Does the rural world fit in Terreiro do Paço?
Guardians of rural customs across the country invaded Terreiro do Paço and demonstrated peacefully. Although it seems like just one more week of demonstrations, what will be the purpose of this mobilization by the rural world? What has impelled these ruralists to enter the streets of the capital?
Have they been unrepresentative in an urbanized and littoral country, where agricultural votes are scarce? Or the lack of power in an economy in which manufactured and globalized food supersedes national production?
Probably these motives will cause concern to the rural world, but they will not have been the driving force of the demonstration, because they are gradual phenomena that it has long tried to resist. Gone are the days of agrarian predominance in Portuguese society.
The last straw was the close attack on their rural traditions, which say little to the urban citizen, but which are the essence of rural life. It was mainly bullfighting, hunting and fishing that brought these people to Lisbon. Because these are the gestures that new populist movements and parties want to quarter, moralize, politicize, endorse, and even forbid in the name of a civilization that they show ignorance and attempt to decontextualize. Taking the canteen steak it's the young blood of the arenasthe cries of the hogs and the goats of the mountains shall soon silence! Killing the cheese from the mountains and all the wild animals who will cut the fires?
Today only the guardians of the rural world maintain these ancient customs of the dawn of humanity, even before agriculture. If hunting captures to the paleolithic, bullfighting represents the animal domestication that initiates the agricultural revolution itself. These are the treasures kept in every hunting game, in every thinned foal, in every bull caught, brought from the times when only human help could bear the brute nature of each onslaught.
In the midst of industrial or postindustrial individualism, it may seem museological to preserve ancient customs in an era in which genetic editing is already done. But on an increasingly unsustainable planet in a climate emergency, it is essential to resume the old rhythms and proper uses of fragile territories. And it is these deep relationships that these customs recreate, it is these balances with the natural environment that must be restored.
Portuguese agriculture was not far from modern productivism and much was contaminated by rapid industrialized monocultures specialized in globalized products. But this is precisely why these extensive cultures such as hunting and forestry stand out throughout history even in the poorest lands. Because it is in these hills and valleys, in most of the country, where everything burns and becomes deserted, that market solutions do not succeed.
What these people have come to say to the capital is that the country can continue to rely on them for the new challenges, just as it said in the recovery of the Iberian lynx, as it is their ancient customs that make territorial sustainability the best.
This deep appeal of the camps may not open news, may not even enter this fast-paced society, it may even be confused with simplistic reactions, but it must be taken very seriously by anyone who wants to think about the future of the interior and of the country as a whole!
The author writes according to the new spelling agreement