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Do you know about Chetti Melaka?


Chetti Melaka / Chitty Melaka is the Indian Tamil traders who came to Melaka back in year 1414 during
the Sultanate era.

This Tamil traders married to the locals, from the marriage their children adapted to the local culture,
language and reserves the Hinduism of Saiva Faith. Due to trading and sailing, the Indian Tamil father
spent less time with their kids thus their kids were not able to catch up Tamil language.

This group of traders came from only 8 clans namely Chitty, Naiker, Padiachee, Pillay, Mudaliar, Redy,
Pathair and Raja. Which till now there are only 7 clans out of the 8 can be found in the Chetti Melaka
community. Chetti Melaka retained their clan name by adding it at the back of the names. If you met
with any Chetti Melaka, you can ask them which clan are they from who are their Kula Deivam God or

Chetti Melaka community are still practicing several culture and tradition which are strongly tied to
Hinduism such as Parchu (Bhogi), Ponggol (Ponggal), Mengamey (Sri Muthu Mariamman or Dato'
Chachar Thiruvizha) and Bulan Berbunga (Margaali)

Aside from the cultural and tradition, the Chetti Melaka observed most of the Hinduism Saiva Faith
prayers as well such as Navarathiri, Sivarathiri, Aadi Pooja, Varushabishegam and etc.

The Chetti Melaka owned 9 temples. Managed 2 main temples and 6 Gramangal temple which of the
temple is the Kula Deivam of the 8 clans as mention earlier. 1 main temple managed by the Natakottai

About costume, the traditional attire for the men would be "talpa" (head gear), "baju butang lima" and
"Kain pelikat". For the ladies it would be "baju kebaya" paired with "kain batik" and "kasut manik".

Although with the practices of the tradition and culture is adapted to the local, Chetti Melaka holds
strong to Hindu religion. The Chetti Melaka tradition is practiced from the time a baby is born. For
example, "Semayang 16 hari". If it is a girl, once she reaches the puberty there will be a "Sandanggu"
ceremony conducted. Before marriage take place, there will be Parasam (engagement) and 3 days full of
wedding practices ranging from "Naik Tiang", "Hari Kahwin" to "Mandi- Mandi". Even the 'thali'
(wedding sacred pendant) varies as each clan have their own. For the death, it will be fully done as
according to Hinduism and most of Chetti Melaka will be buried.

This short write-up was summarized from few Temples, Chetti Melaka Community bylaws, Deed of Trust
and documented documentation by the deceased Trustee's of Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Kovil and
The Community of Chitty Melaka of Town of Melaka.

Summarized by T.Sithambaram Pillay