Posted in Portuguese

A Banda das Três Ordens

Thanks to ThisCatIsConfused and Dani Morgenstern for corrections

Provavelmente já alguma vez viste alguma vez uma fotografia do presidente da República portuguesa, Marcelo Rebelo de* Sousa ou um dos seus antecessores, vestido de modo formal durante uma cerimónia qualquer. Há um item muito curioso de roupa enfiado entre a camisola e o casaco: uma banda constituída por três faixas: uma roxa, uma vermelha e uma verde.

Presidente Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa e a Bandas das Três Ordens
Presidente Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Porque é que o presidente se veste assim? Tem a ver com o Natal**? O Senhor Rebelo de Sousa é um pres(id)ente que alguém vai desembrulhar? Espero que não. A banda é uma condecoração chamada A Banda das Três Ordens. Cada faixa representa uma das três antigas ordens monástico-militares: a de Cristo, de Avis e de Sant’Iago da Espada. As três ordens têm as suas raízes na idade média e o Grão-Mestrado de todas foi concedida à coroa portuguesa pelo*** Papa Júlio III. Após a implantação da República, no início do século XX, esta honra passou para a presidência após uma um intervalo de 8 anos (1910-18). Acho isso ligeiramente estranho: o povo rejeitou a monarquia mas reteve os sinais de uma estrutura ainda mais antiga e ainda mais obscurantista, mas talvez faça sentido: demonstra a continuidade do estado português e a sua autoridade, apesar do afastamento da monarquia…?

A banda foi concedida a vários outros chefes de estado estrangeiro ao longo dos anos, incluindo Francisco Franco da Espanha, a Rainha Isabel II, Hailé Selassié da Etiópia, é o Rei Leopoldo III da Bélgica mas a partir de 1962, a banda passou a ser exclusiva do chefe de estado português.

*=I wrote this with a capital D but that’s a no-no.

**=natal with a lower case n is also a no-no. Or a No-No.

***=pelo, not por. Not “By Pope Francis”, but “By the Pope Francis”

Posted in English


I’ve been watching the reaction to this American child who ended up killing two people due to living in a place with terrible gun laws and worse ideas. Needless to say, most Brazilians think he’s a hero. Or most vocal twitter Brazilians think so anyway. The Portuguese tend to line up closer to the brits, utterly baffled and bewildered by the whole business and fairly sure something has gone wrong somewhere.

What’s interesting to me, from the political point of view, is how the word Liberal is used in Portugal. Of course, the word has a slightly different valence from country to country. Over here, liberals are well-meaning but ineffective. In the US the term is used as a derogatory label for anyone on the spectrum between Hillary Clinton and Lenin. But check out this tweet from Diogo Faro, the Owen Jones of Portuguese Twitter.

And that’s one of hundreds and hundreds I could have picked. Liberals and fascists seem often to be equated as if they were basically the same thing. I’m not sure exactly where this comes from: whether the Iniciativa Liberal are genuinely very right wing, or if its just a phenomenon of the parties being so fragmented that the IL end up in alliances with parties like Chega in the same way as the centre left has to shack up with the communists. Or maybe Portuguese political twitter is a minority that’s so far to the left that the remaining 99% of the political spectrum just seems like fascism from where they’re standing. I dunno.

Anyway, sorry for the politics. Ill get back to other things next.

Posted in English

Fight For Your Right to Partidos

I finished making my notebook about politics in portugal. It’s super-basic, just covering what the main parties there are, who’s in them, who the cabinet is, and a few bits and pieces like that, mostly to help me to understand the news broadcasts I’m listening to and hopefully not feel quite as lost. I exported it to a PDF which I’ll upload here in case anyone else is interested.

Obviously, bear in mind that it’s made in MS Onenote which doesn’t have portuguese spellcheck so it mighty have some spelling mistakes. The facts might not be spot on either but I don’t think I’m far out. See what you think.

A screenshot from the politics guide, showing some of the main parties and the president
A screenshot from the Politics PDF
Posted in English

It’s Satire Innit

There’s a politician in Portugal called André Ventura who’s the leader of a “party” called CHEGA. The fact that CHEGA sounds a lot like MAGA is probably not a coincidence since he’s a populist: someone who builds a following by telling one section of society that they are the real, the deserving people, that everyone poorer than them is a dirty sponger, everyone richer than them is corrupt and anyone who has read a book is an elitist. Oh and he talks a lot of shit on Twitter too, like old whatsisname.

I’ve come across a few twitter accounts sending him up, like this one above. It appeals to me because I like puns. André Ventura = Aldrabé Ventrulha.

I think the pun in the first name is based on Aldrabão which is a sort of crooked person or con artist

1. [Informal]  Que ou quem diz ou faz coisas com intuito de enganar. = BURLÃO, IMPOSTOR, INTRUJÃO, TRAPACEIRO

2. [Informal] Que ou quem fala de modo confuso.

3. [Informal] Que ou quem não é limpo ou perfeito no que faz.

"Aldrabão", in Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa [em linha], 2008-2021, [consultado em 22-09-2021].

And in the second, it seems to be Entulha – 3rd person singular of Entulhar, meaning basically throw it in the junk pile or dispose of it in some way. It seems mostly to be used for either olive pits or builder’s rubble. Why do those two things go together? I’ve no idea.

en·tu·lhar - Conjugar
(en- + tulha + -ar)
verbo transitivo
1. Meter ou dispor em tulha.

2. Encher de entulho.

"entulha", in Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa [em linha], 2008-2021, [consultado em 22-09-2021].

Anyway, I think the general idea seems to be that he’s a crook who needs to be on the scrapheap.

I’m not sure how seriously to take Ventura. He somehow got eleven percent in January’s presidential elections and came third, so he can’t be written off entirely. But that still leaves forty percent of a country to convince and I think they’d take some convincing. Pictures I’ve seen from the campaign trail in the local council elections show some pretty underwhelming gatherings, not Trump style rallies. He doesn’t seem well-enough organised to be a serious threat. More of an Iberian Tommy Robinson than a new Salazar – but maybe that’s just my perception from my distance. He does seem to be a racist douchebag, and he’s been fined for saying some things that were out of line. I’ve also heard that he did time, maybe for fraud, but I can’t find a source for that so maybe it’s just a rumour.

There have even been calls to ban CHEGA itself as a racist organisation. As a general rule of thumb, I’m not in favour of banning organisations unless they are actively advocating or engaging in violence, not just talking shit. It only makes them look like martyrs and the authorities look like repressive, censorious dictators. Why give them that martyr status? Even the “oh isn’t he awful” hand-wringing stance with which the BBC treated Nigel Farage – another clueless, sloppy populist with racist leanings – fanned the flame of his appeal to the point at which he was able to knock us out of the EU. So it’s best not to build these idiots up too much, even by showing disapproval. Better to give them the same arms-length treatment as other fringe parties like the Greens and Plaid Cymru and let them make their own case under their own steam until they burn themselves out. It’s too late for us with Farage now. I hope Portugal don’t make the same mistake with Ventura.

Anyway, all of the above is just my uninformed wittering. I’ll be finding out more over the next week or two, but in the meantime if anyone wants to correct any misconceptions in any of it, drop me a note in the comments 👇

Posted in English


Quite interested to see this word “esquerdoide” or “esquerdoido” pop up a few times on Portuguese language twitter on both sides of the Atlantic. It seems to be the equivalent of the word “leftard” used by obnoxious maga types. It’s used in more-or-less the same way: identify some stupid thing said or done by one person or a small group of people on the other side. If it’s apocryphal or even if you just made it up, it doesn’t matter much. Then generalise that to characterise everyone in the other party as sharing the same opinion and being a bunch of leftards /esquerdoidos who aren’t smart like what we is. Sad.

The guy in the original tweet here is some Bolsonaro fartcatcher, so in American terms, this is like – I dunno – Stephen Miller, or Zac Goldsmith in the UK, mouthing off and one of their supporters jumping in and going “Yes, yes, they are all crazy aren’t they! Shit in my mouth please” or whatever people say when they wholeheartedly support the government in the face of all the evidence and are willing to let them get away with absolutely anything.

Side-note. “Coringa vírus” is presumably a reference to the movie Joker which is called Coringa in Brazil.

Posted in Portuguese

O Preço da Tolice

Já me queixei muitas vezes da nossa decisão de sairmos da UE. Ganhei mais um motivo de raiva, porque comprei um pacote de aulas. Vendem-se em dólares, mas a taxa de câmbio em vigor está tão ridícula que me custou mais do que anteriormente. Muito obrigado apoiantes do Brexit.

Posted in Portuguese

Feminismo Negro em Portugal

Um gajo que sigo no Twitter mencionou uma historia do Jornal Público (“Feminismo negro em Portugal: falta contar-nos”) sobre o desenvolvimento de feminismo negro em Portugal. Como muitos países europeus, Portugal tem uma história de colonialismo e escravatura, e isso trouxe muitos novos habitantes que, mais tarde, tornaram-se cidadãos e o artigo descreve as mudanças da população e destaca o papel de mulheres negras.

A história começa no século XVI, muito antes da palavra “feminismo” ser usada, mas era possível encontrar negras a participar politicamente na sociedade portuguesa. No inicio do século XVIII foi apresentado por mulheres uma petição de reclamação contra as perseguições quotidianas da comunidade negra.

Mais tarde, no fim do século XIX, tendo a escravatura sido já abolida, vê-se uma nova oportunidade de participação. Claro que isso não continuou durante o novo estado, enquanto todas as forcas liberais foram subjugadas pelo governo Salazarista.


A mulher mais interessante do meu ponto de vista, foi a Virgínia Quaresma, que nasceu em 1882, e viveu uma vida cheia de acção politica até a sua morte com 90 anos. Ela foi uma das primeiras mulheres a licenciar no Curso Superior de Letras na Escola Normal de Lisboa. Tornou-se jornalista (a primeira no país) e redactora duma revista feminista. Foi um membro activo de várias ligas feministas, pacifistas e republicanas durante os anos antes da primeira guerra mundial, e viveu abertamente como lésbica apesar do clima moral daquela época. Foi seleccionada pelo serviço diplomático, e viajou para o Brasil muitas vezes com a namorada dela onde arranjou eventos culturais para cultivar ligações entre os dois países.

Quero agradecer Alisson pela ajuda.

By the way, can we talk about that outfit VQ is wearing? Dapper AF!