Director and Main Instructor
Kevin Martens Wong is a writer, teacher and the founder and director of the Kodrah Kristang revitalisation initiative, the director of Singapore’s first ever Kristang Language Festival in May 2017, and a member of the CoLang Advisory Circle for the documentation and revitalisation of endangered languages around the world. His first novel, Altered Straits, was published in February 2017 by Epigram Books. Kevin is an alumnus of St Joseph’s Institution, Catholic Junior College and the National University of Singapore, and was previously a teacher at Choa Chu Kang Secondary School, Beatty Secondary School, Pei Hwa Secondary School and Catholic High School (Secondary).
Bernard Mesenas is a retired English teacher, the primary Kodrah Kristang and Kristang Language Festival language consultant and storyteller, and one of the last native speakers of Kristang in Singapore. He also serves as the principal language consultant for the ongoing National University of Singapore module EL3212: Field Methods in Linguistics: Kristang. Bernard was formerly a teacher at St Gabriel’s Primary School.
Core Team Members and Co-Instructors
Frances Loke Wei is an environmental conservationist. As a Cantonese-speaking Singaporean who has almost no one her age to speak Cantonese to, she hopes for a Singapore that knows of and embraces its diverse linguistic landscape—and by extension, its rich collective culture. In her bid to be part of a society that values more than the economic, Frances strives to explore Singapore’s enviro-cultural values through the eyes of different profiles of people, and to reclaim knowledge of local cultural (like Kristang) and environmental (like horseshoe crabs) heritage that she was unfortunately not exposed to growing up. Frances is an alumnus of Crescent Girls School, Catholic Junior College, and the National University of Singapore.
Fuad Johari is a civil servant and avid fan of history, culture, and languages, especially those of Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. He is interested in the alternative faces of Singapore not widely seen or publicised in the country. Hailing from a minority background, he is keen to see how efforts to revitalise Kristang may provide a way forward for like-minded heritage speakers from other communities who may wish to spearhead their own revitalisation efforts. Fuad is an alumnus of Victoria School, Meridian Junior College and the National University of Singapore.
Luís Morgado da Costa is a native Portuguese working at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as a researcher in Computational Linguistics. He is a language enthusiast who majored in Asian Studies to pursue his curiosity for Asian languages, history and cultures. He initially focused on Chinese, Japanese, and Persian studies, and later pursued a Masters in Cognitive Science. He has a wide range of interests, ranging from Computer Assisted Language Learning and Natural Language Processing, Cognitive Psychology, and Neural Basis of Memory and Learning. He had his first encounter with Kristang through history books, studying Portuguese Colonial History. But when he first heard Kristang being spoken, he was immediately captured by its melodicity and strange sense of almost unintelligible familiarity.
Kodrah Kristang has had the fortune of growing from a small initiative to a fairly large and amazing community. For its successes, we are extremely thankful to past members of the Core Team: