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Ungua adanza

The first book written by the author; Ungua Adanza (An Inheritance) is an anthology of Malacca memories, poems, songs, idiomatic phrases and expressions. It included for the very first time, a Kristang-English and English-Kristang dictionary.



The following are reviews on her book.

~....Will do honour to all Malacca Eurasians and will be a valuable addition to the spectrum of Portuguese studies in schools and universities around the world.

Humprey Ball
Advocate & Solicitor
Malacca, Malaysia


~....Her book celebrates the voices that sing and speak of perhaps the only surviving Portuguese-Creole of South-East Asia. A gift lovingly passed on as a testimony to the expressive and affective qualities of Portuguese -Asian life.

David K Jackson
Yale University, U.S.A


~....Joan Margaret Marbeck's work presents a contribution of the highest value. It is the first book to be written in the Kristang language so as to preserve and perpetuate the rich Kristang Heritage. Recorded along with it is the most complete Kristang glossary to date with English translations. A double achievement which deserves a warm and enthusiastic reception.

Pierre F G Guisan
Universidade Federal
Rio de Janeiro

An excerpt from Ungua Adanza (An Inheritance)

Pajent, Anu 1953 - Ungua dia grandi

Na isti anu 1953, Gomintu, Bispu, padri padri kung jenti Katolika Malaka jah fazeh ungua grandi bringku dah mustrah Bida San Fransisku na Terra Malaka Cina kung Moru. Jah fazeh isti bringku pun pra komemora osu San Fransisku ki jah lebah na Malaka di Macau.

Tudu jenti Kristang jah tokah "act" na isti grandi bringku - Pajent. Jenti idadi kung krensa, tudu ja achah kadakwal sa sibrisu, kadakwal sa "role". Keng cadu kantah ka balah jah intra na Tropa Kantor ka Tropa Balah ki Brother Michael jah fazeh. Teng krengkrensa ki cadu bringka muzik jah intra na Orkestra SFI. Sesenta ropa ki jenti di Pajent jah bisti, jah trizeh di Portugal. Kai bunitu sa klor-klor amostra ropa-ropa Ropianu akeh tempu.

Teng jenti di Eropah jah beng tirah pintura kung fazeh 'cinema' pra tomah lebah, dah mustrah kung jenti eli sa terra, isti grandi dia na Malaka. Jah korenta dos anu agora di akendia grandi. Ngka sabeh isti filim ki teng tantu jenti Kristang, teng mas ka nteh.

Presenting 'Ungua Adanza' to the Director of Instituto Camo├ęs
(Left) Looking at his gift is the Portuguese Foreign Ambassador; Dr. Jamie Gama. 1996






A Great Day - The Pageant of 1953.

In 1953, the British Government of Malacca, with the cooperation of the Bishop, priests of the Catholic Churches and missionary schools organised on a grand scale, a Pageant depicting the life of St.Francis Xavier in Malacca, China and Goa. This coincided with the welcoming of the relic (the bone) of St.Francis Xavier which was brought to Malacca from Macau and for the commemoration of the Anniversary of St.Francis Xavier's Death on Sancion Island.

Almost the entire Eurasian community in Malacca were involved in the production. Both young and old, men and women participated. Those with good voices or had a talent for dancing were auditioned and then selected for the Choir or Dance Group. Musically talented school children who played an instrument were trained for the orchestra and choir under the baton of Bro.Michael. Sixty costumes for the actors and actresses in the "Pageant" were specially shipped in from Portugal while the rest were tailored by the nuns and lady alter workers of the Catholic schools and churches respectively. The colour and designs of the Portuguese Dress of the Courts of the 16th. Century were very rich and vibrant and the Kristangs felt grand wearing them.

There were some foreign film companies that made a film of the Pageant to take back to their respective countries. The scenes of the life of St.Francis Xavier that were re-enacted on this auspicious day in Malacca were touching, dramatic and elaborate. It is forty years since that day. A film of a hundred Kristangs and Malaccan Catholics participating in the Pageant of the Life of the Saint they love. Do we still have this film?

Presenting 'Ungua Adanza' to YM Che Engku Dato Seri Puan Sri Mahirah
Looking on is Mr.Gerard Fernandis; PA to the Honorary Portuguese Consul, Datuk Eugenio Da Luz Campos. 1996

'Ungua Adanza published in 1995 was a limited Edition. If you are interested in the Kristang monologues, poems, songs and the vocabulary documented in 'Ungua Adanza', write to the author.