What's the story?

Prior to the 1930s, two priests, close to the Portuguese people saw the need to keep the community contained. Fathers Coroada and Francois attained a plot of swamp land for the community. They blessed the place, cleared it and built wooden huts, later calling it “Chao Do Padre” (Priests Land).

Initially, there were only 10 huts but soon the number grew as settlers from the other parts joined the community. The community live a simple life. The men go out to sea, a livelihood passed down from generation to generation over the centuries. It is the only Portuguese settlement in Malaysia that has taken the care to preserve its heritage and culture. It is also most likely the only place where ‘Cristang’ is spoken on a daily basis, and traditional Portuguese folk dances like the Branyo and Farapeirra lives on.

But not until recently did I begin to understand the significant threat that looms the shores of their village and how this will consequently impact the very existence of a culture and heritage that has contribute to make Malaysia a colourful and multi-cultural nation. Development projects in front of the settlement put the entire community at threat of being displaced. As a consequence, the community will break-up, traditions and culture revolve around the sea will no longer be a practice, their livelihood will be affected as they are dependent on the sea to provide for them.

Get involved

Nothing can be done in regards to the reclamation works on the coastline, however, to keep the community intact and together, the entire village needs to be revived from a cultural aspect, attracting tourists to engage with the culture and traditions of this community for over 500 years.

So what can you do to help on this cause? It's quite simple: Visit the location shown on the map below and show your support and interest. That's all!

Go and see!

To show your support, go and check out this cause at UjongPasir, Melaka.

Related material

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