many malaysian dishes, sauces and curries is the Belacan. Belacan is Malaysia's version of the Shrimp Paste, which is quite common in South East Asian Cooking. which is called kapi in thailand, terasi in Indonesia, Bagoong in the Philippines. the only difference of the malaysian version is that it is dried and made into solid blocks made from tiny shrimp mixed with salt and fermented. The fermented paste is then ground into a smoother paste, then sun dried, shaped into blocks, and allowed to ferment again. The resulting blocks are chalky and only slightly moist.

    you can buy assorted kinds of Belacan blocks at the Medan Samudera or at the food stalls around Melaka and they go for RM 1 to 2 for one block.

    belacan blocks more more belacan is used in laksa belacan  is used in malaysian curries
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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Hard Rock Cafe Melaka Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jun 20, 2014

    I know, I know, i already bought a fridge magnet of Melaka at Jonker Street as you can see from my other Melaka Tips Here. But still, In my mind, I must buy a pair of souvenirs that I like, meaning Shot Glasses and Fridge Magnets, I since I bought a Hard Rock Melaka Shot Glass, why don't I Buy a Hard Rock Melaka Fridge Magnet too!

    they only have one style of Fridge Magnet Here, the Shape of a Guitar and is heavy, but the price is a princely sum of RM 70! as compared to RM 8 to 12 for regual fridge magnets in Jonkers Street.

    you would not miss the Hard Rock Cafe as it is located just after the River, before the Start of Jonkers Street.

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    Malacca Shot Glasses (Hard Rock Cafe Melaka)

    by machomikemd Written Jun 20, 2014

    since I lot collecting assorted knick knacks of my travels, besides buying refrigerator magnets, I also usually buy Shot glasses of the particular area that I am visiting if the shot glasses are available since some areas that I've visited has none of them as souvenirs (like here at the souvenir shops around Jonkers Street and Stadhuys Area) and it was a good thing that the HARD ROCK CAFE MELAKA has shot glasses avaialble but they don't come cheap as this is an international chain after all. Regular Shot Glass I bought at Kuala Lumpur only averages RM 8 to 12, but the Melaka Shot Glass Here at Hard Rock Cafe costs RM 50 per piece!

    you would not miss the Hard Rock Cafe as it is located just after the River, before the Start of Jonkers Street.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Malacca Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jun 20, 2014

    I am an avid collector of refrigerator magnets and whenever I travel, I usually buy them as part of my souvenir collections of the local area that I've visited and here in historic Malacca (or Melaka) is no different hence I bought some and you can find them everywhere especially at the assorted souvenir shops all around Jonker Street and the souvenir Stalls around the Stadhuys Area and the shops below St. Paul's Hill.

    always remember to haggle when buying the souvenir items. The Malacca refrigerator Magnets go for RM 8 to 112 depending if the ref magnet is ceramic or plastic or magnetized metal. If you're a collector too then I would suggest you buy one too

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    feeling a little nostalgic about Malaysia

    by cochinjew Written Nov 10, 2006

    Eventhough I have been in Asia quite recently (just five weeks ago) and would be back there soon (in about six weeks), this morning I woke up with a sudden nostalgia for Malaysia.
    I am sitting in a village in a rather desolate place in the USA, the first snow had fallen, and as is the custom, one says prayers for the first snow. Then I thought of myself walking along the streets of Malaysia, greeting newly made friends and savouring the flavours wafting through.

    never mind, will make it a point to be in Malaysia in the latter part of January 2007.. once again for a good nyonya food, some nice conversations and the ambience.

    Perhaps the nostalgia was brought on by a sympathetic article on the november 5, 2006 issue of New York Times Travel Section. The enclosed photos are from the article.

    cendol laksa the town centre the ambience of malaysia

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    The Basics

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 24, 2006

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    Water : Generally safe to drink water straight from tap. Bottled mineral water, however, easily available in shops & supermarkets

    Electricity : 220--240 volts are available. Plug fittings must be three pin square

    Mobile Phone Network : GSM, PCN and Analog

    Taxes : Some shops will add a 5% tax. At some food and beverage outlets they will also charge an additional 5% to 10% tax.

    Currency : The ringgit is the currency of Malaysia and is also known as the Malaysian dollar. 1 dollar equals 100 cents. You can change money and travellers cheques at banks and moneychangers. Credit cards are usually accepted in hotels and department stores. Cash however, is needed in the rural areas.

    Banking hours :Banks are usually open from 10 a.m. up to 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 9.30 a.m. up to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

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    Tamil Catholic Church

    by yuet29 Updated Dec 5, 2004

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    Observed a very unique thing in Melaka but not very sure if my observation is correct. I found that a lot of indian in melaka are catholic. As I found some of them praying on st. Paul hill..and I took the picture on the right.. a picture that suprised me.. a tamil catholic church

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    Peranakan Heritage

    by Rodan44 Written Nov 23, 2004

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    The earliest Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlements, namely Melaka, Penang and Singapore, were primarily men who then married local Malay women. Thus, they created a unique mixed Chinese-Malay culture that came to be known as Peranakan, where the men are known as Babas and the women as Nyonyas. This community can trace its presence in Melaka to at least the 17th century.

    Throughout the centuries, Peranakan culture has managed to maintain many ancient Chinese traditions while adopting many customs of the land they settled in and of their colonial rulers. You can find in Peranakan culture traces of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Indonesian influences. The Peranakans have also managed to maintain customs and traditions of their Hokkien Chinese ancestors, some of which no longer survive in China or in local Hokkien communities.

    The Peranakan community in Melaka became quite wealthy through trade, and as such they spared no expense in acquiring fine furniture, porcelain, embroidery, and tilework for their lavish homes. Many fine examples of restored Peranakan homes can be seen in old city Melaka today.

    As with their culture, Peranakan cuisine is an exotic mixture of Chinese and Malay influences. It is truly one of the most popular contributions of the community, and no trip to Melaka would be complete without sampling some traditional dishes.

    Tiles on facade of Peranakan home, Melaka
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    Drink sweet things

    by phil_uk_net Updated Oct 25, 2003

    The locals have an incredibly sweet tooth. A few things I tried were undrinkable as they were so sweet. If you're feeling brave you can try freshly squeezed sugar cane juice from a vendor on the street.

    Sugar cane juice

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    Carlos Gardel de Malasia

    by cochinjew Written Aug 2, 2003

    Como la voz eterna de ciudad porteno, sr p. ramlee he dejado su voz en aire de la peninsula.. cantante y actor.. querido de monton de malasianos...
    Queria comprar disco compacto y dvd de el, pero no estaba facil encuentrar.

    P. Ramlee

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  • Audrey118's Profile Photo

    Tiles

    by Audrey118 Written Jul 22, 2003

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    Walk along jonker street and observe some of the old Chinese shophouses. Some of them still have at the fron facade partially tiled walls. They are very pretty tiles, in the Straits people fashion. Becos of its antique value, some of the tiles have been pierced out and sold to collectors.

    The picture is not of any antique value, but the tiles are equally pretty with our national flower (bunga raya - which mains highway flower..becos it was chosen as our national flowers as years ago it was indeed a popular flower grown along Malay villages, and now even in the city)

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    Cats

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 19, 2013

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    I am very fond of cats and will photo any that come near me. Since VT refuses to have a cat section, I am happy to put my cat photos in any section!!! Just ignore if you are not a cat fan like me.

    Friendly local cat. Friendly local cat.
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    Tiles

    by IreneMcKay Written Oct 19, 2013

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    When we visited Lisbon I noticed so many beautiful tiles decorating walls, floors etc. Melaka had several pretty tiles, too and I wonder if this is a legacy of the Portuguese occupation.

    Tiles. Tiles.
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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Pineapple Tarts

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 22, 2010

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    As you stroll through the Chinatown area keep an eye out for bakeries selling pineapple tarts - a Nyonya speciality.

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