Far from Portugal, in the central valley of California, a Portuguese-American community carries on some of the traditions left behind in Portugal. Most of the US Portuguese are from the Açores but many are from the continent and many from Brazil (cousins nevertheless).
I confess I haven’t been to the central valley events but I have been to some in the LA area and I do recall the things that impressed me during the five years I lived in Cascais: bacalhau à braz, sardinhas grelhadas na praia, agua pé, frango assado/piri-piri (Angola), and bagaceira.
I take a less militant stand on bullfighting than many. Times change and 2000 years ago I might have attended the Roman circuses put on by Nero to entertain the masses. I know it was a different culture then. Christians would turn themselves in to be martyred and parents brought their children. Today boxing, football, and war are popular sports, sei lá.
Putting the last 2000 years behind us I think bullfighting is a grand exercise in pageantry and spectacle. Portuguese bullfighting differs from the Spanish variety since the bull gets to fight again (maybe). In that regard it’s more like horse racing, the losers may be slaughtered anyway.
What’s more, in the Portuguese form the fight is more equal. Young men (with excess testosterone) challenge the bull to end their own posterity by inviting the bull to hit them in the midsection. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMJ1eTh7hG0
I’ve seen worse in American football.
Portugal today is a modern country and a part of the EU with an agenda for the 21st century. Regardless of the differences caused by separation, it’s good to see how the Portuguese communities in America have managed to continue the traditions of the old country over time and geography despite the pressure to assimilate.
Casa Port Amal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHbpnEZ1Bvc&feature=related