The significance of Sireh Darah

By Peranakan Museum / July 26, 2017


‘tempat sireh’ (‘sireh set’) is the Baba Malay term for a box with a set of containers used to store the various ingredients used in betel-chewing, a practice common among the Peranakan Chinese.

These gold containers with floral and leaf designs engraved on it, would probably hold ingredients such as ‘kapur’ (lime), ‘pinang’ (areca nut shavings), ‘gambir’ (gambier) and ‘temaco’ (tobacco).

Tempat sireh is traditionally very important in Peranakan culture, with special significance for the Nyonyas. Other than accompanying the day-to-day pleasure of chewing sireh, tempat sireh also played an important ceremonial role in many important rites such as those in a traditional wedding.

This video features famous Peranakan actor and female impersonator, G T Lye.