Travel to Africa in the markets of Lisbon

As soon as you leave the train station Mount Abraão You already know it’s Saturday. Near the entrance to the station, about a dozen people approach the newcomers with trousers in their hands. “Ten euros, very cheap!” they shout. This is the previous step big flea market of this municipality sintraofficially starting on the other side of a wide street and attracting hundreds of people every week, mostly of African descent. More than 300 stall holders, as well as dozens of informal vendors roaming around the station, are licensed to sell here.

Isabel, a dark-skinned woman in her 40s from Cape Verde, is putting some plastic boxes on the floor next to the items she’ll be selling today. corn pies native to the country. “We make the dough with cornmeal and fill it with tuna, seal it and fry it. Everyone eats them in Cape Verde, they’re delicious”, explains the seller, offering them for a modest 50 cents each. Alongside corn cakes, Isabel sells coconut and pistachio desserts, as well as ‘rebuçados’ made with water and sugar. The marketer chats passionately with other women in the native Creole language between the client and the client.

meeting point

Monte Abraão is one of the neighborhoods that has been hit by the disaster. Exponential population growth at the end of the 20th century, partly due to the arrival of thousands of people of African descent after the independence of the former colonies. Something that has been preserved until now. through Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), Portugal strengthened cooperation with Lusophone countries and reached agreements to facilitate the entry of immigrants. bureaucracy obtaining a work and residence permit. Many settled in the area surroundings Places such as Lisbon and the weekly market where this neighborhood is located serve as a meeting point to strengthen bonds between communities.

Once inside the market, dense smoke fills the environment with a strong smell of grilled meat. It’s noon and many people are queuing in front of the food counters to buy steak sandwiches and cold beers. Zamora, a young boy Guinea-BissauHe and some of his friends are gathered around a high table by the bar. It seems everyone here knows each other, the greetings and hugs are constant and so is the laughter. “This market is very important to us, it means a lot. Here we meet friends, have a few beers, eat something… It is good for our health, life is not all about work!” says. Next to him, Julinho adds: “We come every week. I’m the boss here, I always put myself at this table!” she cries in laughter.

There are dozens of stalls around the food stalls with an endless offer. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, fruits and vegetables, small appliances, electronics… and even fish and birds. and for everything ridiculous prices. “Two and a half euros, come and see! Everything is quality!” shouts a salesman. “Not worth stealing!” another claimed from his post. With him, dozens of shoppers search through piles of clothing to find the ideal outfit, and some even do video calls to show their friends and family the products and give them their opinion.

Portuguese salesman Felisberto Quintela, in his 60s and with a bushy moustache, has perfectly organized his clothing counter. Hangers with various jackets hanging from the ceiling prompt customers to ask for prices. “I just sold Some pants for 15 euros”, she happily recounts after saying goodbye to a group of young children. Quintela has been going to this market every week for 12 years. “I’m in a few markets five days a week, but this is the best. Since it’s the weekend, there are always more people and the atmosphere is very festive,” explains the seller. Low prices are one of the main claims of this market, which was born in 1988.

income source

However, Quintela complains about the high prices she has to pay for her stall in the market. Prices that prevent people with less income, such as Isabel, from getting a seat in the official venue. A few hours after displaying the Cape Verde delicacies in front of the police station, the police arrive and force the seller and the other women to collect their belongings. They all obey so as not to lose today’s small income and until a few minutes ago lively street in a deserted area. Until next week.

Source: Informacion


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