The annual festival Lusofonia is coming up again. The festival has been entertaining the city for over two decades, and it’s always a lovely autumn event. Taipa Houses-Museum, situated between Cotai and Rua do Cunha, will play host to the festivities. The streets fill up with cultural elements from Portugal, Mozambique, Cape Verde, India, Brazil and many other countries with a Portuguese influence. This year, the festival takes place October 18–20. To get around Lusofonia on a full belly and glass, you must master at least these 10 expressions.
“Olá, tudo bem?” is the most common greeting of the Portuguese language. It means “Hi, how are you?” and it’s a great way to start a conversation when celebrating Portuguese-speaking countries’ culture.
Do you like foosball? It’s a good entertainment device and an awesome way to meet new people since the tables are always crowded. Grab a drink and head to the “matraquilhos”!
If you enjoy watching an exuberant show with feathers and a lot of color in the mix, you definitely have to know “samba”, the name of a Brazilian typical dance. Samba can be described as a mix of folk dances and cabaret.
Besides all the music, dancing and games, Lusofonia also offers a wide range of food, drinks and goods. If you head to Taipa Houses-Museum looking to get a taste of Lusophone bites, you absolutely have to try “bifana no pão com molho”. It is a pork steak sandwich topped with homemade sauce – it resembles the local chu pa pao. It should be paired with a cold beer.
By the way, I might be biased, but Portuguese beer is just marvelous. Sagres is lighter and Super Bock is stronger, but both are quite efficient at quenching your thirst. “Cerveja” is the word you should use when asking for a beer. Not with a “z” sound, but with “j” instead.
Are you more into fish and vegetables than meat? There’s also space for you at this festival! The food court has at least two stalls serving curly kale soup and roasted sardines. These incredible dishes are pronounced “caldo verde” and “sardinhas assadas” in Portuguese.
“Espectáculos” is the word you should be looking for if you want to find the stage where the concerts and entertainment acts take place. It is situated on the left side of the lake, but in doubt, just ask “onde são os espectáculos?”
Heading to the festival to purchase Lusophone art crafts? Say no more. The word you need to learn is “artesanato”, meaning handmade crafts. In Lusofonia you’ll find several stalls offering different kinds of handicrafts from all over the Portuguese-speaking universe.
“Duas caipirinhas, por favor”. Yes, this should be #1 on the list, but food and entertainment come first. “Caipirinha” is a Brazilian cachaça-based cocktail with lime and sugar. The caipirinha served at Casa do Brasil is one of the most requested drinks at Lusofonia, therefore it’s always crowded. The expression means “Two caipirinhas, please”, so take my advice: pay and take two so you don’t need to queue another 15 minutes after you finish the first one.
“Vinho” is always a good thing to know, anywhere in the world. It’s the Portuguese word for wine, to which you can add “branco” or “tinto” to describe white or red wine, respectively. Lusofonia serves a wide range of beverages depending on the stall, but wine is always a wise choice. Try a white one if the hot weather is not being kind to you.
The program of this edition of the festival is as varied as it was in previous years. Different booths of Portuguese-speaking communities from ten countries or regions, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Goa, Daman and Diu, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Macau and East Timor, are set up, introducing their countries or regions’ traditional music, photographs, arts and crafts, costumes, literature and gastronomy. On each day of the festival, performing groups from nine Portuguese-speaking countries and regions perform different styles of music and dance. Several local art groups will also perform at the Carmo Square. In addition, a temporary restaurant serving Portuguese flavors and dishes, namely typical Portuguese grilled food and specialties from the various Portuguese-speaking countries regions will be available.
When: Friday–Sunday, October 18–20, 2019
Where: Taipa Houses, Avenida da Praia, Carmo Zone, Taipa
How much: Free admission