Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Walk the Talk Macau in TIME Magazine

I just wanted to take this opportunity to mention that our new Walk the Talk audio guide for Macau was just featured in the April 18th Asian edition of TIME magazine. As the article mentions, all you need is our map (click thru to The Heart of Old Macau) and your mobile phone - the service is free of charge except for airtime - just switch your service onto the CTM network. Our map has all the instructions you'll need to switch networks, and also for the dial-in number.

Like our other walks, we have a suggested route, from the Leal Senado Square up to the Monte Fort, via the Ruins of St. Paul's College (which includes the famous facade of the Mater Dei church). Our walk takes a look at the rich, colorful history and identity of a city that was never quite a colony, never quite a leasehold. We share the stories of the one-eyed poet Luis de Camoens, considered the national Bard of Portugal for his masterpiece epic poem, Os Lusiadas; how as a heartbroken youth he enlisted for crusades and battle; how he survived both wealth and ruin and two shipwrecks, which left him swimming for shore with his epic held aloft above his head; and how he died penniless in Lisbon after his protector, the last Portuguese King Sebastian was killed on the plains of Alcacer-Quibir; and how he is now buried next to his illustrious forebear Vasco da Gama, in Lisbon's Monasterio San Jeronimo.

You'll also hear stories of learned Jesuits like Belchior, Ricci, and Verbiest, impressing Chinese lierati audiences with amazing feats of memorization, astronomy and mathematics; the struggle between Jesuits and Dominicans for the right to convert China to Christ; the sharp rise and equally precipitous fall of the trade with Japan; and the cosmopolitan city of many races and languages that 17th century Macau became. Many of the monuments and institutions you'll see on the walk had their beginnings in this period, the last flower of the Portuguese empire.

But our walk is not merely musings about a vanished world (rich Macau may be in its physical legacy); we talk about how the Chinese and Portuguese came to co-exist with each other, through good times and bad, for 450 years. We discuss how the street names in Portuguese and Chinese are often totally different, showing the two different Macaus that existed for five centuries. This is particularly clear today in the churches and Confucian temples that stand side by side.

Lastly we talk about how the Portuguese and Chinese authorities had their differences over the years about who Macau really belonged to. Was it a colony, as the Portuguese sometimes maintained, or was it just a temporary leasehold provided by China the landlord, as was the case in other eras? But of course we talk about how the races came together to help each other in times of trouble, whether threatened by outside invasion from the Dutch, or by poverty within, when every race could be succored by the Santa Casa de Misericordia.

Our walk takes you to the heart of the old city, and provides you with the fascinating links between past and present. It is now available in hotels around Macau, and will soon be available at all CTM outlets in the territory, including the one near the Senado Square. For more information, please visit our website www.walkthetalkmacau.com.

1 comment:

lee kyung-sook said...

thanks for taking a looksie at my blog. i did this same...this is absolutely fantastic. since i still consider myself a newbie in hong kong and i'm stil learning about history and culture i enjoy your posts. keep it up!