Portuguese Settlement Melaka
December 31, 2013 Melaka

Jingkling nona jingkling nona yo kare kasa. Jingkling nona jingkling nona yo kare kasa
Kasa rata kota jele lagu pasa. Kasa rata kota jele lagu pasa

I grew up with Jingkling Nona as nursery rhymes. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the ethnic group from which the song originates.

Rich in culture, there is a place in Melaka which is closely associated with singers and dancers – Portuguese Settlement Melaka. The Portuguese Settlement Melaka is inhabited by the Kristang, a Malaysian ethnic group with mixed Portuguese and Malay and for some possibly Indian and Chinese ancestry, which arose during the Portuguese colonial period.

Located in Ujong Pasir, less than 3km from Melaka town, lies 28 acres of coastal land fronting the Straits of Malacca. A drive into this area, you will notice the change from generally conservative society to modern society. The Kristang are more relaxed. They read news in front of their house in shorts while the youngsters clad in hot pants and singlets meander the area freely.

Apart from the food square which opens at night, there are few places to visit at Portuguese Settlement Melaka.

Portuguese House No. 10

Portuguese house in Malaysia

Although the majority of houses in the Portuguese Settlement have been extensively renovated, there remains a traditional Portuguese house for our viewing. The location of the Portuguese house is in front of Chapel of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

The house numbered 10, Jalan D’Aranjo in the Portuguese Settlement is owned by Mr. Nicholas Loboo. It is one of the few traditional Portuguese house that has changed very little.

This house was built around 1940s and has since been inherited by Mr. Nicholas Loboo. The original roof was made of nipah and the floor was not cemented. The original structure and paint of the house are maintained. Only small repairs have been made because restoring the whole house is too expensive.

To preserve the house, the Melaka Museums Corporation has restored and upgraded it. Glass louvers are changed to wooden windows as in the original.

The restoration of this house is completely sponsored by the State through the conservation and preservation fund of Melaka.

That is what the explanatory board in front of the house seeks to explain.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Chapel of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Melaka

If you happen to be at Portuguese Settlement on a Sunday morning, you will be able to see the Portuguese people going in and out from the chapel.


Like the Chittys, the Portuguese also has made the effort to protect their culture by having a museum of their own. Here, you will be able to see the treasures of the Portuguese. For example, the traditional costumes, weapons, kitchenwares etc. It’s not big but enough to provide you rough ideas on the Portuguese in Malaysia.

Portuguese Museum

Traditional Portuguese costume

Just after we finished learning about the Portuguese in Malaysia in the museum, we were entertained by Papa Joe who strung his guitar to the tune of Jingkling Nona.


When to Visit Portuguese Settlement Melaka

* The Portuguese Settlement holds a yearly “June Festival” that opens with Festa Senjung (“Feast of Saint John) on 24th June and closes with Festa San Pedro (“Feast of Saint Peter”) on 29th June. During this festival, there will be performance of Kristang folk songs and dances in colourful costumes perform to the rythm of branyu music. Besides the celebration, the festival is the blessing of the local fishermen’s boats to assure good catch.

*The Portuguese Settlement is also said to be the best place and most happening place during Christmas Eve. People start to roam in 2 weeks before Christmas Eve to see the decoration in Portuguese Settlement.

"2" Comments
  1. Never been here. As well as the Chitty settlement. And Kampung Morten. Haha. Need to change itinerary next time visiting Melaka ;D

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