domingo, 17 de outubro de 2021

La Ciudad de Macao situada en una península...

Antes de llegar á Macao pasamos por la Isla de Sanchon célebre por la muerte de San Francisco Xavier. 
La Ciudad de Macao situada en una península á la desembocadura del rio Canton es solamente nombrada por el fuerte que hicieron los Portugueses para su comercio y que en breve se hizo una ciudad floreciente obtuvieron el terreno por algunos servicios hechos á los Chinos pero hoy está muy decaida de su antiguo esplendor. 
Hay allí mayor número de Chinos que de Portugueses éstos como son los mas pobres son tambien los mas de biles. Sin embargo les es permitido exercer su comercio en Canton dos veces al año.
Tienen un Gobernador y los Chinos un Mandarin del qual depende todo el pais. Los habitantes quando le piden alguna gracia van en quadrillas á su palacio el Magistrado responde por escrito en estos términos. Esta nacion bárbara y brutal me pide tal gracia y la concedo ó la niego. Los Portugueses tienen una corta guarnicion en Macao por no poder mantener allí muchas tropas. Pagan á los Chinos un tributo por el terreno de las casas y de las iglesias estas casas están construidas á la Europea pero son muy baxas. 
Sobre la lengua de tierra que une á Macao con el Continente se ha construido un muro de separacion para impedir la comunicacion de los habitantes con la China. Este muro tiene una abertura en el centro donde se mantiene una centinela continua. Algunas veces se concede licencia á los Chinos que moran en la ciudad para penetrar en el pais pero este permiso se niega casi siempre á los Portugueses. Esta puerta se abre solamente en ciertos dias para que los habitantes compren sus provisiones y los Chinos que se las venden ponen un precio arbitrario.
in El viagero universal ó Noticia del mundo antiguo y nuevo (Tomo V), de 1796. Neste volume dedicado à China surge La Description de Macao.

Tradução
Antes de chegar a Macau passamos pela Ilha de Sanchon, famosa pela morte de San Francisco Xavier. A cidade de Macau situada numa península na foz do rio Cantão só tem nome graças ao forte que os portugueses construíram para o seu comércio e que cedo se tornou uma cidade próspera. Obtiveram o terreno para alguns serviços prestados aos chineses, mas hoje está muito deteriorado e longe do antigo esplendor. Há mais chineses do que portugueses, porque são os mais pobres e são também os mais fracos. Os portugueses podem fazer negócios em Cantão duas vezes por ano. 
Têm um governador e os chineses têm um mandarim do qual todo o país depende. Quando os habitantes lhe pedem alguma graça, vão em grupos ao seu palácio, o Magistrado responde por escrito nestes termos. Esta nação bárbara e brutal me pede tal graça e eu concedo ou nego. Os portugueses têm uma pequena guarnição em Macau porque não podem manter muitas tropas. Pagam um tributo aos chineses pelo terreno, pelas casas e igrejas, que são construídas à maneira europeia, mas são muito baixas. 
Na faixa de terreno que une Macau ao Continente, foi erguido um muro de separação para impedir os habitantes de comunicarem com a China. Este muro tem uma abertura no centro onde é mantida uma sentinela contínua. Às vezes, é concedida licença aos chineses que vivem na cidade para entrar no país, mas essa permissão é quase sempre negada aos portugueses. Esta porta só se abre em certos dias para os habitantes comprarem as suas provisões e os chineses que as vendem fixam um preço arbitrário.
Mapa de meados do século 18 não incluído no livro aqui referido

sábado, 16 de outubro de 2021

Emissões filatélicas: Fátima e Ano Santo

1950 foi considerado pela igreja católica como Ano Santo com a proclamação do dogma da Assunção de Maria ao Céu, a 1 de Novembro de 1950. Eis uma emissão filatélica alusivo ao facto, ao encerramento do Ano Santo em 1951 e a Fátima.


sexta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2021

quinta-feira, 14 de outubro de 2021

... the cool breezes

Na 'esplanada' da Praia Grande, frente ao hotel Hing Kee - ao lado do actual hotel Metrópole - em Setembro de 1898, Joseph Gervais está em Macau. Registará mais tarde no jornal "L'Écho de Chine - Journal des intérêts français en Extrême-Orient" (Xangai) sob o pseudónimo de Alfred Raquez as impressões dessa (e de outras estadias).
"It is here on this benches that Macao's ladies of the night and their customers converge after dark to enjoy the cool breezes. Tonight the company consists of a few swarty men of melancholy mien and a dozen young individuals whose beauty I am prevented from appreciating by falling darkness."
Mais sobre o livro (as crónicas seriam coligidas em formato livro no ano de 1900) e o autor aqui.

quarta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2021

Fotografia Liu Teh Fu

Localizado no nº 29 da Rua da Felicidade, o estúdio de fotografia Liu Teh Fu foi dos mais conceituados em Macau nas décadas de 1940 a 1960.

Este estúdio teve a particularidade de estar representado em Lisboa no âmbito da Exposição do Mundo Português em 1940 onde, num pequeno estúdio, os clientes podiam vestir-se à maneira oriental e ficar com uma recordação fotográfica do momento.




A "Ferrania" (que imprimia as fotos acima) era especializada em "chapas, papéis e películas" e também estava representada na Rua de Macau - no então Jardim Colonial (actual Jardim Botânico Tropical, a recreação de uma artéria da cidade portuguesa na Ásia, onde se destacavam, entre outros, produtos como as malas de cânfora e os chás chineses.




terça-feira, 12 de outubro de 2021

José Augusto Alves Roçadas (1865-1926)

Em 1908, tenente-coronel, enquanto Governador de Macau

Nasceu em S. Pedro de Vila Real em 6 de Abril de 1865. Assentou praça em 1882 e concluiu o curso de Estado-Maior na Escola do Exército em 1889. Embarcou em 1897, como chefe de Estado-Maior, para a província de Angola, onde serviu até 1900. Regressa ao reino e, em 1902, passa à Índia, para exercer as funções de chefe do Estado-Maior das tropas naquele Estado. Volta a Angola como governador do distrito da Huíla onde a situação militar, depois do desastre do Pembe, além Cunene, em 1904, é muito precária. Durante o seu governo o capitão Alves Roçadas realiza uma série de operações militares, iniciando um plano de ocupação dos territórios do Sul. 
Depois de exercer, por pouco tempo, o cargo de governador de Macau, entre 18 Agosto de 1908 e 22 Setembro de 1909, Roçadas volta a Angola como governador geral. Em 1910, ao ser proclamada a República, Alves Roçadas, deixa Angola. 
Durante a I Grande Guerra, já no posto de General, torna-se Comandante da 2ª Divisão do Corpo Expedicionário Português na Flandres.
Na metrópole desempenha vários serviços, como chefe de Estado-Maior de grandes unidades e, em 1914, quando são organizadas as duas expedições militares que irão guarnecer as fronteiras de Moçambique e Angola ameaçadas ou já violadas pelos Alemães, é escolhido para o comando da expedição ao sul de Angola. Em Novembro de 1924, tendo prestado provas para o generalato, foi confirmado no seu posto. 
Foi um dos militares envolvidos no golpe militar de 28 de Maio de 1926 que viria a instaurar a ditadura em Portugal. Morreu precisamente um mês depois, a 28 de Junho de 1926.
Auto de Posse do Governador in Boletim do Governo 22.8.1908

Em Macau Alves Roçadas teve menos de um ano no cargo embora tivesse tomado posse num dia auspicioso para a cultura chinesa, a 18.8.1908. Tem uma rua com o seu nome - Rua de Alves Roçadas - perto do Jardim de Lou Lim Ioc.

segunda-feira, 11 de outubro de 2021

"One of the most romantic looking cities that imagination can picture"

"The Canton Chinese, Or The American's Sojourn In The Celestial Empire" é um título que se insere na categoria de literatura de viagem publicado nos EUA em 1849. Foi escrito por Osmond Tiffany Jr. (1823-1895) e relata a sua viagem pelo Oriente com passagem por Macau em 1844. Pode considerar-se um dos primeiros registos de um turista em viagem de lazer.

Na introdução o autor explica o que pretendeu deixar como testemunho:
"In May 1844 I sailed in the barque "Pioneer for Canton" and after a tedious passage arrived at Macao on the 22d of September following. It was uncertain how long we should remain but thought at first that our stay would occupy a very few days. We at once went to Canton and as I had little or nothing to do connected with the vessel my time was my own and I soon found that it was amply employed. Desirous of studying as far as lay in my power the aspect manners customs habits and ranks of Chinese life I determined to come in actual contact with the people instead of remaining in the hongs and obtaining all my information from the numerous books which had been written on the Celestials. In this spirit, day after day, I went about the streets into all kinds of shops passed much time on the densely peopled river and made acquaintance as far as lay in my power with the various ranks of the inhabitants."

Em cima o convento/igreja e Forte de S. Francisco. 
Em baixo uma pintura que retrata a baía da Praia Grande junto ao fortim de S. Pedro.
Duas ilustrações da época (não incluídas na obra referida)
A passagem de Osmond Tiffany por Macau deu-se após uma estadia em Cantão. Fez a viagem por via marítima até Hong Kong e depois seguiu para Macau de onde partiu rumo a casa. 
Excerto do capítulo 13 "Macao and Hong Kong":
"Across the broad sheet of water that forms the mouth of the Pekiang River lies the old city of Macao. Enter a ship and spreading sail dash out of the harbor of Hong Kong and a few hours run brings you within hailing distance of the old Portuguese city. There is nothing Chinese in its appearance it bears a striking resemblance to Naples in its curving beach and hills and its buildings. Around the beach is a stone pier wide and level the resort of the inhabitants at the hour of sunset when the sea breeze comes gently over the waves. 
The quiet of the place is also soothing after the close reeking Canton and the upstart Hong Kong The residents enjoy perfect freedom from the curiosity or ill will of the natives and one may live in complete European style.
The houses are in many instances large with vast rooms palatial staircases and mysterious verandahs behind which a great deal of fun is often going on. Along the pier the garden gates of these old residences warily open and disclose the gay parterres the solitary courts and green lattices. 
Macao is one of the most romantic looking cities that imagination can picture probably the illusion is increased after a sojourn among the matter of fact Chinese but its air of loneliness and antiquity is always interesting. Every thing in China is old so old as to run back into dim ages but in Macao the time worn buildings date only a few centuries prior to our own being.
The inhabitants look as secluded and as singular as the houses in the broad day few are seen but in the evening they saunter along the beach and the women in the garb of old Portugal turn a dark eye on the stranger. Few of the residents are of consequence they are of old decayed families as proud as Lucifer the men lazy and the women mischievous and they doze away the days and only appear as the night approaches.
A man sick of the world worn out and disgusted with himself and every one else would find Macao a home more suited to his palled tastes and jaded spirit than any other spot that I could name.
Around the city are good roads and one may pass the barrier enjoy a gallop along the sands wind around by the native fort and look far over the bay from the green eminence. The cave of Camoens is a shrine for all who ever heard the name of the first. I might almost say the only poet that Portugal can claim. Here in sight of the rolling wave it is said he wrote his Lusiad and the old residents would utter a curse on him who dared to doubt the story. Be that as it may he was banished to this spot and if it bore its present look in his time his feelings might have flowed in poetry.
The Chinese town back of the city is a hole of filth and wretchedness which few persons find worth visiting. Along the brow of the hill are scattered mansions surrounded with high walls and in the midst of large cultivated inclosures. Pleasure grounds with bright grass and luxuriant trees houses with vast airy apartments and the perfect seclusion of these chosen spots make Macao beautiful. It was my good fortune to be domiciled in one of these for the little time I spent in the old city. The house was an ancient family property with a hall wide and lofty enough for a palace in Lisbon. It was placed on the summit of the hill and from its deep shaded verandah the eye could through the waving trees catch glimpses of the city below and of the broad blue flashing bay. Above the garden on a precipitous crag an old deserted convent rose high into air. Throughout the day the breeze blew through the halls and the sun's fierceness was tempered by the leafy shade. And when the luminary sunk in his splendor and twilight stillness brooded over the scene the ear drank in the music that arose where the curving beach bent in pity to the moan of the waters. (...)

sábado, 9 de outubro de 2021

Guide to Macau: 1976

Guia turístico de pequenas dimensões e 40 páginas incluindo um mapa desdobrável.

Edição do Centro de Informação e Turismo. 
Agosto 1976




Os hotéis Bela Vista, Caravela, Central, Estoril e Grand (Kuok Chai) entre a oferta hoteleira da época que incluía ainda, por exemplo, o Lisboa, o Matsuya e o Sintra, entre outros.

sexta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2021

"Pérola de Macau": bilhares, botequim e tabacos

Fundada em 1921 a loja/mercearia "Pérola de Macau" estava "estabelecida na Rua do Campo nº 49". Na década de 1920 era gerente Delfina C. G. Pereira Gois e no anúncio, da mesma época, informava-se que ali "encontram-se sempre os melhores vinhos, licores, conservas e outros artigos de mercearia, especialmente os nacionais”. Destaca-se ainda o facto de possuir bilhares e botequim (bar/café) bem como tabacos.
Fonte: Anuário de Macau, 1922

quinta-feira, 7 de outubro de 2021

O "Restaurante Macau" em Lourenço Marques

Na actual Maputo (Moçambique), antiga cidade de Lourenço Marques, existiu um restaurante chamado "Macau". As fotografias são da década 1960/70. 
Esquina da Avenida da República com a Rua Pêro da Covilhã, na Baixa de Lourenço Marques, na década 1970. O restaurante fica no edifício da direita, frente ao antigo Luna Parque.
Curiosamente, actualmente também existe um outro restaurante com o mesmo nome.

quarta-feira, 6 de outubro de 2021

Wanderings East of Suez: 3ª e última parte

For a place whose commerce is notoriously in eclipse, you are curious to learn whence springs the golden shower giving the appearance of prosperity to Macao, for the general air of the colony suggests an easy affluence. To keep the governor's palace and the judiciary buildings covered with paint costs something, you know, while the paved streets and bridges and viaducts give support to the surmise of an exchequer not permanently depleted. Portugal, nowadays almost robbing Peter to pay Paul, is in no condition to succor an impecunious colony situated in another hemisphere, you are aware, and you appeal for elucidation of the fiscal problem. "Very easy, dear sir," your cicerone promptly rejoins, "this is the Monte Carlo of the Far East. Gambling is here a business—all the business there is, and the concessions for the fan-tan and lottery monopolies pay for everything, practically making taxation unnecessary."
The statement would cause something of a shock to a guileless stranger, especially to one who had believed he had perceived a natural likeness between the little principality on the Mediterranean and this beauty spot of the Orient. But China is rather too far to the eastward of Suez for simon-pure guile, and the globe-trotter decides to thoroughly explore local conditions by way of adding to his worldly knowledge. If you go to the post-office to mail a letter, you recognize perforce how backward a colony of Portugal may be in supplying the trifling requirements of life, for you stand minutes in a nondescript line before your stamp is sheared from a sheet by a functionary having a capacity for activity possibly rivaled by an Alpine glacier—then you wait at the communal mucilage pot to secure in turn the required adhesive substance. A good correspondent in Macao would pass half his time at the post-office, you conclude.
But there is nothing backward, nothing harking back to the middle ages, in the plan by which the public cash-box is filled, you learn after plodding investigation. The merits of direct and indirect taxation, even of the Henry George program for raising the public wind, have never been seriously considered by Portugal's administrators in the East, nor has municipal ownership of utilities been discussed, you discover. The official bigwigs who administer Macao know that it is as necessary for the Chinaman to gamble as to have food—and the colony accordingly legalizes fan-tan and semi-daily lotteries, supplies the requisite machinery for carrying on the games, and reaps a benefice for its enterprise that runs the community without further ado. That is all there is to Macao's fiscal policy. Hong Kong, only forty miles across the estuary, bristles with commercial prosperity. The British government permits Hong Kongers to bet on horse-races, buy and sell stocks, and promote devious companies, but forbids fan-tan and lotteries. There is, consequently, a daily flow of men, women, and dollars between Hong Kong and Macao. Besides, no traveler not actively engaged in uplifting his fellow-man, feels that he has seen the Orient unless he passes a few hours or days in endeavoring to lure fortune at the gambling tables.

The colonial lottery is no more dignified or important than a policy game in an American town, and seems to be but the Western idea clouded by its adaptation to Asiatic uses, tourists affirm.
Macao licenses twenty fan-tan places, and these run all day and all night, and are graded in their patrons from tourists and natives of fortune and position down to joints admitting 'rickshaw coolies, sailors, and harbor riffraff. The gilded establishment claiming attention from travelers is conducted by a couple of Chinese worthies, by name Ung Hang and Hung Vo, according to the business card deferentially handed you at your hotel, and the signs in front of it and the legends painted on great lanterns proclaim it as a first-chop Casa de Jogo, and a gambling-house that is "No. 1" in all respects. The gamesters whose garments proclaim them to be middle-class Chinamen pack themselves like sardines into the room where the table is situated, for they obviously believe in watching their interests at close hand. The floor above, by reason of the rail-protected opening in the center, is little more than a spacious gallery; but it is there that the big gamblers congregate, natives in costly fabrics, and whose rotund bodies tell of lives not spent in toil. They loll on blackwood divans and smoke opium and send their bank-notes and commands to the gambling table by servants, until yielding to the exalted dreams induced by the poppy fumes. They are polite fellows, every man of them, and make it apparent that they would like to do something for the entertainment of each man and woman tourist in the room.
In this strange establishment globe-trotting novices sit around the railed opening and make their bets on the game below through an interpreter attendant. This obliging man lowers your coins to the croupier in a basket, and draws up any "bet" you may have had the luck to win. And what a medley of coins you are paid in! There are coins of China and Japan obsolete years ago in those countries, money of the Philippine Islands, even nickles and dimes whose worth has been stamped by Uncle Sam. It is said that half the pocket-pieces of Asia find their way onto the gambling boards of Macao, and that a thrifty croupier seeks to pay them out to the tourist who will remove them from local circulation. The linguistic representative of the management endeavors to play the bountiful host to most visitors. He takes one through the building, permits you to peep within a chamber filled with oleaginous Chinamen in brocade petticoats, sleeping off the effects of the opium pipe, explains painted fans and other attempts at decoration on the walls, and indicates a retiring room where you may rest or even pass the night, all without charge.

IN A FAN-TAN GAMBLING HOUSE, MACAO
A Fantan gambling house in Macao

Then he orders refreshments brought, and with the manner of a veteran courtier proffers a tray heaped with oranges, an egg-shell cup filled with tea that is almost without color, and dried watermelon seeds that you might munch after the manner of the neck-or-nothing gamblers on the lower floor. When you politely decline these, the courtly one most likely says, "You no likee tea and seeds—then have whiskysoda." Chinese courtezans, with feet bound to a smallness making locomotion difficult and obviously painful, wearing what in the Western World would be called "trousers," and invariably bedecked with earrings or bracelets of exquisite jade, edge their way to the gambling table, and put their money down in handfuls as long as it lasts. To spend an evening in the liberally-conducted establishment of Messrs. Ung Hang and Hung Vo is enlightening in various ways. 
Because fan-tan is the passion of Asiatics, the popular idea is that it must be the wickedest of all games, if not the most complicated. Fan-tan as a fact is simplicity itself, being no more than the counting off into units of four several quarts of little metal discs called "cash," until there remain one, two, three or four discs. The result determines what bets, laid about a four-sided space on the table, win—a single remaining "cash" makes the 1-side win, two the 2-side, and so on. Each hazard is a one-to-three wager, and the bank pays on this basis after deducting the recognized percentage supporting the establishment. Spinning a top with four numbered sides would accomplish in a minute the same result as the tedious counting of a heap of discs, varying with every "deal" according to the whim or superstition of the players, who may add to or take from the pile prior to the beginning of the count. It is fortunate for the millions of the conservative Far East that their principal gambling game is not a quick one, like roulette, for the player of fan-tan gets "action" only about once in every ten minutes. At roulette and most other games favored by white men a gambler knows his fate in a minute.

segunda-feira, 4 de outubro de 2021

Wanderings East of Suez: 1ª parte

"Wanderings East of Suez in Ceylon, India, China and Japan" é o título do livro da autoria de Frederic Courtland Penfield. Foi publicado (349 pp) pela primeira vez em Nova Iorque no ano de 1907.
Frederic Courtland Penfield (1855-1922) foi um diplomata norte-americano que serviu em Londres, no Cairo, e foi ainda embaixador dos EUA na Áustria-Hungria. Foi durante o período que esteve no Egipto (1893-1897) que visitou os países referidos neste livro, pelo que os dados que apresenta se referem ao final do século 19.
Viajou de Cantão rumo a Macau por via marítima e também ele fica impressionada com a vista que encontra, em especial a baía da Praia Grande que faz lembrar uma paisagem europeia. No texto aborda de forma sumária a história do território desde a chegada dos portugueses e faz ainda referências ao cemitério protestante, à gruta de Camões e ao jogo (fantan). 
Quatro imagens acompanham o texto do capítulo 13 intitulado "Macao, the Monte Carlo of the Far East". (pag. 267 a 289). Será este o conteúdo dos próximos 3 posts.

A prettier marine journey than from Canton to Macao, is not possible in the Orient, and it is of only eighty miles and accomplished by daylight with convenient hours of departure and arrival.
As on all passenger-carrying craft plying the great estuary having Hong Kong and Macao for its base and Canton its apex, you find the native passengers on your boat confined below the deck whereon the state-rooms and dining saloon of European travelers are located, and you perceive racks of Mausers and cutlasses at convenient points of this upper deck. To American eyes it is novel to see every stairway closed by a grated iron door, and a man armed with a carbine on your side of each of these barriers. You perceive on the main deck three or four hundred Chinamen of the coolie class, some playing card games, others Smoking metal pipes with diminutive bowls, but most of them slumbering in a variety of grotesque attitudes. None of these Mongols who observe your curiosity seems to hold any feeling of resentment for the effective separation of the races, which places him, the native of the land, in a position that might be called equivocal.
The English skipper and his Scotch engineer, who take the seats of honor when tiffin is served, respond willingly to your appeal for an explanation of the doors of bar-iron and the display of weapons—every first-class passenger always asks the question, and on every trip the British seafarers tell the story of Chinese piracy as practised up to comparatively recent times in the great estuary having a dozen or more names.
And an interesting tale it is, for it recounts deeds of the sea quite as audacious and high-handed as anything performed on land by Jesse James and his stage-coach bandits. Up to fifteen or eighteen years ago the estuary bristled with Chinese pirates, and wherever native fishermen and sailors foregathered, at Hong Kong, Canton or Macao, schemes for holding-up and sacking steamers carrying bullion and valuable merchandise were hatched with a frequency that gave a phase to local commerce that was anything but comforting, and more than one brave Yankee or British sailor went to his death fighting yellow thugs against overwhelming odds. The public decapitation of a handful of these murderers appeared to place no check on the outlawry.

PRINCIPAL SECTION OF MACAO
Principal section of Macao

Once a Canton-bound steamer, carrying the mails and a considerable amount of specie, had her progress obstructed by two junks that wilfully forced her into shoal water. In the confusion that followed the grounding, a score of coolies, who up to that moment had been regarded as honest deck passengers, rushed to the pilot-house and engine-room and murdered every white man on board. Practically everything of value was then transferred to the junks, now conveniently alongside, and the spoil was landed at such points in the estuary that made official detection well-nigh impossible. This is but a sample of the stories you may hear while yellow-faced Chinamen are serving your food, and it must be confessed that it affords a sense of confidence to know that the grates of the stairways are actually locked, and that the rifles of the guards are loaded with ball ammunition. As he sips his black coffee at the termination of luncheon, the captain assures you that until within a few years a skipper was suspicious alike of every native deck passenger and every fishing junk indicating a disposition to claim more than its share of the channel; "but the old days in China," he concludes, "have disappeared forever, and piracy as an occupation has passed with them."
Getting back to the forepart of the ship, the views on land and sea are engrossingly interesting. On the shores of the mainland and on an occasional island are ancient forts which revive memories of interesting experiences of the white man's invasion of the Celestial kingdom, and the foreground of rice-fields is backed by interminable groves of mulberry-trees explaining China's preeminence as a silk producer. Numerous villages are passed, and from them the traveler obtains a fair idea of the rustic life of China. Now and again a pagoda is visible, crowning an elevation, and recalling childhood's school-book illustrations. You jump at the convenient conclusion that these structures of from six to ten stories had to do with the religion of the country, which surmise is erroneous, for the towers were reared to guard the geomantic properties of their respective neighborhoods, and in reality are relics of a bygone age of superstition.
The pioneer European settlement of the Far East—Macao—is at last in sight, and it presents immediately a visual contrast to Canton, by reason of its picturesque situation. There is something about the promontory that takes you back to Southern Europe, to the summer sea and the shores of the Mediterranean, perhaps to a brightly situated fishing port of the littoral of the Riviera. As the vessel rounds the cape and comes to anchor in the pretty crescent formed by the Praia Grande, flanked by terraced houses colored with minor tints of blue and yellow, you know instantly that this stranded Eastern rainbow is Monte Carlo—no, the Oriental equivalent of the beauty-spot of Latin Europe.
FRONTIER GATE BETWEEN CHINA PROPER AND THE PORTUGUESE
COLONY

Frontier gate between China and Portuguese colony

Macao is a little place large with history, in fact is an atom of Europe almost lost to public gaze by the vastness of Asia, and as much a part of the kingdom of Portugal as Lisbon itself. As the most enterprising maritime and trading nation of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese were the first to sail the Eastern seas, the first to open up commercial relations between Europe and the great empire of China, and holding the monopoly of all Oriental trade until the end of the eighteenth century. Owing to the prospect of increased gain, following on this European invasion, the waters of the Pearl River estuary soon became infested with pirates, which the Portuguese magnanimously assisted the Chinese government to subdue, and, in return, it is recorded, received in 1557 the cession of the rocky peninsula on which the Portuguese colony now stands. More than once Portugal had to maintain her rights by recourse to arms, but the colony has remained Portuguese without interruption for more than three hundred and fifty years, and is a hoary patriarch beside infantile British Hong Kong and German Tsing-tau. The oldest lighthouse on the coast of China is that of Guia, standing sentinel on the highest point of the Portuguese colony.
The colony has a population of perhaps eighty thousand persons, and practically all these are Chinese. There are, of course, a few score of civil and judicial functionaries springing from the mother-country; and, as in all places where Europeans have long lived in friendly association with Orientals, the Eurasian class is strikingly numerous. In no court on the Tagus are the laws of Portugal construed with more tenacity and precision than in Macao's chambers of justice; and the flag of Portugal floats over the homes of hundreds of loyal subjects who know only in a hazy manner where Portugal really is—they are rich Chinese and others evading the Chinese tax collector, or escaping burdensome laws, and for many years these crafty Mongols have made a sort of political Gretna Green of Macao. Certain influential Chinamen carrying on business in Canton or other southern communities live in almost regal splendor in Macao, and when the minions of the Chinese government attempt to hale them before a tribunal of law, or compel them to share the expense of carrying on the administration of a province, they exclaim in Chinese, "Oh, no; I'm a subject of the King of Portugal"—and prove it. The great sugar planter of the Hawaiian Islands, Ah Fong, whose Eurasian daughters were beautiful and accomplished enough to find splendid American and European husbands, was a subject of the Portuguese crown, strange to say. His domicile on the Praia Grande is one of Macao's proudest mansions.

domingo, 3 de outubro de 2021

Wanderings East of Suez: 2ª parte

The colony of Macao is scarcely more important than one of Anthony Hope's imaginary kingdoms, but for the fact that it is on the map, for the area of Portugal's foothold is not more than two or three miles in length, and a half-mile to a mile in width; it is merely the rocky promontory of the tip end of the island of Heung Shan. A wall of masonry with artistic gateway separates the dominion of Portugal from the great Chinese empire—on one side of the portal the law of the Emperor of China is absolute, and on the other the rule of the monarch of Portugal is sacred. In various ways the place and its people remind strongly of a comic-opera setting—but the officer there serving his far-away sovereign discourses with serious countenance of Goa, and Delagoa Bay and Macao as important colonial possessions. Until Hong Kong under the British began to rise as a port and base of commercial distribution, Macao had a considerable trade; but with the decline of business the harbor has silted up until now an oversea ship could not find anchorage. A few industries, like cement making and silk winding, are carried on in the outskirts of the colony, and a suspiciously large amount of prepared opium is shipped, although the closest observer can detect not a poppy under cultivation anywhere on the rocky promontory.

The old Protestant cemetery contains many graves of good men and true, such as naval officers and seamen, who have died on Eastern seas, and whose comrades preferred to leave them interred in Christian soil rather than intrust their cherished remains to cemeteries in pagan lands. The headstones of Macao's God's-acre bear name after name once carried with pride on the rolls of the American, British or French naval and merchantman services, and diplomatic and consular titles are recorded on more than one headstone. It is interesting to scale the steps to inspect closely the façade of the Jesuit church of San Paulo, erected some three hundred years ago. Nothing remains but the towering façade, as erect as if reared yesterday, and bearing silent testimony to the courage of the pioneers in the Far East of the Catholic faith. A 'rickshaw journey through every important street, from the center where are the hotel and government buildings to the remotest patches of farming land near the "frontier," consumes scarcely two hours. In the public park you come not infrequently upon statues with tablets informing all observers of the importance and majesty of the home country welded to the peninsula of Europe, once famed for the intrepidity of its navigators and adventurers. If Macao move the visitor to voice an opinion, it is that under certain conditions which you might name the place could be a veritable paradise, but that benevolent Portugal is there conducting an earthly Nirvana for all and sundry of China's affluent sons mustering the ingenuity and influence to gain shelter beneath the flag of dear old Portugal.
Macao's claim to renown rests chiefly upon the fact that Portugal's greatest bard, Camoens, there wrote in part or its entirety the immortal "Lusiad," which in epic form details the prowess of the sons of ancient Lusitania in Eastern discovery and oversea feats of daring, and in which work the voyages and discoveries of Vasco da Gama are recorded with the fidelity of a history prepared by a sympathetic admirer. As scholars know, the "Lusiad" was first published in 1572, is in ten cantos and 1102 stanzas, and is translated into most modern languages. Important American and English libraries possess it by at least four translators, each being more or less a standard.
BUST OF CAMOENS, MACAO
Bust of Camoens

The life of the great poet is underlaid with romance and sadness. Born at Lisbon about 1524, he was given an education fitting him for a courtier's life, and it was an unfortunate affection for a high-born donna in attendance upon the queen that caused him to be banished from the land of his birth. After a roystering career as a soldier in Africa, he sought shelter at Goa, in India. There he wrote a volume severely castigating the home government for its official abuses in the East, and this led to his being treated by his countrymen as a traitor and outcast. Now in a Goa prison, now at liberty, he at last went to Macao, and it was there that by his pen he redeemed to some extent his good name, to the extent certainly of being permitted to return to Lisbon, and there he died about 1580, poor and neglected. It is insisted that Camoens's influence and efforts preserved the Portuguese language from destruction during the Spanish occupation of the neighboring country, and it is a fact that before 1770 no less than thirty-eight editions of the "Lusiad" were published in Portugal.
To commemorate the eight or ten years he passed in Macao, a public garden is named for him, and there, in a grotto of impressive grandeur, is a bust of the man singing the praises of his natal country as no other writer in verse or prose has ever succeeded in doing. The bronze effigy rests on a plinth upon which is engraved in three languages these lines from the pen of a pilgrim to the Eastern shrine once hallowed by the presence of the bard of a nation:

Gem of the Orient earth and open sea
Macao! 
that in thy lap and on thy breast
Hast gathered beauties all the loveliest
O'er which the sun smiles in his majesty.

The very clouds that top the mountain crest
Seem to repose there lingering lovingly.
How full of grace the green Cathyan tree
Bends to the breeze and how thy sands are prest
With gentlest waves which ever and anon
Break their awakened furies on thy shore.

Were these the scenes that poet looked upon,
Whose lyre though known to fame knew misery more?

They have their glories and earth's diadems
Have nought so bright as genius' gilded gems.

The lines were written by Sir John Bowring, English scholar and traveler, who visited Macao in the latter half of the last century, and the expense of the memorial and its grounds was borne by a patriotic Portuguese, Lorenço Marques, whose name has been preserved by being given to the seaport on Delagoa Bay in Portuguese East Africa.

Consulados portugueses: Neng-Po, Fuchau, Hong Kong e Cantão

Após o final da primeira guerra do ópio (1842) Cantão, Amói, Fôk-Tchâu, Neng-Pó e Xangai eram as principais cidades portuárias chinesas onde os estrangeiros durante alguns tempos puderem fazer comércio. Assim, não é de estranhar que em 1859 fosse um inglês a ser nomeado cônsul de Portugal no Porto de Fuchau*.
A 20 de Março de 1862 foi criado o Consulado Português de Neng-Po** com jurisdição na costa da China, desde Amoy até Shanghai, sendo nomeado Francisco João Marques para o desempenho do cargo de Cônsul nesses porto e do de Fuchau.
* ou Foochow, actual Fuzhou (福州), capital da província chinesa de Fujian.
** actual Ningbo (宁波) na província chinesa de Zhejiang.

Em 1897, tinha então a colónia britânica de Hong Kong 55 anos de existência, foi criado o Consulado de Portugal em Hong Kong. Actualmente os serviços são assegurados pelo Consulado Geral de Portugal em Macau e Hong Kong.
O consulado português em Cantão remonta a meados do século 19 e começou por estar dependente de Macau, sendo o governador local quem nomeava o cônsul, carecendo a nomeação de "confirmação régia". O arquivo deste consulado continha um espólio de documentos valiosos e foi destruído durante a "revolução cultural" na China.
Parte de documento oficial de 1915

A 1 de Setembro de 2021 Ana Menezes Cordeiro assumiu as funções de Cônsul-Geral de Portugal em Cantão, tornando-se a primeira mulher diplomata portuguesa a assumir uma chefia de missão na China.
O Consulado-Geral de Portugal em Cantão, (re)abriu ao público a 26 de Junho de 2018 e a sua área de jurisdição cobre as Províncias de Guangdong, Hainan, Hunan, Fujian e a Região Autónoma de Guangxi Zhuang, uma área de 783 200Km2 e uma população de 294 milhões de habitantes.
Símbolo do Consulado Geral de Portugal em Cantão (pós- 1910)

Ao nível das representações diplomáticas de Portugal na China há ainda uma embaixada em Pequim e consulados gerais em Xangai e Macau/Hong Kong.

sábado, 2 de outubro de 2021

Prato "Panorama Ubano de Macau"

Prato "Panorama Urbano de Macau"
Reprodução de uma xilografia inserida no livro "Ou Mun Kei Leok" - Monografia de Macau  -  editado pela primeira vez em 1751. Edição do Instituto de Macau. Gabinete de porcelanas do Cadi. Macau 1990
Mais informações sobre o livro aqui
Em cima a edição de 1950, a primeira em português, com tradução de Luís Gonzaga Gomes.
Em baixo a capa de uma reedição datada de 1979 (durante a Quinzena de Macau em Lisboa) com desenhos de Victor Marreiros.