Peranakan Cina Kelantan: Sintesis Cina Tanah Besar dan Melayu Tanah Melayu (Kelantan Peranakan Chinese: The Synthesis of Mainland Chinese and Malays of the Malay Peninsula)
von Zinitulniza Abdul Kadir
This visual portrays an overview of the book that tells the story of a community that migrated from China before synthesising with the local culture (Kelantanese Malays in Malaysia) for survival – without giving up their identity and religion.
The whole visual of the parlour and the altar is rendered dark and sombre to invoke the elements of mystery. However, light is focused on two thirds of the book cover on the right hand side to directly foreground the three important elements that form the philosophy of the whole contents:
i. Prayer ritual is portrayed by a subject in a standing position while raising joss sticks before the altar. This element is a display of the subject’s (Kelantanese Peranakan Chinese) filial piety for their ancestors’ religion in China despite having migrated from the mainland for hundreds of years.
ii. The subject does not wear a cheongsam (traditional Chinese attire), but wears a sarong and a kebaya (traditional Malay attire) instead. This element portrays how the subject acculturates and accommodates with a culture. She does so by compromising certain Chinese traditions with the local culture to facilitate the acceptance of the local community.
iii. The juxtaposition of two subjects (a grandmother and a granddaughter) represents a contrast between two age groups across two generations. The grandmother dons traditional attire while the granddaughter wears modern and casual clothing. The grandmother is praying while the granddaughter is playing on her iPad. The grandmother pays her respects to the altar where the shrine is situated, while the granddaughter leans against it idly. This displays the challenge faced by the subject in preserving Peranakan traditions for future generation.
The font used for the heading (Peranakan Cina Kelantan) is designed by taking inspiration from the red royal seal – the colour of which represents prosperity in Chinese tradition. In addition, the heading is positioned on the left because the Chinese believe that the left side invites prosperity.