Once upon a time there was a country called Portugal. The country was very special, for lots of reasons. It was very beautiful, with cork forests, and a wild coastline. In the North there were high mountains and wide rivers, the land was full of animals and birds. Portugal also had many wonderful people. The people were very relaxed, and they had a special trick: they had learned to combine tradition with innovation. They still had their old things – family lunches, festivals, food, God. Every year the people held festas, to celebrate old ideas: the ideas that the generations before had passed onto them through music, and religion, and family. But they kept adding to their traditions: innovating and experimenting, and looking to the future. Some traditions flourished, others quietly died out. The people put wind turbines on the mountains, they loved music and technology. They started new festivals, and built modernist homes. They didn’t want to stand still.
There once was a family who spent a lot of time in the country of Portugal. They often drove across the Ponte da Arrabida bridge in the city of Porto. When the children were tiny, the father once said, “We’re crossing the wobbly old bridge!” And then he wobbled the car, just a little bit. (Well, quite a lot, actually.) And now every time the family crosses the bridge, the dad wobbles the car. As they grow older the kids groan louder, but they wouldn’t let him get away without doing it. And one day they might do it with children of their own. In Portugal, generation whispers onto generation; innovation sits comfortably alongside tradition. Era uma vez we did that. Oh, and by the way, we still do.