Fado, World Heritage
Declared 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity' by UNESCO, Fado it is not just a type of singing from Portugal with singers like Severa, Marceneiro, Amália, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Camané, Ana Moura and Carminho, it is a real world treasure.
Fado started as part of popular culture in the eighteenth century Lisbon and was sung whilst people socialised in the fields, waited for the bullfights, in the streets and alleyways and the taverns. Initially it was associated with the margins of society and with trouble makers, in places frequented by prostitutes, sailors, bohemian aristocracy and womanisers.
The singers are described as looking like ruffians with husky and hoarse voices often with tattoos, good at handling flick knives, talking in slang and using coarse language.
It was a fun part of the Lisbon carnival entertainment but following the military coup in 1926 shows were subject to censorship and the urban song was badly affected, losing its old sense of character.
It is a symbol of national identity and the source of the most popular Portuguese songs, it reaches out to everyone with the feelings in invoked: pain, jealousy, solitude, love.
Portugal has many World Heritage things such as the town of Sintra, the prehistoric rock art at Foz Côa, the Laurissilva forest in Madeira and numerable monuments and historic centres. There are also tens of sites with Portuguese cultural influence around the world that are on UNESCO's list.