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Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to roam around and learn a bit more about Portuguese History. To find your interests, please, have a look at the right side of the page, where you can find all the posts arrenged into labels, such as "Society", "Politics", etc. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

REVULSION, RANCOR AND REVENGE



To continue the theme of this month, where only the best qualities of humanity are presented (the previous post was "Random Racist Rantings"), here's another excerpt of a time period writer about the Portuguese. This time it isn't fantastic and opinionated, but truthful, unfortunately.
In the book "Sketches of Portuguese Life, manners, costume, and character" written in 1823, A.P.D.G. writes some scenes that happened at Cais de Sodré (the Quay of Sodré) and surroundings in regard to the local people of Lisbon and their attempts of revenge against the French soldiers who capitulated after the 1st French Invasions and the Cintra Convention, gathered at there. Other examples are also given.
I had written before about similar attitudes and how the feelings towards the French evolved over the years of  French occupation.
I wouldn't say it is a normal thing to happen, but war and it's atrocities bring out the worst in people, even if the occupation was considered "peaceful" to avoid the bloodshed like in other countries were napoleon's troops passed; even if in churches, during mass, priests were told to sermon about Napoleon being our savior and friend.  It wasn't easy to see the troops take everything they wanted: property and women; shooting and hanging those who opposed; forcing merchants to financially support the war, when our King wasn't even here. If you forcibly muffle the people's voice, they will show their feeling in other ways such as cruelty. And that has been one of the main adjectives to describe the Portuguese's attitude towards the French until 1812. Cruelty and (naïf) fierceness. Living on this side of the Pyrenees has developed the natives in other ways than remaining Europe and even the Romans complained about it!

A.P.D.G.; Sketches of Portuguese Life, manners, costume, and character; 1823; pp 52 - 55; Acerca do Cais de Sodré/About the Quay of Sodré


And here's the link to the book mentioned above:


You can read more posts on the subject, also about the Convention and other related curiosities:








Well, now that I have exposed only the best of mankind during this month of reflection about peace in the world, I wish you all a Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

RANDOM RACIST RANTING



... and no, this isn't about Donald Trump ...

In my recent research for my book I have encountered several late 18th to early 19th century descriptions of the Portuguese, some not that nice, being those personal opinions of the writer. But one has marked me profoundly for the level of racist content in something that is no longer a personal opinion, but more an offense to several continents, countries, religions and ethnicities, by making a negative and highly judgmental comparison. Might those be: The Jews, the Moors, the sub-Saharans, the French, Brazil, Asia and other people of the former Portuguese colonies.
For starters, the critiques are about the supremacy of white skin and original language, about the result of people of different people of origins coming together only producing "mongrels" and about (white) surnames that shouldn't be given randomly.
All of this in a detailed description of the Portuguese male!
Well, I have to agree with certain aspects like greed, jealousy, submissive behavior and vanity, but is it really necessary to offend so many people just to make a point?
If one thing this country of mine is certain of is that the mixing of "breeds" is what makes us great. If it weren't for the Moors, we would have never become the 1st Modern Europe Nation to sail beyond North Africa and conquered other oceans. If it weren't for the innate curiosity that other cultures of Europe have brought to this end of the Iberian Peninsula, there wouldn't be people in India right now whose last name is Pinto, or even the Brazilian Carnival. And let us not even begin talking about curry and samosas.
A big shout out to all of you beautiful people! Holler!
Well, at least we didn't stuck to our clubs drinking gin and complaining about the heat....
As a reminder, please, when you read "ombre blanco" it should really say "homem branco". Two different things.
And if for this author "pure" skin, "pure" names and "pure" language are so important (as if those really exist!), what must he think of Americans, Australians, Kiwis and even that whole South Africa issue? Or does that not count, the doings of his own people? Let us not forget Ireland and Scotland...
This random racist ranting is so bad that to blush is the minimum of response to the writing and I have chosen to laugh at it, for it being absolutely idiotic, since it is well known that once a person regards itself as better as the rest, he or she puts themselves automatically below everyone else. This type of reasoning has never been fashionable, so the excuse of it being part of a long forgotten time does not apply.
So in regard to all this, Mr. Crocker your high horse makes your ass look big!
Anyway, here's the link to the entire publication. And for a good chuckle, a video for a samosa recipe.




«The Portuguese males are undoubtedly the worst-looking race in Europe; well may they consider the appellation of ombre blanco, "white man" as an honourable distinction. They proceed from a mixture of Jews, Moors, Negroes and French and seem from their appearance and qualities, to have reserved to themselves the worst parts of each of these people. Like the Jews they are mean, tricking and avaricious: from the Moors, they are jealous, cruel and revengeful; as the people of colour, they are servile, indocile and deceitful; and they resemble the French in vanity, grimace, and gafonade.
In the New World they have practiced the same mixing system; and a mongrel race, retaining the Portuguese name, and a dialect of the language, have overspread the land, and are the vagabonds and outcast of Asia.» (Crocker, Richard; Travels through several provinces of Spain and Portugal; 1799; pp 296-98)