Macanese Migrations and Culture

August 5th, 2014 No Comments

Author’s Note: Despite long held myths that the Macanese originated only from Macau, or that they are the descendants of a few “great” families, or that the community and its culture are on the verge of extinction, new historical evidence paints a very different picture. By analyzing the genealogies, diaries, and histories of several families, some from the 12th century, we learn that racially mixed Portuguese descendants migrated along trade routes between Europe and Asia during the last five centuries, including

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Remembering the Bela Vista

July 11th, 2014 3 Comments

Submitted by Raquel de Carvalho Remedios … It was Monday morning, December 8, 1941 and our amah, Ah Say, was trying her best to get my sister Rosa and me dressed and ready for school. I was five and Rosa four and we were in kindergarten at St Mary’s School, Chatham Road, Kowloon, a short distance from our flat on Salisbury Avenue. As we were about to leave for school, my grandmother, Avó Genie, telephoned to say that there was

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The Macanese in Yokohama

June 27th, 2014 2 Comments

Submitted by Angela Rainsberger… My husband’s grandfather was Macanese but had a Portuguese passport. His name was Guilherme A. da Silva and he was born in 1904 in Japan. He was the son of Timoteo Emanuel da Silva and Querina Filomena Farias. Timoteo was born in Macau in 1871. Querina was born in Hong Kong in 1874. They were married in Hong Kong in 1897. Timóteo was an Assistant (later a Clerk) at Wieler & Co (Traders), 30 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong,

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The Macanese Community of Shanghai

June 23rd, 2014 No Comments

The recent passing of Fr. Lancelote Miguel Rodrigues on June 17, 2013, who was credited by the Economist, The Times of London, and The Macau Daily (among others) with aiding thousands of refugees passing through Macau and Shanghai in the 1940s and 50s, reminds us of the impact that religious communities have had on the Macanese throughout their history. Other prominent clerics included Jesuit Fr. Albert Cooney, who left Wah Yan College in Hong Kong during World War II to

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Macanese-Native American U.S. Ambassador

June 12th, 2014 No Comments

Washington, D.C. – On 3 June 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed Keith Michael Harper as the new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council which handles human rights issues around the world. Prior to his new position, Ambassador Keith Harper resided in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Shelby Harper and their children (Nailia, Arlo, Elsa and Camilla Harper). His new place of work will be located at the U.S. Mission Geneva, Rue de Pregny 11, Chambesy, Geneva, Switzerland. Ambassador Keith Harper’s maternal grandparents are

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My Interview in the Tribuna de Macau

June 11th, 2014 No Comments

Recently, I was interviewed by a reporter from Jornal Tribuna de Macau, a Portuguese language daily that has a wide circulation in Macau and is read in mainland China. Once it had been translated through Google or Bing, however, some of the finer points were lost, although on the whole the essence of my answers appeared correctly. Below are the reporter’s questions and my responses in English. The link to the article that appeared in JTM’s June 6, 2014 edition is added below.

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New Videos: Part II of Guido and Guida

May 1st, 2014 1 Comment

  In response to reader requests, here are the second half of two video interviews conducted with Guido Sequeira in Downey, California, and with Margarida “Guida” Savant in San Francisco.                  

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The Macanese at War-Refugees in Macau

April 29th, 2014 3 Comments

(Author’s Note: This is the third part of a longer article called “The Macanese at War: Experiences in Hong Kong and Macau during World War II”, which will appear in a collection to be published by the Hong Kong University Press later this year. The source citations were removed to save space.) Those who survived the attack on Hong Kong lingered on, unsure of their fate. Despite the dangers, some Macanese continued to live in damaged homes and offices, barricading

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Cultural Disconnects and the Macanese Diaspora

April 11th, 2014 4 Comments

I’m currently writing an article on the experiences of Macanese in Hong Kong and Macau during World War II, a period that has been called a “defining moment” by some observers of Macanese history. (The article will appear in a collection to be published by Hong Kong University Press called “War-time Macau”.) In the process, I have been reading the real-life experiences of many who were not only displaced by the war, but were forced to live as refugees in

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Historic Macanese Cuisine

April 1st, 2014 3 Comments

Dra. Beatriz da Silva’s study of Macanese cuisine motivated me to share a few family dishes of my own. But first, let me provide a little background. I was able to create this list because of a recent visit by two experienced cooks (actually my mother and aunt), who were generous enough to reveal their favorite Macanese cusine. Together these ladies have roots in Portugal, Spain, Goa, Macau, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Canton, which explains the wide variety of dishes

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ICM wants Macanese Culinary Recipes

March 24th, 2014 1 Comment

Dra. Beatriz Basto da Silva, a renowned historian of Macau, is now developing a study for Macau’s Cultural Affairs Bureau about Macanese Culinary Recipes. She requests information about traditional Macanese recipes, including if possible copies of old manuscript recipes that can be sent as digital images. The gathering of this information is particularly important for preserving the memory of the Macanese Culture, within a context that is directly linked to relevant research of food and gastronomy as a central part of

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Guido Sequeira

March 13th, 2014 3 Comments

In April 2012, Guido and Gloria Sequeira allowed me to videotape an interview with them in their home in Downey California. A short segment from that interview was published on this site a few weeks later, in which Guido describes his harrowing escape from Kowloon during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in December 1941. A few days ago I recalled how honored I felt to record these vivid memories, and to contribute them to the personal stories that are

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Interview with “Guida” Marques Savant

March 6th, 2014 2 Comments

This is an interview with “Guida” Marques Savant, a Macanese immigrant who describes her life in Hong Kong in the 1930s, and her experiences during World War II.      

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Family Networks in Hong Kong

February 22nd, 2014 1 Comment

Author’s Note: This is the third and final installment of the article on Macanese family networks. All roman numerals indicate notes and citations to be used in the published version. — As the next destination of Macanese emigration, Hong Kong presented a different set of challenges. Early residency and work restrictions imposed by the colonial government confined the Macanese and other non-British citizens to outlying areas and into lower positions in government agencies and trading houses. Soon divisions within

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Family Networks in Goa and Macau

February 6th, 2014 2 Comments

Revised 2/22/2014 – (Author’s Note: This is the (revised) second part of an article on Macanese family networks. It begins with a transitional summary, then focuses on the early history of families in each community. The roman numerals indicate where footnotes will be inserted later.) —- The Church thus helped to solidify Luso-Asian customs and practice. By legitimizing racially-mixed unions through baptism in Goa, it also condoned bonds to other ethnic groups that were necessary for the survival of Portuguese

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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

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Family Ties & the Macanese Community

January 15th, 2014 4 Comments

(Revised 1/25/2014) One of the articles that I’m currently working on is a study of the Macanese family. My research on Macanese culture has uncovered sources referencing the situation of families in Macau, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other Portuguese-Macanese settlements since the 16th century.* In the process, I began to wonder about the relationship of Macanese families to the development of the larger community. Sociologists and historians often refer to the family as the fundamental unit of society, a place where,

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Video – Recovering Macanese History

January 2nd, 2014 2 Comments
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Origins of the “Macanese Diaspora”

November 15th, 2013 No Comments

The following was written as part of an introduction to a longer article on the origins of the Macanese Diaspora that will be published shortly in an academic journal. I’m posting it here to clarify what I believe to be the origins of the Macanese as an ethnic group, and as an introduction to the idea that the Macanese evolved over time through a series of migrations beginning in the sixteenth century. “Macanese” is the traditional name given to the

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Macau Legislator Jose Coutinho in Calif.

November 10th, 2013 1 Comment

In late October, at the invitation of Far East Currents and the Lusitano Club of California, Macau Legislative Assembly member Jose’ Pereira Coutinho spoke to faculty, students, and Casa de Macau members at Cal State Northridge and U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Coutinho, who leads a 13,000 member union and has been elected by popular vote to the Legislature three times since 2005, began with wide ranging presentations on Macau 14 years after the handover to China. After noting the influence of

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How Many Macanese ? 2013 Results

October 26th, 2013 No Comments

Below are the final results of the 2013 Portuguese-Macanese Population Survey, which was conducted on-line from Aug. 15 to Oct. 25, 2013. The survey was designed to provide a basis from which to extrapolate an estimate of the size and cultural composition of the Macanese community around the world. This year we had participants from twelve (12) different countries, located In North and South America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and Asia. Responses to the web site have come from over thirty-five

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Trade and the Lessons of History

October 23rd, 2013 No Comments

The Macanese have always had a tradition of entrepreneurship. As the descendants of Portuguese explorers, they have always searched for new opportunities. On the eve of the China-Portuguese Forum , it is wise to revisit that history to understand the possibilities for the future. The Macanese were successful businessmen in Goa for decades before turning their attention to Macau. In 1797 Luis Barretto da Sousa, a Goan trader, partnered with his younger brother Joseph to found Macau’s first insurance company,

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Yr2: A Fitting and Noble Endeavor

October 8th, 2013 No Comments

Sometimes we find ourselves doing work that seems to serve very personal ambitions: like building a career, gaining a reputation, earning a living, making a fresh start, or writing a personal blog. When you begin it doesn’t feel selfish or promotional, just interesting and something you feel you must do. You do it because you like the work and find that you’re good at it. It also fits standards that you decided long ago were “professional” and credible in the

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Macanese: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

September 24th, 2013 2 Comments

In the last few months there has been growing interest among academic and general readers in print, on the web, and on social media about the Macanese. This interest has led me to place several of my articles in journals, anthologies, and bulletins, and a few interviews by journalists. As a result, I am preparing a book length monograph for publication in 2014 on my collected research. Regular visitors to FarEastCurrents.com will recognize some of the titles that will be

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2013 Macanese Survey – Early Results

September 13th, 2013 2 Comments

On August 15th 2013 the second annual “Portuguese and Macanese Population Survey” went live and began gathering responses from Casa de Macau members from all over the world. (Now open through October 25 at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R8YSLLY.) This year’s survey was designed to estimate the size and assess the profile of the Macanese community by using the responses as a representative sample of the total number of registered Casa de Macau members, which club presidents reported to be approximately 5,000.[1] Here’s some early

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