Cuisine in Melaka


Visitors take delight in Portuguese music, food

By Jason Gerald John and Adrian David

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.

Cuisine in Melaka


Portuguese to put on show
By Adrian David

Malaca will commemorate the arrival of the Portuguese here in 1511 where they built the Fort A’Famosa (above).

Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association president Michael Singho says the event is expected to attract thousands of tourists

KUALA LUMPUR: Historical city Malacca will hold a cultural extravaganza next month as it relives the arrival of the Portuguese here in 1511.

The 500th anniversary of Portuguese history and heritage celebrations will be held at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir from Oct 26.

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Rustam has been invited to launch the four-day event.

Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association president Michael Singho said the fiesta, themed “Our roots.. Our Heritage.. Our Home”, would culminate in a commemorative dinner and awards night on Oct 29.

“There will be a fair, exhibitions, demonstrations, traditional events, sale of souvenirs, costumes and handicrafts from cottage industries here, culinary delights, a branyo demonstration, soccer matches involving the Eurasian community, indoor games including darts, chess and carroms, cultural dances and music.

“Day One will open with a mass in church in the evening.
On Day Two, there will be a heritage run, a beauty contest and a cristang song competition. The official opening ceremony by the chief minister will be on Day Three,” said Singho.

The fiesta will recapture the moment Afonso d’Albuquerque arrived from Goa, India, with 18 ships and 1,200 men and set foot on Malacca shores on Aug 24, 1511.

The Fort A’Fomosa was built to defend Malacca as a strategic base for Portuguese expansion in the East Indies until 1641 when the Dutch took control.

Singho added that the fiesta was expected to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, including Eurasians from the Asean region, Australia and Portugal.

“The pulsating beat will complement the ambience of the Portuguese Settlement to provide the ideal atmosphere for a grand get- together,” said Singho, whose family of musicians included the famed Os Pombos.

Tourism Malaysia, the Malacca state government and the Portuguese embassy based in Bangkok, Thailand, are offering their support.

For enquiries, call the association’s secretariat at 016-2505309; Singho at 017-2244653; association secretary Philomena Singho at 016-2505309; vice-presidents Regina Sta Maria at 012-3657263 and Lawrence Stephen at 016-3356617.

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