sexta-feira, julho 09, 2004


Desenrascanço - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Desenrascanço (impossible translation into English) is a Portuguese word used to describe the capacity to improvise in the most extraordinary situations possible, against all odds, resulting in a hypothetical good-enough solution. Portuguese people believe it to be one of the most valued virtues of theirs.

Desenrascanço in the Discoveries Era
When the Dutch ventured in the sea for the discovery of new worlds, they had the habit of bringing a portuguese with them (note: in fact the dutch where not discovering new worlds, the portuguese did it and the portuguese on board was usally the only one that could read the portuguese maps draw by previous portuguese mariners). For the entire voyage, he would do nothing, unless an emergency arrised. When it did, the Captain would give full control of the boat to this portuguese, who would use his desenrascanço ability to solve the problem at hand. People from Portugal believe that they still have this characteristic, that, theoricaly speaking, make them the best people to handle emergencies, and the worst for situations where planning is needed.

Desenrascanço in Daily Life
Desenrascanço is also the excuse Portuguese people use to justify their known inability to manage, plan and organize anything. Things are never planned or managed. Rules are never defined, let alone written. If there is a written rule it will be completely ignored by everyone. Everyone will do things its own best way, and chaos will result in the end. Then people have to use Desenrascanço to get out of the mess they got in. This basicaly means trying to find ingenious ways to get out of the problems created by the
lack of organization. Everything is always finished/done at the last minute, completely improvised, without following any rules or best practices of management and planning, as things start to happen all at the same time and/or unexpectedly (because no one took the time to think beforehand and plan for them).

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