A window to the past

My sister sent a colourised version of this photo that she received from our cousin. This is such a precious photo that was likely taken in 1959 or early 1960s.

From left to right, those who were standing: Dad, Mum, O’oh Enok (Dad’s half-sister), N’cek Aliang (Dad’s younger brother), O’oh Ian (Dad’s older sister), I’ie Soan (N’cek Aliang’s wife), I’ie Oang (not sure how we are related), Tuape (Dad’s older half-brother), and Tua’em (Tuape’s wife).Those seated: unknownunknown – my maternal grandfather’s first wife – and my grandma. Unfortunately I can’t ask Mama anymore of who’s who in the picture. sigh.

It’s fascinating looking at how they were dressed as well – the older generations were dressed in Kebaya Encim (a traditional costume popular with the peranakans across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – although it was also popular with the Chinese community then. The peranakans are people of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage).

My grandma, seated on the right-hand-side, was originally from Xiamen, in Fujian Province. She preferred to wear the traditional Chinese outfit of black pants, and white blazer. Despite her beauty and raising the children on her own, she never remarried after my grandpa’s death in 1939 until she passed away in 1978.