Portugal – 10 of June – National Day

For all my dear Portuguese friends,

When all of your things are packed in a suitcase and you are always ready to go into the unknown, then you have major chances to meet lovely people and unforgettable places. For me, Portugal is the country where I have learned to live beautifully, to enjoy the silence and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Moment who drove me to figure out that I can be a patriot even if I am 4000 kilometers far away from home.

The story began in February, two years ago. My studies have brought me to the point where I can say that I have found a place of the never ending YES. So much joy is being offered at the corner of Europe! This state of living, every single day, proves how wonderful country Portugal is. They take so much happiness meeting foreigners and becoming their friend!

Vasco da GamaImage 1. Vasco da Gama

Apart from Vasco da Gama[1]’s discoveries and all the incredible places, I fell in love with this country because I was welcomed as if I was home. This is what we, Romanians, forgot: love for all people, kindness and helping each other. This is the place where I have come to know them all! I remember asking someone on the street for direction to the Vasco da Gama Bridge. The lady didn’t know how to explain in English, because at that point I was not fluent in Portuguese. However, she guided me 10 minutes even though she had to divert from her way. 

Oh, how much I miss the life I was living during that time, (Saudades!)! At the beginning, I have set foot in Lisbon, I was beyond happy, I felt free! In their language, Portuguese people use the phrase according to how they live in the country that sings its own fado[2]. Mariza is a notorious artist who makes the traditional song known all over the world. The Rain (Chuva) is one of the melodies which reflects how it feels here, at the end of Europe:

As coisas vulgares que há na vida
Não deixam saudades
Só as lembranças que doem
Ou fazem sorrir

Há gente que fica na história
da história da gente
e outras de quem nem o nome
lembramos ouvir…
” [3]

In the enchanting atmosphere where you lose yourself along the squared streets, faith completes a life. I entered to Se Cathedral. Religion doesn’t belong to a color, what matters is believing and standing one by another. Christ is watching over them from Tajo’s edge. He invites everyone to reflect upon hope and unity and us, the travelers, to embrace the quietness and grandeur of a place, that we take with us everywhere we go.


Cristo Rei
Image 2. Cristo Rei

We go even further and our arrival is in Porto. We taste the Porto wine and we order once again Pastel de Nata[4]. Football at Estádio do Dragão is out of this world. The fiery atmosphere from the tribune makes my friends João Couto, Jonathan Pertzborn, João  Rego, Andre Nogueira and Daniel Nunes yelling at once:  Serinha ohohoh, Serinha ohohoh, Raçudo e malabarista! Com a bola ele e um artista!”. Or, to study along with Ines Maria Ventura, Andreia Tavares, Catarina Monteiro, Joana Pinto Santos diction techniques. Therefore, I got used to the fast pace: „O rato roeu a rolha de garrafa do rei da Russia”[5].


PortoImage 3. Porto

Portugal is worth a visit at least once thanks to the wonderful people from Porto. „If a half of people would make what they like, the world will be much better.” says the writer José Saramago[6]. I learned this while on my journey through Portugal. For that reason I write about what appeases me and at some point, hopefully, I will make this world better by meaning of my thoughts that it will bring a smile.

 

Article by: Dragoș Argint

 

Bibliography:

[1] He discovered the Indian Ocean. The notorious historic who proved that the  Indian Ocean didn’t belong to the then-mentality according to which it was a huge lake.

[2] Fado- traditional Portuguese music

[3]The ordinary things in life/ Leave us no nostalgy/ Only the memories that hurt/ Or once made us laugh/Some people remain in the history/ Of the history of people/ And some others/ We don’t ever recall having heard about

[4] Pastel de Nata-traditional dessert (vanilla custard shelled in crusty pastry) which can be found in Porto. In Lisbon it has the name Pastel de Belém

[5]„The rat blotted the stopper bottle of the king from Russia.

[6] José Saramago – the only Portuguese Nobel Laurate (literature) for his novel „Blindness”

Translation in English: Andreea Neamțu

Foto by: Dragoș Argint

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Laura Lucia Mihalca

Artist vizual, curator, jurnalist -Președinte revista Art Out -

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