The Story of Kristang: Past Glories and Present Struggles [Panel Discussion]


What is Kristang and where did it come from? Is it still spoken anywhere? Why is it dying? Why is the language known by many different names? Find out in this introduction to the mother tongue of the Portuguese-Eurasian community in Singapore and Malacca.

Dr Bruce M. Lockhart from the National University of Singapore, together with Kristang researchers and speakers Dr Alan Norman Baxter, Dr Stefanie Pillai, and Kristang writer and poet Joan Margaret Marbeck will provide a vivid and exciting introduction to the language of the Portuguese-Malay creole, its historical context, and its current status.

Registration required.

The first 30 people to register will receive a deck of Kristang flash cards, Bista di Kristang ('A Glimpse of Kristang') developed by Kodrah Kristang!

Note: One person will be entitled to only
one deck for all events — if you are part of the early bird sign-ups for multiple Festa di Papia Kristang events, you will still only receive only one deck of flashcards.



Dr Alan Norman Baxter has holds a Ph.D in Linguistics from the Australian National University. His research interests lie in Portuguese-based creole languages—particularly Malacca Creole Portuguese (Kristang) and Macau Creole Portuguese (Patuá)—, Afro-Brazilian Portuguese, and African Portuguese (of São Tomé). His work on Kristang started in 1980, with long periods of immersion in 1980–1983, which led him to author numerous publications on Kristang, including a bilingual English-Kristang dictionary. He continues to conduct research on Kristang with field trips to the Malacca community he considers family.

Dr Bruce M. Lockhart is an Associate Professor completing his nineteenth year in the History Department at the National University of Singapore. He specialises in the countries of Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos and has a strong interest in languages along with history.

Dr Stefanie Pillai is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya. She is the Principle Investigator for a funded project on the sounds of Malacca Portuguese Creole (MPC). Her initial work on MPC has been archived in the Endangered Languages Archive at SOAS, UK. Since then, she has been looking more closely at the segmental and prosodic features of MPC. Stefanie has been using her research as a basis for revitalisation efforts. MPC is close to her heart as she has Portuguese-Eurasian heritage on her maternal side.

Joan Margaret Marbeck is a native of Malacca who was forbidden to speak Kristang by her grandmother. This only piqued her interest, and through conversations with her dear childhood friends and relatives in Kampong Tengah as well as listening to stories told in Kristang by uncle Uncheh, the pious Catholic, and the Eurasian medicine man, she was soon fluent in Kristang. She is the author of Ungua Adanza, An Inheritance (1995); Linggu Mai: Mother Tongue of the Malacca Portuguese (2005); and Commemorative Bahasa Serani Dictionary (2012).

Sat May 20, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM SGT
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Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum
Venue Address
1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555 Singapore
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place. Take Exit H. The Asian Civilisations Museum is a scenic 5 minute walk away, along the river and across Cavenagh Bridge.
Kristang Language Festival ('Festa di Papia Kristang')

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