It’s raining hard, and in the futuristic outdoor space of the Maison du Portugal, which is set to host a large communal oven in a few months, we have to plan ahead. “On November 1 during All Saints’ Day, we will make a cake with dried fruits. We will offer members the opportunity to make dough at home and come and bake here together,” explains Fernando Filipe, the new president since June of the Portuguese Socio-Cultural and Leisure Association, APSCR, is already buzzing. With ideas.
It is essential for the approximately 350 members who make up this Portuguese association, one of those in the town of Champigny, historically linked to the history of this country: its slum, where those who fled dictatorship have ended up over the years. It was the largest in Europe. It has been four years since the House of Portugal, a place to transmit the country’s culture, opened its doors on Rue du Monument. Not a week goes by without this place being activated by this association, which includes a particularly popular group.
This is particularly the case on Saturday on the occasion of the half-century anniversary of the founding of the American Association for Human and Peoples’ Rights, which has historically been supported by Manuel Márquez and Antonio Lopez. “I was there to celebrate the team’s 30th anniversary, it was a huge party,” Fernando Felipe recalls. He was 14 years old in 1996 when he joined the association for the first time, and took his first training courses with the popular band. He even met the person who shares his life there. “I spend so much time here that my wife asks me when I will visit our home, my home Vacation home “, He laughs.
Common Chestnut Festival
Behind him, in this room designated for language courses, there is a library that provides members with dozens of books. “We offer Portuguese language courses for children and adults. Among the people who take the lessons there are grandchildren, but not only them,” explains the president of this association, which aims to share Portuguese culture with as many people as possible. A film called “Legua” will be shown on Tuesday at Studio 66. And this Sunday, Tapanelli Gymnasium will host a major folk festival.
Despite its 250 square metres, the Maison du Portugal is too small for this event. This Saturday, a folk group from the Azores is rehearsing there. Francisco Valdemar, president of another Portuguese association, Les amis du Plateau, comes as a guest. “It’s a place to live,” he adds. “They are at home here,” Fernando Felipe smiles. It is around the Portuguese Monument that the largest Friends of the Plateau activities are organized. Soon, the two societies should come together for an unmissable community event: the Chestnut Festival, which has just passed. “We plan to celebrate it together next year,” the two directors explained.