Local Heart, Global Soul

November 15, 2012

The Sun Sets On Today’s Adventure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The drive back from Melaka to  Johor Bahru, or “JB” as the locals call it is a quiet one, the day has been long and everyone is tired so most of us use at least part of the three hour trip to catch a nap.

I have numerous photos of banana trees, various plantations, buildings, a ton more oil palms but nothing turned out exciting enough to make me want to post them.

Eventually I turn the camera off and join the rest of the snoozing passengers. When I wake we are almost at JB, the sun is low and as is usual in the tropics darkness will be soon and swift.

Once again we need to go through the hassle at the border crossing: off the bus, the struggle to keep up and find the bus back at the other end.

I have to confess that whilst I like visiting Malaysia I’m not enamoured with the rigmarole needed to enter the country to do so.

Once we are settled back in the coach, it’s a matter of relaxing again whilst we cross from the northern end of Singapore to Singapore City, and Sentosa island at the southern end. The coach stops at one of the big hotels in the centre of town where a minivan is waiting to take us to Sentosa. Velvetine stepped off the coach earlier at a spot close to where she lives but we will see her tomorrow. We will be pleased to get back to the hotel for a good feed, because we’ve all worked up an appetite.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 14, 2012

Oil My Palm, With Palm Oil….

Filed under: FOOD,LIFE,MALAYSIA,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since we apparently satisfied the Malaysian police that we were law abiding citizens, (goodness knows how we got away with that one!) the coach was permitted to  continue on it’s way.

Soon we are passing plantation after plantation of oil palms, hardly surprising considering  that Malaysia is on of the world biggest producers of palm oil.

When my parents lived in the Solomon Islands, the growth of palm oil plantations was a contentious issue since it meant that the local flat land that had been historically used for subsistence agriculture (village or individual “gardens”) was being taken over at an unsustainable rate.

New “gardens” were being made on the very steep sides of the hills, but clearing the dense jungle to do so was  difficult, access was limited and in a place of high tropical rainfall these gardens were being swiftly eroded and produced less yield.

I don’t know if people in Malaysia have prospered from the production of palm oil or not, probably the are multi-nationals have but if the villagers who historical had plots of land to use as a family resource did or not?…. who knows?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since as a foodie, palm oil is not high on my wish-list of ingredients since it’s so high in saturated fat and as a crop I can still hear my parents ranting about the destruction of Guadalcanal in the Solomon’s,  I find that I have rather switched myself off to any knowledge of palm oil so a little research is required:

Wikipedia tells me:

Elaeis (from Greek, meaning “oil”) is a genus of palms containing two species, called oil palms.

They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil. The African oil palm Elaeis guineensis (the species name guineensis referring to its country of origin) is the principal source of palm oil, it is native to west and southwest Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia.

The American oil palm Elaeis oleifera (from English oliferous, meaning “oil-producing”) is native to tropical Central and South America, and is used locally for oil production.

Since palm oil contains more saturated fats than oils made from canola, corn, linseed, soybeans, safflower, and sunflowers, it can withstand extreme deep-frying heat and resists oxidation. It contains no trans fat, and its use in food has increased as food-labelling laws have changed to specify trans fat content. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Oil from Elaeis guineensis is also used as biofuel. Human use of oil palms may date back about 5,000 years in coastal west Africa; Palm oil was also discovered in the late 1800s by archaeologists, in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3,000 BCE. It is thought that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt.

Elaeis guinneensis is now extensively cultivated in tropical countries outside Africa, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia which together produce most of the world supply.

Palm oil plantations are under increasing scrutiny for social and environmental harm, particularly because rainforests with high biodiversity are destroyed, greenhouse gas output is increased, and because people are displaced by unscrupulous palm-oil enterprises.

Description Mature palms are single-stemmed, and grow to 20 m tall. The leaves are pinnate, and reach between 3-5 m long. The flowers are produced in dense clusters; each individual flower is small, with three sepals and three petals.

The palm fruit is reddish, about the size of a large plum, and grows in large bunches. Each fruit is made up of an oily, fleshy outer layer (the pericarp), with a single seed (the palm kernel), also rich in oil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaeis

I did find a very interesting  website about Palm oil : http://www.palmoilaction.org.au/shopping-guide.html which is good for people on both sides of the debate.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you would like to identify palm oil in your food so that you can avoid it then there are easy instructions on how to lead a food label to identify palm oil.

If you don’t mind palm oil in your food there is also a list of products on the website (albeit items more familiar to Australian and New Zealand consumers since the site is Australian)  that contain palm oil sourced from sustainable plantations so that you can at least make an ethical choice if you are worried about the environmental impact of it’s  use.

One thing is for sure, after travelling for hours in the coach and seeing one palm oil plantation after another, it’s clear to see that this is now a mega-sized global business that’s rather literally got it’s finger in to an awful lot of pies…

….and doughnuts,cakes, sweets, crisps, chocolate, cosmetics, soaps, laundry detergents and  even bio-fuel!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 13, 2012

Stop In The Name of The Law!

Filed under: Kids and Family,LIFE,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are slowly making our way back to Singapore on the coach when all of a sudden we slow down and then start to pull over… for some reason there is a police road block here and our driver and guide exit the coach to go and talk to the police.

From where I’m sitting I can no longer see them once they leave the bus, but we sit there for a good five minutes waiting for the all-clear to move on.

Whilst we wait Little Mr delights in trying to outdo Himself for the most audacious reasons why we have been stopped and why the checkpoint is there.

Options range from a random breathalyser text, to escaped convicts, armed bank robbers, drug runners, spy catching and kidnappers, although it could just as easily have been a random check of the vehicles warrant of fitness or some other mundane thing.

After some five minutes or so our driver and guide climb back on board and we are on our way. No reason was offered for the unscheduled stop so we will just have to let our imaginations run wild with possible reasons for the checkpoint and the nature of the police business.

So, what’s your weirdest and wildest guesses as to what or who the police were looking for? … answers on a postcard in the comment box please.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 12, 2012

My Knowledge gets More Elastic, …. even Rubbery!

Filed under: MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is yet another page in my travel diary of our adventures of earlier this year. I apologise in advance for the quality of the photographs, they were taken from the moving coach and it was very hard to get any shots in focus when we were on the motorway.

The reason for these photos is because our guide tells us that these are Rubber trees, and because I found myself for the second time today wondering how on earth  managed to have such a wrong mental image of  a tree.

I assumed that Rubber trees were large sturdy trees with thick  trunks from which the sap was drained… for the second time today I find that my assumptions are completely wrong.

When I went to Wikipedia  to look up some information on rubber trees I read something “that made me laugh…
“Hevea brasiliensis, the Pará rubber tree, often simply called rubber tree, is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, and the most economically important member of the genus Hevea. It is of major economic importance because its sap-like extract (known as latex) is the primary source of natural rubber.”

So what was funny? There is a very well known Kiwi company that started in Christchurch in 1910 and went on to become a nation-wide brand name. The name of this company: “Para Rubber” … and until I researched this post I had no clue that the name “Para”  had anything to do with the real and actual name of the rubber tree. It was a real “het kwartje is gevallen” moment, as the saying goes in Dutch. (“The penny has dropped” in English).

This means I’ve learned not just one thing about the rubber tree, but two! My little grey cells must be getting more elastic by the minute!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 11, 2012

Are These The “Now” Photos, Or The Future “Then” Photos?

Filed under: MALAYSIA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are about to leave Melaka, but first let’s take a look around the rest of the town. I like taking “general” photos like this because it shows the real character of a place where locals live and work and the “normal” places as opposed to the touristic haunts.

Also it’s always true that every town and city is in a constant state of evolution, buildings come and go, fashion changes, so in a strange way I also want to leave a record of what it looks like in 2012 so that if one day I return  in the future I can compare the “then”and “now”.

And who knows?  Maybe even one day one of my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren will also enjoy travelling to far flung places around the world,  wouldn’t it be fabulous if they were also bloggers who documented their travels?

Wouldn’t it be cool if they found these places and took their own “now” photos and compared them to mine? (sigh) OK Kiwidutch, get real,  this scenario probably won”t ever happen…  and while you’re at it just admit that you just like taking photos of ordinary things, ordinary places, constantly, all the time. Yes, as usual let’s just enjoy taking a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Go On, Show Us A Bit of Leg…

Filed under: Funny,LIFE,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Just as an extra post today… there were a ton of photos that I took that had Barbie doll legs in them as they hung down from the spider’s grip on the trishaw I was riding in… since the previous one gave you a giggle,  from peeping toe tips to thigh high: here is evidence when you ride in a trishaw that has a spider on the roof,  that that last thing you would imagine you’d have to contend with is that Barbie would secretly  photo-bomb your photos ….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 10, 2012

Legs in The Photos and The Cops are Close by as We Discover Enduring Beauty…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As we leave  Melaka’s Dutch Square in our trishaws, we pass by some interesting buildings…  the first stands across the intersection from the Stadthuys and looks very oriental, and I am not sure but it may be the Information Centre (and there’s that strange road sign with the red spots on it again…  does anyone have any clues what it might mean?)

Alongside of the building I think is the information centre stands a police van… Little Mr. as if on clue is suddenly totally animated in his excitement that I need to urgently take photos before our drivers peddle us out of sight, then he spots the Police station nearby and more squeals ensue so yes, it is at his behest that these photos are on this page.

I spy a very tall tower in the distance… mobile phone mast maybe? and then there are the market stalls, and more interesting buildings as we follow other trishaws down the street.

Opposite more pink/red buildings I spy some parked up train carriages and a small aeroplane, and just around the corner from the first pink/red building is another one that according to the sign on the front is the “Museum of Enduring Beauty” (whatever that might be).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A stone’s throw further along is another building that is partly in the pink/red colour scheme but sports a white ground floor, there’s a sign that reads “Melaka Stamp Museum” and an information board outside that reads:

This building was the former Melaka State Museum, also known as the “Sekolah Gambar”. It was originally used as the residence for Dutch dignitaries living in Melaka. On 19th  March 1954, G.E. Wisdom the Resident Commissioner of Melaka converted this building to a museum. However in 1982, the museum was moved to the Stadthuys.

Now this building houses the Melaka Stamp Museum.and the Department of Museums and Antiquity has gazetted the building as an ancient monument according to Section 15 of the Antiquities Act 168/1976.”

Then we pass Bastion House which is the home of  the Malay and Islamic World Museum,  before the road curves somewhat and the Memorial Pengisytiharan Kemerdekaan with it’s bright yellow domes comes into view.  It opened in 1985 as a memorial to commemorate the service and sacrifice of all those involved in achieving the countries independence after almost four hundred and fifty years of colonial rule.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Inside are exhibits that pertain to historical events and outside are parked two small tanks which had been used in crisis times as well as cars used in the 1957 Independence day celebrations.

The Memorial Pengisytiharan Kemerdekaan building was formerly the Malacca Club,  was built in 1911 and is a combination of local and British architectural styles.

Then we see the  Porta de Santiago,  which is a small gate house that’s the only surviving remnant of the  “A Famosa”, a Portuguese fortress that once stood here. Wikipedia tells me:

In 1511, a Portuguese fleet arrived under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque. His forces attacked and defeated the armies of the Malacca Sultanate. Moving quickly to consolidate his gains, Albuquerque had the fortress built around a natural hill near the sea.

Albuquerque believed that Malacca would become an important port linking Portugal to the Spice Route in China. At this time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in such places as Macau, China and Goa, India in order to create a string of friendly ports for ships heading to China and returning home to Portugal. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One was a four-story keep, while the others held an ammunition storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers’ quarters. Most of the village clustered in town houses inside the fortress walls. As Malacca’s population expanded it outgrew the original fort and extensions were added around 1586.

The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of Malacca. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo “ANNO 1670” inscribed on the gate’s arch. Above the arch is a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company.

The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon’s expansionist France. The English were wary of maintaining the fortification and ordered its destruction in 1806.

The fort was almost totally demolished but for the timely intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who happened to visit Malacca in 1810. Because of his passion for history, this small gate was spared from destruction.

With a sigh these sights slip past us as our trishaw driver delivers us back  to the Equatorial Hotel and our waiting coach… so much to see so little time…

postscript: Yes I know there is a pair of Barbie doll legs dangling down into the top of one of the photos, truth is that I have many more photos with the Barbie doll legs in them because every time I wanted a wider angle view there was no escaping them.

The photos sans plastic appendages were all taken zoomed in… and in the end I didn’t mind the legs too much, it was a nice distraction from the fact that I was travelling in a trishaw that had a giant spider on the roof (I hate spiders) ..at least by sitting underneath it I didn’t have to look at it. At least I’m in good company because French author Guy de Maupassant used to sit and eat his lunch under Tour Eiffel for the same reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Famosa

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 9, 2012

The Replica of Flora de Lamar Stands Tall… VERY Tall…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just around the corner from Dutch Square in Melaka, is a sight that will stop you in your tracks and make you go “whoa!!!”.

It’s been out of sight whilst we’ve been in Dutch Square but now that we’ve rounded the corner the exclamations and “wow’s” are coming thick and fast.

What confronts us is a full sized replica of a 16th Century Portuguese galleon called the “Flora de Lamar” that sank off the Melaka coast whilst returning to Portugal. It’s beyond massive: standing at 34 meters (111.549 feet)  in height and 8 meters (26.246 feet) in width.

By today’s standards for ship proportions, this galleon looks stunning but I find myself wondering where in earth the centre of gravity is and if  maybe it sank because it was simply too top heavy?

It’s massively tall for it’s length… but since the Portuguese successfully circumnavigated the globe and were master mariners it’s clearly must have been a design that worked. It’s possible for visitors to climb up to the upper deck of the galleon to enjoy the view.

Maybe it’s just as well we don’t have time to go aboard, it’s a step too far for me on crutches… definitely something for a return visit. The museum itself is housed inside the  replica ship and focuses on the maritime history of Melaka throughout it’s various phases: from the Sultanate, to Portuguese, Dutch and British eras.

http://malacca.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Maritime-Museum.php

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 8, 2012

Victoria Enjoys a Long Reign Over Dutch Square…

Filed under: Landmarks,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of recent posts I’m still in Dutch Square, Melaka, Malaysia: and having marvelled at all the surrounding buildings my attention now turns to the fountain in the middle of the Square.

A Malaysian tourist website  called “Attractions in Malaysia” (link at bottom of this post) gave me some background and history of the fountain, although our guide had filled us in on some of the details whilst we were there.

The  Queen Victoria’s Fountain was built to commemorate  Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and from the website I learned:

The Queen Victoria Fountain was built in 1901 by the British and is still standing as elegant as ever until this very day.

Although more than a hundred years old, this fountain is still functioning well and is probably the only functioning colonial water fountains in Malaysia.

Queen Victoria surpassed George III as the longest reigning monarch in the history of England and Scotland history on 23rd September 1896.

The Queen requested at the time that any special celebrations are to be put on hold until 1897 in order to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee which was later made a festival of the British Empire.

The fountain is a famous backdrop for visitors who come to Malacca as it is so near the Stadhuys and the Chirst Church.

On the tip of the fountain says ‘Victoria Regina 1837-1901, erected by the people of Malacca in memory of a great Queen.”

The Queen Victoria Fountain is probably one of the last traces of the British colonial era in Malaysia and it symbolizes the glorious days of the British colonization in Malaysia in the yesteryears.

Hmm the phrase “glorious days of the British colonization of Malaysia”  was only probably glorious in reality if you were on the side of the colonizers and not one of the colonized… as usual around the world, the locals probably didn’t get an awful lot of say after they were taken over.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As an aside: Queen Victoria  reigned for 63 years and 7 months, and the current British Queen, Elizabeth II at age 86 has been on the throne for 60 years as of 2012, so would have to be close to 90 years of age if she wants to break Victoria’s record.

(Elizabeth began her reign at 26 years of age, whilst Victoria was only 19  when she began hers but died aged younger at age 81, so literally time-will-tell if history will be rewritten in four years time).

I love this fountain as a work of art too… it’s hard to get the true detail amid the cascades of water but I find the garlands, grapes, ribbons, flowers (and I think might they be pomegranates?) beautiful, with a portrait of Victoria outlined in what I am sure must be raised ceramic tile with a blue glaze background.

I first thought that the larger decoration on the column close to the shield was carved stone, but on closer inspection I now think that it’s also raised ceramic tile.  So readers, stone carving or tile, what do you think this is?

The detail fanatic in me couldn’t resist taking a ton of photos of the fountain for my “arty inspiration folder” which one day when I get a spare moment (Ha!) I will indulge in.  Also I was pleased that  the second photo shows the radio mast, pylon thingy in the background, proof that it definitely hadn’t sprouted out of the little clock tower just behind me.

http://malacca.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Queen-Victoria-Fountain.php

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 7, 2012

Even the Church has Changed it’s Stripes… But is Not Separated From This World…

Filed under: HISTORY,Landmarks,MALAYSIA,Melaka,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are leafing through the pages of my travel diary as I document our travel adventures of December 2011 and January 2012. At the moment we are taking a side trip to Melaka Malaysia, as part of an almost week long stopover in Singapore on our way back home to the Netherlands.

Dutch Square in Melaka has me captivated… it’s wall-to-wall tropical heat but here I am, mesmerised by beautiful buildings, culture and a heap of history… what’s not to like?

The latest building to capture my attention is the Melaka Christ Church. Painted in the same pink/red as the Stadthuys on one side and the Youth Museum and Art Gallery on the other, this previously Dutch Reformed church has been through it’s share of changes because  it’s now an Anglican church.

I love going inside all historical buildings,  and love churches too, but sadly we just don’t have time to see and experience all that Melaka has to offer in one short day trip, especially one that involves six hours of coach travel.

From Wikipedia I learn:

The church is built in Dutch Colonial architecture style and is laid out in a simple rectangle of 82 feet (25 m) by 42 feet (13 m). The ceiling rises to 40 feet (12 m) and is spanned by wooden beams, each carved from a single tree.

The roof is covered with Dutch tiles and the walls were raised using Dutch bricks built on local laterite blocks then coated with Chinese plaster. The floors of the church are paved with granite blocks originally used as ballast for merchant ships.

The Dutch conquest of Malacca from the Portuguese Empire in 1641 saw the proscription of Roman Catholicism and the conversion of existing churches to Dutch Reformed use. The old St. Paul’s Church at the summit of St. Paul Hill was renamed the Bovenkerk (High Church) and used as the main parish church of the Dutch community.

In 1741, in commemoration of the centenary of the capture of Malacca from the Portuguese, the Dutch burgher community decided to build a new church to replace the aging Bovenkerk. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The foundation stone was laid by the Malacca born Captain of the Malacca Burghers, Abraham de Wind, on behalf of his father, Claas de Wind, a prominent Burgher who had been the Secunde (Deputy Governor) of Malacca.

The church was completed 12 years later in 1753 and replaced the Bovenkerk as the primary Dutch Reformed Church in Dutch Malacca. 

With the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, possession of Malacca was transferred to the British East India Company and in 1838, the church was re-consecrated with the rites of the Church of England by the Rt. Rev. Daniel Wilson, the Anglican Bishop of Calcutta and renamed Christ Church.

Originally painted white, the church and the neighbouring Stadthuys building was painted red in 1911 and this distinctive colour scheme has remained the hallmark of Malacca’s Dutch-era buildings since. The original Dutch windows were reduced and ornamented after the British takeover of Malacca and the porch and vestry were built only in the mid-19th century.

The floors of the church also incorporate various tombstones with Portuguese and Armenian inscriptions used as paving blocks. Memorial plaques in Dutch, Armenian and English also adorn the interior of the church. Some Armenian inscriptions provide an interesting panorama of life in the Dutch period:

“Greetings, you who are reading this tablet of my tomb in which I now sleep. Give me the news, the freedom of my countrymen, for them I did much weep. If there arose among them one good guardian to govern and keep. Vainly I expected the world to see a good shepherd came to look after the scattered sheep.”

“I, Jacob, grandson of Shamier, an Armenian of a respectable family whose name I keep, was born in Persia near Inefa, where my parents now forever sleep. Fortune brought me to distant Malacca, which my remains in bondage to keep. Separated from the world on 7th July 1774 A.D. at the age of twenty-nine, my mortal remains were deposited in this spot of the ground which I purchased.” 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The church bell is inscribed with the date 1698 suggesting that it was used for another purpose prior to the completion of the church.
The church’s collection of Kerk Boek (Church Book), Resolutie Boek (Resolution Book), Rapporten (Reports) as well as the Doop Boek (Baptism Register) going back to the earliest Dutch times in Malacca have survived through the centuries. These antiquated documents are now being kept at the National Archives of Malaysia.

Silver altar vessels dating back to the early Dutch period are also in the possession of the church but are kept in storage and rarely taken out for display. The altar Bible has a cover made of brass inscribed with the passage from John 1:1 in Dutch.

I love the serenity in the prose that describes Jacob’s date of death:  “separated from the world on… ” .. and I was struck by the fact that he was only twenty-nine years of age. Life back then was apparently tough, … and short.

These days we have creature comforts Jacob could not have even dreamt about, medications not the least of them. We travel with speed and comfort, we can exchange information around the world at speeds almost beyond our own comprehension, we are well educated and we enjoy long life expectancy. I wonder what Jacob would make of us all if he could come back and see us today?

One thing is for sure… Melaka then was probably as much  a cross-roads, meeting point and place of vibrancy then as it is today. And in that, Jacob, who sleeps eternally in his little purchased spot in the church, would have felt very much at home.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Church,_Malacca

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