The Strait Chinese or Peranakan Chinese or Baba Nyonya is an unique culture, fused with elements from the Chinese, European and Malay influences. Although they are mostly ethnical Chinese (mainly from Guangdong & Fujian), with some Malay blood. They speak a varieties of languages, Chinese dialect, mainly Cantonese and Hokkien but also Malay and English. Today, they are distinctive and differ from other Chinese cultural groups like the mainland Chinese, the Hong Kong Chinese or the Taiwanese Chinese. This is achieved primarily by preserving the older traditional Chinese culture of Southern China together with influences from European and Malay. This is in contrast to other overseas Chinese immigrant groups living in North America and Europe, which tends to be absorbed into the general Western culture as their offspring, move out into the wider society. If the Peranakan or Baba Nyonya is to keep their unique identity then it is important to maintain and to develop their own cultural traits, amongst an ocean of global cultural diversity. They have been doing this for the last several hundred years, there is no reason why they would not succeed in doing so in the future. As time past their uniqueness will be strengthen as their culture diverge from their roots, which are also evolving.
In reality the picture is mixed, their community, excluding Singapore is under pressure from political and social discriminations. In Malaysia, their proportion of the total population in their country of birth is in declining at a rate about 2% per decade. In Indonesia, the Chinese cannot even use their own Chinese sounding names, since 1966. Many professionals, the young and the brightest are leaving for wealthier countries like Singapore, Australia, England, USA and Canada, that offer more equal job opportunity for them or for their children. Malaysia and Indonesia is a country rich in natural resources but in recently years it has being left behind. The 2012 figures from the IMF on GDP (PPP basis) per capita listed Singapore as the third highest ($60,799), Hong Kong ($50,936 equal with the US) in the 6th place, with Taiwan ($38,400), Japan ($35,855), South Korea ($31,950), whilst Malaysia ($16,794) and Indonesia ($4923) are trailing behind.
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