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A Macanese community canteen reopens, restoring an important meeting place 

After a two-year pandemic-related closure, the Macanese Association’s canteen has reopened for a 10-day trial, which will be followed by a full launch in August
  • The homely facility has served as an important social centre for members of the Macanese community to interact over traditional food





A members-only canteen operated by the Macanese Association reopened its doors yesterday after being closed for two years during the Covid-19 pandemic, TDM reports

The reopening is a new beginning for a venue that, although unpretentious, has served as an important gathering place for local Macanese, who have been fighting to preserve their cultural and linguistic traditions in recent years. 

Miguel de Senna Fernandes, the president of the Macanese Association, told TDM that he was “excited” because the establishment “is a gathering place” for the local Macanese. He stressed the importance of having a “proper” venue where community members can gather and “enjoy the environment.”  He said that the canteen’s role as a meeting space was reflected in its motto, Uma casa para todos, which translates into English as “A home for all.” 

According to the canteen manager Mariana de Senna Fernandes, the establishment is currently reopening for a 10-day trial with a new team of kitchen staff, with the full operations scheduled to kick off on 20 August. 

[See more: ‘We have to move forward.’ The Macanese community ponders its role]

She revealed that the dining space had to suspend operations on 5 April 2022 due to a shortage of staff and other uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. 

Senna Fernandes stated that the canteen will, for the time being, remain exclusive to association members and friends that they bring along, noting that the establishment “is not a restaurant.” However, she was open to the idea of opening access to the public in the future. 

In addition to the relaunch of the canteen, the Macanese Association is collaborating with various Lusophone associations to organise gastronomy events that involve cooking dishes from Portuguese-speaking countries, due to begin from 20 July. 

Macanese cuisine is currently under threat, according to a report last year that found the gastronomic tradition was at risk of losing its purity from commercialisation. As well, the Macanese community has seen a decline in terms of its language and population.

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