One of Babel members has been in Portugal for 6 months. Before new year, it is time to reflect and list 11 things that Portugal has taught and shown to the extranzeiro. The times have been beautiful, romantic, sometimes tough and rough.
It was no suprise that Babel dedicated one show for this mentality or feeling that originates from Portugal. ( Check it out at: http://www.mixcloud.com/Babel_RUC/saudade-estonians_and_a-german-trying-to-understand-it/)
No matter from what country one is, those lonely, reminiscing feelings, vivid memory museums come to life with everyone. They all witness the same loneliness, we wrote about at:http://babelruc.blogspot.com/2013/10/saudade-one-estonian-trying-to-explain.html
At the same time, there is not any feeling comparable with saudade. Once in Portugal, always familiar with saudade, always with saudade.
There is no way that one can ignore football-mania in Portugal. This season is very special in Portuguese football, since Benfica and Porto are not the only teams competing for title. Sporting, a team that finished last season seventh, is right now leading the league.
This post´ author was keen on starting to support Sporting after seeing their marvelous game with Benfica( 1-1). He was also lucky to witness Academica´s home win against Porto. Let´s hope that Fooorzaaa Sporting or Aaa Br-iosa chants can help both teams to make this league more entertaining. The league is unpredictable and this unpredictability fills more stadiums, puts more moustache-wearing locals to tascas, nervously biting their trohmozus or smoking cigarettes. When it comes to women, local senhoritas are not so active as Spanish counterparts. However, this post´ author was lucky to see amazing brunette, dressed in green at the Academica stadium, screaming endlessly SPORTING, and when referee made a mistake, fooodas. Her dad did not mind her contradictory behaviour, since it was for the love of the football.
Finally, even though the country is struck by financial crisis, Ronaldo gave us something to celebrate. We are not sure, but it looks that senhor Ronaldo brings best footballer´s award back to Tuga, so parabens! Parabens Portugal!
- PRAXE AND PORTUGUESE UNIVERSITY TRADITIONS
There is nothing more sexier than to see local women dressed in Harry Potter capes. ( Needs to be mentioned again that those capes gave inspiration to J.K Rowland, while she was a teacher in Porto) All those traditions and rituals are nice, the black capas give university campus some kind of touch of mystery.
At the same time, all those mass drinkings at the end of corteizo, fucked up girls vomiting in front of nice churces, celebrations while listening to shitty music, make one wonder if our generation has ruined the tradition. Another question is the egoitism that lies to those who wear capas. As one of Babel friends described: „ Once I saw one guy with cape telling caloiro things to do, even mocking and humiliating it. He seemed to act like father, but they were more or less the same age. They were both babies.“
At the same time the one that goes against Praxe is risking to be without friends. Sometimes he/she is not even considered university student.
As an extranjeiro I rather support anti-praxism, ´cause all those troopers who can cut your hair whenever they want, massochism examples by the older students by forcing disgusting things for the sake of feeling her or his power makes me question its positive essence. Also, all those mass singings and mass marching makes one wonder is at an army or a brainwash in order to kill individuality?
If everything has to be the same and creativity, free will and own oppinions are killed by centuries old tradition, will there be any free-minded, independent individuals?
Finally, praxism should be questioned, when concerning what happened in Praia do Meco. Even though those 5 people died rather because of the rough seas, there still was praxar involved?
- PORTUGUESE HOSPITALITY
First, the post author thought that he was lucky to have met great people. But when I remininsce over this 6-month period and consider all the people - from bus drivers to restaurant keepers, shop assistants, people from the streets- I can not remember any negative moments. All those invitations for dinners and gifts from local people make them one of the hospitable people in the world. Moreover, I witnessed many times, when people with financial difficulties shared their last cigarettes, meal, dinner or drink, never even thinking of leaving the stuff for their own. Even if the country is struggling, portuguese have never forgotten what it means to be a human. Portuguese never lose their helpful, understanding and kind soul. Portiuguese thought that among many virtues – honesty, integrity and respect – one should always be kind. One should always be like Jesus!
Here, I would like to thank personally Carlos, Rui, Emmanuel,Renan, Ana, Moises, Breno, Andrej ( even though you are not portuguese, you acted like one)
- WRITING LETTERS
When being homesick or just having big saudade, one can find that writing letters ( or recieving them) can be an really soulful and grateful activity. Even though it sounds like 17th century, Babel likes to recommend this long forgotten activity. Why not to share your soul, honesty, life on paper, in the lonely nights and suprise your beloved ones with such gift? Writing letters can be a means of making your beloved ones part of your life, also writing to them can bring good feelings and all the responded letters can be used support your passions, take away your loneliness and make you grateful in foreign country.
- FERNANDO PESSOA
If someone truly would like to write a letter, the best way to get writing inspiration is from Fernando Pessoa. Even though he is considered literary scizophrenic and was a opium junkie, his words are truly amazing. Mr Pessoa is one of the best examples of portuguese culture, even if his dark, honest words could become ingredient of your blood, meaning that when grabing „ A Book of Disquiet“ at night 4. AM, you definetly can not sleep anymore. Pessoa taught us how to write with honesty, how dreams might not come true; made sure that artists are always lonely, and sometimes dreaming and imagination can give more than everyday, mundane life.
- DEAD COMBO
One of the great examples of portuguese culture and music. Dead Combo has distinctive sound, mixing fado elements and portuguese guitar with blues. It is one of the best portuguese blues/folklore band, having received 3 times title of " Record of the year" and the " Record of the Decade". Three of the Dead Combo´ s song have reached top 10 in Itunes North-America charts.
8. LONG HAIR, MOUSTACHE, BEARDS FOR THE WIN!
Already the portuguese stereotype says that all the portuguese men are with moustache. Even the past time spanish lover told that her experience with portuguese girls has taught her that even the portuguese girls wear then, Well, she was wrong, she was stupid and jealous of neighbouring countries chicas, who are much more beautiful.
It is no problem to go a year without having a haircut in Portugal, since you might see everyday similar wild hippies or Jesuses walking round. In Estonia you could never wear such hippie hair in offices, or be unshaven for many months, but in Portugal, or at least in Coimbra, hairiness fits perfectly to the surrounding.
- THE BEAUTY OUTSIDE OF COIMBRA
A person who has never went to Talasnal schist villages or never seen Bussaco palace, has not used the maximum potential of Coimbra. Coimbra speaks to your soul, and beauty is part of soul. Even if you are idiot, ignorant douchebag or just random jerk, those previously mentioned places will definitely awaken your ( or even better) enhance your sense of beauty.
- BUCKETLISTS FOR THE WIN!
Personally I found that bucket list was a big helper in order to find inspiration or activities in Portugal. It helped to spend the time more purposedly. Next to jumping from Pedro and Ines bridge, seeing Sporting´s and Academica´s game, I managed to fill many other things from my list, like making a hiphop show with Babel, writing 5 letters to friends and family and kiss brazilian girl.
Check the movie trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc3mkG21ob4
Check the movie trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc3mkG21ob4
Nothing else to add. One just has to witness and see it on his/her own. Or the bystander could admire it with the knowledge that this university radio has been on air more or less 24/7 for 27 years. Needs to be mentioned that the radio is managed by students and on voluntary basis. What an example of passion!
12. PORTUGAL IS PERFECT FOR SQUATTING
The fact that 20 per cent of Porto´s downtown is filled with abandoned houses and fact that Lisboa has 5000 empty houses, give enormous potential to squatting. Maybe, our hometown, Coimbra has even more potential, since it has aproximately 11 000 empty houses. ( check interesting article explaining the reasons behind so many empty houses and laws concerning the issue at: http://babelruc.blogspot.pt/2013/12/abandoned-houses-in-coimbra.html
Also check interesting photomaterial about abandoned places in Portugal at: