Portuguese culture enthusiasts are guaranteed to enjoy these 10 activities that indulge your love of Portuguese culture — all from the comforts of home.
We were originally inspired to create this post during the initial coronavirus quarantine as a way to connect with liveLUSO fans and help all Portuguese culture enthusiasts find joy while passing an extraordinary amount of time at home. Although those times of isolation are behind us and we are free to roam into stores and restaurants, share common spaces with our loved ones, and even delight in air travel, sometimes you just want to indulge your interests from the comforts of home.
Enjoy these 10 ways to enjoy Portuguese culture from the coziness of your bed, your couch, or that every so comfy easy chair you have sitting in the corner.
1. Master a new Portuguese recipe
Start simple by mastering Portugal's iconic caldo verde soup, experiment with a novel way to prepare eggs using leftovers, and then work your way up to massa sovada (Portuguese sweet bread...you know, the one that inspired Hawaiian sweet bread) — or attempt everyone's favorite pastry, the pastel de nata, from scratch.
2. Laugh with The Portuguese Kids
Laughter is good for the soul — and your abs for that matter. And you'll be laughing for hours watching The Portuguese Kids' repertoire on YouTube. If you haven't heard of The Portuguese Kids, they were the first to satirize the Portuguese-American experience!
3. Dive into a Portuguese-inspired novel
Written by Pulitzer-prize winner Diana Marcum, The Tenth Island is a travel memoir of the Azores archipelago. Marcum was first introduced to the islands by the Portuguese-American community she met when reporting on the California drought's affects on people in the state's Central Valley, where small Portuguese-American communities reside.
"Ripped apart by Portugal's financial crisis, Daniel's family struggles to adjust to circumstances beyond his control." Well isn't that a sentiment we can all relate to right now? This novel written by Portuguese author, David Machado, follows a family and its patriarch as they navigate life's obstacles.
This classic is to Portugal what The Odyssey is to Greece. An epic poem that follows the famous voyage of Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, as he discovers the sea route to India, it's based on some of Luiz Vaz de Camões' (author of The Lusiads) own experiences in Asia and Africa during the 1500s.
4. Brush up on your Portuguese language skills
Practice Portuguese is an amazing online resource for learning European Portuguese. They offer free content including videos and audio recordings. You can also get premium access with a reasonably priced monthly subscription. From our experience, these learning tools are best for intermediate to advanced learners. A true beginner may need additional resources.
Note: We don't have an affiliation with this company but we're happy to promote that they're one of the best Portuguese language resources we've found.
5. Get immersed in a podcast with Portuguese personalities
PORTUGAL - THE SIMPLE LIFE - in English
The Simple Life explores Portuguese culture from the lens of a foreigner now living in Portugal. Its South African host, Dylan, invites special guests (often from Portugal) to give a glimpse into the Mediterranean lifestyle that has captivated the world.
THE PORTUGAL CORNER - in English
Soccer fanatics, this one's for you! Comprised of a four-man group of Portuguese Canadians, The Portugal Corner gives a comedic take on the world of fútbol covering the English Premier League, Liga NOS, Serie A, Champions League, Europa league and regular updates on Portugal's biggest soccer stars.
PORTUGUESES NO MUNDO - in Portuguese
Portugueses no Mundo (Portuguese People in the World) is a weekly podcast that shares stories about the lives of Portuguese people who have expatriated all over the world. Each podcast highlights one person and their experience living in a foreign city.
CALA A BOCA - in English
Cala a Boca (Shut Your Mouth) takes a deep dive into Portuguese and Portuguese-American traditions — from arguing over a soccer team's legacy to figuring out what a Portuguese water dog has to do with Portugal.
PRACTICE PORTUGUESE - in English and Portuguese
We've already mentioned Practice Portuguese above, one of our favorite language learning resources. This is one of their podcasts which uses dialogues in Portuguese to help language learners improve their comprehension. Great for intermediate to advanced learners.
HISTORY OF PORTUGAL - in English
If you're a history buff, you'll enjoy Rob Mendes trace Portugal's historical roots to the times of European empires and tribes. Episode 1 starts all the way back in 800 BC!
6. Brighten your day with 'Happy Fado'
"Happy fado" is what we like to call Portuguese fado music that is upbeat, makes you smile, and even coerces your feet to get up and dance. Listen to this specially curated Spotify playlist of our favorite happy fado songs, perfect for an afternoon of tidying your house or prepping dinner.
7. Puzzle your way to Portugal
For many, there's nothing more frustrating than patiently piecing together a puzzle. Personally, we find the whole experience to be relaxing. And when your puzzle reveals scenic Lisbon and its famous yellow trams, it's especially rewarding.
8. Watch a movie featuring Portuguese places and characters
There's nothing like getting comfy on the couch with a soothing cup of tea — or an indulgent scoop, make that 2 scoops, of ice cream — and getting settled in to watch a movie. Here are a few we found that feature Portuguese places and characters. They're all available to rent on Amazon and a couple are free for Amazon Prime subscribers.
A popular movie from the late 80s featuring Julia Roberts in one of her first roles. Three teenage girls come of age while working at a pizza parlor in the predominantly Portuguese-American town of Mystic, Connecticut.
This one is a personal fave because we first saw it on a bus ride traveling to a small California town with a Portuguese-American philharmonic band to play in a festa. It's a romantic comedy about a Portuguese widow whose fisherman husband dies at sea. Her teenage daughter then convinces her to date a new man in town. It also stars a young Emmy Rossum.
*If you're a Friends fan, the lead actress, Sofia Milos, plays Chandler's girlfriend in season 1.
Swiss professor, Raimund Gregorius, saves a woman's life and then finds himself abandoning his lectures and buttoned-down life to embark on a thrilling adventure to find her, learning secrets about the resistance against Salazar's dictatorship along the way. It stars Mélanie Laurent, who you may recognize as Shoshanna from Inglourious Basterds.
Love Actually is that feel good movie worth watching over and over again. In case you're one of very few people who hasn't seen it, it follows the lives of eight couples through interrelated tales as they deal with their love lives during the Christmas season in London, England. Naturally, our favorite story line is the one between an Englishman and a Portuguese housekeeper who meet at a French vacation home.
This period drama, set during the Napoleanic Wars, tells the tale of João, an illegitimate child of an ill-fated romance between two Portuguese aristocrats. He goes on a quest across Europe to discover the truth of his parentage, revealing hidden identities along the way. It's a Portuguese language movie with English subtitles and features a run time of over 4.5 hours! It originally aired as a six-part miniseries.
In this romantic comedy, a struggling writer meets a superstitious Portuguese beauty who changes his life and luck. It stars the famous Portuguese actor, Joaquim de Almeida, and Portuguese-Canadian pop star, Nelly Furtado.
The perfect accompaniment to movie night is a warm, cozy blanket. And this azulejo-patterned fleece blanket is our favorite! You can buy it here.
9. Learn Portuguese knitting
Believe it or not, Portuguese knitting is not exclusive to Portugal and is an actual term for a knitting style. Even so, knitting (and crochet) is one of Portugal's most famous artisan crafts. If you didn't get a chance to get knitting lessons from your vovó, there are lots of resources out there to help you learn. And in this video, Filipa Carneiro actually begins her tutorial from a beautiful viewpoint in Lisbon.
10. Share your luso story with our liveLUSO community
My luso stories are told firsthand by our liveLUSO community to share how Portuguese culture has impacted their lives. The more we hear each other's stories, the better we can understand each other, laugh together, connect, and learn from our experiences.
Tell us what role Portuguese culture has played in your life or your family's life. A story can be submitted as a written paragraph a short video. You don't need to be Portuguese to submit a story!
Do you have a zest for Portuguese culture? An unbridled joy for the charisma of Portugal's people and traditions? Become a Patron of Portuguese Culture and join those who share your passion to support liveLUSO, the first online Portuguese community.
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