Santarém is one of our "capitals" for folklore events. Local dances and costumes are very beautiful, and they share their pride with all the world, in regular international festivals.
While a student I cooperated several times with the organization, there getting the love for that kind of artistic demonstration that I still have.
In 1919, we were living the confusion of our first republic, dominated by the dispute between republican leaders and the catholic church. Some excellent examples of possible coexistence did happen, one of them in Santarém, where the organization of the local workers decide to celebrate the priest Franscisco José Nunes da Silva, for his important work helping them in each day difficulties.
The statue is there, in the 1st May square.
Santarém is one of the most distinguishable cities of Portugal dealing with agriculture. The National Fair, the high school, and the cultural connections to the traditional activities are signs of the way that Santarém lives with nature.
However, I was not expecting to find, in a gardened area in the centre of the city, the wonderful image of a tree where the "flowers" where... loquats.
Santarém is not an university city, meaning that it has no tradition in that level of teaching, except in agriculture. However, after the revolution of 1974 a Polytechnical Institute was created in the city, and a few more hundred students started to live there, bringing to the day life the common academic traditions.
Aware of its rich traditions, it will be funny to see how will Santarém incorporate these new ones.
The most Portuguese moment in a bullfight is when eight men (forcados) try to immobilize the bull only by arms' force.
The top of emotion in the show is when one of them faces and challenges the bull, with the other seven lined behind him not to distract the animal.
More than a bravado, being a forcado is a social distinction, with a cultural behaviour associated, replacing football as the conversations' theme in the day after.
Funny that, in the public garden in the center of town, the forcados are represented by a bowling combination. In this game, the pins must beat the ball.