A true Portuguese culture enthusiast will enjoy these 10 ways to pass the time while we wait out the coronavirus. #AloneTogether
The coronavirus (COVID-19) may be keeping you inside, but there's no need to spend that time bored and in a panic. Here are 9 "Portuguese" things to do to help make the most of self isolation and social distancing.
1. 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' YouTube repertoire, even if you're watching all by yourself while in self isolation.
2. Master a new Portuguese recipe.
You can practice your Easter bake of massa sovada (Portuguese sweet bread) find a novel way to prepare eggs with leftovers, and even attempt everyone's favorite pastry, the pastel de nata, from scratch. Plus, once you're done, you'll have something delicious to eat.
P.S. This is the perfect time to try your hand at making tremoços -- all you need is dried lupini beans, water, baking soda, and salt, plus up to a week to let them soak.
3. Dive into a Portuguese-inspired novel.
What better time than now to finally read that untouched book collecting dust on your shelf or to continue powering through your current reading list. If you're looking for something new to read, we recommend the following Portuguese-inspired novels. You can purchase them on Amazon or download the audiobook.
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. Daydream as you plan your next trip to Portugal.
You might not be able to explore much further beyond your home right now. But you can virtually explore anywhere in the world you'd like to go. Our travel guides feature less common travel destinations in Portugal with insider tips on how to have the ultimate vacation from a local's perspective. As we're still building up our travel section, we also highly recommend trekking through National Geographic's guides to Portugal.
6. Discover a new podcast and celebrate Portuguese culture.
Stories are powerful. They connect people even when they're an ocean away from each other. Lucky for us, there's thousands of podcasts dedicated to sharing these stories. At a time like this, it may be comforting to hear stories about the people and culture you love.
Portugueses no Mundo (Portuguese Around the World) is a weekly podcast (in Portuguese) that shares stories about the lives of Portuguese people living all over the world. The latest episodes even discuss how people are dealing with the coronavirus in Italy, Iran, and China.
Cala a Boca (Shut Your Mouth) takes a deep dive into the traditions of Portuguese people. Listening to this English language podcast will make you feel like you're having a fun conversation with your friends, arguing over a favorite soccer team and figuring out what a Portuguese water dog has to do with Portugal.
Maria Lawton (the Azorean Greenbean) and Angela Simões, a community leader in California are the duo behind this podcast. They discuss Portuguese food, culture, and what it means to be Portuguese no matter where you live. This podcast is no longer current, but worth going back to listen to old episodes.
Hosted by Publico, a Portuguese language magazine, this podcast tells real stories of Portugal, its people, and events happening around the country.
This English language podcast tells you everything you would ever want to know about the Azores and its nine islands.
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.
7. Cheer up with 'Happy Fado.'
"Happy fado" is what we like to call fado music that is upbeat, makes you smile, and even jolts you out of your seat ready to bust out some of those traditional Portuguese dance moves you secretly know. Listen to Fado for a Sunny Day, a specially curated playlist of our favorite happy fado songs to instantly brighten your mood.
8. Puzzle! Better yet, do a puzzle of Portugal!
For many, there's nothing more frustrating than putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle. Personally, we find the process relaxing as long as you don't rush it. With a puzzle, you need to be patient and take your time. Plus, finishing a puzzle is especially rewarding when the end masterpiece reveals scenic Lisbon and its famous yellow trams.
9. 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 movies we found that feature Portuguese places and characters. They're all available to rent and one or two are included with an Amazon Prime subscription.
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 tells the tale of João, an illegitimate child of an ill-fated romance between two aristocrats, who goes on a quest to discover the truth of his parentage. It's a Portuguese language movie with English subtitles.
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.
10. Play Quarantine Bingo...luso style!
Challenge your Portuguese friends to a friendly game of bingo by checking off each activity you've done since the quarantine started.
BONUS: Share your luso story with the liveLUSO community.
#MyLusoStory is an open and honest series about the Portuguese experience in America. And we're looking for your stories! What role has Portuguese culture played in your life, whether you're originally from Portugal, were raised with the Portuguese culture, married someone Portuguese, etc.? Your story can be funny. Or heartfelt. Or both. Most importantly, it should be genuine. Be a voice in this series by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph or two about your luso story, along with a photo. We can't wait to hear from you!
SPECIAL NOTE ON PORTUGUESE BUSINESSES: We would love to do a follow up post about how Portuguese businesses can be supported during this time as so many are struggling with the economic impact that COVID-19 (coronavirus) has had. If you own a business, please email us at email@example.com and let us know how you can be supported. Or, if you have information about a business, please email us as well. Thank you!
*Amazon links included in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, liveLUSO may receive a small commission. As a small online business, we thank you for your support!