Goa under the Portuguese and the Fate of Tome’ Pires

April 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Following Goa’s capture in November 1510, the city and most of coastal India were transformed by Portuguese wealth and the policies of the colonial “Estado da India”. The terms of the royal monopoly under which the Estado governed not only determined who was permitted to travel on Portuguese ships to the Indies, but how trading privileges in Goa were to be distributed. As a result, Goan society was largely organized according to those priorities. The upper ranks were occupied by Portuguese settlers divided among

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The Effects of Portuguese Trade and Wealth on Europe

March 23rd, 2015 No Comments

In the century after Portuguese discoveries in Africa, Brazil, India, Indo-China, and Southeast Asia, from 1500 to 1600, Portuguese carracks traveled from the principal ports of Lisbon and Oporto, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the eastern coast of Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to Goa. Counting the return to Portugal, a typical voyage often took up to two years to complete. Despite the rhetoric of some early accounts, the driving force behind the Portuguese settlement of Western India was

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Tome’ Pires and Portuguese Colonialism: 1511-1540

March 19th, 2015 2 Comments

The following is an introduction to a longer article I’m writing on Portuguese colonialism in Western India from the perspective of Tome’ Pires, an early participant and chronicler. The study looks at the way European trade and wealth restructured Goan society, creating the foundations of Luso-Asian culture that developed throughout Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Future sections of the article will appear in installments in the coming days. ……. There may be no more appropriate representative of Portuguese Asia during its early

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Family Networks, Diasporas, (Part II and Conclusion)

February 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Let us now focus on the historical settings in which family networks developed. Family Networks in Goa.  By the late 16th century the population of Goa numbered about 200,000. Only about 200 casados, mostly New Christian traders, legally participated in trade. Among those fewer than ten families dominated. It is also estimated that a much larger number of soldiers and local people, from one to three thousand, also traded illegally in Goa on a much lower level. Several thousand other

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Family Networks, Diasporas, and the Origins of the Macanese in Asia: Part 1

January 26th, 2015 No Comments

I recently posted a revised study on Macanese families at Academia.edu. The article is serialized here in two parts. The complete set of notes and citations can be found in the Academia version. Here’s Part I. Part II will follow shortly. Please feel free to send me any comments. Introduction Sociologists often refer to the family as the basic unit of society, a place where, in the words of Emil Durkheim, “ways of acting are reinforced by practice … called customs, laws,

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Far East Currents in 2014

December 15th, 2014 No Comments

Thanks to our many partners, Far East Currents and the Portuguese-Macanese Studies Project network have had a very successful year. Here’s a quick overview of activities and the current status of our research at the end of 2014. Thank you for supporting our work and Happy Holidays. Total Macanese Population: 1.5 million world-wide (2014) Based on current research, including the findings of genealogist Dr. Jorge Forjaz, the results of the 2012 and 2013 Family Surveys conducted by the University of California,

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University of Macau Lecture

November 13th, 2014 No Comments

  I recently gave a lecture at the University of Macau (a Special Administrative Region of China) entitled: “Researching the Macanese”. The university just moved to a new $2 billion campus at Hengqin. Here’s a link to provide more information about the campus, which I visited for the first time in late 2013. http://www.umac.mo/new_campus_project/ Like this:Like Loading…

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Walking into Macau’s History

November 5th, 2014 No Comments

Walking through downtown Macau, a bustling city of 600,000, between the high rises and seemingly endless traffic, the tendency is to stay in the shadows to minimize the stifling humidity. If you allow those elements to overwhelm the senses, the old neighborhood is easy to miss. Google maps may give hints, but you only realize its presence and significance when you are on foot. Then walking past the last building, I noticed the curve of an ancient shoreline, so I

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Macanese Migrations – Shanghai

October 15th, 2014 2 Comments

In contrast to Hong Kong, 19th century Shanghai was considered an “open” and international city. Well aware of restrictions under British rule, some Macanese resettled in Shanghai only a few years after working in Hong Kong. Others simply bypassed the British colony and migrated directly from Macau. As a commercial port secured under the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking), Shanghai offered foreigners, primarily British, French, American, Portuguese, and later Japanese, virtually unrestricted commercial concessions and full sovereign rights. By the

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Macanese Migrations – Hong Kong

October 8th, 2014 No Comments

Here’s the next installment of the Migration study, this time we concentrate on the Hong Kong community. Citation placements are designated by (*). … Hong Kong –  Within two decades following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, Macau began to suffer from a sharp decline in trade and the movement of merchants and traders to Hong Kong and other ports. Reports of Macau’s decline were widely reported in the international press and was responsible for a steady migration of Macanese

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Macanese Migrations – Japan

October 8th, 2014 No Comments

Continuing on the theme of Macanese migrations and cultural development, this next installment looks at settlements in Japan up the 20th century. The next two essays, which will appear shortly after, will be on Macanese communities in Hong Kong and Shanghai, followed by shorter articles on Bangkok and other Asian settlements. The final section will consider the issue of cultural identity as many Macanese migrated back to Macau during World War II. As before, the (*) indicate where future source citations will

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Macanese Migrations and Family Practices

September 19th, 2014 1 Comment

Here’s the next installment of the article on Macanese migrations. This time I discuss unconventional ways in which many families were formed to provide some background to the evolution of communities in different locations. Again, the source citations are not included, but will be added to the published version.  I’ve placed a symbol ( * ) to indicate where they belong.  During their history, the Macanese embarked on four principal migrations, the earliest of which followed Portuguese trade: Portugal to Goa (1485 – 1557), Goa to Macau (1557

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Patterns of Macanese Migrations, Cultural Development, and Identity

September 8th, 2014 4 Comments

Links between Macanese migrations from Goa and Macau, Macanese culture, and  cultural identity provide examples of how ethnicity in colonial settings developed. This new branch of diaspora studies suggests that previous observations by scholars in Europe and Asia may have relevance to our understanding of the Macanese and their roles in spanning the historical divide between east and west. * Introduction The history of Macau and its people is also the history of Macanese culture as it developed during several

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Macanese Migrations and Culture

August 5th, 2014 No Comments

What are the links between Macanese Migrations, Culture, and Identity? … Despite long held beliefs 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

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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.                   Like this:Like Loading…

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The Macanese at War-Refugees in Macau

April 29th, 2014 5 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 5 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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