The Portuguese Burghers have long been an important component of Sri Lanka's diverse human landscape. Their contributions to the culture of the island run deep. While they are have historically been present in various parts of Sri Lanka, nowadays they concentrate mostly in the Eastern Province, where their status as a local minority often puts pressure on aspects of their distinctive culture.
This discussion is connected with the research project ‘Documentation of Sri Lanka Portuguese, coordinated by the University of Lisbon's Centre for Linguistics, in collaboration with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and other institutions in Sri Lanka and abroad.
The project is currently building a community-accessible archive of the Portuguese Burghers' language, music and dance traditions, as well as several other aspects of heritage and memory. The discussion will present some results and on-going activities, and reflect on the prospects for long-term cultural preservation within the context of Sri Lanka and the modern world.