Traditions and Cultures among the Portuguese

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 113
  • Published : February 18, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
English
102
English
102
What Does It Mean To Be Portuguese?
Ana Gomes
February 7, 2013
What Does It Mean To Be Portuguese?
Ana Gomes
February 7, 2013
08
Fall
08
Fall

What Does It Mean to Be Portuguese?

The ultimate goal of a society is to reach utopia, to have every single person viewed equally. Under the Bill of Rights, everyone is created equally. But how much of that statement is actually true? Are we all created and treated equally? Integration is a welcoming concept that is often frowned upon by other generations. The ethnic food, the summers of weekend feasts, the language, the traditions, the music, the religion, the dancing, and the clothing. These are all typical aspects of cultures around the world. Some take pride in where they have come from, their roots. Others, steer away from it. They do so for many reasons, society’s influence being the top reason. Portuguese people, also known as Lusitanos, believe they have a community within the United States, but how much of that is imagined? Do segregation and social spaces influence their views? What does it mean to be Portuguese, in a society that is constantly judging you?

Growing up, I was always involved in my community. The members around me influenced me. I took pride in being a Lusitano. Whether it meant accompanying my family to the local feasts to learn how to dance, trying and learning to cook our famous ethnic dishes, learning the language at a young age, or practicing my religion as a Roman Catholic, I was always trying to boost my status in the Portuguese community. Learning the language helped a lot because I could now interact with both of the communities I was a part of, or so I presumed But not everything is as black and white as I thought it was back then. Viewing this community with a mature, wiser perspective, I found the flaws that are in most communities within a society today. This community is more of an imagined community, filled with prejudice people against their own kind. The social norms that are supposed to be abided by are mostly superficial.

As a member of both communities, Lusitano and American, I divide my time for both, which is not acceptable in a Lusitano community. I remain on the outskirts of this community because of my differences with the older generation members. With them, your everyday life consists of promoting the heritage and traditions to other Portuguese non-members. They want to grow their community, but only with members of “their own kind.” People that do not have the qualifications are looked down upon, and “not worthy.” I put both of those phrases in quotes because they are the key terms in this problem. It is an endless cycle of segregation. Like stated in Pratt’s essay, I am “trying to achieve solidarity on an essentially imagined bias,” (Pratt, 493). Being a part of both cultures can sometimes have its downfalls. “Their own kind” consists of Portuguese immigrants that immigrated to America. If you are anything less, you are looked down upon. It does not matter if you, as a first generation, were raised exactly like they were; you will never be worthy enough. This is because they believe once a person is nurtured in America; they are no longer fully Portuguese. They will receive opportunities that they, the older generations, never did. They will emerge themselves in the American culture and diverge from the Portuguese culture. This is their mind set. Americans are based on being financially stable and living the American dream. They drill these aspects into each of member to achieve. They also try to solve everything will violence. Their religion and traditions are scarcely practiced, something the Portuguese people do not tolerate. But the members of each culture do not see the benefits of each other. In a way, they are selfish in trying to rip each other out of the lives of their members. Achieving solidarity within this two-biased communities is rather difficult because I live so...
tracking img