The term Eurasian, coined from the marriage of two worlds. European and Asian, literally means a person born of a union between a European and an Asian and the subsequent offspring of that first mixed blood. The European surname is generally a characteristic of a Eurasian.
Many Eurasians in Singapore can trace their roots to the sixteenth century when Portugal established a colony in Malacca. Catholic missionaries, most notable being St. Francis Xavier, helped to spread the religious faith in the colony. Before long, the marriage between Portuguese men and local women led to a thriving Eurasian community.
Later when the dutch, followed by the British, arrived in Malacca, the Eurasian community expanded further. Today, Eurasians in Singapore have a multi-ethnic heritage which is reflected in their customs and traditions.