Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How the Beret arrived in Casteleiro

Most of the smuggling was carried on the back by clandestine rails
I found this article on a Portuguese website, and love it! Read my (poor) free translation and you’ll get the gist of it.
“When I was little, everyone my age had a beret - the boys, of course. To have a beret was like having a notebook to take to school: it was mandatory. But what was the beret, where did it come from, how did it come to us?
These berets Casteleiro in the 1950s. The word beret (boina) comes from the Spanish and the berets came from Spain, but were nothing like the berets of the Commandos or the Marines, nothing like the berets that girls wear today.
But if I speak of the object, I also have to speak of the person who brought them to our land. I do not know his name, but he was a smuggler. We called him 'Quadrazenha.' I suppose it was from Quadrazais, of course-but I do not know if it was, because, for us, everything that came from beyond Santo Estêvão was foreign.
And what came from Spain, apart from the beret? Well, various smuggled goods. They crossed the border clandestinely; they were cheap and very useful. Examples of which everyone will remember: caramels, cocoa, chocolate, espadrilles ("alpragatas" - that's how it was said), among others. But also coffee and tobacco, I read in a published work on the subject. A lot of money changed hands, smuggling…
Contraband in the Central Raia

That was more than 50 years ago in Casteleiro. And like us, they always wore a beret. An image that got lost in the confines of time ..."

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