Saturday , September 18 2021

Melaka's Chetti Community Unique Deepavali Celebrations

It was barely a week before Deepavali, and Devi Pitchay was busy preparing her family's celebration time, such as murugs, love letters and bahulahs.

The ceremonial ceremony reflects the Malay and Chinese influences that its community assimilated from the 16th century. It belongs to the Indian Peranakan, or Chetti, from Melaka.

Devi's ancestors mostly originate from the coast of Coramandel South India. They settled in Melaki during the Melaka Sultanate in the 16th century. These Tamil settlers married Malaysian, Chinese and Jamaican women, creating a hybrid community known as Indian Peranakan or Chetti.

Their traditional dress is similar to what Malawi and the more famous Baba Peranakan were wearing. The traditional costume of a woman is a beech kebaya, which includes plain woven blouse and batik sarong.

Chetti men carry a combination of Malaysian and Indian clothing in the form of curves, scarves and saronga. The name tag of the soap, made of batik, completes its traditional wear.

At home, Chetties speak Malay, which is their native language, instead of southern Indian languages ​​such as Tamil and Telegu.

Melaka Chitty women carry baju kebaya, while men's clothing includes kurta, sarong, scarf and traditional head (soap).

Melaka Chitty women carry baju kebaya, while men's clothing includes kurta, sarong, scarf and traditional head (soap).

Chetti cuisine also reflects the assimilation of different cultures.

"Our dishes are a mixture of males and spices. Our favorite dish is lauk ikan parang pindang, made from coconut milk, lemongrass and turmeric.

"Another favorite dish is a sambal telur ikan masked belimbing bouillon, hearty fish dishes, lemon and chives. My kids love to eat meals like pedal and kangkung masks," says Devi, the 62-year-old mother of five children.

Chetti's famous dish is ours lemak and kangkung, which serve on special and favorable occasions.

The Devia family is one of only 20 Chetti families who are still living in Chetti village in Kg Tujuhu, at Jalan Gajah Berangu in Malacka. Some live in other parts of Melaka or have moved elsewhere in Malaysia or abroad.

Community mourning has also resulted in Chettian disappearance of the population.

Devi serves a combination of malay and Indian foods such as thosai, chicken curry and rotten jams during Deepavali.

Family communion

Like the Chinese Peranakan, Indian Peranakan maintained his religion and his traditional rituals, though they accepted Malaysian influence in other aspects of their daily and cultural life.

"We have an altar in our home and we pray to all Hindu goddesses. Our beliefs are reflected in Santhan Dharma, which means the eternal path of faith and truth," says Devi.

Deepavals are the most important celebrations of Chettius, and Devie's family gathered in Melaki to prepare for the ceremony.

"We serve a combination of Indian and Malay dishes throughout Deepavali, including rotten jams, chicken curry, steamed nasi lemak and thosai. Our snacks and cookies include Indian favorites such as chicken, gooseberry, athirasam and malaysian shapes such as wajik, dodol, biskut semprit and kuih bangkit ", says Devi.

Her four daughters, Sharmmila, Kavishaline, Vilashanee and Kogel, all came home to help her make cakes and snacks. Their ancestor, Devi's sister, Tialamah Pitchay, joined them, 67.

Tialamah (right) and Devi make murky for the ceremony.

"My older sister and Vilashanee traveled from Singapore, and Kavishalinee and Sharmmila flew to KL after work and the house feels so lively with laughter and laughter," says Devi, who lives in his 100-year-old wooden home with his son Sakuntalai Subramanian.

The widow rejoices in the days leading up to Deepavals while her family is together.

Each person is in charge of various jobs.

Tialamah forms a dough of dough – made of dad, rice flour and spices – in the spiral, and Devi helps to fry them in a crunchy golden brown treat.

Kavishalinee assumes responsibility for mixing peanut butter dough while her brothers and sisters turn the mixture into a perfect round ball.

Each year they prepare between seven and ten kinds of cookies and snacks.

You are pleased to have her children return home to help prepare the Deepavals because they can also learn their unique Chetti recipes, in the same way that they have learned from a 90-year-old mother.

The most desirable of Deepavali's treats in this Chetti household is something Devi's most proud of – her freshly baked I'm sick (dried bahoulas), light and sophisticated cake like Madeleine.

The neighbors will know when she will give her pain because of the tantalizing aroma that passes through the air.

Traditional baking utensils for coughing pain, love letters and rotting jellies are essential in most Melaka Chitty cuisine.

"People enjoy my home-made pain, I do it in a traditional way.

"I still have beaten eggs, sugar and flour with a handy spring stew in a pot of potatoes. While I'm looking for a lot of time, I do not mind, because it's one of my favorite cakes for my kids.

"Despite the availability of cookies purchased at the store, I'm grateful they are willing and have the desire to learn how to make these traditional items," says Devi.

With its traditions

At Deepavali Eve, Devijeve's daughters will prepare a spoon on the porch. Freshly colored rice flour is used for motifs such as flowers, and decorated with diyas and anchovies (brass lamp oil).

"Traditionally, rice flour is used for cologne design. It is believed that flour is becoming food for the auras and birds.

"It helps create the act of giving and feeling of harmony between humans and animals," says Devieva's second daughter Vilashanee.

The house is decorated with new curtains and pillows to cover the Lighthouse of Light.

It is believed that a pure house brings happiness to Godhead Lakshmi, a goddess of wealth and wealth.

At Deepavali in the morning, family members will seek blessings from the elders.

At Deepavali in the morning, Devi and her family will wake up at 6 o'clock for an oil bath using gingely oil.

"Gingely oil bath helps cleanse the mind and soul and reduce body heat." The herbal rub named Shikakai Powder is used to wash hair, and we will make a point to wear new clothes on Deepavali Day, which symbolizes prosperity, "explains Vilashanee.

After seeking a blessing from her grandmother, Vilashanee and her family go to the temple of 200 years old Sri Maha Mariamman for prayers.

The temple is one of three Hindu temples in their village.

"The coconut offering (thengai archanai) is performed in the temple, which is for the purification of soul and happiness.

"Breaking a coconut symbolizes the breaking of one's ego before the divine beings," explains Vilashanee, a postal clerk in Singapore.

The Christmas community of the Chitty community reflects their heritage of assimilation of the Malaysian influences in their cooking.

After their prayers, the family returns home by preparing a lavish lunch for close friends and family members.

Though this is a busy celebration, Devi rejoices in Deepavali every year. The rush and the bangs just add to the ceremony.

"Deepavali is all about the spirit of joy, the family community, and the purification of the soul. It is also about illuminating the legacy of the Chitty community for the generations to come."

In addition to Deepavali, the Chetti community also watches other Indian festivals such as Navarathri (nine sacred days), Parchu Bhogi (held the day before the Tamil harvest festival, Ponggal) and Parchu buah-buahan (held during the fertile season in June and July).

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