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|Formation||March 12, 2016|
|Type||Language revitalization movement|
Kodrah Kristang (Kristang: Awaken, Kristang) is a language revitalization grassroots movement to revive the endangered Kristang language in Singapore. It was founded by Kevin Martens Wong in March 2016.
Kristang is a Portuguese creole and one of the heritage languages of the Portuguese-Eurasian community in Singapore, spoken on the island since the early 19th century. Following widespread language shift within the community to English, especially after Singapore achieved independence in 1965, Kristang experienced a significant decline in use and transmission, with knowledge of the language's existence virtually unknown by the majority of the Singaporean population by 2015.
In January 2015, Kevin Martens Wong, a second-year undergraduate of Portuguese-Eurasian descent at the National University of Singapore, became aware of the existence of Kristang, having previously not known of or spoken the language in childhood. Following a meeting with members of the Kristang-speaking community in Malaysia, Wong initiated attempts to locate speakers of Kristang in Singapore, and began learning the language from these speakers and Wong's own Portuguese-Eurasian grandparents, who were heritage speakers.
In March 2016, Wong and one of his Kristang speaker-collaborators, Bernard Mesenas, initiated a free class in Kristang for adults at the National University of Singapore's College of Alice and Peter Tan residential college. Strong demand for additional iterations of the class led to Wong eventually organizing the classes into a structured series, and expanding the scope of the effort into a full revitalization initiative centered around a revitalization plan developed by Wong at CoLang 2016, a training institute focused on community-oriented language documentation and revitalization. Kodrah Kristang has since organized free Kristang classes at various locations around Singapore, including Singapore's National Library, the Singapore Eurasian Association and The Substation. The team also organized Singapore's 1st Kristang Language Festival in May 2017, and continues to develop new materials for Kristang in Singapore, including an online dictionary, a board game and a graphic novel.
As of January 2019, Kodrah Kristang runs their Kristang classes at Cairnhill Community Club.
Kodrah Kristang is led by a 5-member volunteer group called the Core Team.
- Kevin Martens Wong (2016–present, director), a teacher at Catholic High School and writer
- Fuad Johari (2016–present), a civil servant
- Frances Loke Wei (2016–present), a graduate from the National University of Singapore
- Luís Morgado da Costa (2016–present), a researcher at Nanyang Technological University
- Andre D'Rozario (2016–present), a freelance artist
The Core Team is multiethnic and includes two Portuguese-Eurasians (Wong and D'Rozario), while the other members are non-Eurasian.
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- "How to revive a 500-year-old dying language". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
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- "Organising Committee". Festa di Papia Kristang website. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
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