What Far East Currents Is and Is Not

January 17th, 2014 4 Comments

After two years of existence, it is time to clarify the present purpose of this site.

First, Far East Currents is a blog (see definition below), not an academic journal, or any other “permanent record”. The posts included here are summaries of my research and theories on Macanese culture and communities. I am always updating these pages based on new information, ideas, or thoughts. I also have attempted to provide the sources for the information I provide. In other words, the posts change all the time, and those published in the past will be updated when an omission or error has been found. Nothing is cast in concrete. I reserve the right to change my theories and research agenda based on new documented information at any time.

Second: What I am writing is not definitive. It is, I hope, an accurate and well-reasoned narrative on Macanese history, which I present on FarEastCurrents.com to motivate anyone to contribute to the research. This narrative is developing slowly, and relies on your comments and the sharing of information. In the coming weeks it will also be enriched by several new contributors. (look for the notice soon) Their presence will allow us to expand the present range of scholarship, some in digital formats, that will enhance all of our work.

Third: The principal reason for this collective effort is that there is little information currently available in English, Portuguese, or Chinese on the Macanese in Asia. Many of us learned this by searching through research studies, primary and secondary scholarship, genealogical records, government reports, news articles, private letters, diaries, first-hand accounts, and archival materials. There also is little information on expatriate Macanese communities and their relationship to Macau, and even less material on Macanese families, which I believe is the core of the community. As a result, most studies on the Macanese community, including mine, rely on disparate sources, in multiple translations, in order to piece together an image of the roles Macanese played in history.

Finally, the methods used in these articles are not an exact science. My colleagues and I are engaged in Social Science in the best traditions of the discipline. My studies of the Macanese are approached as a study of the group’s history, a social analysis of Macau and expatriate communities, and the prospects of Macanese in the early years of the digital global economy. That means that I am looking at key elements of Macanese development: its origins, its 500 year history, the character of its people past and present, including families and communities, its institutions, and other influences that affected its development during the same time period. The end results will be more accurate portrayals of the community than have existed in the past.

Having read all this, if you are still unsure about the accuracy or completeness of this work please send me other information and become a contributor, not a silent critic. The information you send me should be documented, that is, supported by sources that you can identify.

Let me hear from you. If not, the information on this site will continue on its present but steady course, and find its way into more permanent formats, such as print. Then it will be too late. (just kidding)

Seriously, let me know what you like or dislike about the research at any time, and thanks for your continuing interest. (now stepping down from soap box)

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Definition of a blog:
noun
  1. a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.

4 Comments

  1. Gerald McDougall says:

    Just curious, but would like to know why the term “Macaenses” is not mentioned anywhere in this website.

    Gerry

    • Director says:

      Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for your question. As you probably know, “Macaenses” or the singular form “Macaense”, is the Portuguese word for Macanese. I believe I have used it in a few places on the site, but on the whole since I am writing in English, I use the English usage.

      Thanks for reading.

      Roy

  2. Virginia June Tieken says:

    Greetings!
    Do not know what is meant by ‘Website’. Sorry.

    But, I do want to let you know what an outstanding service you are performing and let happen all around.

    I am not considered a member of your diaspora but so much of my youth is tied in with your great extended family while growing up in HongKong and thus my fond attachment to all that is Macanese. Some very dear friends and their families have so impinged my life.

    Thank you for your project and very well structured a blog. Neat that you thought of it.

    Cheers!
    June
    Cheers,

  3. Ann Jones says:

    Bravo!

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