Young Macanese keep home-grown language alive through theatre and music

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[In partnership with: MGTO]

Patuá is the creole language of Macau – a blend of Portuguese, Cantonese and words from several other Asian languages. It dates back to the 16th century, but in more recent years it came close to going extinct.

Now, a younger generation of Macanese are striving to preserve this important part of their heritage, which reflects the city’s unique history as a Portuguese trading post.

Those working to save Patuá include Elisabela Larrea, a scholar who is using various mediums, including theatre, to bring awareness to the language. There is also Delfino Gabriel, an amateur musician who creates songs that use Patuá in the lyrics. Through their shared mission, these Macau locals have made deeper connections with their mixed Portuguese-Chinese heritage, culture and community.

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