Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Nonya Craze

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a call.

"Hi, good morning to you. I am not buying property, but I read your blog about your Nonya porcelain antiques and I am interested to buy them," said someone who called himself Andrew.

"Oh! Hi! How did you get my number?"

"I phoned up your company, Dennis Wee Group for your number," replied Andrew.

I told him that if he had read my article carefully, I had mentioned that I would like to give my porcelain antiques to my beloved niece, Woei Yann, whose husband also specialises in painting Nonya artifacts and furniture. Yap Chen Ho, a Malaysian artist, is well known for his still life paintings.

"I would like my niece to keep these antiques, and hopefully, they will be passed on throughout the generations."

"I understand; all the best," said Andrew.

I am heartened to note that after the successful and popular TV serial, The Little Nonya, more people became more aware of the Nonya culture. It is wonderful to observe more youngsters becoming keen on collecting Nonya items.

It is amazing how things of yore were always so beautifully made. Probably people had more time then, and life was going at a slower pace. Nowadays, people are always rushing and rushing, and most things are made by machines. When something is handmade the difference in price is so great. For example a pair of beaded Nonya shoes made by hand would cost about MR250; while the ones made by machines would cost only around MR28. A box of machine made chocolates would be so much cheaper than a box of handmade chocolates created by boutique chocolatiers, eg. Chocoelf and Prestat, just to name a few. There used to be a boutique chocolatier called "Sin". I am not sure whether it is still around. I used to admire the lovely handmade chocolates, but never got to buying them because they were so costly. Indeed I would feel really "sinful" to eat them when so many kids in third world countries are dying of hunger. I am already happy and satiated with my box of Rochero chocolates.

Nevertheless, handmade objects will always outshine the machines! The power of man's deft fingers and his equally brilliant brain!

Gan Chau

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