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Hot Jesus from Portugal, bless him

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Hot Jesus from Portugal, bless him

I always love a good joke and one of the things I enjoy the most is seeing other Portuguese being recognised by their work. Some time ago on many tvs arround the world we had the pleasure of seing great part of the epic stories and avdentures from the Bible. Yes, the Bible. For many most of the stories are unknown, but for others as for me, this movie was an interesting recap.

But why am I saying all this? Well, in this movie Diogo Morgado, a Portuguese actor, was one of the main characters and its popularity is becoming so huge that funny things start to happen. I leave you with a good laugh, american style, from Stephen Colbert on his night show in US. I hope you enjoy, after all its still related to Portugal.

 

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Sometimes friends drop in . . .

In Portugal, family ties run deep, and family traditions deeper still.  When both of these join together a deeper passion, then the result is a heady cocktail.
 
There is, in Portugal,  a policy between family and close friends of Porta Aberta.  Open door hospitality, when within reason, visits are made spontaneously, and without invitation.  Usually the "payment" for this "intrusion" is food, or more often wine.  But sometimes the callers bring the gift of talent.  Fado itself, as a genre, was based on spontaneity, so it is no surprise to find that a spontaneous visit, ends in an evening of Fado.  For when D. Francisco's cousin, D. Manuel da Camara comes calling with friends, that is usually what happens!
 
Fado is the Portuguese way of expressing, in song, how people feel about their lot in life, good or bad.  It has, many forms, but Fado is particular in that it is geared in its form to the situation or surroundings in which it finds itself.  It is no surprise, therefore, to learn, that when the Fado Marialva sing, it is particularly suited to the rural lifestyle.  The Marialvas have been together for around eight years, but have known each other always.  D. Manuel da Camara, Rodrigo Pereira and Francisco Martins were good friends,  "but needed to do something different".  So when three friends get together to sing, about those things in this life, about which they care passionately, then the result is almost always guaranteed to please.  There are things other, in this life, than an early morning crossing of the Tagus, to give one that certain "frisson".
 
They sing about "the countryside, horses, bulls and bullfights, love, women", and D. Manuel, like D. Francisco, can look to father and grandfather when it comes to being in the family tradition.  D. Manuel's grandfather was a professional opera singer, and his father, D. Vincente is a famous Fado singer, and can remember his younger days in the company of Amália.
 
But the real heady mix of passion shared by the cousins, is the love of the Lusitano horse.  Listen now to a solo by D. Manuel, Meu cavalo Lusitano........

 An evening in the country with friends is always a pleasurable thing.  An evening in the country with the Marialvas as your hosts would be even better.
 
To find out more please visit D. Francisco de Bragança website or get in touch through email: info@franciscobraganca.com.  Groups can be catered for Friday and Saturday evenings with the Marialvas at Archino.

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Porto and the North - The Essence of Portugal

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Porto and the North - The Essence of Portugal

Bom dia / Good morning / Buenos dias / Bonjour / Guten morgen / Buon giorno / Goedemorgen / Guten Tag / Goedemorgen / Dzień dobry / καλημέρα / доброе утро / Tere hommikust / Hyvää huomenta / God dag! / God morgen / God morgon / Labrīt / Bună dimineaţa / Labas rytas / Dobrý den/ добро утро / Dobro jutro / Goeie more / Bore da / Egunon / おはよう / 早安 / Mirëmëngjes/ Günaydın/ boker tov / jó napot / god daggin …to you all:) Check out the new Video "Porto and the North - The Essence of Portugal!

From north to sought Portugal offers an umpararel diversity. This video will take you on a journey through the North of Portugal, from Oporto city to the Douro region.

 

Porto and the North - The Essence of Portugal from ARPT Porto & Norte on Vimeo.

Portugal was born in the North and the rich cultural heritage of the region doesn’t ignore so noble and ancient origins. Tradition, culture, history, architecture, gastronomy and wine, landscape, hospitality and the joy of their people are the attributes of a unique region. Whether in leisure activities, like golf and spas, or business, this region is acquiring a huge prominence and a peculiar charm. One who visits Portugal takes with oneself more than pictures and memories. One experiences in the soul maybe the most Portuguese feeling: Saudade.

Source: visitportoandnorth.travel

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Amália, the Queen of Fado

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Amália, the Queen of Fado

 

Amália da Piedade Rodrigues, (July 23, 1920 – October 6, 1999), known as Amália Rodrigues (Portuguese pronunciation: was a Portuguese singer and actress. She was known as the Rainha do Fado ("Queen of Fado") and was most influential in popularizing the fado worldwide. She was one of the most important figures in the genre's development, and enjoyed a 50-year recording and stage career. Amália' performances and choice of repertoire pushed fado's boundaries and helped redefine it and reconfigure it for her and subsequent generations. In effect, Amália wrote the rulebook on what fado could be and on how a female fadista — or fado singer — should perform it, to the extent that she remains an unsurpassable model and an unending source of repertoire for all those who came afterwards. Amália enjoyed an extensive international career between the 1950s and the 1970s, although in an era where such efforts were not as easily quantified as today. She was the main inspiration to other well-known international fado and popular music artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes, and Mariza.

Source: wikipedia.org

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An evening in the country

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An evening in the country

An evening in the country is always pleasurable.  And an evening in the country around the supper table with friends, even more so.  But when you find yourself in company where one member has a birthday, and your hostess has arranged a surprise treat, then an evening in the country can turn into something quite special.

And so it was, that I found myself being entertained by the Fado Marialva.

 

Rural areas in Portugal came very late to electricity.  Traditional homesteads, such as the one at which I was a guest, have not abandoned time-served means of cooking, heating and lighting, for who knows when 21st Century power may fail, and necessitate a return to the old ways.

In the failing light, the paraffin lamps were brought out, and the doors and windows flung wide open to receive the cooling breezes, for there were many flushed cheeks that required to be cooled!  The wine was taking effect, and the blurred edges around everything may not have been entirely attributable to the flicker of the lamps!

The evening was gathering momentum, and the once reserved trio were starting to get into their stride.  Their audience was starting to recover from the initial surprise.

To those of us who were familiar with Fado, and especially those songs which form part of the Marialva's repertoire, no sooner was one finished, than another request was shouted out.  With traditional country fare on the table, and a seemingly never ending supply of local wine, short breaks for the singers to step outside for a smoke, and to rest the vocal chords, did not prevent time passing at a gallop.  We cannot remember how many songs we got through, many favourites, or especially stirring ones, being sung more than once.  And we prefer NOT to remember how many times certain of those among us couldn't resist the urge to get up and do a jig!  To think that Fado is funereal, is to do it a great disservice, since while some lovely slow ones were sung, and some which were religious, that evening called for something different.

As I looked at the faces of those men that night, I started to wonder if perhaps I might be able to understand some day, what it is about Fado that means so much to them and indeed all Portuguese.  They were singing about their way of life, and the things which mattered most to them, and about which they cared passionately.  Gone were the cares of the day, the worries about the economy and all those external factors that knaw away at our wellbeing.  The more they sang, the more expressive they became, none more so than the guitarist, who had to be reined in on occasion, and reminded that this was not a solo performance!

And eventually, it was, with great regret, that we had to call it a day.  The food was exhausted, the wine was exhausted and so were the people.

People who started out being strangers, and parted, the greatest of friends.

This most enjoyable of evenings was spent at Quinta do Archino.

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Fado, the soul of Portuguese culture

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Fado, the soul of Portuguese culture

It is  unlikely that you are able to undertand Fado just by reading about it. Fado is a song that touches the deepest corners of Portuguese souls, so to really apreciate and learn about the ways of Portuguese souls you need to find a confortable chair, relax with a glass of red wine and with your eyes close, listen with your heart this anciant melody.

Carminho belongs to the new generation of Fado singers, her style and tone is in my opinion very similar to the Queen of Fado, Amália, but brings a new enchantment to this world intangible heritage

It is impossible not to have a view on Fado.  People either love it or hate it. The subject raises as much passion as the genre itself. 

The possible origins of fado include: Arabic from the population remaining in the Mourarias after the Christian reconquest in 1147; Afro-Brazilian from the mixture of the modinhas (soft romantic music of the Portuguese elite in Brazil) and the lundum (Angolan) which came to Portugal with the returning Royal family in the 1820s; maritime from the sailors returning to Lisbon after their voyages of discovery who may have sung sea-songs of nostalgia for Lisbon; medieval from the troubadours with their romantic poetry; 16th century from the narrative singing of the C16 romanceros.  

Other theories suggest a connexion with the Afro-American blues; or a gypsy element from Andalucia; or because the Jewish community was present in Lisbon for years after their forced conversion of 1497, it could be that their secret suffering contributed to the saudade of Fado.  

Fado comes from the Latin fatum meaning fate.  Fate describes the individual’s future and fado bemoans the unchangeable nature of the individual’s destiny and the unforgiving and unchanging nature of the lottery of life.   

The songs are urban folk songs from four of the poorest districts of Lisbon: Alfama, Bairro Alto, Madragoa and Mouraria. 

Saudade, which has a multiplicity of meanings such as longing, yearning, regrets, homesickness, memories, is the essence of Fado.  

Fado is sung by male or female fadistas with a traditional accompaniment of a melody line from the guitarra portuguesa and the rhythm is provided by the acoustic guitar, which the Portuguese call viola. Sometimes a double bass adds extra bass to the rhythm.  

First recognised in Lisbon in the 1820s, Fado o riginated in the taverns and brothels and the first famous exponent was Maria Severa. Her fame rests on a play of 1901 by Júlio Dantas (later made into the first Portuguese talkie A Severa in 1931).  From about 1870, the Teatro de Revista began to incorporate Fado songs and soon no production was complete without fado.  

Many Fados are about the city of Lisbon and the city is likened to a girl who is always beautiful and elegant.  It is likely that of all the cities in the world, Paris and Buenos Aires included, Lisbon is the city which is the subject of most songs.  

In the 1890s, Fado de Coimbra appeared. Sometimes this form is referred to as canção de Coimbra because it does not belong to the Lisbon tradition of Fado. It is usually sung by male students or graduates in the street (preferably on the steps of the Old Cathedral) and is firmly identified with the University of Coimbra, and the performers are always in the black capes which the students wear. 

Lisbon Fado is usually sung by only one person.  A woman fadista normally wears a black shawl over her dress signifying mourning for the first fadista, Maria Severa.  Men used to dress in suits but now a black polo sweater or an open necked shirt is accepted.  

There are different types of Fado:  menor is sad, slow and melancholic and is sung in a minor key; Mouraria is nostalgic but in a major key and faster; corrido has cheerful and upbeat music but the words do not necessarily reflect that mood; bailado is danceable.  

Fado canção or fado musicado is more commercial and appeared in the 1930s with Amália Rodrigues, its greatest exponent.  Fado castiço is the original type of fado and considered the best by the aficionados.  It is accompanied by the guitarra portuguesa and viola only.  

Fado à desgarrada and Fado vadio are different from the professional Fado found in Casas de Fado.  In these formats, amateurs take turns to sing their emotions.  A Portuguese friend tells me that the only proper form is Fado vadio; the rest is just for show.

Because fado was tightly controlled by the Salazar regime, some Portuguese have an ambivalent attitude towards it and its most famous exponent Amália Rodrigues.  It was announced by Salazar that he would give the Portuguese three ‘Fs’ to be proud of - fado, Fátima and football.  And so, perhaps in spite of themselves, both Eusébio and Amália Rodrigues became apologists for the regime. 

After the 1974 revolution, Fado became less popular and it was not until the late 1980s that younger artists have realised that fado is greater than the history of the dictatorship. 

Traditionally, most fadistas came from Lisbon but over the last 100 years, Lisbon Fado has lost its connexions with Lisbon, bullfighting, the nobility, saudade and Fado menor.  It is becoming an international genre scarcely distinguishable from other song types.  

Perhaps the recent recognition by UNESCO of fado as part of Portugal’s intangible cultural heritage will encourage a return to its roo ts. 

Text source: Algarve Resident

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World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage –  Fado

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World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage – Fado

 

 

Last week Portugal was graced with the recognition of its most traditional music genre as one of World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. This Lisbon mournful song, Fado, is in the hearts of every Portuguese around the world and brings the suffer and nostalgy to a poetic song  

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Surfing in Portugal, hot spots

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Surfing in Portugal, hot spots

Silver Coast has one of the latest unspoiled beaches in Europe, some say its Portugal Best Kept Secret, I would say its just Portugal at is finest. Nazaré is one of most pituresque fishing villages in the Silver Coast, and holds one of the biggest waves in the world, and small big detail that is puting Nazaré and all Silver Coast on the world map of the international surfing community. On this video Garrett McNamara breaks the world record for the largest wave ever surfed in Nazaré.

The story about the North Canyon Wave and how it became a project

After one month, four big swells and some successful sessions riding Nazaré’s waves, the extreme waterman Garrett McNamara, 43 years old, returned home, to North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, with a sense of achievement.

The main goal of Garrett in Nazaré was to explore its waves – with special attention to Praia do Norte’s waves, which receive the effect of the geomorphologic phenomenon known as “Nazaré Canyon”. The canyon is so unique because it is one of the only one in the whole world that ends on the shore allowing the power of the water and swell to make it to the beach without losing any energy or size. Garrett was invited to explore the wave to see if it had potential for a big wave event!

During November, Garrett McNamara saw four big swells and two times the conditions were perfect for tow-in. He was able to see all the potential of those waves, which “are probably the biggest waves of the world for a beach break”, he said.

The Hawaiian surfer, one of the more respected waterman of the world, with several international awards and championships, worked with José Gregório (a former triple Portuguese surf champion, one of the most respected big waves surfers in Portugal and one of the athletes that better knows the waves of Nazaré, where he was born).

Garrett McNamara also had the chance to surf with Tiago “Saca” Pires (the most international Portuguese surfer and the only Portuguese who make part of the world surf elite), Ruben Gonzalez (a former four times Portuguese surf champion) and even with the Irish Alistair Mennie and the English Andrew Cotton, who came to Nazaré to experience the power of the waves of Praia do Norte.

Garrett caught other waves in the region of Nazaré, mostly with his Stand Up Paddle board, showing all the necessary technique to enjoy this kind of surf and sharing good waves with the locals bodyboarders. He showed big respect to them and recognized their pioneering role in the strong waves of Nazaré.

Garrett McNamara returned to Hawaii very impressed and with some well defined goals to a close cooperation with the Nazaré City Hall for the next years.

Jorge Barroso, the City Hall mayor, and Garrett McNamara signed an intent statement for the implementation of projects that can internationally promote Nazaré as a reference spot to the big waves sports and to the realization of a big wave event in 2012.

They both agreed to cooperate actively to achieve the following projects: Environmental Education to the Sea Center, a Rescue Center, a Big Wave Museum and a Tow-in Academy.

Jorge Barroso said that “Praia do Norte’s waves are unique” and that’s why Nazaré should “take the uniqueness of its sea”, that creates giant waves due the “North Canyon”. “In 2012 we’re going to make an innovative event in all of Europe. We count with Garrett McNamara and with this intent statement”, said Jorge Barroso, showing “the will of affirmation of Nazaré as a prime destination of big waves sports”.

To the extreme waterman, the big waves of Praia do Norte are some of the biggest that he ever saw. “After being here this month, learning the culture and working with this great team, I am 100 per cent sure that in 2012 we will hold a world class big event, promoting Nazaré all around the world”, said McNamara, referring that “the idea is to attract not only surfers or water sports lovers, but everybody.”

José Gregório was also present in the ceremony and congratulated the initiative. “This was one of the times when the surf was mostly spoken on the media”, commented.

To end his stay in Portugal, Garrett went to the second edition of the Portugal Surf Awards, the National Surf Ceremony, which counted this year with the awards of the Surf Portugal magazine, last weekend, also in Nazaré.

After the delivery of some awards and several conversations with some of the best Portuguese surfers, curious to know his views about the national waves, McNamara was surprised with an “International Personality of the Year” award by the oldest surf magazine in Portugal. They honored the commitment of the Hawaiian surfer in the exploration of Nazaré’s waves.

“This award was a huge surprise, but I’m much honored to receive it”, said Garrett with emotion. “The recognition of our work is always good, but the way that I was received by the Portuguese surf community was amazing. I’ll take you in my heart and I’m going to make everything to promote internationally the Nazaré’s waves and your hospitality. I’ll come back as soon as possible”, he concluded.

McNamara returned to Hawaii, to participate in the open ceremony of the most respected big waves championship of the world, Quicksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau, in Waimea Bay, Oahu, where he lives. He was one of the 28 invited surfers. Good luck G-Mac!

This project was organized by Câmara Municipal da Nazaré, Clube de Desportos Alternativos da Nazaré and Nazaré Qualifica E.E.M., with the support of QREN, MaisCentro, Feder, Turismo de Portugal – Oeste, Liberty Seguros, Lightning Bolt, GoPro – D’Maker, Filipemotoshow, Isuzu, Lena Automóveis, Peter Grimm, Noll, Instituto Hidrográfico Português, Spal, Tonic Gym, Surftotal, Surf Portugal, Antena 3, Surfer Rule and Surfspots-gps.com.

Photos by POLVO/Jorge Leal e Wilson Ribeiro

Source: http://nazarenorthcanyon.blogspot.com/

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Tom Cannavan’s wine selection

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Tom Cannavan’s wine selection

After much hype and anticipation, Tom Cannavan’s 50 Great Portuguese wines selection was finally unveiled in London at the Portuguese Ambassador’s Residence in Belgrave Square.

 

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