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Macanese people

    : ''This article is about the people For the language of Macau see Macanese language''
    Broadly Macanese (Chinese: 澳門人; literally 'people of Macau') refers to the people of Macao
    Macanese (Chinese: 土生葡人; literally 'native-born Portuguese people' that is, Macau-born people of Portuguese descent) is also used to refer to an ethnic group in Macao a Special administrative (People's Republic of China)|special administrative region] of the People's Republic of China and a former Portuguese colony It refers to people who have Portuguese ancestry or partial Portuguese ancestry particularly descendants of intermarriage between Chinese or other Asian people and Portuguese who have settled in Macao Many of them have settled there for generations and are fluent in both Portuguese and Cantonese
    Many Macanese speak the almost extinct Macanese language a Portuguese-based creole also called Patuá or Macaista Chapado; and have preserved a distinctive Macanese cuisine
    Basically Macanese is Portuguese dominant in culture but with Chinese as an add-on The community acted as the interface between ruling colonial government - Portuguese from Portugal who knew little about Chinese - and the Chinese majority (95% of population) who knew equally little about Portuguese Most macanese had paternal Portuguese heritage because until 1974 there were continuing new supply of Portuguese men who had to station in Macau as part of the military service Many stayed in Macau after the service marrying either Macanese girls or Chinese girls who spoke portuguese
    Upbringing of most Macanese was strictly along the line of the Portuguese - the schools were run with the same curriculum all men had to do military service (some fought in Africa) and everyone was Catholic Until recently most macanese would not have had formal Chinese schooling and hence most only spoke but could not read or write Chinese The Cantonese spoken was largely based on the family - some spoke 鄉下話 because that's what their mothers spoke
    Portuguese settlement in Macau dated since 1557 So there was also a large element of pure Chinese who converted to Catholicism and in some cases totally assimilated into Macanese community by dropping their Chinese surnames and adopting Portuguese surnames There's a little ditty about this place in Macau called 進教圍 where in the early days was where these Chinese converts lived in: 進教圍割辮仔 悟係姓練珠 (rosario) 就姓玫瑰 (rosa) That is, many Macanese with surnames of Rosario or Rosa probably were of Chinese ancestry
    The Macanese took it pretty hard when it was decided that Macau would be transferred to the People's Republic of China rather than some kind of independence After all half a millenium was probably long enough for the community to feel they had some right to self-determination With the deed done the Macanese community is essentially losing the Portuguese heritage fast - this started in 1974 when all other Portuguese colonies became independent For that generation many children were changed from continuing high school education in Portuguese schools to English-medium schools Most parents recognised that Portuguese schooling was not worth anything anymore Today most Macanese - if they are still young enough - would go back to study to read and write Chinese Many see the niche for someone with fluency in Portuguese Cantonese and Mandarin The new generation hardly realises its Portuguese heritage except for his surname
    Another distinct group within the Macanese community are the 上海葡僑 These were Portuguese settlers from Shanghai that acted as middlemen between other foreigners and the Chinese before 1949 Many spoke little Portuguese and were several generations removed from Portugal The emigrated from Shanghai to Macau after 1949 and many ended up teaching English in Macau They usually speak English and Shanghainese and/or Manadarin and often do not speak much Portuguese
    Some better known Macanese:
    肥媽 (Maria Cordero) - singer/actress賈思樂 (Louis Castro) - actor/singer from late 70s/80s羅保議員 (Sir Lobo|Roger [Rogerio Lobo) - former Hong Kong legislative council member from the well known Macau Lobo familyUncle Ray (Ray Cordeiro) - radio DJ李嘉欣 (Michelle Reis) - Ms HK 1988
    Others that are probably Eurasians but may have downplay their Macanese root include John Lone (actor) 甘國亮 (producer) 甄妮 Jenny Tseng (singer)

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