Como já temos dado conta em artigos anteriores, a influência da cultura portuguesa continua bem viva na Malásia. Passaram já 500 anos após os primeiros contactos entre os dois povos e a conquista de Malaca, importante entreposto comercial do século XVI, ocorrida em 1511. Os descendentes dos portugueses que com Afonso de Albuquerque conquistaram Malaca e se instalaram no local, promoveram a interligação cultural através da ligação familiar propiciada pela realização de casamentos com mulheres locais. A presença portuguesa durou até à conquista holandesa, em 1641. Curioso é o facto de, nestes 500 anos, ter permanecido em Malaca uma pequena comunidade descendente dos portugueses e que fez perdurar a língua portuguesa e o amor por Portugal até aos dias de hoje. Nas comemorações dos 500 anos, nas quais participaram alguns elementos idos de Portugal, estiveram em foco as danças de influência portuguesa, canções e fados, tradições e festas católicas. Estas comemorações, nas quais também colaborou a Associação Cultural Korsang di Melaka e Papa Joe, que já esteve na nossa escola, mostraram bem a importância que Portugal continua a ter para aqueles portugueses do oriente e o envolvimento que toda aquela comunidade lusodescendente colocou nas comemorações, numa organização que esteve a cargo da Associação Portuguesa Euro-Asiática de Malaca (MPEA). É dever do nosso país apoiar esta comunidade. Quanto a nós, pretendemos retomar, logo que possível, o intercâmbio com a mesma.
A GREAT PORTUGUESE CULTURAL SHOW TO REMEMBER-FOREVER.
The Portuguese culture is very much alive in Malaysia and it was effectively shown to the Malaysian Portuguese-Eurasian community and other Malaysians when they gathered recently to celebrate the 500-years anniversary celebrations.
Yes, for four days, at the 77-year old Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir, Malacca, about 2,000 people saw the best of the Portuguese-Eurasian culture being performed on stage.
The show amazed everyone, as it proved that the culture was carefully preserved and practiced by the community the past 500 years.
The colourful and outstanding event was organised by the Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association(MPEA) from the 26th to 29th October,2011.
Portuguese and Eurasians from Australia, Portugal and
Malaysia performed at the cultural shows and it was witnessed by people from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Goa, Macau, Portugal, United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The singers from Trez Amigos, which was a household name for more than two decades in Malaysia before they migrated to Perth in 1972, was specially invited by MPEA to perform at the celebrations.
The three Amigos, Horace Sta Maria, 90, (leader) his brother Arthur,70, and T. Moissinac,60, sang four of their popular songs of yesteryear.
In spite of their age, they proved that they have not lost their singing talents. When they ended their fourth song in style, they received a standing ovation from the huge crowd.
In line with the MPEA’s practice of discovering and encouraging new talents within the community, they introduced a young boy, Jonathan Yoel Theseira,who played the saxaphone brilliantly.
The crowd was surprised that such a young boy could play almost like a professional.
Another admirable show was the branyo performance by the children from the MPEA’s Academy of Arts.
Their dance won the hearts of everyone as they were performing for the first time on stage and in front of the big crowd,too. Nobody cared even if they have missed a step or two, as the cute little children were a joy to look at and admire.
Malaysian Portuguese community singing legends,also the fierce defenders of Portuguese culture, Noel Felix,80, and Manual Lazaroo ‘Papa Joe’, 70, were at their best as they sang Malaysian Portuguese songs to the attentive crowd.
Portugal’s Cultural Troupe TUNAS, whose participation was made possible by Korsang de Melaka((Heart of Malacca),an NGO, made it a night to remember with their fantastic music and songs.
To prove that the music from Portugal could blend well with Malaysian Portuguese songs, the energetic Noel Felix sang few songs with TUNAS providing the music.
The Portuguese males and females paraded on stage displaying Portuguese wear and proved that they ,too, have some good modeling skills, although they were doing it for the first time. This show added extra glitter to the non-stop cultural show.
Noted singers and dancers, including budding singers, also thrilled the crowd.
Everyone felt sad as the colourful shows came to an end at midnight but they refused to disperse . They danced non-stop till 3.00 in the morning under the moonlight as the strong sea breeze whispered into their ears to keep dancing.
In my opinion, it was a great Portuguese-Eurasian cultural show to remember the 500 years of existence of the community, a community known for its iron will to preserve their unique culture and traditions.
If Alfonso de Albuquerque, who conquered Malacca in 1511, had attended the celebrations, he would have been a very happy and proud person to note that his descendants have preserved what he introduced 500 years ago.
When I met a very tired looking Michael Singho , the organiser of the event and the president of MPEA, he said:” Malaysia is our home, so we did this event with pride and dignity it deserves.
“It was a get-together of the Portuguese-Eurasian dispora from all over the world.”, S.T. Rajagopal