In the month of July of 2008, Melaka got included in World Heritage List along with Penang’s capital, George Town. Even though the multi-racial population of the place consists mainly of Chinese, Indians and Malays, the Portuguese and Peranakan culture which is still practiced by a few descendant communities gains the major attention from tourists. Peranakans or Baba Nyonya are believed to be descendants as a result of intermarriage between Chinese and Malay. The male Peranakans are referred to as ‘Babas’ whereas the females are referred to as ‘Nyonya’.
The language spoken by the Peranakans is known as ‘Baba Malay’ which consists of a few elements of Hokkien language. There are quite a few museums present in the city of Melaka but the most important are Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum and Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Melaka is also the place where the Sikh community is available in large numbers. The gurdwara located in Jalan Temenggong is the place where the Sikh community offers their prayers.
Descendants of Portuguese colonists from sixteenth and seventeenth century are present till this day in Melaka. Portuguese Creole is generally the language spoken by them and most of the traditions which originated from Portuguese occupation are being practised still today. Portuguese dishes like Ikan Bakar, Alai, Serkam and Umbai are quite popular in some of the restaurants of Melaka.
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