Cultures Dialogue

The Portuguese language in dialogue with other cultures; World Heritage Site

Language is Culture (2017) by Observatory of the Portuguese LanguageObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Portuguese Language Universe:
refer to on the map
places where they register
marks of the presence of the Portuguese Language.

Larantuca, or Larantuka, is a small town on the eastern end of the island of Flores in Indonesia. It is a district and capital of the Regency of Oriental Flowers in the province of Sonda Oriental. Like much of the region, Larantuca has a strong Portuguese colonial influence. This overwhelmingly Catholic area (about 85%)

Indonesia: "Miracle" of Portuguese evangelization in Flores (2014) by Andreia Nogueira/LUSAObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Prayer Book,
where Portuguese is written in the form most convenient for Indonesians.

Write as the prayers say, they know it by heart.

Indonesians of different ages pray and sing in Portuguese (2015) by Andreia Nogueira/LUSAObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Mama Muji is a group of 125 married women who pray in Portuguese.
Every Saturday about 80 members of the group and other people travel to the
“Gereja Tuan Ma” or Chapel of the Lady Mother
to pray the rosary in the language of Camões.

The community of Tugu (Indonesia) (1641) by Observatory of the Portuguese LanguageObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Tugu: the village in Indonesia where the Portuguese soul did not die.
The village of Tugu is just a few kilometers from ancient Batavia, now Jakarta, Indonesia, more precisely on the island of Java.

In Tugu there are descendants of black Portuguese (2016) by Moh. Ali ZaenalObservatory of the Portuguese Language

When Christmas arrives, Kampung Tugu in North Jakarta, which is inhabited by Portuguese-Indian descent, has a series of traditions that have survived for hundreds of years, one of which is Mandi-Mandi, a celebration of smearing each other's faces with powder. Whoever gets the most dust spots is the most loved.

In Tugu a community is established that considers itself Portuguese and whose origin in Indonesia dates back to the 17th century.

The Tugu community is famous in Indonesia for its three Kerontchong music groups. «The themes they perform (Gatu du matu, knockers, etc.), accompanied by stringed instruments, including the cavaquinho (here called" ikilela "), are reminiscent of music from Goa, mornas from Cape Verde or music from the Azores.»

Tugu Keroncong Music (2016) by Moh. Ali ZaenalObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Apart from the Mandi-Mandi tradition, Kampung Tugu also has a very strong cultural contribution, namely the keroncong music that was brought by people of Portuguese descent to the archipelago.

In Tugu Village, this music is known as Keroncong Tugu and to this day it still survives as a form of identity, not only as Mardijkers, but as Betawi culture which must be preserved.

“On the 1st of January of each new year, all tugu people hold an event called Rabo-Rabo, which consists of greeting the new year, walking from house to house, playing a musical instrument while singing.

The group sings “Cafrinho: Bate - Bate Porta Pidi agu Kere drinks verlas Kere intra yo mayo intra Kere knows”, which means “Bate - Bate porta, give me a drink and permission to enter and let's shake hands”.

Custard tarts in Indonesia (2014) by Andreia Nogueira/LUSAObservatory of the Portuguese Language

"Pastéis de nata" in a pastry shop in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 22, 2014.

It is difficult to discover Jakarta residents who do not know the “Portuguese Egg Tart” and Loddy Lowas, who since 2007 has opened eight Golden Egg Tart Bakeries in Jakarta and plans to expand to other locations in the country, is one of those responsible for this.

Heritage of Portuguese Influence (2020) by Heritage of Portuguese Influence PortalObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Map where places of Portuguese Heritage exist: architecture and urbanism.

Go to

Map of Heritage of Portuguese Influence — HPIP (2012) by Calouste Gulbenkian FoundationObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Geographic Information System that allows searching by browsing a map or satellite image from GoogleMaps. There we find for each listed item a pin with the HPIP logo, but also, for some of the larger urban centers, an overlapping design that highlights the essentials of the primitive urban layout, the defensive structures and / or the positioning of the registered buildings.

Tempura's grandfather is the "peixinho-da-horta" (2018) by PelicanObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Tempura (in Japanese 天 ぷ ら or 天 麩 羅, tenpura) is a classic dish of Portuguese cuisine and exported to Japan that popularized it.

Some typically Japanese delicacies are “descendants” of Portuguese dishes. The “grandfather” of tempura is neither more nor less than our "peixinho da horta" (fish from the the vegetable garden), and who has not delighted with "Castella", the Japanese sponge cake?

Kaleta Carnival and sharp arts festival in Ouidah (2017) by Heikki KastemaaObservatory of the Portuguese Language

Kaleta Festival in Ajudá, Benin.

In the festival program, the kaleta dance with masks and costumes in a traditional music setting.

The "Kaletas", masked in Portuguese, are agudás, ex-slaves in Brazil who, when released, returned to Benin.

The word agudá derives from “ajuda”, Portuguese name for the city of Ouidah (Ajudá).

The biggest mosque in Porto-Novo, Benin. (2009) by BabylasObservatory of the Portuguese Language


Great Baroque Mosque of Porto Novo built by Brazilian returnees, Agudás.

The agudás, as they are known - the word derives from “help”, the Portuguese name for the city of Uidá - are part of families descended from slaves and Bahian traders established there at the height of human trafficking between the two continents.

They have surnames such as Souza, Silva, Medeiros, Almeida, Aguiar, Campos, among others, dance the “burrinha”, an archaic version of bumba meu boi, and gather at parties around a bean or kousidou.

Not infrequently, the older agudás greet each other with a simple “Good morning, how did it go?”, And the answer does not take long: “Well, thanks”. It is estimated that approximately 10% of Benin's 9, 2 million inhabitants are connected to ex-slaves or Brazilian merchants, who have introduced new eating and religious habits there.

“Fado invites other people to speak Portuguese” (2015) by LUSA - EPA/J.J.GuillenObservatory of the Portuguese Language

“Fado invites other people to speak Portuguese”
Fado is a “cultural product that best defends our language”.

“Always sung in Portuguese, it invites, in a very subtle way, other peoples to have contact with us and to learn our language”, says Portuguese fado singer Katia Guerreiro.

Photo: Portuguese fado singer Katia Guerreiro on the stage of Price Circus in Madrid, Spain, on July 17, 2015,

Credits: Story

- Octávio Passos / LUSA, Portuguese News Agency
- Andreia Nogueira / LUSA, Portuguese News Agency.
- EPA/J.J.Guillen / LUSA, Portuguese News Agency.
- Heritage of Portuguese Influence / Heritage of Portuguese Influence - HPIP.
- Wikimedia Commons
- Inês Marques.

Author: Francisco Nuno Ramos, Observatory of the Portuguese Language

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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