Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome to Portugal!

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, lies in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The westernmost country in Europe, Portugal is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain to the north and east. Although originally settled in prehistoric times, Portugal did not become an established nation-state until 1143 during the Christian Reconquista. The country is the self-proclaimed oldest European nation-state.  
In the 15th and 16th centuries, as a result of the maritime exploration, Portugal established a global empire that included property possessions in Africa, Asia, and South America, thus becoming the world’s prime economic, political and military power of the time.
Portugal is a developed country with the world’s 19th highest quality of life, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is the 13th most peaceful and 8th most globalized country in the world.
Portuguese music encompasses a wide variety of genres. The most renowned is fado, a melancholy urban music normally associated with Portuguese guitar and themes of longing. Fandango is one of the most popular regional dances, a lively Andalusian folk dance performed in triple-meter.

Flag photo courtesy of Wikipedia. Video courtesy of YouTube.

Watch a traditional Fandango dancer perform to the live accompaniment of authentic Portuguese guitarists:

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