Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bokaap - Malay Quarter in Cape Town

The "Bo Kaap" or "Cape Malay Quarter" belongs to the culturally and historically most interesting parts of Cape Town. Many of the inhabitants are decendants of the people from Indonesia (Batavia), Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia, who were captured in the 17th and 18th century and enslaved by the Dutch-East Indian Trading Company. Many were Mulims and others were converted to Islam by the Cape Muslim community.

The Cape Malays and their religious leaders played an important role in the development of the language and culture of the Cape colony. The Afrikaans language evolved as a language of its own through a simplification of Dutch in order for the slaves to be able to communicate with the Dutch and amongst each others, since they all came from different countries and cultures. Educated Muslims were the first to write texts in Afrikaans.

The Cape Malays have preserved their cultural identity and Muslemic creed. The old Malay Quarter with its steep and narrow streets, the plain artisan houses, Mosques and Minaretts reaches from the Buitengracht street up to the Signal Hill. The houses were restored and colourfully painted. The architectural style is a synthesis of Cape Dutch and Edwardian.

A walk around on the cobble stoned streets reveals a lively and suburb filled with brightly colored houses.
There are also Muslim saint's shrines ("kramats") and many beautiful Mosques including the first established Muslim Mosque in South Africa.
Tana Baru Kramat, Cape Town Culture, Cape Town
Tana Baru Kramat
Cape Malay Cuisine is very popular. It is the use of very aromatic spices and herbs that makes Cape Malay cooking so unique.
Malay culture influenced South African food by adding foods like bobotie (curried mince meat) denningvleis (lamb stew) and blatjang (fruit chutney).
The museum, furnished as a house that shows the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family, tells the story of the local Islamic culture and heritage.
Entrance to Bo Kaap Museum, Cape Town Culture, Cape Town
Entrance to the Museum
Kitchen, Bo Kaap Museum, Cape Town Culture, Cape Town
Kitchen utensils in the Museum


BaitiBadarudin said...

Very interesting information about the Cape Malays. I wonder if Gapena has published anything from their visits to Bo-Kaap?
If you're interested in Malays in Singapore during the Great War, post-WWII and post-Merdeka, do visit and post comments on my blog.
Thank you.

Azman Stunning said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Azman Stunning said...
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Azman Stunning said...

Back to grass root..
& the Malay new civilization will be there..
'Toleransi dan perdamaian bersama semua'