April 25, 2014

Nós tenemos muitos nabos! Good Portuguese music!

Hello friends and Zazzlers!

Celebrating the Revolution with good regional folk Portuguese music! It's good and it's new! This band is called Galandum Galundaina. They adopted an old song that you can listen in this video below. By the way, Michel Giacometti was French but lived in Portugal for 30 years. He gathered a lot of information about popular culture namely music. (It seems this new song from Galandum is, in fact, recreating two songs but I only got the lyrics for the first one.)

If you don't understand the lyrics of this song, well, don't worry, I don't understand it completely because this group sings songs in "mirandês", a Portuguese language used in north-east Miranda do Douro. To know more about mirandese, please visit this site! Their songs are about the rural way of life, quite poetic, funny and high-spirited! You just have to love it! Nós tenemos muitos nabos...

Nós tenemos muitos nabos
a cozer nua panela,
nun tenemos sal nien unto
nien presunto nien bitela

Mirai qu'alforjas, mirai qu'alforjas
uas mais lhargas, outras mais gordas
uas de lhana, outras de stopa

Ls chocalhos rúgen, rúgen
ls carneiros alhá ban
an chegando a Ourrieta Cuba
ls carneiros bulberan.

Mirai qu'alforjas, mirai qu'alforjas
uas mais lhargas, outras mais gordas
uas de lhana, outras de stopa.

April 24, 2014

Carnation Revolution is 40 years old

There's a great poster created by painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, A poesia está rua.It means Poetry is in the streets.Adres, a Portuguese street artist, made this graffiti to celebrate the Revolution in 1981.

Hello again!

I am back with a few more lines about April Revolution. One day left for Freedom Day!

April 25 is now celebrated as a national holiday. Now you know that it marks the bloodless military coup that was supported by the civilian population. It allowed democracy and civil liberties to the Portuguese people after almost five decades of dictatorship (1937-1974). The Carnation Revolution ended the Estado Novo regime, the longest dictatorship in Europe, changing the Portuguese political system from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy.

However I must say that by all standards, 40 years later, Portugal is still one of the poorest countries in Europe and of the European Union. Presently we're undergoing political turmoil and general discontent from large sectors of the population. Everyday someone will say that we need a new April 25. Everyday someone will say that most promises of April 25 aren't fullfilled. The truth is that Portugal is in recession. Purchasing power of the Portuguese population is gone, unemployment and inflation are high. The cost of living went up, salaries came down and benefits were reduced. The ones who thought that were safe are getting their pensions shortened after a long life of hard work and social security monthy contributions. Young people are leaving the country every week. Working middle class sufocates with tax rise. Portugal is turning into a two class country of rich and powerful and poor! Values like equality or solidarity are far from being a reality when justice, education or health is more and more a privilege just for some. So tomorrow when popular demonstrations hit the streest it will show discontent and not joy. Yet, a lot changed in a couple of hours and I feel thankfull to those who decided to act. Those men and women who were imprisoned and tortured, those who faught for freedom, those are heroes and we should never forget that.

I made a quick summary of some of the immediate consequences of the Revolution:

- In April 1975 a constitutive assembly was elected by universal suffrage for the first time and a constitution drawn up by the ones elected.

- Over the course of the next decade a stable two party system was established.

- General Spinola served briefly as interim president and was succeeded by General Francisco da Costa Gomes.

- Banks and big industries were nationalized and a major redistribution of land was carried out.

- Hundreds of political prisoners were released.

- Finally there was freedom of speech for everyone, citizens, authors, artists. The press, radio, television were now free of censhorsip.

- The road network increased and decreased the isolation of the interior.

- The quality of life improved in many aspects.

- In 1980, the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores became autonomous regions to enjoy self-government.

- Over the next few years, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde Islands, São Tome and Príncipe, and Angola all became independent. By the end of 1975, the colonies had been granted independence - only Macau remains to be handed over to China in 1999. The independence of these former colonies produced over one million Portuguese refugees (retornados).

- Portugal's entry into the European Union (1986) opened up opportunities for trade and increased funding.

Celebrating 40 years of Revolution.

Portuguese street artist Carlos Farinha

Place: Calçada da Glória/Largo da Oliveirinha - Lisboa

GAU - Galeria de Arte Urbana

April 23, 2014

April Revolution and women!

Hello friends and Zazzlers! Here is another short post about April 25. There's a lot to be told but I don't want to be a bore! Tomorrow I'll publish the last one of this series of postages.

So, about women, what was in April Revolution for women? A lot.

Carnation Revolution made a big difference in women life. Being a woman in the old regime had to be suffocating. Before April 25th, 1974 we couldn't talk about equality between men and women. (Now it's a lot better, not perfect yet, of course!) By then a woman's salary would be 40% less than man's. The position of a woman was but secondary and relative not only in society but in the family as well.

- Until the late 60s, women could only vote if they were householders - like if she was being a widow - and possess intermediate or higher education. In 1968 the law established equal vote for the National Assembly of all citizens who could read and write. But many women were an alphabet.

- If a woman got married their rights were exercised by the householder, the husband. The man could open the wife's mail. If she got a job and the husband did not agree, he could terminate it. A married woman could not go abroad without her husband's permission.

- Contraception was allowed just for therapeutic not prevention measures and abortion was prohibited and punished with prison. Advertising of contraception was also prohibited. A husband could ask for a divorce if he knew his wife was using contraception methods and he did not agree.

- A woman should be charming and decorative. Maternity was an important value to the old regime but the mother had fewer rights than the father in the education of their children.

- A good woman should stay-at-home as the domestic government was her specific function.

- Divorce was forbidden, due to an agreement with the Catholic Church. All children born of a new relationship, after the first marriage, were considered illegitimate.

- Boys and girls attended different schools. Dating in public was prohibited. Dating should be a short period and end in marriage. Even a kiss in the street could be sanctioned with a fine.

- Nurses and teachers could not marry freely. Permission to get married should be granted by the Minister and the authorization was published in the newspaper. A teacher could only marry a man whose salary was bigger than her´s.

- Access to certain professions was completely fenced. Women had no possibility of exercise any political office. The judiciary and diplomacy careers are two examples of professional sectors that women could not access. She could not be a police office neither.

The Carnation Revolution finally brought the equality of rights and duties for spouses. The direction of the family belongs to both spouses. Man and woman both agree on the direction of the common life. And finally, economic value to the work done by women in the home was no longer ignored. The duty of the spouses to contribute to family life can be done by allocating their income to family responsibilities and also by the labor expended in the household and raising children.

The law ensures equality at work between men and women but they continue to earn less, have less access to decision-making positions in business, to work more unpaid hours and be the first to lose his job. The fight for equality is not over.

Don't miss my last post on the Revolution! Tomorrow! See you!

April 17, 2014

The songs of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution

Portugal's Radio Renascença played a folk song called Grândola Vila Morena at 25 minutes past midnight on Thursday, 25 April 1974 - Fair town of Grândola, land of fraternity, the people is the one who rules most within you, city.

For more than a hundred army officers that song was was the signal they were waiting to start the move to Lisbon in their military vehicles. (If you take a look at 25 April Revolution footage and photos you’ll see these vehicles on the streets of Lisbon with soldiers on top and then civilians. A “chaimite” is a light armored personnel carrier vehicle. It debuted in 1967 and performed at Portuguese Colonial War. This Portuguese-designed combat vehicle was developed to meet the requirement of the Portuguese armed forces by the Portuguese company Bravia.)

This was a song from Zeca Afonso. This composer/singer and songwriter is aclaimed for his folk/social intervention and protest music.

But 90 minutes earlier the radio station played the first agreed signal, another song called E depois do adeus.(After Good-bye) This song was Portugal's 1974 entry in the Eurovision song contest in Brighton. The singer Paulo de Carvalho had also no idea that his song would become so famous and a symbol of the revolution.

Grândola Vila Morena - a creative and revolutionary protest in Parliament February 2013.

The parliamentary debate saw an intervention by 20 people from a social movement called Que se lixe a troika. They sang Grândola and interrupted Prime Minister. He said: "of all the ways work might be interrupted, this would seem to be in the best possible taste." Last year, 38 years after the Carnation Revolution, the former soldiers who made it happen did not take place in official celebrations at the Parliament. Instead, they choose to participate in a demonstration on the streets of Lisbon. They joined a protest against the economic crisis and the austerity measures adopted by the government of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. The conservative government of Passos Coelho is still aiming to reduce the fiscal deficit, a condition imposed by the "troika" of creditors - the International Monetary fund (IMF), the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) - that approved a 110-billion dollar financial bailout for Portugal in 2011. How? Everybody says that he's killing April's conquests. We are facing pay and pension cuts, more tax imposition, the possible end of free universal public healthcare. Prices for natural gas, electricity, fuel, transport are rising. Now it's easier to hire and fire workers. Unemployment benefits were reduced also, among other measures.

Grândola Vila Morena sung by huge crowd (Porto demonstration, March 2013)


Music and movies inspired by the Carnation Revolution! If you want to go shopping I found these for you at Amazon's store!

Capitaes De Abril - April Captains
by  Antonio Victorino D' Almeida
Original soundatrack of the movie with the same name. Curiosity: the composer is the father od the director Maria de Medeiros.
Buy Now

Capitaes De Abril (Widescreen Edition)

Portuguese movie with subtitles in English.The film pays tribute to the men that plotted the coup. The script could be better. Still it's a nice way to learn about Captain Salgueiro Maia deeds and Portuguese Carnation revolution.
Buy Now

Portugal's Revolution: Ten Years On 
by Hugo Gil Ferreira, Michael W. Marshall
Major socio-political study of the fate of Portugal in the decade since the coup d'état.Buy Now

Vivo: 50 Anos De Carreira

A romantic concert! Paulo de Carvalho will be forever connected to the history of the country. But there's more to the artist than the song E depois do adeus!
Live concert from 2010 at Fundação Oriente when he was celebrating 50 th year of his career. In this record Paulo de Carvalho revisits some of his most iconic themes.
Buy Now

José Afonso - ao vivo no Coliseu

The one and great recorded concert with Zeca Afonso. Lisbon Coliseum.January 1983. The author of Grândola Vila Morena was already very sick when he performed. He died 4 years later. Memorable!
Buy Now

April 16, 2014

Why did Carnation Revolution take place?

Hello friends and Zazzlers!

Here I am with a few more facts about Carnation Revolution. I don't know if you're fond of history. I am! So, why did this revolution take place?

- Civil liberties and political freedoms were inexistent.

- People could not assembly or make a demonstration or create freely. Just an example of someone who likes movies, me! Foreign movies could not be dubbed, only subtitled. The subtitles were more easily adjusted by the censors if they disapproved the original dialogues.

- The "blue pencil" was a symbol of censorship. Censors used a blue pencil to make cuts of any text, image or design that should not be published in the press. Books were seized.

- The people were tired of the oppressive government. Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado or P.I.D.E. (International State Defence Police) was a wide network that spread its tentacles throughout Portugal and its overseas territories.

- The police encouraged citizens to denounce suspicious activities against it. These men and women were called bufos (snitches). Everyone lived in fear. Private, social and professional life was under constant surveillance.

- The prison of Tarrafal was created in the Portuguese colony of Cape Verde. It was the destination for those political prisoners considered dangerous by the regime. Tarrafal was known for its severe methods of torture. More than 30 persons were killed there. It was a real concentration camp.

No one managed to escape this concentration camp. It was called Campo da morte lenta - Camp of the slow death. Tarrafal was a place for the physical elimination of antifascist prisoners, through abuse, punishments, and diseases. When the prisoners arrived at the concentration camp they were housed in canvas tents. For two years they underwent authentic forced labor to built the accommodation for soldiers under the hot sun of the tropics. Soon they fell ill with malaria and other tropical diseases. There was no doctor or nurse, or medicine in the camp. One of the camp's Captain's had been part of a military commission in Nazi German charged with studying the operation of concentration camps. An example of punishments inflicted was "the pan" - a cement building with just three holes made in the heavy iron door for light and air. Inside prisoners suffer from the heat. They survived in small compartments with small quantities of water and bread. Horror.

- The start of the sixties brought with it the Portuguese Colonial War. Salazar had refused to give up Portugals' colonies in Africa - Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique. The dictatorship's 14 years efforts to hold on to the colonies was responsible for countless deaths among the young generation.

- Many young men were emigrating, often illegally, as a means of avoiding conscription. Many escaped because they could not stand the lack of freedom.

- Portugal was living under a strong influence of the Catholic Church. Portugal was the 3 F's country: Fátima, futebol and fado.

More about April 25 on my next postage!

April 15, 2014

What is the Portuguese Carnation Revolution?

Famous poster

Images on this video show how the siege of Carmo Headquarters by the Armed Forces Movement took place. Salgueiro Maia leads the operation. The military are surrounded by thousands of people who supported the revolution. There was eminent danger as no one knew how the government forces would react. Marcelo Caetano and two ministers of his cabinet were inside. The siege began at 12:30 and 16:30 Marcelo Caetano announced that he would surrender. An hour later, General Spinola entered the Carmo Headquarters to negotiate the surrender of the Government.The Carmo Headquarters hoisted the white flag. At 19:30 Marcelo Caetano surrenders. Victory!

In a nutshell:

- A bloodless coup occurred 25th April 1974 which ended the repressive and dictatorial leadership of the country.
- The longest dictatorship in Europe, the Estado Novo, had prevailed for almost 50 years - Old regime or Estado Novo was founded by 1933. It was led by António de Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. Then Marcelo Caetano took over.
- Just past midnight tanks moved into Lisbon and took control of television, radio centres and the airport. Troops armed with machineguns stormed the barracks where the Prime Minister and two of his ministers had taken refuge. Spontaneous demonstrations filled the streets. Thousands of civilians mingled with the soldiers, the newly formed MFA - Movement of Armed Forces - despite orders to stay inside.They shouted O Povo unido, jamais será vencido! This means The united people will never be defeated.
- General António de Spínola received the surrender of the prime minister Marcelo Caetano. Caetano spent the rest of his life in exile in Brazil.
- A famous poster of April 25th- a blond kid with curly hair puts a red carnation in the barrel of a gun hold by a military. The kid was three years old and his name is Diogo Bandeira Freire. Today he lives in the UK and married an English woman. He never voted in Portugal.

Salgueiro Maia was Carnation Revolution's hero

Portugal Freedom Day Watches
Portugal Freedom Day Watches by aportugueselove
Look at Portugal Watches online at Zazzle.com

"Fed up with almost 50 years of oppression,
- Sick of incompetence,
- Fed of cannon fodder manufacture,
- Tired of helping a handful of gluttons eating on the budget account,
- Tired of "fighting" for lost causes,
I decided to say "enough."

(...) After the first radio signal with the song E depois do adeus, we begin to wake up the guys, they were was convinced to stand before another instruction night. (...)

Thus, before the denial of freedom and injustice that we had reached, the zero hope in better days, we had to change the regime, not to become substitutes to the previous regime ourselves, but to return freedom and democracy to the people so to ensure people the choice of the collective destiny.

To unwind, I stated that there were various types of states: the liberals, the social democrats, the socialists, etc.., But no state was worse than the condition that we had become, so it urged to finish with it. "

(Excerpt is taken from the book Capitão de Abril: Histórias da guerra do ultramar e do 25 de Abril )

Carnation Revolution. It started 20 minutes after midnight and before dinner time it was over. The army didn't fire a shot but four civilians were killed by the government forces and maybe 50 were injured. A legendary army captain named Fernando Salgueiro Maia was 29 years old that day and he was the man who led a revolutionary movement of 144 left-wing junior officers. He was the face and the heart of the Carnation Revolution even if the commanding officer was the more radical Otelo Carvalho. Salgueiro Maia was a real patriot and hero. He was a skilled, intelligent, honest and generous man. He cared for the others more than he cared about himself. He died too soon, in 1992, of cancer, but he will never be forgotten by those who give freedom due value. This revolution changed Portugal.

In Lisboa, the walls of Universidade Nova building at Avenida de Berna da Universidade Nova gained new meaning and life. This is the work from a collective of young artists - Miguel Januário, Frederico Draw, Diogo Machado e Gonçalo Ribeiro - that were indicated by Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils to accomplish the job. Well done!

This was a great idea because murals were common in Portugal after the Revolution. Take a look!

And here are some more photos, Posters, Murals, Paintings and Stickers!

Centro de documentação 25 de Abril
Documentation centre of Coimbra Universtity. Portuguese language. 

Portuguese plastic artists on the Revolution 
A collection of works from Portuguese plastic artists inspired by the Carnation Revolution. 

Images, posters, stickers about the Carnation Revolution The photos of the Revolution 
57 black and white photos that document the Carnation Revolution 

Artistic murals of the Revolution 
Conceção Neuparth Collection. This woman photographed more than 500 murals from north to south of Portugal. 

Celeste of the carnations 
Celeste Caeiro explains how she got the carnations and why she gave it to the military. ( Portuguese language.)

April 13, 2014

April 25th - Celebrating freedom in Portugal

Portugal and red carnation bumper sticker
Portugal and red carnation bumper sticker by aportugueselove
Check out Carnation Bumper Stickers online at zazzle

In a few weeks, it will be time to celebrate April's Revolution. It happened 40 years ago already! I decided to write about it because it's an important date.

I was a child when it happened. We were sent home from school and I had a pink uniform! I remember a black and white TV showing images of what was going on in Lisbon. I remember enthusiastic discussions from the adults around it. Then I remember returning to school and watching two big fainted squares on the classroom wall in front of us. That's because the photos of the deposed political leaders have been taken down. I also remember that the name of the street I lived in changed. The old name wasn't considered good anymore. It was now named after the Revolution - Rua 25 de Abril. And I remember that I liked that! I liked the fact that I was living in a street that received a name after Carnation Revolution. On April 25th, 1974, the Armed Forces Movement re-established democracy without shedding the blood of those who opposed changing. The military did not take revenge, they treated prisoners with respect and justice. I've always found this to be an amazing achievement.

I also remember that my mother bought red carnations several times the weeks that followed that exciting day. They were in a flower vase on the living room table. I did not like carnations and the Revolution did not change that.

The story of this symbol is that Tourist Day was being celebrated and there were lots of carnations for distribution in the markets of Lisbon. An important restaurant was holding a party to celebrate one year of existence but because of the Revolution going on the manager decided not to open for the day. The carnations they had for the party were given to employees that took the flowers home. One woman that was passing by was asked a cigar by a military. But she was a non-smoker. So she gave him the carnation and immediately he placed it in the barrel of the gun. Her name is Celeste Caeiro and she's known since that day as Celeste dos Cravos, Celeste of the Carnations. The gesture was then replicated and the carnations become a spontaneous symbol of the revolution.

At the start of the 1980s, after some years of political instability, Portugal evolved towards the full democracy which is part of the country of the present day. I am grateful to the men who had the initiative to change things back in April 1974. I may not agree with the current political situation in the country. I can say this openly without fear of going to jail and being tortured. I value freedom. I can write my opinions without fear of censorship. And as a woman, I value that the law does not discriminate me just because I'm a woman anymore. 

Even though many people are disenchanted with the direction the country has taken recently I think we should always celebrate Dia da Liberdade or Freedom Day and honor the memory of men who dared to fight the system. What is Carnation Revolution? Why did it happen? What were the consequences of it? I'll provide some historical footage and list the songs that made history at the time. I just hope to have the time to write.

April 5, 2014

The wonderful cork and the most famous Portuguese cork oak tree

This photo is a courtesy from Miguel Monteiro. 
Check more photos of this tree at his blog.

Hello Friends and Zazzlers!

I've been wanting to write more but unable to do it. This last week went by very quickly. At last, I find some time to write more about cork. Zazzle has surprised us with some cork products. I liked it a lot. But for now, it's just cork coasters. I hope someone convinces Zazzle to add some more!

Cork is a fascinating raw material. At least for me, it is. The origins of the use of cork are lost in time. This raw material from the cork oak (Quercus Suber L.) was already in use thousands of years before Christ. Today cork is used in endless objects but Ancient Egyptians used cork for the soles of their sandals and Romans also use it for footwear! Portuguese caravels sailed to discover new territories and also made use of cork in its construction. But mostly cork was used to keep wine protected in containers. This started n the 17th century when Dom Pérignon made cork stoppers the perfect way to preserve his champagne.

Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus Suber L.). It's a 100% natural plant tissue. It consists of a honeycomb of microscopic cells filled with an air-like gas and coated mainly with suberin and lignin. Cork is harvested every nine years, without any tree being felled during the process.

Portugal is the biggest producer of cork in the world. So let me introduce you to a famous tree. It's called "the whistler" - o assobiador. He was baptized this way by English tourists when they heard the birds singing from its branches. This particular Portuguese cork oak is 230 years of age and can be found at Chaparral do Mendonça, Águas de Moura, in Palmela. The tree is 20.6 meters in height. The trunk reached a circumference of 5.24 meters at the base and 4.15 meters to 1.30 meters tall. The canopy has a diameter of about 29 meters and, according to the people of the village, is good luck to the newlyweds to marry under his shadow which is why this cork oak is also known as "matchmaker tree." In 1991 the tree produced a whopping 1,200 pounds of cork that originated 100,000 cork stoppers!

It takes each cork oak 25 years before it can be stripped for the first time. Only from the third stripping at 43 years of age that the cork has a high standard of quality required for producing cork stoppers. This kind of cork is known as "amadia". The first two harvests, one is called virgin cork, the second is called "secundeira" cork are used for flooring and construction, fashion and design products. The cork is harvested between May and August. Over the course of its lifetime of 200 years, oak corks may be stripped 17 times.

Cork is very versatile due to its characteristics. This raw material is light, elastic and impermeable. Cork has low conductivity to heat, noise and vibration. It burns without a flame and does not emit toxic gases during combustion. Cork is extremely resistant to abrasion, very resistant. It's hypoallergenic because does not absorb dust.

This week a cradle made of cork was on the news. It was designed by two Portuguese - Sofia Chinita and Karen Pereira - for Green Furniture Sweeden Award. The cork cradle is one of the finalists' projects.

"Sleep Tight cradle is a simply poetic design in an area seldom explored by designers. Sleep Tight cradle is made of all natural pressed cork. Using cork in new applications is a way of preserving the cork woods and handcraft as the wine industry is turning to plastic and aluminum." ( From GFS site)

But this is just one product among many surprising products made possible from cork.