Saturday, July 7, 2007

Weekend Geography Quiz: The Portuguese Age of Exploration

I dropped my Toyota off in Crystal City to get it serviced today, so I decided to take the metro to the National Shrine, the huge Catholic basilica at Catholic University. What a beautiful and impressive cathedral it is! I always like going there to pray. I ate lunch at Union Station and then stopped at the Sackler Gallery to see the exhibition on the Portuguese Age of Exploration.

What a zoo at the Smithsonian! I usually try to avoid the tourist areas in the height of the summer tourism months. First of all, there was a huge backup to even get on the escalator to exit Smithsonian Station on the Mall. Then the
Freer and Sackler galleries were packed. I have a B.A. in Asian Studies from University of Maryland, so I often go to the excellent Freer and Sackler galleries, which both specialize in Asia. Almost always, they are virtually empty. Today, though, they were packed with people, so I can't even imagine what the other Smithsonian buildings were like.

The Portuguese exhibit was quite good. I would have expected liberal opprobrium on Western culture in the explanations, but it was well-balanced. The only irritating liberal aspect to the exhibition was the title of the section about the Portuguese influence on Kyushu island in Japan. The epithet was "Southern Barbarians in Japan" without any quotes around "Southern Barbarians," as if liberals aver that all Westerners were barbarians and all other cultures are superior. Of course, liberals would NEVER use the term "barbarians" or "savages" and would put quotes around them if used by Westerners about any group, e.g. "The shipwrecked Portuguese soldiers looked up and saw cannibalistic 'savages' behind the palm trees." Cannibals living in the jungle are never savage; only Westerners are.

Liberals assert that no culture is "savage" or "primitive" except Western Civilization, and the only violent religion is the Christian faith, never Islam. Fortunately, other than that one title, the exhibit was very well done overall.
By the way, one irritating thing about the Freer and Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian in the past three or four years has been the furtive attempt by liberals to place "C.E." and "B.C.E" into newer exhibits while keeping just enough "B.C.'s" and "A.D.'s" as if no one will notice and complain to Congress. Liberals have a vampiric antipathy to Jesus Christ and God, so it is natural they abhor the terms "B.C." and "A.D." However, they need to show more tolerance for our heritage. In Thailand, they date with the year of the Buddha, and no one in his right mind has a problem with that. Of course, when it comes to Western Civilization, liberals are not in their right mind. In any case, liberals are quite dull and are not the brightest creatures around. They still don't comprehend that "B.C.E." and "C.E." are still dating from Jesus Christ and pointing to His existence.


In honor of the great Portuguese Age of Discovery of the 1400s and 1500s, this weekend's geography quiz will be a place that was heavily influenced by the Portuguese.


What is the name of the following state that was a Portuguese colony from 1510 to 1961? There are numerous cathedrals like the following in its old capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
The heroic St. Francis Xavier, one of my favorite saints, is buried in this church: Another beautiful Cathedral: The capital city is called, not surprisingly, Vasco-da-Gama. This former Portuguese colony is world famous for its incredible beaches, and tourism is the largest industry:

An old Portuguese fort:

So what scenic and historical former Portuguese colony is this?

57 comments:

Gabe said...

It's Goa, now part of India. Unfortunately, I never made it there while living in Asia. But it is one place I would really like to visit.

I had a Catholic friend at Virginia Tech from Goa. His last name was Albuquerque of Portuguese origin, a common last name in Goa.

diana said...

This is breathtaking!

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