Tuesday, October 21, 2008

History of Melaka, Malaysia

The state of Melaka is one of the oldest states in Malaysia and has a colourful history to its existence.
The name Melaka was coined when a Palembang prince from the island of Sumatra set foot in Melaka and was resting below a tree when he saw a mousedeer outwitting a dog. Seeing such an ominous event, the Palembang prince Parameswara asked his aides what was the name of the tree that he was resting under - he was told that it is the Melaka Tree.

Melaka grew in importance throughout the 1400s and especially so considering that it had a strategic position in the Straits of Melaka. It was not surprising that it had a flourishing port which became an important meeting point for the traders from China and India. It later grew into being a cosmopolitan town with many Chinese and Indian traders setting foot and continuing their businesses in Melaka. The Chinese settlers who lived amongst the original Malay inhabitants soon found themselves assimilated into the latter's culture and lifestyle. These Chinese settlers became known as Babas and Nyonyas.

As the town of Melaka became influential and wealthy, its empire expanded and the Malay language became important in that part of South East Asia. The religion of Islam also grew in tandem with the Sultans embracing the said religion. Being a thriving town both financially and strategically placed, it was no wonder that it later became coveted in the eyes of the Portuguese. In 1511, the Portuguese overthrew the Melaka royalty and government and ruled over Melaka until 1641 when it fell to the Dutch.

During the Portuguese reign, Catholicism was introduced by the missionaries and many Portuguese also set foot to settle in Melaka, the descendents of which are still found today. In fact, the descendents of these early Portuguese settlers still speak the ancient Portuguese language. Meanwhile, the Dutch rule brought with it many fine buildings, churches and infrastructure, the most famous of which is probably the red-coloured buildings also known as the Stadthuys.

After the Dutch came the British in 1795. The British continued to develop the town of Melaka and it later became known as part of the famous Straits Settlements together with Penang and Singapore. English became an important spoken and written language and it is not difficult to get around Melaka if you are English speaking.

With such a colourful history, Melaka promises plenty to see and experience both in culture, shopping and sight-seeing. Welcome to Melaka!

Learn more about Melaka and other fascinating places around the world at worldwide travel ideas, where we visit some of the most interesting and beautiful places to be found - both natural and man-made.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marcus_Smith

1 comment:

Jamsheed said...

Wonderful . I wish to visit there..........

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