‘Kaza Nunteng Porta’ is Kristang (Melaka Portugese) for ‘House Without a Door’. It is the title of the latest Koboi Project series shot in Belem, Lisboa. This series addresses notions imperialism, globalization, migration, miscegenation and tourism in the course of my expansive Koboi Narrative. In impromptu photo-performances that took place at the Alfonso De Albuquerque Monument and the Discoveries Monument in Belem, Lisbon on 7th and 8th July 2018 respectively, I recast two important Portuguese memorials to discovery and ascendancy in an allegory of diasporic identity. In the course of each performance I raised my Pazaham Neeyappa banner with its image of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and played audio clips on a megaphone. The audio included Fausto’s A Guerra é a Guerra and Soundararajan & Janaki’s Ulagam Ulagam and a rendition of Jingkli Nona on the cello by Tara Rajah. I also played verses from the Malay pantun (poem) Kalau Roboh Kota Melaka and the lyrics of Ulagam Ulagam spoken in Portuguese by Hugo Moss. At the heart of each street intervention was the convivial engagement with the passers-by. Cards presenting the state flag of Melaka were handed out.
Jinkli Nona sung with Kristang and Malay verse … How beautiful is the hybridity of traditions in Malaysia and the world! From Branyo to Joget and back again!
Jinkli nona, jinkli nona; yo kereh kazah
kaza nunteng porta nona; klai logu pasah?
Teng kantu teng; kantu teng falah nunteng
amor, minya amor; amor minya korasang
Puluh lapan dan I jauh ketengah
Gunung Lah daik bercabang Tiga
Hancur lah badan I dikandung tanah
Budi yang baik dikenang juga
Tek Kayu Tek Pucuk Pisang bunga Ramping
The next photo-event of the Koboi Project will be a series of street performances at the sites of various monuments to Portuguese marine adventure and imperialism in Belem, Lisbon. The performances will take place in the 2nd week of July 2018. For more information please visit https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/nuntengporta
Jingli Nona is a song from a dance form know as Branyo. It epitomizes the Malacca Portuguese (Kristang) language, music and culture … In 1511, a Portuguese fleet under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque assaulted Malacca and annexed the Malacca sezurinty. The Portuguese then ruled Malacca for the next 130 years and in this time, to facilitate settlement, the Portuguese Crown granted freeman status and exemption from taxes to Portuguese men who married Malaccan women. According to a citation in a paper by Razaleigh Muhamat Kawangit 200 such marriages were recorded by 1604. The contemporary Kristang are their descendants. They form a small but fundamental component of Modern Malaysian society.
Listen all the way to end of the video and you will hear the Malay Joget rhythm come forth … of course, the influence goes the other way too. Interestingly, I am familiar with this song from my own Malaysian childhood. My parents grew up in Sri Lanka, and there they imbibed the Sri Lankan Portuguese musical form known as the Baila. I remember singing a version of this tune as a child, even before hearing the Kristang version.