Chetti, Chettiar and Mamak. The difference.
Take a random guess.
Chetti community originated from a small village or town in Kalingapatnam which is located Andhra Pradesh, in the south east of India. Kalingapatnam or 'Kalinggam' is known as 'Keling Continent', this is also how or where the word 'Keling' derive from (and not because of the sound of their anklet).
Chetti are big time traders that frequented Melaka during 16th century to trade spices and silk. Some of the settled down in Melaka and married the locals.
Coming from prosperous banking and reputable business community in south India, the Nattukottai Chettiar comunity are elite bankers migrated to South East Asia during the during the British empire. The Chettiars are very organise in banking, they introduced the concept of double entry in book-keeping.
They were the money lender or provider to help build Malaysia economy back then.
Mamak community (known locally in Malaysia) originated from Malabar, south west of India. Mamak or Muslim Mappila or Jonaka Mappila are community resulted from pre/post-Islamic Arab contacts (Mughal). Famous for Thalassery biriyani, a Mughal-Arab influence rice and dish is made famous around the world, other popular Mughali food are tandoori, naan and roti.
Chetti Museum was officially launch in 5th August 2003 funded by Melaka State Government under the supervision of Melaka Museum. All the artifacts showcased are from personal collection of the Chetti community here.
Chetti or Hindu Peranakan (similar to the Baba and Nyonya of Cina Peranakan) settled in Melaka 500 years ago during Melaka's golden era, some ended up marrying the locals hence adopting the Malay cultural and language while practicing the Hindu religion. This hybrid community creates a very distinctively fused and unique cultural and heritage, it is shown in dishes like haram jadda (click HERE for story) where the use of coconut milk but not the curry powder nor leaf, consume fish and meat but not pork, yet surprisingly observe the Hindu vegetarian Friday.
Some customs practiced by the Chetti like cukur jambul and wedding dowry are similar to the Malays.
The Chetti village consist of 30-40 houses of very close knitted community where everyone knows everyone or related in one way or another.
Kolem drawn at the street is still being practiced actively.
Address : Jalan Gajah Berang, Melaka
Tel : +6019-6677226 / +606-2826526
Coordinates : 2°12'13"N 102°14'29"EOpening Time : 9am - 5pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Entrance Fee : RM2 for adults and RM0.50 for children.
A #VMY2014 #Melaka Media Fam Trip in collaboration with #GayaTravel