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Portuguese Settlement

My Malaysia

By Lloyd Green

I sit here on the plane leaving Malaysia after eight months. An experience quite unlike any I have ever encountered. Malaysia is a country where the more you invest, the more you get out of it. You could be forgiven for thinking Malaysia is embodied by KL’s global reputation — its bright lights, shopping malls, bustling nightlife and iconic Petronas Twin Towers showcasing an opulence craved by many tourists — as well as pristine island getaways such as Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands.

But if you have ever had the chance to peer beyond its veneer, you will find a land of great beauty and a population eager to share it with you. This is where the real Malaysia lies and a world in which I’ve had the privilege to step into. You’ll enter one world and exit another taking with you snippets of many cultures that will not only shape your memories but also your relationships.

My Msia 1

The view from one of the more secluded areas at Genting Highlands

Much of my adventure here is owed to the great local friends I have made. They have afforded me an authentic experience not often chronicled in your local tour guides: Guest at an Indian wedding in Klang; life as a local at Orang Asli kampungs in the jungle near Gua Musang and Raub; a road trip to Pangkor; KL’s burgeoning comedy scene; a guided tour of the famed Kacang Putih industry in Ipoh; hiking around the intriguing Genting Highlands; celebrating Deepavali with Indian families in Klang; KL’s underground punk rock scene; teaching English in remote and rural communities; celebrating Christmas in the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca; adventures to Peninsular Malaysia’s most stunning waterfalls and hikes including Chilling Falls and Gunang Tahan; picking rambutans and bananas at plantations in the jungle; witnessing Iban tribal ceremonies in Sarawak; staying on a boat house in the Royal Belum National Park as well as tasting local delicacies such as the best fish noodle soup in Petaling Jaya and homemade Indian curries in Brickfields and Klang.

My Msia 2

You can hire a boat house and enjoy the tranquil Royal Belum National Park
(Pic http://belum.com.my/tour/2d-1n-houseboat-lake-temenggor/)

That’s not to say Malaysia’s main attractions are unworthy of your presence — the tourist trail in Malaysia is reliable and growing stronger all the time. In the economic hub of Kuala Lumpur, flavours and colour of India, China and Malay locals float inconspicuously, adding great contrast and history to this modern megacity with landmarks such as Batu Caves, Bukit Bintang and KLCC ensuring thousands continue to flock there.

Venture north to George Town in Penang and Ipoh for a romantic cocktail of art, architecture and colonial influences with night markets, Chinese hawker stalls in Batu Ferringhi, the original Old Town White Coffee in Ipoh and the emergence of urban street art in both places giving reason for tourism to thrive.

The chance to live and look after Orangutans as well as the quest of climbing Malaysia’s highest peak — Mount Kinabalu — will always ensure people go to Sabah and the magic of the Rainforest World Music Festival is a beacon for Sarawak tourism each year. And of course if island hopping and diving is your thing, then you’ll fall in love with places such as Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Layang Layang and Lankayan.

Malaysia has no doubt won a special place in my heart and I urge other travellers, tourists and expatriates to immerse yourself in the culture and let Malaysia sweep you off your feet. You will never regret it.

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CHAPEL AT PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT

Sunday December 16, 2012

Portuguese Settlement folk finally get a chapel
By ALLISON LAI
[email protected]

Christmas cheer: Residents of the Portuguese Settlement can finally hold their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village in Ujong Pasir, Malacca.

MALACCA: After five years of waiting, about 1,400 residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir here can finally look forward to holding their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village.

Village Regedor (headman) Peter Thomas Gomes was thankful that the chapel was finally ready for use by the community members here.

“The construction work was completed late last year and the priest spent some time designing the altar while we were busy furnishing the chapel.

“All work was done by February and we have been holding weekly mass services there since,” he said after attending the Wanita Barisan Nasional Christmas celebration at the village yesterday.

Also present were Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Yu Chok Tow, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and several other state women leaders.

The community had previously sought funds to build a church at the village.

The chapel has a seating capacity of 450.
The request was approved by the Government and included in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

During the national-level Christmas celebrations at the village two years ago, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim personally delivered a RM480,000 cheque to the village to convert a hall into a chapel.

The chapel which has a seating capacity of 450 is named Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.

“The chapel project was completed with prudent spending monitored by the village committee,” said Gomes.

He said more than 1,000 villagers and their families were expected to gather at and around the chapel on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the completion of the chapel marked a significant achievement for the village which was set up some 80 years ago.

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“This is another good example of the Government giving priority to what the people need,” he said.

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MELAKA FAIRYLAND ON CHRISTMAS

Thursday December 22, 2011
Malacca Christmas fairyland comes alive

MALACCA: Come Christmas, the Portuguese Settlement here turns into a large fairyland. Having hosted the national Christmas open house celebrations twice, no expense is spared to make this time of year special.

Many homeowners have outdone each other in their Christmas decorations, especially lighting.

According to the settlement’s regedor Peter Gomez, some have spent up to RM10,000 to decorate their homes.

“We maintain the true spirit of Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ brings light to the world, and want to ensure that visitors who come here are truly captivated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Malacca Government’s Portuguese community advisor Joseph Sta Maria said the community was hoping that a Minister for Minority Affairs would be appointed.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

PORTUGUESE SETTLEMENT CELEBRATES 500 YEARS OF HERITAGE

Visitors take delight in Portuguese music, food

2011/10/31
By Jason Gerald John and Adrian David
[email protected]

Musicians from the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca enchanting the crowd at the celebration of the 500-year anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese in Malacca recently. — NST picture by Rasul Azli Samad

MALACCA: Visitors to the celebration of the 500-year anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese in Malacca were captivated by the rich culture and tradition preserved by the community.
The four-day celebration, which ended last Saturday at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir, was a huge success, said organising committee chairman Michael Singho.

Catia Barbara Dias Candeias, 29, one of the 15 visitors who flew in from Portugal, said Malacca did not feel like it was very far from home.

“The culture here in Malacca and back home is very much similar.

“We have the importance and the speciality of music in our blood. I’m very happy that this culture has not been forgotten here for the past 500 years.”

Finnish student Hedvig Moetzfeldt, 22, said the rich cultural diversity in Malacca was unique as all the different races were living in a vibrant community.

“When I came to Malacca, I met a few other backpackers and I was told about this 500-year celebration in the Portuguese Settlement.

“I had a very good time here and I very much enjoyed the music, food and wonderful hospitality.”

Besides foreign tourists, the celebration also attracted a number of locals outside Malacca.

Shamala Devi, 24, a student at Limkokwing University, also enjoyed the food while civil servant Azlina Mulup, 43, from Terengganu, spent most of her time shopping at various stalls in the settlement.

“The handicrafts are just awesome and I bought beads and other accessories to match a wide collection of my dresses,” Azlina said.

Musician Jerry Singho, 51, said music was a big passion for the Portuguese community and it had always been a part of the community’s culture not only in Malacca, but also around the world.

“I hope that the younger generation will carry on this passion in their hearts and keep it treasured. This celebration of 500 years is very special indeed.

“It took us just over a month to practice the songs that had been played.

“I’m glad that everyone enjoyed this event as there’s a smile plastered on everyone’s face here.”

For senior settlement resident Augusta Pereira, 80, watching the community evolve in her lifetime had brought her great pride.

“I am very happy to have witnessed this celebration.

” The Portuguese culture is very unique and beautiful, and it is definitely felt by those who came for this wonderful event.

“I have 14 grandchildren and I hope that they, too, will carry on this tradition,” she said.

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PORTUGUESE HERITAGE HAS IMPACTED MELAKA

Saturday September 24, 2011

Centuries of Portuguese heritage has impacted state greatly, says Mohd Ali
By R.S.N. MURALI
[email protected]

MALACCA: Five centuries of Portuguese heritage in Malacca has turned the state into a “melting pot of the world,” according to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

He said the legacy left by the Portuguese had greatly impacted Malacca in terms of cultural diversity and also provided an impetus for the local tourism industry.

“I would like to compliment the Portuguese community for their relentless commitment to place Malacca in the world map as a unique state with cultural extravaganza.

“Malacca is the birthplace of a community with mixed European and Asian parentage, commonly known as Eurasian,” he said in an interview ahead of a four-day celebration to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Portuguese conquest of Malacca.

Celebrating 500 years: The Portuguese community celebrating the Feast of St Peter on a gaily decorated boat at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir, Malacca. It has been 500 years since Alfonso d’ Albuquerque arrived here from Goa.
The event, themed “Our Roots, Our Heritage, Our Home”, will be organised by the Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Associa-tion (MPEA) from Oct 26 to Oct 29 at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir.

There will be traditional food fairs, live music and band performances, cultural and performing arts presentations, traditional games, beauty contest, a football tournament, cottage industries promotion and a handicraft exhibition.

Mohd Ali said the existence of the Portuguese community here was significant as it brought about a new kaleidoscope, turning Malaysia into a colourful multi-cultural paradise.

He said the state would continue to safeguard the community’s status as a minority group.

He added that the state would also protect their welfare besides conserving the rich heritage and customs inherited from their ancestors.

Mohd Ali said Malacca had prospered as a nautical haven since Alfonso d’ Albuquerque arrived from Goa with an entourage of 18 ships on Aug 24, 1511.

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