Friday, July 12, 2013

The uncultured show

Malacca is one of South East Asia's more relaxing cities, a place where many tourists drifting without a schedule find themselves spending a lot longer than they intended. Perhaps realising this, Malacca generously provides a variety of cultural distractions to keep these aimless wanderers entertained or at least give them some photo opportunities to keep their blogs ticking over before they finally persuade themselves to head to the costlier climes of Singapore, including the only dedicated museum district I've seen outside of Europe.

It's been a long time since I visited a legitimate museum to actually learn about a country's culture and heritage, rather than being lured by the promise of dead babies in jars or grotesque waxworks. It's still been a long time, as the couple of museums we tried out ended up having bugger all to do with anything Malaysian.

Melaka People's Museum

Admittedly, we were only drawn to this museum by its inexplicable exhibition on meteors, rather than its actual purpose to (according to the website):
'portray various facets of Melaka - the administrative structure, the social infrastructure, tourism, the manufacturing and industrial sector, the agricultural sector etc - and how they evolved and developed through time.'
Sounds really boring. I was much more interested in seeing dinosaur bones and handling meteor fragments like the lying sign had pissing promised, but those exhibitions were arseing closed.

Meaning no dinosaurs for David

He had to make do

Luckily, 'the social infrastructure' can sometimes be responsible for populations indulging in traditions and behaviours that are completely nuts, and the top floor provided some dark relief with African lip plates, Karen neck rings, Nuer scarification and Chinese foot bonding, the latter of which I'd never even heard about before and I was the sort of kid who had those sort of books

I didn't expect tiny shoes to be the creepiest thing I'd see today.
Now if only they had a torture museum

The Malay and Islamic World Museum

If it seems odd that the People's Museum would devote one of its galleries to irrelevant meteors (when it's bloody open), we were even more surprised to discover what awaited in this museum, which supposedly:
'collects, stores and exhibits the history and heritage of the Malays throughout the world for the benefits of future generations.'

Exhibit A: Malay skull?

In fact, the entire museum was currently given over to showcasing some guy's private collection of movie memorabilia, which laughably claims to be 'one of the grandest privately owned epic collections in the world.'

Bollocks! Almost everything is stated to be a replica or straight off the shelves of Forbidden Planet. I even have doubts about the stuff that doesn't mention its authenticity

I'm pretty sure the 'real' Sword of Omens from Thundercats was an animated drawing

That didn't stop us messing around (a childish day out again again again again again again again again again again again again again again again)

This is the second time I've had my photo taken with the diminutive Darth, both times in Malacca museums, so I'm pretty sure they just loaned this from the Toy Museum a few streets away.

It wasn't actually intended to look like the Dark Lord of the Sith was tossing me off.
I'd never disgrace such a noble institution.

We didn't learn very much about the Malays or the Islamic world.

But look, there's The Mask from The Mask and a Freddy Krueger glove. Both replicas, like everything else, so why even protect them behind glass? Why even brag about owning them?



1 comment:

  1. "It wasn't actually intended to look like the Dark Lord of the Sith was tossing me off."
    I would have failed to notice this, were it not for the subtle red arrow hinting in the general direction of such blasphemous act.