Not many people realize Jonker Street Malacca actually is come from a Dutch language Jonker Straat giving a meaning a Nobleman Street. It’s also know as Bruggestraat (Bridge Street) during the early stage of Dutch rules Malacca. Due its location near to the Stadhuys, Dutch Administration center and Malacca commercial hub. Jonker Street has been a choice of top ranking leader since the ruler of Malacca Sultan until the Dutch era. The street is predominantly by Keling Squatter (people originally came from India) because of influential Strait born Hindu name Nina Chatu has been appointed as Bendahara by Alfonso de Albuquerque to returning the city back to normal. During the Portuguese rules Malacca, (1511 – 1641) most of building on the Jonker Street Malacca was built using a Tile roofed and timber.
In 1768, Dutch took a drastic action by giving the directions to the property owner on Jonker Street Malacca to rebuilt their house using brick and clay to prevent constant fire. At that point, Dutch already monopoly the brick and clay industry in Malacca. Those who not afford to build the house with a new standard been asked to move somewhere else. This preference was giving to Dutch VOC officer to build their settlement near to Stadhuys building. The small number of Chinese population from Southern China has been established since 1677. Dutch depending to Chinese people especially the Chinese Kapitan to restore Malacca economy.
In late 1700, the Dutch influence in Malacca decline and the number of Chinese immigrant start pouring to Malacca. When British officially took Malacca from Dutch in 1825, most of the property on Jonker Street Malacca were bought by Chinese upper class. Since then Jonker Street Malacca was dominant by strait born Chinese known as Baba and Nyonya. Today the street become one of attractions for tourist looking for Baba and Nyonya traditional food, souvenir and antique. Most of the building built during Dutch era still standing strong until today.
Attraction in Jonker Street Malacca
The main attractions in Jonker Street Malacca are food. There is a few restaurant selling various traditional Chinese food such Hainan Chicken Rice, Cendol, Nyonya Laksa, Pineapple Tart and traditional egg tart. Besides that tourist also can find sundry shop, souvenir, antique, foot massage centre, library and street hawkers selling Coconut shake and grilled dried squid. The shops in Jonker Street Malacca were set up as service oriented area to complement Heeran Street mainly used as residency by Straits Chinese. A big scale entry Chinese immigrants from different regions of the Chinese nation to Malacca in the 17th and 18th centuries benefit the state’s development.
They bring along their skill were been associated to a particular work. Hainan Chinese community who are experts in food and farming involved in the catering and restaurant industry until today. In year 2000, state government introduce Jonker Walk. Cantonese community good in goldsmith, baking and building. Teochew community involved with trade and agriculture industry. The street were closed on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, the Jonker street become a night market.