Portuguese Settlement, Malacca

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The Portuguese Settlement is a Kristang community in Ujong Pasir, five km from Malacca City, Malaysia.

The Kristang are a Malaysian ethnic group with mixed Portuguese and Malay and for some possibly Indian or Chinese ancestry, which arose during the Portuguese colonial period (16th to 17th century).

In 1933, 11 hectares of land at Malacca were purchased with the purpose of creating a haven for scattered Kristang and their culture. The swampy land was cleared and 10 wooden houses with earth floors and attap roofs were built. Saint John's village, as that simple fishing village was originally known, soon attracted additional Kristang from all over Malaysia, and grew to become one of Malacca's main tourist attractions, improving the standard of living of its villagers.

Like many other Portuguese-speaking communities around the world, the Portuguese Settlement holds a yearly "June festival" that opens with Festa Senjuang ("Feast of Saint John", June 24) and closes with Festa San Pedro ("Feast of Saint Peter", the fishermen's patron saint, June 29). This festival is attended by about 100,000 visitors from Malaysia and abroad. At the festival one can hear Kristang folk songs and watch dancers in colourful costumes perform to the rhythm of branyu music. An important event in the festival is the blessing of the local fishermen's boats, specially decorated for the occasion, to assure good catch.[1]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Ivy Tan (June 2007). "Malaccan MCA leaders at the Portuguese Settlement" (PDF). The Guardian (Malaysian Chinese Association) 3: 14. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 

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Coordinates: 02°11′09″N 102°15′57″E / 2.18583°N 102.26583°E / 2.18583; 102.26583