The Portuguese Settlement in Melaka is home to a small community of mixed race Malaysians who can trace their ancestry back 500 years to when Malacca was a Portuguese colony.
Portuguese, Indian, Malay, Sumatran and Chinese blood flows through the veins of the population here and they have tried hard to retain their unique culture over the centuries, including their creole language Kristang and their Catholic faith.
Christmas is a major event in the village’s calendar and the residents like to out-do their neighbours with lavish Xmas decorations and lights. The colourfully lit streets draw in thousands of tourists at this time of the year.
At the seaside promenade there is a small night market selling fireworks and paper lanterns to release into the night sky. Revellers also enjoy seafood dishes like clams, crab, grilled fish and scallops at the many outdoor food stalls. It’s definitely the best time of year to see the Portuguese Settlement.