Saudade: The Culture and Security of Eurasian Communities in Southeast Asia

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by Antonio L Rappa

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Saudade is a Portuguese idiom that symbolizes a sense of belonging; a special feeling of attachment to a time and place, as well as a desire to retain its memories and hopes. Saudade is the result of the mixture of European and Asian traditions. The experience of Saudade is also found in Portuguese Eurasian songs, dances and speech. It is from these explanations of Saudade that this book takes its title. The aim of this book is to reveal how Eurasian communities in Singapore and Malaysia survived since local Asians had their First Contact with the Portuguese traders, priests and sailors. Saudade is a rendition of belonging to the Eurasian community as a whole. It involves an important percentage of Portuguese Eurasians whose ancestors were the life-stem of many Eurasian communities in Singapore and Malaysia.

About the Author

Antonio L Rappa held a Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Training Award (New Zealand) in 1984 and a National University of Singapore Overseas Graduate Scholarship (Hawaii, Manoa) in 1994. He was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the NUS Department of Political Science, General Editor at the NUS-FASS Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS); and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science (Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University), and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He was a former Senior Fellow and Consultant to the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at the S Rajaratnam School of International Affairs, Nanyang Technological University. Dr Rappa has written some articles and commentaries on Thai politics. He is Associate Professor and Head, Management and Security Studies, School of Business, SIM University.


“It is said that a people without the knowledge of their ancestral origins, past history and culture are like a tree without roots. That expression would aptly describe the dilemma of many young Eurasians of today. Rappa’s "Saudade" is a scholarly piece of research that provides significant insights into the Eurasians as a community. It is unlike the essays, fictions and novels that have been entertaining us and describing the Eurasians in the process. "Saudade" is worth a read for anyone interested in acquiring a better understanding and appreciation of our Eurasian compatriots.”
– S R Nathan, Sixth President, Republic of Singapore

“Tony has written a keystone text of our Eurasian community through extensive research in regional government archives. His scholarly work is a critical part of our Eurasian heritage and beliefs.”
– Benett Theseira, President, Eurasian Association of Singapore

“Rappa has written a fascinating cultural history of the Eurasian community in Singapore. His study will be of interest to anyone who seeks to understand how a minority group is adjusting to rapid changes and new challenges.”
– Pang Eng Fong, Professor of Strategic Management (Practice), Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

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ISBN: 978-981-07-7545-2
Published: 2013
Dimension: 145mm x 210mm
Extent: 249
Finish: Paperback

Saudade: The Culture and Security of Eurasian Communities in Southeast Asia

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