Replica of a Ship - Malacca Maritime Museum

Playing tourist in the town where I live (Malacca, Malaysia) is one of our favorite activities during my daughter's school holidays. This time we went to the Melaka Maritime Museum.

Malacca Maritime Museum

The museum is housed in a replica of an old Portuguese Ship, known as Nau. Nau is a 16th/17th century ship that was used for trading and warfare. This museum showcases paintings and other artifacts that represents maritime history of Melaka from 14th to 20th century.

King welcoming overseas Islamic Missionaries

Traders selling spices - Era of the Melaka Sultanate

Trade Route - taken by Magellan

Pulau Besar - Wu Shu Island near Malacca - Chinese travelers used this island for filling water and food

Foreign traders at Melaka Port

Fight with the Siamese army

Portuguese Ships

Foreign Invasion

Model of a British Ship

Confinement or Prison in a Nau

Melaka Port during 19th Century - Sumatran and local ships

Besides scanty descriptions along each painting, not much information was available. It has been my long time dream to work as a volunteer in a museum, be it in documenting or guiding the visitor. So, I wanted to meet the curator or any other responsible person to get info regarding this. Unfortunately, there was no one, except for the security guards! Tried to find info online without any success. Planning to visit the other museums and try to get info, hopefully.


Sun Sparkle

For the first time I managed to capture the sparkle and here I present the photo without any modification!


Ghost Festival

You can see this giant sized incense sticks all over Malaysia, during the month of Chinese Ghost Festival.

However, until now I haven't bothered to stop by and find out more. This time, I made it a point to drop in one of these tents and chat up. Heat waves hit me the moment I opened my car door. The aroma was so strong that I sneezed.

A volunteer was kind enough to patiently explain and answer my questions:) This festival falls in the seventh month of the lunar calendar (usually around July/August) and is celebrated thorough out the month. Each community/family selects a convenient day to celebrate it.

Yellow - dead people list, Red - live persons seeking prosperity and peace!

On that day, the monks visit this type of prayer tents and pray for the dead souls in general and specifically for those listed on the yellow posters! They also pray for the peace and prosperity of the living, and special prayers for those listed in red posters!!

Colorful idols are placed at the alter. The center one was very large.

God of Heaven

"This is the Heaven God. He guides the dead people, so we pray to him" said the volunteer.


"These small Gods are like angles and they help us during natural disasters like earthquake...and see these are the gold and silver mountains that will be there in the Heaven"...

Golden Mountain

It was very fascinating to learn about their beliefs. And the most surprising article was this cute model.

Toilet for the DEAD!!!

The loo model was placed outside the tent and was meant for the visiting souls! It seems that the right toilet is for men and it was marked by 'red tail' like character that represents spade, which is used in farming. Whereas, the left was for ladies, which is marked by red dot, that depicts hand!

One of the Buddhist Goddess Kuan Yin - capable of taking 32 'avatars' to help the believers!

The offerings kept in front of Kuan Yin would be distributed at the end of the prayers, after midnight 12 am! I was proudly shown that the candy, dates and cereals towers were hand crafted by community members!

Vegetarian food

As it was a Buddhist community, all the offerings were vegetarian food, which had mock chicken and other soya/flour based meat. Along with a gift hamper, this food too would be distributed to the donors.

Finally, I was told that all the paper idols and articles would be burnt at the end of the prayer at midnight. Though I strongly respect the tradition and culture, I am concerned about the environmental pollution that occurs due to these burning. And I have a doubt if this could be the cause of the haze at nights during this season!


How to Describe this?

This time of the year when we came to Kuala Lumpur 8 years ago, I was surprised to see national flags hoisted in the vehicles and in front of the houses. Later, I learned that during August, here the citizens were encouraged to display the flags to celebrate 'Merdaka' (Independence), which falls on 30th August.

Now, I saw this motorcycle..

As I was driving, my kid took the above shot on my mobile phone. When I overtook the biker, we noticed that he had flags hoisted on his helmet as well!


Temple - Dwajasthambam (Flagpole)

The tall flagpoles in the Hindu temples have always fascinated me, that too it is a sight to see during holy festivals, as they are adorned with flowers and other religious things.

@ Sri Astha Thasa Buja Kali Temple, Durian Tunggal, Melaka

As per Hindu agama shastra (religious rules), the temples are built to reflect the human body and Dwajasthambam (Flagpole) forms the backbone! Well, am not too sure of the explanations (and I can't find trusted resources online), so let me not elaborate on it.

At Sri Astha Thasa Buja Kali Temple, I saw another, very tall flagpole, which was devoid of adornments. The rotating flash light gave a beautiful touch to that pole!

Now, am not sure why this pole was placed in front of the Dwajasthembam!
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