Strolling around the streets of Melaka, I happen to chance on into a shop that had featured a silhouette of Bob Marley on a Jamaica flag as its background. The interiors of the shop had a sense of mystery and had different kinds of exotic accessories and items on display. Some of them were antique and carried the reminiscence of the recent past. While i was lost in checking the items, a deep voice from a dark corner of the shop gave me a call. His appearance looked hazy in the thin smoke of his cigar. After having a brief interaction and knowing about my country of origin, he shared his piece of history that brought Portuguese influenced Goan culture to this part of Asia.
Although the presence of Dutch rulers isn’t new to Southeast Asia, the existence of people celebrating the culture maintains the memory of Dutch Malacca. The adopted language and the country haven’t influenced their nuances of living, maybe because their life in a port city has kept them away from the rigid culture of the mainland. The Cigar, the reggae music and the aura of mystery created by the smoke still rule the immigrant’s life.
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