All about Nyonya
Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya (峇峇娘惹) and Straits Chinese (土生華人); named after the Strait Settlements are terms used for the descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region, including both the British Straits Settlement of Malaysia and the Dutch-controlled island of Java among other places, who have partially adopted Malay customs in an effort (chronological adaptation) to be assimilated into the local communities.
The word Peranakan is also used to describe Chinese Indonesian . In both Malay and Indonesian ‘Peranakan’ means ‘descendants’. Babas refer to the male descendants and the Nyonyas the female. The word nyonya (also commonly spelled nonya) may originate from the Portuguese word dona, which means ‘lady’.
Most Peranakan are of Hokkien ancestry, although a fair denomination of them are of the Teochew or Cantonese descent. Written records from the 19th and early 20th centuries show that Peranakan men usually took brides from within the local Peranakan community. Peranakan families also commonly imported brides from China and sent their daughters to China to find husbands. A small group of Indian Peranakans, known as the Chitty , does exist as well. Another similar group of Eurasian Peranakans also exist as Kristang People .