A special date was celebrated that the municipality of Loulé chose to present the “Cancioneiro Popular de Concelho de Loulé”, on April 23, the World Book Day. At the Gama Lobo Palace, this work, which, according to the autarchy, "perpetuates memories, traditions, knowledge and experiences", was made known to the public, in a ceremony that featured personalities linked to letters and Louletan cultural life for writer Lídia Jorge and Guilherme D'Oliveira Martins. But also the Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa, witnessed here another of the active values of the aspiring Geopark Algarvensis Loulé-Silves-Albufeira.
“O Cancioneiro Popular do Concelho de Loulé” brings together the work of 65 poets from the 9 parishes of this municipality, in 5 volumes, in a total of more than 2 thousand pages. It was born of a partnership between the municipality and the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the University of Algarve, which started even before the pandemic, which did not make the process unfeasible, as explained by João Minho Marques, the professor who coordinated the work.
Among the themes presented, “diversity and wealth” are present, “from memories of very old customs, passing through the impression of the landscape of more than half a century ago, to images of a topography that must be preserved, despite being altered by immutable march of progress ”, as indicated by the coordinator of this Cancioneiro, João Marques, who associated himself by videoconference to this presentation. A sign of both “resistance and inspiration”, this anthological collection aims to “preserve the memory of the Louletan people”, in a municipality where the “songbook makes sense and is current”, according to the words of the executive director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Guilherme D'Oliveira Martins, in a reference to António Aleixo, the greatest Portuguese popular poet, Casimiro de Brito, Lídia Jorge and also to the role of Maria Aliete Galhoz in the preservation of oral heritage.
«This songbook is also a Geopark because it is the valorization of people and our cultural and human heritage», explained Vítor Aleixo, on the day in the Algarvensis territory Loulé-Silves-Albufeira who wants to obtain the seal of UNESCO World Geopark was highlighted. The mayor expressed the "feeling of accomplishment" with the launch of this work. «It was necessary to honor this cultural tradition so alive and maintained over the years by the genuine people. It translates the work of the people, their ancestral knowledge, enriches us with sensibilities, crosses the centuries and is so important », he added.
Minister Ana Abrunhosa, who during the day had the opportunity to visit the Aspirante Geoparque Algarvensis territory, spoke of the "invaluable contribution of Loulé" to the enhancement of the role of history and culture in education. "The written record in a songbook is, in fact, very important in order not to lose this valuable asset", he affirmed, underlining the identity component of this act. "It is work for the present, but for what it will be for later, aimed at preserving and promoting our cultural heritage and what is very important for cohesion and the development of our identity".
The director of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Algarve, Nuno Bicho, did not fail to praise the «effective commitment of the Loulé chamber which, with this initiative, and many others, has enabled the University to develop as a whole the I work at the level of our science, our culture and our heritage ”.