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Submission date

10 February 2023 at 2:20:17 pm

First name

Kevin Martens

Last name



Kabesa / Director of Kodrah Kristang & Merlionsman of the Republic of Singapore

(1) Kodrah Kristang / (2) Merlionsman Coaching & Consulting





Kevin Martens Wong is an award-winning gay, non-binary Kristang/Portuguese-Eurasian independent scholar born, bred and based in Singapore. He was formerly a Ministry of Education Teaching Scholar teaching H1 General Paper in Eunoia Junior College, and is the founder and director of the Kodrah Kristang language revitalisation initiative for his critically endangered heritage language Kristang, and the developer of a new creole/indigenous approach to the psyche known as Osura Pesuasang / Individuation Theory. He has been featured by the BBC, AFP, the Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia, and over 130 other international publications and media, as well as Singapore’s 2018 National Day Parade celebrations, and was the 2017 recipient of both the President of Singapore's Volunteer and Philanthropy Award (Individual-Youth) and the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding All-Round Achievement, both pinnacle national awards awarded to a single individual. He is also a speculative fiction writer, with his first novel, Altered Straits, longlisted for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize and nominated for the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize. He currently runs his own freelance life coaching and consulting initiative known as Merlionsman Coaching & Consulting (

Paper title

Via Hierosa: Excavating and Reclaiming the Kristang Hero’s Journey as embodied in the Eurasian Short Story


Kristang, creole, revitalisation, Hero's Journey, dreamfishing


Via Hierosa: Excavating and Reclaiming the Kristang Hero’s Journey as embodied in the Eurasian Short Story

The Kristang or Portuguese-Eurasians are today considered a subset or sub-strand of the larger supra-Eurasian identity in Singapore, with their history, culture and traditions also largely forgotten by even younger Eurasians, to say nothing of their visibility in the public domain. However, since 2016, volunteer grassroots revitalisation efforts under the Kodrah Kristang (‘Awaken, Kristang’) initiative led by the author, a gay, non-binary Kristang / Portuguese-Eurasian Singaporean independent scholar and speculative fiction writer have supported not just a historic re-flourishing and dramatic increase in awareness of the critically endangered Kristang language, but a wider revival in other forms of Kristang identity, culture, thought and ways of being that were previously thought to have been lost following the events of the late 1980s, including Operation Spectrum and the 1988/1989 reboot of the Eurasian Association.

This presentation focuses on the process of excavation and reclamation of one of those facets of the Krismatra (‘ocean of gold’ or ‘dreaming ocean’) or revitalised or Progenitor Kristang identity in Singapore, the Via Hierosa or Hero’s Journey in Kristang (Wong 2022). Simultaneously aligned with and also superseding the more Western and patriarchal Hero’s Journey (Campbell 1949), the Via seeks to provide not just one of several new possible scaffolds for the regeneration of Kristang identity and other affective outcomes, but a universal approach to accessible psychology, mental health and well-being supporting all readers and viewers of any story or narrative incorporating the Via, encoded directly into the Via itself. This presentation thus explores this encoding and how it was formulated and derived through the Kristang process of Sunyeskah, or Dreamfishing, within the body of existing (Portuguese-)Eurasian literature, and ultimately seeks to provide an example that can serve as inspiration and reference for other minority communities in Singapore in terms of how they might also initiate such revitalisation.

(300 words exact)

Campbell, Joseph (1949 [2008]). The Hero With A Thousand Faces (3rd ed.). New York City, New York: Pantheon Books.
Wong, Kevin Martens (2022). Via Hierosa: The Hero’s Journey in Progenitor Kristang (Parts 1-8). Merlionsman Coaching & Consulting (December 3). Retrieved 10 February 2023 from


Overhead projection; I can bring my own slides, laptop, clicker and dongle / HDMI adapter :)

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