THE LIVING HERITAGE
Today, in the XXI century, there are communities, scattered over the world that share being Portuguese, a characteristic way of life originated in Portugal and spread globally. It is an attitude of tolerance, of being open to difference, of curiosity for traditions and culture, of searching for common details and building bridges. It is an obsession for diversity as if they wished to hold the whole world in their arms and call it theirs, not in a possessive attitude but rather in a sharing, belonging stance, a universality so dear to the religious concept of Catholicism, i.e. of a world where we all have a place as we all contribute with our own identities to the global diversity, heritage of a single and unique humanity.
These communities, sometimes originated by recent migratory flows from Portugal, its African or Asian ex-colonies or even from Brazil; other times created in days of yore by navigators, traders, adventurers or soldiers who, in the XV and XVI century, took as their concubines or wives native women from places and peoples they found and met, dwelling locally and leaving a large offspring, a culture, a religion, a language, a way of life, music, dance, cuisine and, above everything else, pride in what they were and the way they related to everybody else; account today for a vast network spanning the globe, a network of people who consider and feel themselves as Portuguese, even though, in many cases, contact with Portugal was lost for centuries.
Modern electronics has the power to again connect those communities, to allow them to meet, to exchange, to see and hear, to contact, share their experiences and emotions, even sharing how they see themselves as Portuguese, from Portugal or anywhere else in the world and becoming aware of the immense family they belong to, which they may enjoy and help stay closer and more tightly knit together.
This Living Portugality webpage is meant to become a descriptive inventory of those communities, a challenge to their members to learn about each other and to live Portugality, transmitting it to their children and grandchildren as a true heritage, a centuries’ old heirloom falling upon our shoulders to nurture it, promote and develop it for general benefit of those living it today and of those who will become it in the future.