My first conscious contact with the Portuguese cultural sphere was a short visit to Macau in 1995, while I was in Hong Kong for a summer internship during my university studies in France. Later, I became a fan of Brazil after spending several months there, and was surprised to learn that Macanese carpenters helped build the beautiful baroque churches of Aleijadinho in Minas Gerais. While learning the Portuguese language, I was astonished to realize the many words in Malay that came from the Portuguese influence on Malacca. Working in Japan, Greater China and Singapore, I kept discovering vestiges of Portuguese influence.
Portuguese culture (mostly from the Azores) is also very present in my hometown of Toronto, Canada, but that's a different and more recent history. This blog seeks to explore the Portuguese presence in Asia that started more than 500 years ago.