MELAKA: The annual traditional water festival or Intrudo of the Portuguese community here will go on despite the water rationing exercise in the state.
Portuguese community spokesman Martin Theseira said that water shortage in Melaka “will not stop the enthusiasm of the community from having a splashing time” tomorrow.
“The event will go on but on a moderate scale despite criticism on social media for us to call off the festival.
“The festival is part of the community and traces its roots to the coming of the Portuguese to Melaka in 1511, ” he said yesterday.
Theseira said Melaka water concessionaire – Syarikat Air Melaka Bhd – promised to supply water for the event but the quantity was not as high as previous years.
He hoped the relevant authorities would help promote the festival in a bid to increase the number of tourists to the state.
“The festival is a venue for the state government to encourage local tourism and it’s not all gloom and doom due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the water shortage issue in the state, ” he said.
Intrudo or “introduction” (coming before) in the local Cristao language (a 16th century Portuguese dialect) is celebrated on the Sunday preceding Ash Wednesday on Feb 26.
Theseira said the traditional festival was held before the start of Lent during the Roman Catholic season of fasting and penance leading to Easter Sunday in April.
In past, he said tourists would converge at the Portuguese settlement to join the festival.
“The festival has been a tourist attraction although the tradition is linked to our religion, ” he said.