It is your choice!

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Photography: Backyard Tours

With our job, is quiet easy to understand how lost and disconnected people are from themselves.

With all the technology nowadays, it is pretty easy to get lost… From a distance of a click!, it is easy and fast to send that message, make that phone call, capture that moment for eternity…

How many of us actually take the time to think that we really don’t need that all the time? How many of us tried to turn off our phones for a day, get some rest from the social media and everything that is happening in the world? How many of us went somewhere without the mobile phone for an entire day or weekend?

Have you done the experience and watch people you find in the street, at a café or restaurant or even at work? How many of them are on the phone or with a tablet? How many of them are taking selfies?

We won’t be hypocrites and say we don’t do the same; we also love to take pictures. We also like to hear the voices of far-away family and dearest friends; we also have mobile phones, computers, and can be found in the social media…

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Dia de Reis Traditions

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Three Wise Men, Collier

Happy Dia de Reis everyone!

Original in Portuguese, Dia de Reis is known in English as Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day. Celebrated a little bit everywhere in the World, in Portugal the traditions are taken very seriously.

This day, January the 6th, officially ends the Christmas festivities. Suposly, this was the day when the Three Wiseman visited baby Jesus and offered him presents. In Portuguese, their names are Baltazar, Belchior and Gaspar.

Note: the last one, is not popular among Portuguese people anylonger… since someone called Vítor Gaspar was the Finance Minister and led the country through a rough moment! xD

Although the festivites end, we end the season, of course, with a big party. The tradition tell us to eat a Bolo Rei – or King Cake. When we were kids, this cake was baked with a fava bean inside or a small gift (usually, a porcelain miniature).

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Praise the Day of Portugal!

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Photography: Backyard Tours

Did you know that today we are celebrating the Day of Portugal?

Our last post was also a about a celebration – April 25th -, and the truth is, the day of today is somehow related with the Carnation Revolution.

But June 10 is not only the Day of Portugal, but also the Day of Camões and the Portuguese Communities. What a kerfuffle!

Let us briefly explain. Luís de Camões was a poet in the 16th Century and he represented the homeland, splendor and glory of Portugal. We will write about him in another post, but we leave here the idea of how important he was, inspirational human being, praising the Portuguese and all our glories.

Since he was a reference, when our First Republic was establish in 1910, it was decreed that June 10 would be his day – precisely the day he died in the year of 1580.

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Portuguese Expressions

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Translation: Flea behind the ear (meaning: being suspicious about something)

The Portuguese language can be very complex and tricky. It happens very often, sentences or phrases have a second meaning: sometimes good, others sarcastic, but most of the times naughty …

Sure they are funny and curious. It is something that makes part of us. Since kids we’re used to hear them from our parents, grandparents, neighbors, the owner of the local shop in the corner… And for that, we even don’t ask anymore where some of the expressions originally came from. It just makes all the sense to us!

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Translation: Old donkey doesn’t learn languages (meaning: too late to change)

Some expressions differ by region, but some are the same everywhere so everyone knows them. Although it’s difficult to transmit the idea behind the expression, and trying not to lost it during translation, we are going to leave you here some very typical and amusing Portuguese expressions!

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Fernando Pessoa, The Man With All The Dreams In The World

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Portrait of Fernando Pessoa by Almada de Negreiros, 1964

Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon, in June 13th of 1888. He was a writer and poet and left a beautiful heritage to our country – his words.

As almost every great mind and artist, he didn’t had the most easy or happy life. After his father death on Pessoa’s 5th anniversary, and his brother death right after, on the next year – 1894 -, his mother wed a consul of Portugal in Durban (South Africa), where they end up living for the next years of his life.

Being educated in South Africa, he learned English and started to write poems in that language. By this time, he already created some heteronyms* and manifested a creative and very sensitive mind.

In 1901, another tragedy affects the family – this time, his youngest sister dies; but his mother give birth a fourth son from his stepfather, pushing Pessoa further away from love and affection. He returns definitely to Portugal in the year of 1905, leaving the family in South Africa.

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The Art of Fishing

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Slowly you get to know the best our country has to offer – the wine, the people, and the gastronomy for sure… But we also must not forget something very important and which makes part of our culture, the fishing tradition.

Having the Atlantic Ocean as one of our neighbors and the 3rd biggest Exclusive Economic Zone of Europe – 11th in the World -, made us look at the Sea as way out, as a partner, that would almost provide all the raw materials and food we need, and thus our strong connection with it!

Fishing is an ancient art, and for centuries we see our Men departing to high seas and to return with the goods, result of their hard-work: wide variety of fresh fish, that will turn into a delight on our mouths and satisfy our tummies.

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