THE WORD FOR EVERY WORLD
IN THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED KRISTANG LANGUAGE
Every people have their own story, and every person has theirs too. What is your story? Where do you come from? Who have you conquered and colonised; who has conquered and colonised you? And what have you, and they, left behind?
Kadamundu is a literary magazine dedicated to the cultures that empire foresook and time forgot; to the songs and stories, the plays and the genres we do not even remember, of almost-forgotten peoples and languages, the ones they called broken and creole and patois, the ones they said should never be spoken in public, the ones beyond the margins. Linggu nus agora impodih intindeh — languages and tongues we may not yet understand, but whose riches seek to offer us more than just the old ways of the Silk Road or the long, stormy voyages of the spice sea trade.
You and I, and all of us, have journeyed far. Now tell us what comes next. Klai logu pasah? Kontu sabeh, falah sabeh; kontu teng, pun podih falah nunteng.
WHO ELSE BUT THE EURASIANS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
BEAR SUCH A PROUD AND STORIED LEGACY
OF BRINGING THE WORLD TOGETHER
0.38% of the population in Singapore, and so small you are undoubtedly forgiven for thinking we do not exist; but exist we do, and exist we will, as long as life still stubbornly fills the oceans, and our hearts still yearn for the sea. For 500 years, we have been Southeast Asia's traders, kompradors, fisherwomen and fishermen, and players; now, we finally begin to reveal our secrets, and revel in our dreams.
Kadamundu is proudly Singaporean Eurasian and Kristang in origin, and global in outlook and welcome, bringing the best of our creole, champuradu and rojak culture to the rest of our beautiful world. Our literature, as yours undoubtedly does, still longs for its poets, its minstrels and its playwrights; our minds know that together, united in our little boats on the edge of the great sea of the collective unconscious, can we be a mighty new archipelago, bound in words and headed for worlds unknown. As our forebears once championed the love, strength, intelligence and rights of all peoples in the colonial Straits Settlements, so too do we now invite you to celebrate all you are, and all you can be, no matter who or where you are on this great ocean of souls. You don't need to be anybody to write; you just need to be who you are, and who you are is anybody, anywhere in the world, in any language.
Beng kantah, korsang-korsang animu. Kaminyu ja komesah. This is a space for new worlds to grow, and new words to form, and new stories to flow.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Kevin Martens Wong (English & Kristang editor) is a speculative fiction writer, independent scholar and linguist born, bred and based in Singapore. He is the founder of the internationally-recognised grassroots movement to revitalise the critically endangered Kristang language in Singapore, Kodrah Kristang (kodrahkristang.com), as well as the volunteer non-profit effort to make linguistics accessible to a general audience, Unravel: The Accessible Linguistics Magazine (unravellingmag.com). He was the 2017 recipient of both the President's Volunteer and Philanthropy Award (Individual—Youth) and the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding All-Round Achievement, and has been featured by the BBC, Agence France-Presse, The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia and over 120 other media outlets and publications, as well as in Singapore's National Day Parade and celebrations. His first novel, Altered Straits, was longlisted for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, and his creative and academic work has also appeared in Transect, entitled, Language Ecology, the Journal of Language Documentation and Conservation, edited volumes by Cambridge University Press, the National University of Singapore and World Scientific, and at the Singapore Light to Night Festival. He currently runs his own freelance coaching and consulting initiative, Merlionsman (merlionsman.com).
Fuad Johari (English & Malay editor) is a strategic futurist at the Singapore government's Centre for Strategic Futures, a thinktank that focuses on cutting-edge issues in policy making. He started off on the dark side as a banking and financial disputes lawyer before moving into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he worked on the International Economics and Southeast Asia desks and was then posted to Singapore’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organisation and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. At CSF, he works on exciting projects such as on the future of capitalism, while outside of CSF, he likes chasing fat cats and uncovering hidden histories of Singapore.