The Lusosphere: Macau


1553-1554: The Portuguese arrive in Macau. They illegal & temporarily settle there under the pretext of drying their soaked up merchandise.

1557: The Chinese authorities finally give permission to the Portuguese to permanently settle in Macau; and grant them a fair degree of self-government. In exchange, the Portuguese had to pay an annual fee (of approximately 500 silver taels [1 silver tael = 40 grams]) and certain taxes to China (so that it could always be known that Macau was still a Chinese territory).
Ever since, Macau has developed and enriched by becoming an entrepôt of trade and the intermediary of commercial triangle between China, Japan and Europe (in a time when China prohibited direct trade with Japan for more than 100 years).

Besides being a transshipment centre, Macau was also an important disseminator of the Roman Catholic teachings throughout the Far East (specially China). For this reason, in 1576, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau was created by the edit of Pope Gregory XIII (which covered China, Japan, Vietnam and the Malay archipelago [excluding the Philippines]).


(Macau Trade Routes)

1583: The "Leal Senado" was created (some sort of City Council) which was in charge of protecting the commerce controlled by Macau; of establishing order and security and solving day-to-day issues.

1622: Due to its prosperity, Macau was attacked several times by the Dutch. The most famous attack occurred on the 22nd of June 1622, when 800 Dutch soldiers disembark on the city to conquer it; only after two days of combat they were heavily defeated and the Portuguese victory was considered a miracle given the fact that they were so unprepared.

1844-1849: Through a Royal Decree, Macau was officially considered a Portuguese colony (such decree was not recognised by China). Macau becomes a free economic zone. Governor João Ferreira do Amaral orders that the annual fee and taxes paid to the Chinese are to be ceased; that the mandarins are to be expelled from Macau and that the Ho-pu (Chinese customs) was to be abolished.


(Lesser Coats of Arms of Portuguese Macau)

1901: BNU (Banco Nacional Ultramarino [Overseas National Bank]) was authorised to issue currency (the Pataca).

1966: 3rd of December, a mutiny (known as the 12-3 Incident) occurred in Macau carried out by the pro-communist Chinese (who were unhappy and utterly inspired by the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse-tung), which led Portugal to renounce its perpetual occupation of the territory.


1974: Right after its Revolution (known as the Carnation Revolution), Portugal declared the immediate independence of all its overseas provinces; but China cleverly rejected it and proposed negotiations. In the end it was decided that Macau would now be called Chinese Territory under Portuguese Administration, and that it was to be transferred to the People Republic of China on the 20th of December 1999 (through the Transfer of Sovereignty of Macau declaration).


(Macau Flag)

Language
The official languages are the Chinese and Portuguese (declared official by the Chinese government in 1993).
Very few people speak Portuguese in Macau but institutions like "Fundação Oriente" (East Foundation) strive to keep the language alive in that region.

Curiosity
I know a few people who came from Macau (mainly during the 90's) to Portugal and I can say that, just like any other person from the former colonies, they are absolutely fantastic (completely different than the Portuguese). They are dynamic, creative, open minded, out-of-the-box people, cultivated, entrepreneurs...simply amazing.

Portuguese Architectural legacy
Enjoy some of the images:


(St. Paul's Cathedral's whole)

(St Anthony of Padua's Church)

("Leal Senado" Building)

("Ponte da Amizade" [Friendship Bridge])


(International Airport of Macau)

Next Stop: Back to Portugal

All images (with the exception of "Friendship Bridge") were taken from Wikipedia.

Comments

  1. "I know a few people who came from Macau ... to Portugal and I can say that, just like any other person from the former colonies, they are absolutely fantastic (completely different than the Portuguese)."

    !!! Do you have any true, non-fantastic Portuguese readers? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ciao Max,

    Macau is one of China's portal to the West as well as to the Portuguese Africa.

    What a beautiful Portuguese architectural legacy received by China!

    Once again, the Dutch tried their shot: those guys were incorrigible!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Looney,

    "!!! Do you have any true, non-fantastic Portuguese readers? ;-)"

    LOL LOL LOL excellent question! All I'll say is: I have true fantastic non-Portuguese readers...;)

    Looney, thanks for having dropped by, man :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Dux :D!

    I agree with you: Macau was/is China's Portal to the West and the Portuguese Africa (and that is why they declared Portuguese as the official language - as a business opportunity).

    Oh yeah, Portugal has always had beautiful buildings (not now, obviously...as you know, our modern architecture still has a long way to go).

    LOL the Dutch were terrible!

    Dux, thank you so much for your comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Max,

    Portugal should be very proud for it has left its mark on that gorgeous peninsula.
    Although Portuguese was the official language, 90% of the population didn't speak it at all.

    The Portuguese people can indisputable claim that they have literally been all over the world.

    ReplyDelete
  6. To read and belief fully what has been written and portrayed as history can be viewed as a trap. To sense time is a human invention reminds you time and everything related to it do not exist. This draws attention to a human fabrication that grounds you in the illusion of linear thinking. Why wear a watch? Because someone tells you that you must do it, because other people do, because you are taught to be somewhere at a given moment. Not every individual wears a watch or chooses to be controlled by time.

    You begin to sense there is more or less to a story grounded in perceived time than you are led to believe. Beliefs are themselves illusions, grounded in mental conditioning. To dwell in the mind and what it tells you is real prevents you from reconnecting with the heart and your true self. Recognizing what you are not is a step toward shedding unwanted skin and discovering the nothingness behind all the labels and illusions you and society create. As k yourself why it is menaingful to have a sense of history, culture and how you feel as you detach from all of that? What does this remind you or awaken within? Its never to late to have your eyes wide shut or open dormant senses.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post is a great example of how much one can learn from friends in Blogsphere - very interesting read as an important part of European history.

    As a Norwegian, with the history of the Vikings sailing around the globe, this was also very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Again a very interesting and informative post Max. One appreciates it even more when you travel like I did to China and see first hand the diversity of the people and their cultures, very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Max, yes I've been absent for quite some time, and I'm afraid things are just getting busier for me!!

    I really like this post about Macau. I've now learned quite a bit about a place I probably wouldn't have ever known much about. I think it's interesting how a unique culture can develop over generations of colonialist influence. I also think it's sad that the people of an area can be so marginalized (e.g. by the Royal Decree) in times of greed when focus is placed on resources rather than their well-being. Thanks for alerting me!! :)

    By the way, another reason I haven't been blogging as much is because I've been getting my weekly fix by writing for my school newspaper. Maybe you can check out my articles here so you don't miss me as much: http://www.usforacle.com/opinion/search-7.4274?q=manimala

    But anyway don't worry I'll visit! Hope you are in good spirits for Christmas

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've only seen Macau in pictures and travel shows. I admire the structures and the way they preserved the Portuguese influence. It's one of the places I would love to visit someday. TFS!

    Thanks sweetie! I did have a great week. I wish you a wonderful weekend. :)

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi C.C :D!

    "Portugal should be very proud for it has left its mark on that gorgeous peninsula. Although Portuguese was the official language, 90% of the population didn't speak it at all."

    Some of Portugal is extremely proud; some...oh well...
    I know...and some Portuguese who remained there, say that it is Portugal's fault (that they didn't try enough to transmit the language).

    "The Portuguese people can indisputable claim that they have literally been all over the world."

    So true...

    C.C, thank you so much for your comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Liara :D!

    "To read and belief fully what has been written and portrayed as history can be viewed as a trap. To sense time is a human invention reminds you time and everything related to it do not exist. This draws attention to a human fabrication that grounds you in the illusion of linear thinking."

    Indeed, History may be the result of sheer manipulation or simply incomplete. However, we studying and knowing it is nevertheless interesting...

    "Why wear a watch? Because someone tells you that you must do it, because other people do, because you are taught to be somewhere at a given moment. Not every individual wears a watch or chooses to be controlled by time."

    I am one of those individuals...

    "You begin to sense there is more or less to a story grounded in perceived time than you are led to believe. Beliefs are themselves illusions, grounded in mental conditioning."

    Conditioning is part of life on earth, is it not? That is why we are here: to learn how to cope with conditioning, with boundaries....

    "To dwell in the mind and what it tells you is real prevents you from reconnecting with the heart and your true self."

    This is true; but don't you think that being disconnected is also part of the earthly experience?

    "As k yourself why it is menaingful to have a sense of history, culture and how you feel as you detach from all of that? What does this remind you or awaken within? Its never to late to have your eyes wide shut or open dormant senses."

    I seems like you are asking us to live as if we were still the essence (formless bodies), and this is not 100% possible when living in matter; is it?
    We are here to experience balance between matter and spirit.

    Liara, thank you so much for your comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Renny :D!

    "This post is a great example of how much one can learn from friends in Blogsphere - very interesting read as an important part of European history."

    :D indeed...we learn a lot in the Blogosphere. I am glad you found it interesting *bowing*.

    "As a Norwegian, with the history of the Vikings sailing around the globe, this was also very interesting!"

    Ah, the Vikings...I love their history too. You should delight us with some of it :D!

    Renny, thank you ever so much for your input :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Bob :D!

    Welcome back!!!!!

    "Again a very interesting and informative post Max. One appreciates it even more when you travel like I did to China and see first hand the diversity of the people and their cultures, very cool."

    Thank you, Bob *bowing*! It gives you a whole new perspective, doesn't it?

    Bob, thanks for your comment and it's good to have you back, man :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Manimala :D!

    "Max, yes I've been absent for quite some time, and I'm afraid things are just getting busier for me!!"

    I hear you!

    "I really like this post about Macau. I've now learned quite a bit about a place I probably wouldn't have ever known much about. I think it's interesting how a unique culture can develop over generations of colonialist influence. I also think it's sad that the people of an area can be so marginalized (e.g. by the Royal Decree) in times of greed when focus is placed on resources rather than their well-being. Thanks for alerting me!! :)"

    Yes, that is downside of colonisation: not always the well-being of the natives was protected.
    You are welcome! Since you said you wanted to read this one, I thought I'd warn you :D!

    "By the way, another reason I haven't been blogging as much is because I've been getting my weekly fix by writing for my school newspaper. Maybe you can check out my articles here so you don't miss me as much: http://www.usforacle.com/opinion/search-7.4274?q=manimala"

    You write for your school paper? Of course I will check out your articles (you know I love your writing)!! :D Thanks for the link!

    "But anyway don't worry I'll visit! Hope you are in good spirits for Christmas"

    That is good to know, but I wasn't worry (not that much ;)....). LOL No, man...I am not Christian, I do not celebrate Christmas. And how about you? Ready for the festivities?

    Manimala, always a great pleasure to see you here :D: thank you!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Liza :D!

    "I've only seen Macau in pictures and travel shows. I admire the structures and the way they preserved the Portuguese influence. It's one of the places I would love to visit someday. TFS!"

    Indeed, they have preserved the Portuguese legacy quite well. I hope you do visit it one day :D!

    "Thanks sweetie! I did have a great week. I wish you a wonderful weekend. :)"

    Don't mention it :D! Those are great news! Thank you so much: have a merry weekend, yourself, darling!

    And thanks for having dropped by!

    *Hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Max,

    I always feel like I have been dropped into a history book with these posts. The flag looks so peaceful, like the lotus position. Fantastic architecture. Wow! St. Paul's Cathedrals are beautiful wherever they are whether they're in London, or Macau.

    "I know a few people who came from Macau (mainly during the 90's) to Portugal and I can say that, just like any other person from the former colonies, they are absolutely fantastic (completely different than the Portuguese). They are dynamic, creative, open minded, out-of-the-box people, cultivated, entrepreneurs...simply amazing."

    This describes me perfectly. How did you know? Okay I am not from Macau, but from that description, I could be. ;D

    Thanks for another marvelous trip around the world.

    Macau Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Max:

    This isn't related to your post, but I just wanted to tell you that I wouldn't be posting for a while because Blogger has a problem and I can't access Edit. Thus I'm dead in the water. If you should hear anything useful, please let me know.

    As always, happy trails.

    P.S. Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving greeting. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ah, I was wondering when you were going to blog about 澳门 (aomen, the Chinese name of Macau).

    You are right, this is a very interesting place. I visited it when I worked in HK and I was truly amazed by the blend of Chinese and Portuguese customs. This is a case where "colony" worked quite well and both sides seemed to be happy with it. I think it is mostly due to the open-mind of Portuguese at the time, who didn't impose their customs upon the Chinese, unlike some other Great Power.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Zhu :D!

    Well, Macau was one of the last colonies to be found, so...we had to wait a bit until we'd get here lol...

    I think the Portuguese didn't impose their culture on the Chinese, in Macau, because they saw it as a strategy (and I say this because they imposed their culture on every other colony they had).

    Zhu, thanks a million for your comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Lady A :D!

    "I always feel like I have been dropped into a history book with these posts. The flag looks so peaceful, like the lotus position. Fantastic architecture. Wow! St. Paul's Cathedrals are beautiful wherever they are whether they're in London, or Macau."

    Really? Is that a bad or good thing?
    I also love that flag it is peaceful. So, true...St Paul's Cathedral in London is magnificent.

    "This describes me perfectly. How did you know? Okay I am not from Macau, but from that description, I could be. ;D"

    LOL LOL LOL I sensed it. LOL Girl, you embody all that is good, you know that :D!

    "Thanks for another marvelous trip around the world."

    It was my pleasure :D!

    Lady A, thanks for your comment, I loved it and laughed :D!

    Macau Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  22. Swu :D!

    "This isn't related to your post, but I just wanted to tell you that I wouldn't be posting for a while because Blogger has a problem and I can't access Edit. Thus I'm dead in the water. If you should hear anything useful, please let me know."

    Oh my God, it happened to you too, eh? It happened to me once, in 2007; do you know what I did? I complained to Blogger until my fingers dropped...it took them a while to get it fixed.
    But if I hear anything useful I will surely let you know, man...I hate it when these things happen *nodding*.

    "P.S. Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving greeting. I appreciate it."

    You are welcome, my friend :D!

    Swu, thanks for having warned me...and if I hear anything I will holla at you.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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