Of Portuguese and Spanish Descent
Before the arrival of the Dutch, British and French in Asia, the first Europeans to land and seize territory in Asia were the Portuguese, followed by the Spanish who claimed the Philippines. Portuguese spice-traders first sailed to Malacca in 1509, having already established settlements in Goa and other parts of India. Portuguese explorers and conquerors were accompanied by the first Jesuit priests to South-east Asia via Goa in Portuguese India. Afonso de Albuquerque, the viceroy of India, conquered Malacca (today just a few hours' drive from Singapore) in 1511, while Jesuit Francis Xavier, (a Basque Spaniard serving the Portuguese Crown) arrived in Malacca in 1545. Descendants of Portuguese and Spanish colonialists who lived in Malacca and are of mixed Portuguese/Spanish and mostly Malay, but also Indian or Chinese descent, are collectively known as the Gente Kristang. This group is characterised by having its own distinctive Portuguese creole, the Kristang language, although it is now only spoken by a few, older members of the community. Many are descended from individuals who lived in Malacca or other parts of Malaysia. Others have ancestors who lived in Java or other parts of Indonesia as a result of being expelled from Malacca after the Portuguese were forcibly ejected from Malacca by the Johore-Dutch alliance in 1641. A few Macanese people of Chinese-Portuguese ancestry from Macau are also living in Singapore.
Eurasians in Singapore
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.