Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Info: Kampung Chitty

Kampung Chitty in Melaka is located at Jalan Gajah Berang. This unique kampung or village is easily accessible from the North-south highway or from Alor Gajah. Visitors must try the Chitty cuisine which is unique to the Chitty community The Melaka Chitty Village is located in the ward of Gajah Berang (Furious Elephant), 1.3 kilometer from St Paul's Hill. Chetty or Chitty originally means a member of one of the trading jati of South India. In present-day Melaka, it is used to refer to a member of the Melaka-born Hindu community.

Their mother tongue is Malay; they adhere to Saivitic Hinduism that was brought to Melaka in the fifteenth century; and their dress, methods of food preparation, and forms of entertainment exhibit distinctively local flavors (Narinasamy 1983:244). Like the Baba Chinese, they are quite different from the other Hindus, who retain their native languages and know their places of origin in India.

The village has three Hindu temples in Gajah Berang. The main temple is Sri Maha Mariamman Temple built in 1822. About 32 houses of Chitty families are located alongside Chinese houses there. These are distinguished by the pictures of deities displayed at the entrances. Outside the village, there are seven other temples and 18 families belonging to the Chitty community in Melaka.