Set of Romanised Baba Malay books

Publications such as this ‘Chrita Dulu-kala’, loosely translated as ‘stories from ancient times’, were written for popular reading at the turn of the 20th century right upto the 1950s. Written in serialised format, Chrita Dulu-kala featured famous Chinese folklore, legends and historical epics such as ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, ‘Water Margin and ‘Journey to the West’ written in Baba Malay - a unique Malay creole with substantial Hokkien (Chinese dialect) influence. These books are not published any more. While the general readership of Chrita Dulu-kala was generally thought to be male and educated, it is possible its contents reached a wider audience. Some older Peranakans today recall being told stories from these books by their elders.

c. 1930s
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Timothy Lim
Rare Books