Friday, April 25, 2008

Lost in Carnation

Today, it's officially "the day we celebrate freedom", in Portugal. Also called "the carnation revolution", because instead of bullets there were red carnations coming out of the soldiers rifles on that day, 25.05.1974, when democracy and full civil rights were restored in Portugal.
Actually, this holiday is much like Christmas, only without the presents and the comforting food.

On yet another anniversary, grown-ups speak drearly about fraternity and liberty and listen to the traditional carols of the date.
Then, all is put away until next year, for another feel-good get together of the "fighters for democracy and freedom".

That is all very nice, and we are thankful, but the truth is, this velvety carnation revolution was only necessary because the tender first steps of baby democracy and freedom were smothered in the cradle, with the 1908 assassination of the king and royal prince, and then the deposition of the monarchy in 1910.

Since then and until 1974, Portugal hasn’t been Portugal and to this day, although more in tune with the rest of the western world, is still trying to find itself.

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