Thursday, 23 June 2016

Chinese Ladies In Our Clan

There are many Chinese ladies married to our Arab-Minang male lineage. I will just list those that I know and have heard about. I have included those who also looked Chinese as I have been informed by Bapak. I will expand the list when I get more information.
  1. A Ming princess who married to Sultan Melaka. She could be the famed Princess Hang Li Poh. Nenek Inchek only mentioned "Puteri Cina" to me. When I interviewed my granduncle, Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Coco Majid) at his office in Kuala Lumpur, he confirmed that we are descended from Princess Hang Li Poh. There is a Datuk Nengkong in his family tree. His maternal grandmother and Nenek Inchek's mother were sisters. Abang Moin (anak Mak Lah) said keturunan Nenek Inchek served as workers of a ruler (pembesar) - Sultan. They worked and enslaved themselves to the palace. He did not mention which palace, which Sultan and relationships. Was he referring to the forbidden word 'gundik' Sultan? If she is gundik Sultan, which Sultan ... there is only one Sultan in our family history and that is Sultan Melaka.
  2. A Ming princess who married to Sunan Gunung Jati of Cirebon, Java, Indonesia. She is the famed Princess Ong Tien Nio, a princess of the Ming Emperor Hong Gie - China's big lord (pembesar Cina). Among the 9 Walisongo, there is Sunan Gunung Jati. Sunan Gunung Jati was well-known for his ability to treat diseases. This news reached the Emperor of China, of the Ming Dynasty. The Ming Emperor Hong Gie invited Sunan Gunung Jati to China to test Sunan Gunung Jati's ability. The Emperor presented 2 of his princesses to Sunan Gunung Jati and asked him to point out which of his 2 princesses was pregnant (only one princess was pregnant). At first Princess Ong Tien Nio was not pregnant but used an object to make her look pregnant. So Sunan Gunung Jati pointed to Princess Ong Tien Nio because she looked pregnant. The Ming Emperor laughed at this mistake by Sunan Gunung Jati and sent him home to Java. But Princess Ong Tien Nio did seem "pregnant" even after the object was magically removed by Sunan Gunung Jati's prayer. She had fallen in love with Sunan Gunung Jati at first sight when he sat among the visitors to her father's palace in 1479. Princess Ong Tien Nio was gifted in Chinese calligraphy and was knowledgeable about Chinese philosophy. Princess Ong Tien Nio begged her father to seek Sunan Gunung Jati. The Emperor gave his blessing and she sailed to Java with a strong fleet of 7 ships and 100 strongmen. They reached Java and made it to Sunan Gunung Jati's place at Luragung (now Kuninga-red). She was really hoping that Sunan Gunung Jati would marry her. Of course, Sunan Gunung Jati would only marry her if she accepted and converted to Islam. She accepted Islam and read the Shahadah. He then married the 21-year old Chinese Ming princess in 1481 as his second wife (my relatives say as his only wife), but history pages say she was one of many wives. She was re-named Nyi Ratu Laras Sumandi when she married to Sunan Gunung Jati. She is also called Lie Ong Tien in other another account. However, history pages say she had no issue. Makam Sunan Gunung Jati and his Chinese wife's Makam Ong Tien Nio are in Cirebon. My relatives know the story of Sunan Gunung Jati.
  3. Inchek Nyonia bt Sahabudin of Tengkera, Melaka. She is the wife of Ismail. Inchek Nyonia possibly married at Tengkera (akad nikah is usually at the lady's place) and then came to live in Banda Hilir. She is the mother of three sons. All her 3 sons were most probably born in Banda Hilir - Haji Mohd Sharif bin Ismail, Haji Nordin bin Ismail, and Zainal bin Ismail. She is my paternal great-great-grandmother. Tok Zainal Kelang is Zainal bin Ismail, the youngest of three brothers. He was a tutor to Sultan Abdul Samad (died 1898). His wife is Nenek Klang (Nya Kelang). They have three children: Mohamad Arshad (Ami Arshad), Maimunah (Nya Intan)and Khatijah @ Nya Elok. Isn't Nya the short call name for Nyonia?
  4. Patma bt Mohamad. Bapak described her as "putih macam Cina." She married to Haji Mohd Sharif bin Ismail. She assisted her husband in making golden jewellery after 1897, after he returned from Makkah where he learned the goldsmith trade. Her husband was both a jaggery boiler and a goldsmith. Her relative is Syed Mohamed, grandson of Ami Aziz. Syed Mohamed looks Chinese, but has an Arab name. So, there must be a mixed marriage in Jelutong, Penang. Ami Aziz lived in Jelutong in the same Mukim as Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi. Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi lived in a bungalow by the roadside. Ami Aziz lived in a small Malay house by the sea (then) in early 1960s when I met him.

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