USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Portuguese’
Humor

Making Fun of the Portuguese (From Brazil)

Title: The Portuguese Joke (from Brazil)

Interviewee: Rafael Blay

Ethnicity: Brazilian

Age: 19

Situation (Location, ambience, gathering of people?): In his room in Webb, with 3 other friends playing video games in the background. It was a Thursday in April, all the work done for the week, so spirits were high. The interviewee sat on his bed to recount some tales and such.

Piece of Folklore:

Interviewee- “You ask a Portuguese person if they have the time. He says yes.”

Analyzation:

This joke and all the humor targeted towards the Portuguese seem to speak for itself. The humor is target towards the country that once “owned” them, the country that started them as a colony. This phenomena is common amoung all colonies, much like Americans make fun of British people, and Mexicans make fun of Spaniards. The jokes always seem to center around their people being silly or stupid, and just generally not in touch with the modern day and in touch with the average person. Remaining hatred left from colonialism is probably the reason for that type of humor. And generation to generation, that humor is then passed down and repeated, until you end up with the jokes of today.

Tags: Joke, Brazil, Portuguese

Customs
Foodways
Holidays
Material
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Food: Bacalhoada

My informant told me her grandparents come from the Azores a group of islands off the coast of Portugal. Ever year around Easter, on Good Friday, her grandfather cooks a dish called Bacalhoada. It is basically a dish formulated from potatoes, fish, hard-boiled eggs, olives, onions, and whatever else is available in the kitchen. This tradition comes from the Portuguese sailors. Since they sent a lot of time at sea they didn’t have access to fresh foods. They would catch a whole bunch of fish because they were never sure when get would get more food. So they dried and they would rehydrate them with milk later. For this dish they would have the fish and they would then throw-in any vegetables or food that they happened to find on the ship.  Even during war-time they would take the time to make this dish every Good Friday. According to my informant the recipe varies from year to year. Part of the concept of the dish is to put in whatever you have available. My informant says that she enjoys the tradition because she doesn’t fell she has that many. She enjoys the tradition but not always the food that goes with it.

It is interesting that the informant places more emphasis on the history of the tradition than the food itself. It was probably because she didn’t know the recipe off the top of her head but the history of this dish still seems more important. Especially since the recipe seems to change yearly because that’s how the dish was originally made. That might be why the informant follows the tradition even though she’s not all that keen on the actual food. The history behind this dish gives it importance so not practicing it might seem disingenuous.

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